February 2010

ECOS Project Update

In the December/January issue of Meetings in Progress, we updated you on the ECOS Project status in Atlantic Canada, British Columbia, Calgary, Montreal and Ottawa. Now, we’re well into February 2010, and the project’s national team is still donating its time and efforts in support of Events for Communities and Sustainability.

We are pleased to introduce you to the rest of the ECOS Project team members in Edmonton, Manitoba and Toronto and share with you their community initiative updates and personal feedback about the program.


“We decided to partner with Variety, the Children's Charity. Variety’s mandate is to fund the immediate, tangible needs of children. Throughout the years, Variety has approved funding for artificial eyes, specialized or adapted bicycles, closed circuit readers, wheelchairs, hearing aids, walkers and much more. They are a non disease, illness or injury specific charity with the sole goal of assisting in bettering the lives of all children. With a very small staff, unfortunately, they were unable to hold their yearly Children’s Party because of lack of resources. This event has always been well received as it gives the children a chance to meet other Variety children and families who are currently or have been past recipients of assistance from Variety,” said Kevin Wolfe, General Manager, AVW-TELAV Winnipeg.

“It was decided to have an afternoon of fun and games for all. Our event will be on March 14th and is called ‘Variety’s Magical Afternoon’. We will have face painting, a caricaturist, balloon artist, Nintendo Wii stations, cotton candy and popcorn. The highlight of the afternoon will be a performance by Anders the Magician, one of Canada’s premier entertainers. We have also asked MPI members to donate prizes for our Rainbow Auction to raise money for Variety,” said Doren Roberts, President, MPI Manitoba Chapter.


Although their project is still in its organizational stages, Edmonton will be supporting the Food Bank. Demand for food bank services went up 18% in Canada in 2009, but a whopping 61% in Alberta. The Edmonton Chapter has been talking to suppliers about helping out. In fact, the Edmonton Convention Centre (also known as the Shaw Conference Centre) was so impressed with the intent of the project, it has asked to have companies holding conferences at its facility participate in collecting donations as well, between now and March (or longer if it is successful). Other suppliers, such as hotels, may do the same thing.

Also part of the Edmonton team is Elaine Walton, Administrative Assistant, AVW-TELAV Edmonton.


“The MPI Toronto Chapter CSR Task Force was created in 2007, and is currently in its third year of operation. When the 2009/2010 task force met for the first time, we were really looking for a new way to explore CSR and provide new material and initiatives to our membership. When we heard about the ECOS Pilot Project for Canada, it was exactly what we were looking for. Often times, CSR initiatives focus mainly on the element of Planet and the two other very important CSR important components –People & Profit— are given less focus. The ECOS Project will give chapters the opportunity to participate and make a physical difference in the communities in which we conduct business. This will have a result and satisfaction which will touch home to members like never before,” said Jodi Spivak, Conference Planner, Toronto Rehab.

“We have chosen the Daily Bread Food Bank, which is a non-profit, charitable organization that is fighting to end hunger in our communities. Daily Bread serves people through neighbourhood food banks and meal programs in its 171 member agencies. We have developed many ways to get as many people involved in the project as possible. We have been collecting non-perishable food and monetary donations at our chapter events and are also encouraging members to start food drives within their own offices. Large donations are being encouraged by having AVW-TELAV collect large amounts of food from offices, as well as having donation bins set up at a number of AVW-TELAV venues. For those who want to donate their time, we are wrapping up the project with a sorting day to make the project accessible to everyone,” said Jessica Ambrose, Project Manager, Elastic Communications & Events Inc.

Also part of the Toronto team is Sandra Lijoi, Account Executive, AVW-TELAV Toronto.

More information on the MPI CSR initiative can be found at www.mpiweb.org/sustainability.

For more information on the ECOS Project and the detailed community toolkit, please visit www.mpiweb.org/ecos.

If you would like to get involved or have comments on the project, contact Elizabeth Henderson.