Goal: Increase the visibility of an organization on Parliament Hill

The Rideau Institute, the independent research, advocacy and consulting group whose founder, Steven Staples, is also President of Public Response, had been holding annual gala events since 2008, but wanted to make more of a splash in the Ottawa social scene. While previous galas focused on fundraising for the not-for-profit organization, the Institute decided that this time it wanted to bring together the large number of new MPs who joined the House of Commons after the May 2011 election, many of whom had not yet been introduced to the organization or its allies.

The annual Rideau Institute Gala Dinner has become an anticipated Ottawa event to bring together supporters, decision makers, and opinion leaders. Previous keynote speakers have included former UN Ambassador Paul Heinbecker (2008), former Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Joe Clark (2009), and author Linda McQuaig (2010).

– Rideau Institute

Our team reached out to contacts on Parliament Hill to find the best location to host the Social, which would emphasize the beneficial relationship between new parliamentarians and civil society leaders with expertise in various policy fields. After securing the sponsorship of Deputy Speaker of the House Denise Savoie, the team hosted the event in the elegant and prestigious Speakers’ Lounge in Centre Block, directly behind the floor of the House of Commons. Guest speaker MP Guy Caron was asked to speak about “The New Politics and Social Movements” and to highlight the changes that the May 2011 election had brought about on the Canadian political landscape.

Results: More than 150 civil society activists and leaders joined MPs and Senators from all parties at the 2012 Social.

The event was also financially sponsored by five leading civil society organizations.

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