Vancouver Convention Centre, AVIXA Foundation and More Showcase Our Favorite CSR Efforts This Month
Many trade show-related suppliers and organizations are making incredible strides toward creating a more equitable and compassionate world through corporate social responsibility initiatives and activities.
The Vancouver Convention Center and Tourism Vancouver were recently recognized as Social Procurement Champions by Exchange Inner City and Buy Social Canada for demonstrating excellence in social procurement –– the intentional purchase of goods and/or services that result in positive change.
“We are honored to be recognized for our practice of social procurement, an initiative that we are highly proud of and strive to more deeply integrate as part of our operational processes,” said Craig Lehto, VCC general manager.
Since last year, the VCC has formed partnerships with several local social enterprises (organizations that apply commercial strategies to maximize positive social and environmental impact alongside profitability), including Embers, Binners’ Project, Mission Possible and Hives for Humanity.
“We value the commitment to social procurement from large institutions like the Vancouver Convention Centre,” said Steve Johnston, director of Exchange Inner City. “Not only does their purchasing power achieve their social responsibility goals, but it also makes a meaningful contribution to the development of a thriving local economy that creates opportunities for all residents.”
The VCC maintains long-standing partnerships with other community and charitable groups, including United We Can, which has been the recipient of more than $157,000-worth of beverage recyclables from the VCC in the past eight years.
LACC Unveils Largest Public Art and Civic Project
Last month, the Los Angeles Convention Center premiered a four-football-field-long, hand-painted mural and accompanying artwork created by Portraits of Hope, a national non-profit organization that develops dynamic, public art projects to enrich the lives of children and adults.
According to LACC officials, “Shaping LA” is the largest public art and civic project in the U.S. thanks to the efforts of more than 7,000 Los Angeles residents who participated through civic education and public policy sessions in more than 1,000 schools; creative therapy sessions for hospitalized children and persons with disabilities; social service programs and public community operations.
“The Los Angeles Convention Center is the perfect canvas for this one-of-a-kind project,” said Doane Liu, executive director of the City of Los Angeles Department of Convention and Tourism Development, which began working closely with Portraits of Hope last year to showcase an upbeat and identifiable mural on the LACC’s exterior.
The project was made possible by partners including AEG, which donated $10,000 toward the project, and GES and Freeman, which donated labor to install the mural.
“We are proud to support the Shaping LA project because it embodies the AEG values of community service and support of the arts and education,” said Ellen Schwartz, LACC general manager. “This project has impacted so many lives and we are excited to be an integral part of this story.”
The vibrant works are currently displayed on the LACC’s South Hall facing the 110 freeway, and on the ground level of the facility in and around the West Hall parking garage and walkway facing STAPLES Center. After approximately six months, the artwork will be donated primarily to social service institutions.
AVIXA Foundation Helps Expand Reach of AV Skills Training
AVIXA Foundation, the charitable arm of the Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association, has partnered with The Loop Lab to support the organization’s mission of empowering underserved youth with the professional skills needed for audiovisual industry careers.
Located in Cambridge, Mass., The Loop Lab provides young people with tools to express themselves creatively and the training they need to join the workforce. In 2017, the non-profit raised more than $280,000 in grant funding and has entered into corporate and education partnerships with Google, ArtPlace America and Cambridge Arts.
Through the partnership with the AVIXA Foundation, students will learn about the AV industry while studying fundamental skills through courses such as AVIXA’s Essentials of AV Technology. Students will also have the opportunity to attend InfoComm, take courses and workshops at the event, and network with potential industry employers.
“Our partnership with the AVIXA Foundation will prove invaluable to our students,” said Christopher Hope, The Loop Lab founder. “The City of Cambridge is at a critical moment in its evolution and many of its youth are without the resources to fully explore the opportunities all around them.”
According to Joseph Valerio, program director for the AVIXA Foundation, the partnership with The Loop Lab fits naturally with AVIXA’s goal to increase awareness of AV as a dynamic, viable career path.
“The organization’s focus on elevating the lives of Cambridge youth through technical training and job preparation aligns perfectly with our mission,” Valerio said. “This collaboration helps us bolster a growing pipeline of students from the region entering the AV workforce.”
The Toy Foundation Brings Smiles to Kids in Need in South Florida
“Play Your Part,” a nationwide philanthropic event series hosted by The Toy Foundation, brought new toys and games to more than 250 South Florida children in need. Held last month in partnership with Junior Achievement South Florida at its Coconut Creek headquarters, the day of play was made possible by local toy company volunteers and thousands of toy donations from manufacturers, retailers and distributors to TTF’s Toy Bank.
TTF is the philanthropic arm of The Toy Association, which produces Toy Fair New York and Toy Fair Dallas, held annually in February and October, respectively.
At the event, kids got to take home a new toy of their choosing. Toys will also be delivered to kids in need throughout South Florida to help them celebrate holidays, birthdays and other special occasions.
“Toys provide comfort to children who are living through difficult circumstances,” said Jean Butler, TTF executive director. “We are grateful to our toy industry donors for providing the ‘tools of play’ to help these children cope, as well as to our volunteers who worked together to make this day so memorable for the children in attendance!”
Local toy companies including Basic Fun!, Jazwares, Just Play, Getta1Games and JC Toys participated in the event, which was the first of its kind in South Florida. Companies either donated toys, sponsored an activity station or sent company volunteers to hand out toys and lead kids’ activities, including board games and crafts.
To date, Play Your Part has helped more than 300,000 children in need across the U.S.