Canada’s annual music awards, the Junos, will be hosted in Vancouver at the end of the month and with the event comes satellite parties, concerts, a celebrity and alumni hockey game, and plenty of stars. One thing I know about awards ceremonies is that gift bags filled with a plethora of high-end goodies and gadgets are handed to special guests, and thanks to one company that reached out to me on Twitter, I have the inside scoop about what this year’s Juno VIPs will be receiving courtesy of the Uptown GiftBox Company.
CEO of Uptown, Gabrielle Durning, is thrilled. “When I first launched the company, I said, ‘One day, we’ll do the gifts for The Junos!‘ So, for us, it feels like a real personal milestone to have the opportunity to create a custom gift design for this year’s Awards.”
The company has taken the term hyper-local to a whole new level with the gifts they have prepared for the Awards this year. “Over the last few years, we have been really inspired by the ‘100-mile-diet’ philosophy of living locally. There are so many innovative and unique artisans in BC alone that it is very easy for us to create gorgeous, locally made gifts.”
So what exactly will be served up in these special compilations? “From the layered shortbread blended with edible petals grown on their own farms at Langford Foods, to the wild salmon pate from Seachange Savouries on Saltspring Island to the BC cedar box handcrafted by Woodpak Inc., our Juno GiftBox is a real highlight of some of BC’s Best.” They will also contain Raincoast Crisps, a delectable cracker that I know my husband can’t get enough of (especially the rosemary variety).
But as Durning explains, it’s not 100% about what goes in the packages as the boxes themselves have their own story. “Like all our gifts, we like to tell a story, to create gifts with meaning. For example, the Coast Salish artist, Maynard Johnny Jr. who created the original design that we silkscreened on the boxes, produced an image titled “Juneau”. The ‘twist’ on the name is in reference to Pierre Juneau who was the namesake for the Juno Awards. He was the founder of both the CRTC and the Canadian Content Regulations. Of course, the beautiful symbolism Maynard produced, is striking and represents the spirit of collaboration, found in so many of today’s successful artists.”
The boxes are indeed beautiful and lovely representation of the talented and valuable small businesses, craftsmen and artists in our region. They also symbolize the fact that a small gesture can go a long way. “In these challenging economic times, we feel our services are even more relevant than before,” noted Durning. “Remember when Michelle Obama presented Laura Bush with a simple, elegant gift on the day of the inauguration? She created a new tradition, while honouring simple etiquette and grace.”
You can view more works by artist Maynard Johnny Jr on several gallery sites and many of the gift box items can be found in local grocery and specialty stores.