Waterkeeper Gala sponsorship deck

The Waterkeeper Gala is the annual fundraiser for Swim Drink Fish Canada / Lake Ontario Waterkeeper. Leaders and influencers from across the country gather for this highly-anticipated event and celebrate swimmable, drinkable, fishable water for one night with great art, entertainment, and locally sourced food.

Since the event’s inauguration in 2011, artists have donated their work for the Gala’s art auction. All proceeds from the event go towards supporting the organization’s core programs: Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, Swim Guide, and Watermark Project. To date, $2.3-million has been raised to promote swimmable, drinkable, fishable water.

Every year has been an amazing success, but the success of each year is never guaranteed. There are many pieces that make this event the grandeur that it is. Staff, artists, donors, volunteers, supporters, production, and certainly – sponsors.

The Challenge

Since reaching out to sponsors is one of the first steps to getting the Gala-ball rolling, the sponsorship deck is the first piece designed to provide sponsors with all of the information they need to decide whether or not the event is in their interest.

The excitement, the elegance, the fun, the art, and the significance of the Gala all have to be reflected and revealed in just a few pages. The layout for each page, like the event itself, is dynamic.

I originally created this square-shaped deck for the 2015 Gala. I used the sponsorship deck that previously existed as a reference. It wasn’t bad, but I saw opportunities to make a number of slight changes that I believed would help improve the organization’s professional appearance (especially where potential sponsors were the target audience).

Since 2015, to help save time, the task has been to simply update that 2015 InDesign file with new images, new sponsor logos, new art and artists, and make copy updates. But there’s always room for improvements, so I’ve happily used each pass as an opportunity to make little tweaks.

Because this is the first designed piece for the Gala, I’ve often found this project to be one of the more challenging out of all of the Gala projects that I get to work on. It isn’t so much the designing, but having to shift gears, go through the hundreds of images that were captured 6-7 months prior, and recreate the excitement that has ultimately died down.

The images used and considered for the sponsorship deck are usually the images used in the following months leading to the April extravaganza, so this project kind of helps the party get started.