Sleek tenting by Regal Tent Productions makes a statement at Toronto Fashion Week events.
Fashion, art, music, culture—and tenting. What would the iconic bi-annual festival Toronto Fashion Week® be without elegant tenting to set the stage for the celebration? Stoney Creek, Ontario-based Regal Tent Productions manufactured and installed tenting for Toronto Fashion Week Fall 2017, which took place within Toronto’s most prestigious luxury retail and brand neighborhood—Yorkville along Hazelton Avenue and Yorkville Avenue. “We have partnered with Toronto Fashion Week for years to provide its tents and flooring,” says Ashleigh McCulloch, Regal’s project manager. “They reached out to us for this new contract because they knew we were the only company locally that would be able to manufacture the custom tent they needed for Fall Toronto Fashion Week.”
The client needed a tent to house a lobby area, runway room and back-of-house space for models. “The street was only 24-foot wide and the client needed a tent that could run 426 feet along Yorkville Avenue,” McCulloch says. “Regal custom-made the tent to maximize the space on the road.”
After multiple site visits to take measurements, 22 versions of the layout and many meetings around the conference table with suppliers, Regal began installation of its custom-manufactured clearspan tent with black and clear fabric that measured 24 by 426 by 13 feet.
Because of strict street closures on Yorkville Avenue, Regal’s crew had 36 hours to install the tent, and 24 hours to remove it. They laid a plywood and plank floor through the tent’s entire interior, which was covered by black event carpet. They also created a 10-foot section of reinforced floor through the middle of the tent so that forklifts and scissor lifts could be driven inside during installation. “We had multiple crews and project managers working in staggered shifts overnight and throughout the entire installation and removal to ensure that the tent would be ready for other suppliers to fill with decor, audio visual, etc.,” McCulloch says.
The primary challenge the site presented was the restricted width of the street, requiring the crew to use a combination of techniques to secure the tent. They used concrete ballast to anchor the majority of the tent, but because the ballast was so large, they couldn’t use it everywhere. “There was a 180-foot section of the tent that we had to improvise and drill bolted eye hooks into the curb so we could guy out with straps,” McCulloch says. “The street was our work area so as we built the tent we had less and less space to work in.”
The power of teamwork
The client requested clear roofs and walls in the lobby area as a backdrop for a decor set in jewel tones so pedestrians on the sidewalks “could catch a glimpse of the high-end parties that took place there,” McCulloch says.
Regal installed black roofs and walls as a backdrop for a sleek and simple runway area, featuring black carpet and black chairs.
“The event went off without a hitch,” McCulloch says. “It was a great experience to work with so many other suppliers in such a small space, with very limited resources. The logistics of getting transport trucks, equipment, etc., into a city street could have been the undoing of this job, but with our amazing crew and project managing we were able to get the job done perfectly and on time. It was a real lesson in the importance of teamwork.”