Right in the heart of Richmond there is the very nice venue of Quilchena Golf and Country Club that is a great venue offering for your event. You enter Quilchena through a well kept row of townhouses adjacent to the golf course. As a matter of fact, unless you know it is there, you could very well drive right by.
As you drive up to the clubhouse you can’t help but notice, directly in front of you, the nice area where a wedding ceremony will often take place. One of the draw backs to this section of the building is that there is no ramp for wheelchair bound guests.
However, in the main entrance and down the hall there is an elevator, to the right, that takes you to the second floor. From there a mobility challenged guest could be brought out to the balcony which overlooks the wedding ceremony area.
As an option, mobile guests can take the stairs to the second floor. It has a lively skylight and chandelier and many guests find this area a lovely photo setting. The natural light and curvature of the staircase add an interesting feature to your photos.
Once on the second floor, there is the main ballroom where many of the events are held. It is bright and airy with a nice balcony for guests to enjoy. It should hold about a 110 guests or so. A buffet can be setup outside the main entrance to the room.
With buffet being set up outside the room, there is a nice large area for your dancing and different configurations are available in the placement of chairs and the dance floor. Plenty of room for your first dance and party festivities.
With its’ well kept grounds and nice clubhouse, Quilchena Golf and Country Club has that country charm just minutes from the center of Richmond. Well manicured lawns and green surroundings make you feel you could well be in the countryside. This always a plus when hosting a relaxed fun wedding or event.
I rate Quilchena Golf and Country Club a 4.5 with my only concern being the small challenge of getting a wheel chair to the wedding ceremony area.
The Inn At The Quay is a nice medium quality hotel that has all the basics plus a little extra for your event. The entrance is clean and bright with cover for loading in your luggage and ample parking very close to the front entrance. There is underground parking as well. The hotel will provide a parking pass for your vendors. The level entrance also is convenient for any mobility challenged guests you may have and makes it easy for your vendors to load in their equipment as well. A quick tip concerning your vendor load in…the more difficult it is to get into a venue, the more a vendor will cost due to the extra time and effort associated load in and load out.
The lobby is very bright with a modern and colorful decor. The check in area is quite spacious for a smaller hotel. This is a nice surprise, especially when you compare with hotels in downtown Vancouver where lobbies can be quite small. It makes moving around with luggage or equipment much easier.
The main event room is on the second floor. There is elevator access to all floors, including the underground parking, making it easy for guests and vendors to get to your event within the hotel. The room will hold 80 to 90 guests quite comfortably. Above 90 guests, a space challenge starts to present itself, especially if you are trying to keep room for a dance floor.
The room can be configured to your event. A wide range of events are hosted and a dinner service can be provided as well. Weddings, anniversaries and corporate events take place regularly.
The rooms overlook the Fraser river and some great sunsets are to be had. The balcony is small however so not that many of your guests would be able to stands on it. Still, it is a nice feature.
With the hotel located on the boardwalk by the water, there is lots to do for guests if you are hosting a wedding reception and there is time between the wedding ceremony and start of the reception. By the way, they do offer an open air wedding ceremony venue as well.
Your guests can wonder through the small mall area of the Quay, take a cruise on the river paddle wheeler or just stroll along the Fraser river via the boardwalk.
The Inn At The Quay has a lot going for it. With a nice location bright, clean premises and with a number of attractions for your guests, the hotel would be a nice choice for a small or medium sized event. I give it 4.5 stars out of 5 as my only concern is perhaps the size of the event room. There is not a lot of wiggle room if you have a hundred guests and more show up last minute…especially if you want to have a dance floor.
I often hear of clients looking for unique services that will add something memorable to their events. So, I’d like to let you know of a very interesting service that I recently came across was that of two artists that specialize in painting your event as it happens, The artists, Olga and Bill, first create a pencil sketch of the activity of your event…say a reception or wedding ceremony.
As the painting evolves from the sketch, the artists continue to work throughout your event creating an impressionistic representation on canvas.
Olga and Bill are very personable and invite your guests to view the work in progress and chat about various aspects of what they are doing during the process. As the painting nears completion, there is often quite a crowd gathering to view the finished painting.
Pricing for paintings are customized for each client.
Olga and Bill do many types of events, including charity events, where they do a painting of the charity event and then auction the painting off. Other services include creating full sized prints or small ones that can be used as thank you cards.
I give Impressions Live Art 4 3/4 out of 5 stars for a unique idea and implementation that is a great offering for the client that would like a unique memory of their event.
Click on the link for a short video clip of a painting in progress.
Around the New Year, and sometimes before, I start getting requests from pubs, lounges or even restaurants that want to begin having a regular karaoke night. Venues are having a slow night throughout the week and they want to do something to get patrons in the door to liven up the evening and bring in more cash flow on a consistent basis. A karaoke night is a viable way to do that if the management is serious about increasing business by introducing a fun karaoke night for their customers or raising the bar on a karaoke night that is getting stale, but it is a waste of money if owners are looking for quick or short term solution to their slow nights and don’t want to do what it takes to make a rewarding, regular karaoke night happen .
After about 2,300 successful events, including karaoke events, with TV Shows like Supernatural, Juno Award winner Biff Naked, Tamara Taggart, Electronic Arts and many regular clients around the lower mainland and beyond, this Vancouver DJ and KJ ( Karaoke Host ) believes he knows a thing or two about what makes a karaoke night work. Although I believe a profitable, regular karaoke night can be established just about anywhere, there are a few things that have to take place for it to happen. In part one of this blog I will discuss the basics of getting a great karaoke night started correctly.
Patience is a virtue and a must for a successful karaoke night. An evening with good crowds, singers and flowing spirit sales is not, repeat… not going to happen in one, two or even three karaoke nights. Owners have got to change the whole ambiance and customer base of the evening from quiet and slow to a more exciting fun filled evening full of singing participants. That means bringing in a new type of patron and that takes time…typically a 3 month time frame before you start building a following at your venue. A onetime karaoke night won’t produce much of anything and if management and owners think differently, then they might as well stop here.
The next step after you have that yes, I really want to get an awesome and profitable karaoke night established at my venue, is hiring an engaging Karaoke Host (KJ) . You need someone who is not afraid of the microphone , going out and making friends with the patrons at your venue, is pleasant and encouraging to the audience. Your KJ must also control their own ego and understand this is all about our patrons. I say our because your KJ should be looked upon as part of your team. Your KJ needs to very supportive of all singers, good or bad, and not try to show off their singing ability, good or mediocre, by singing too much. The KJ does not need to sing well but should be able to sing a little in order to start the night off. The personality and attitude of the KJ is most important. The KJ is all about the best experience for the singers and the patrons and is able to come across to the audience as such.
Don’t be too cheap in hiring your KJ. A good KJ is working hard loading out from their vehicle, bringing in and setting up quality equipment, running an engaging karaoke night and then breaking down and loading everything out at the at the end of the evening…it’s a lot of work! Don’t forget the KJ also has money invested in their equipment and karaoke files. For example, I have over 200,000 karaoke songs plus multicultural selections collected over a long time in business. Each one of those files is worth at least $.99 so you can easily calculate what I have invested in music alone. Some owners belittle the hiring of their KJ right from the start by criticizing the asking price. That’s the wrong foot to start off on if you want a happy, fun loving KJ host to run your karaoke night. Be supportive of your KJ. Negotiate in good faith and be honest about your budget and what you can do. It’s the best way for the owner and you will get a loyal KJ who will do his or her best.
Having a successful, fun and profitable regular karaoke night is not rocket science. It just takes a willingness to work together to put the right conditions in place to make a regular, successful karaoke night bloom. In part two of my blog, this KJ / DJ in Vancouver will talk about ideas on how to let people know about your regular karaoke night and what a good karaoke setup looks like, how it encourages patrons to sing as well as other aspects of establishing a fun and lucrative regular karaoke night. So stay tuned.
In part one of my blog on “Strategies For A Profitable Weekly Karaoke Night”, I talked about the basics on the setting up of successful weekly karaoke night. If you missed it, here it is Part one
In part two, as a Vancouver DJ / KJ who has seen and done a lot of events, I will give you some practical ideas on things you can do to ensure your regular karaoke night builds into an energetic and profitable night for your venue.
Ok, you now have a realistic idea of the basic things you need to change your venue from a sleepy little place to one where karaoke lovers can come to sing and drink the night away…so how do you do that? Well, just remember your Karaoke host ( KJ ) is not your main marketer. I am amazed at how many venues just expect people to come if the hire a KJ. Sure, there are things a karaoke host ( KJ ) can do, like being engaging, putting your karaoke night on their face book page and letting friends and their contacts know about the karaoke night, but the main marketer is the owner or the management of the venue.
The obvious… no one is coming to your karaoke night if they don’t know you have one. Put out things like table tents on the tables of your establishment all week long, every week, letting people know about karaoke night. Big banners and / or posters with big lettering. I mean big…not dinky little A4 size posters. A big sandwich board out in front of your venue all week long, every week, is another visible advertising option. Put it on your marquis. If you got big screen TVs, put it on them as well. Put it big on your face book page and website and post consistently on the karaoke night. If you are downtown, think about capturing all that foot traffic walking by your establishment by having someone at the entrance who is friendly and chatty handing out a coupon for a free beer, or something, if they come in and sing. Talk it up…make it something people don’t want to miss because your establishment is a happening place for karaoke.
Your bartenders and staff also need to be supportive and also co-marketers of the karaoke night. Friendly and supportive staff can go a really long way to making patrons fell comfortable to come in and sing. Make your patrons feel welcome. Get the staff to encourage them to sing. One thing you can do is to have the staff let the customers know about the karaoke night and if a customer expresses interest in coming out, print up a complimentary free beer coupon for the most entertaining singer of the night redeemable if signed by the KJ. One pub that I work with does this and the KJ chooses who wins and then signs the coupon. The pub gives the KJ a limit of redeeming five coupons a night with a code only good for that night. It works quite well.
If possible, make the first hour family friendly. It is a unique way to promote your karaoke night. Another neighborhood pub finds this an effective way to have people come in the door. The families come in for supper and then stay for a bit to let the kids sing karaoke. It is a good way to get the karaoke night started and patrons are often surprised and supportive of the kids. Often mom or dad are singing with their children or taking video and pictures. Who is to say the moms and dads won’t be back with friends at a later date. Just another way of getting the word out.
The placement of your karaoke host ( KJ ) is important. They should be front and center where the sound is distributed throughout the room. Not off to the side or down in the back of the room by the bathrooms…seriously this is where one manager put the karaoke host at their venue. A great feature to have is allowing the KJ to plug into a big screen TV that is preferably behind or beside them. Karaoke audiences love to be able to see the lyrics as the singer is doing their song. If you have Asian patrons, or want to attract them, this is a must. The big screen facing the audience also helps to keep them engaged in the karaoke as well as encouraging more people to come up and sing. Those in the audience who are on the fence on coming up to sing will start singing along in their seats if they can see the lyrics. They will be testing the waters so to speak from the safety of their table and once they feel comfortable, more often than not, a group or individual will come up and sing. This one feature alone will definitely encourage more people to sing.
Another feature that will encourage your patrons to sing and keep the good singers coming back is a nice sounding PA with a good floor monitor. Patrons who are interested in karaoke want to sound good, especially the ones who can sing. If word gets around that your establishment has good sounding equipment, it will get around the karaoke community fast.
Finally, keep your karaoke night fresh with theme nights, competitions , fundraisers. Nothing slowly kills a karaoke night like the same thing every week. Contests can be run over a 6 week period and if you get a few sponsors to donate prizes… it will make it really exciting for everyone. If you are really serious about your karaoke night, become a world karaoke championship karaoke venue. Yes, there is such a thing. Take a look Karaoke World Championship Canada, How To become a qualifying venue
Like anything else, an awesome weekly karaoke night at your venue is only limited by your imagination and desire. Also like anything else, you will get out of it what you put into it so if you are going to do a weekly karaoke night you might as well do it right. As a KJ / DJ in Vancouver who has seen many karaoke nights come and go swiftly…don’t let yours be one of them.
The Holiday Inn at 1110 Howe Street, Vancouver is a very busy hotel venue a little further away, but still relatively close to the downtown core of Vancouver. Accessible by bus or taxi, the hotel offers full services for your wedding or event.
Upon entering the driveway to the entrance of the hotel, I noticed it was a bit narrow…especially if you have a large car. A few cars were backed up so I think patience is a virtue while guests and luggage is being unloaded from their taxis or cars. There is no parking allowed so cars should move along to either exit the driveway or move on the parking. They do have a ramp to help with any mobility challenged guests.
At the end of the driveway is the entrance to the parking lot, there is a button on the wall that must be pressed to gain entrance. Here again, the parking lot is a touch small if you have a large car. It can be managed though as long as you are careful. For your vendors, it is best for them to park on the second level. This section is not covered but it will allow them to unload their equipment on a cart and roll it to the elevator. If they park on the first level, they will have to roll everything down to the second floor to the elevator. The small ramp up to the elevator hallway leans a little so you must be careful that your cart, or if bringing a guest in by wheel chair, does not flip over.
The elevators are also small. It is possible to fit a cart with equipment in them and one person but it is difficult to fir more without squeezing in. Probably a wheel chair and two people would be comfortable. After that, it would be tight getting more people in the elevator.
The event rooms are on the second floor , with the Columbia room to the left upon exiting the elevator. This room is not tiny but is on the smaller side. It seated 90 guests comfortably leaving room for a dance floor. You could seat more if you put tables on the dance floor.
This Vancouver DJ was placed in one corner of the room and about 15 feet ( about 5 meters ) from the dance floor. There were guest tables in front of the DJ making it difficult to push sound across the room as it would be too loud for the guests sitting at tables directly in front of the speakers. Another challenge was that a pillar was directly in front of the DJ so the it was a bit difficult to see the dance floor well and it did obscure some of the sound for the dancers later on.
In this instance, the bride and groom were fine with it so it did hamper their enjoyment of their reception. Music projection was helped by the corner placement of the DJ and speakers which tended to bounce the sound off the wall by the DJ and by the smaller sized room. However, there was a door to the hallway where on speaker had to be placed and there was some concern that too much volume would leak out into the hallway and disturb other guests in their rooms.
The worry did not materialize however. As a far as I know, there were no complaints from other guests staying at the hotel concerning music volume. I would consider though, putting your entertainment at the opposite end of the room better yet, the far wall would be best.
The room is of course air conditioned for your summer events and the staff and room manager were organized, very helpful and friendly to the guests and vendors. They do have a small ceiling in house system for your speeches as well.
The Holiday Inn on Howe Street has everything you need for a fun, smaller event. The biggest thing to be aware of is the placement of your entertainment for your dancing or karaoke enjoyment. As a DJ in Vancouver, I give this venue 4 out of five stars.
Vancouver harbor cruises have a great reputation when it comes to celebrating events and the Royal Vancouver does not disappoint. The staff are friendly and helpful, the food great and on a sunny day, a great view of the Vancouver area and city is sure to please.
The boat has full facilities for any kind of event and two decks on which to party. The bottom houses the bar and washrooms but the upper deck is where the action takes place.
The first event that I did on the yacht hosted forty guests. This seemed to be a good number as there was room to move around fairly easily and room to set up a basic budget DJ / Karaoke system.
However, the second event there included 60 guests. This was a bit challenging, but as you can see, we managed to pull it off and everyone had fun in spite of slightly cramped quarters.
Of course being on a harbor cruise yacht often means tight spaces here and there. Stairs can an issue. If you have guests that don�t navigate stairs well, you might like to discuss with the booking agent if there are some options available. There are no elevators on this yacht and stairs are narrow.
The narrow stairs may be a consideration for vendor as well. I know getting the equipment down on to the dock from the parking area, then rolling it along the dock to where the Royal Vancouver Yacht is moored, loading on the ship and up the narrow stairway to the upper deck is quite a bit of work and I do charge extra for that.
Another item to consider is the parking on Granville island, where the yacht is moored. If your event is through the week in the evening, parking shouldn�t be too bad and you probably can find parking close to dock.. If your event is Friday or Saturday, Granville island is very busy, especially during summer and the holiday season. During these times, parking is much more challenging.
I gave the Royal Vancouver Yacht a 4 out of 5 due to the extra effort of loading equipment on the boat for vendors.
In summary, I found the Royal Vancouver Yacht to charming, enjoyable and with great staff to help make your event a joyous occasion. I feel it worked great for an event of up to 55 guests and should meet with all your plans for fun time on the water.
The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver combines old school charm with all the amenities of an affluent hotel. It provides many of the features brides and grooms look for in a venue for their wedding and /or reception and would also work well for any upscale event such as a corporate Christmas party.
The British room is a very large ballroom. Half of the ballroom can easily accommodate three hundred guest and probably could seat a hundred more. I would imagine the whole ballroom opened up would be quite substantial in terms of space for very large events.
There are a set of stairs down into the room which may be an issue if have any mobility challenged guests. It might be a concern for your vendors also. Especially if they have large heavy items to load in. I am not sure if the hotel could provide a portable ramp. This might be possible as there was a portable ramp out of the service elevator up to main foyer for vendors loading equipment into the hallway.
A in house ceiling speaker system for your speeches is availalbe but I would recommend that you have your DJ provide equipment more suitable for music.
While the British room is suitable for a wedding ceremony, the Pacific room is ideal for the reception.
This room, can easily seat three hundred guests. The room has a very high ceiling and at the wedding event where I provided audio, the videographer actually flew a drone to get a bird’s eye view of the happy couple’s first dance,
Another nice feature of the Pacific room is the stage. The bride actually used it to sing a special song for her husband. This worked very well as even guests at the back of the room could see her. It is also a great area for your entertainment …whether that be a DJ and / or Karaoke, string ensemble, band, etc.
There is plenty of parking for the hotel but can be a bit expensive for anyone not given a parking pass. It is about $40 for vendors to park from 9 Am to 5 PM on Saturdays in the public parking lot by the hotel.
Another thing to be aware of for your vendors is the load in procedure. Although they do have a ramp for vendors in the loading bay, the service elevator is in constant use and it may take a vendor extra time to load in. It can take about 40 minutes to load in, park a vehicle and then get back up to the British room, so make sure your vendors give themselves a little extra time.
The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver is a very nice venue for any upscale event. Classy, sophisticated with lots of history and friendly, helpful staff. If you’re planning an upscale event, this is one of the nicest hotels in the downtown core for your function.
I give the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver 4.5 stars
The Hotel Vancouver 900 West Georgia St.,
Vancouver, BC V6C 2W6
Event planner at the time of this review: Christine Han
Take Anywhere Battery Powerd PA System Vancouver DJ Boogie Shoes
I would like to introduce you to the battery powered PA system and Blue Tooth wireless microphone that we have for rent for your ceremony or small cocktail hour.
Of course the great thing about this unit is that you pretty much can take it anywhere. The battery will last for more than eight hours of continuous use and you can stream your music by pairing the speaker with any blue tooth device making it super easy to have music in any location for your event. This speaker is great for small PA and music applications. It comes with everything you need including speaker stand and a microphone stand for the wireless blue tooth microphone.
Pairing up your blue tooth device couldn’t be easier, just turn on your device with the blue tooth pairing on, press the button on top of the speaker as seen here and the speaker will appear in your list of blue tooth devices on your tablet or on your iPhone.
The speaker comes with a number of features that lend flexibility and controllability to the setup. The top channel one can be used for adding an additional wired speaker or instrument such a guitar or keyboard. Channel two allows for the input of an iPod or other music device in case you have an older blue tooth device that will not pair in with the speaker. Additionally this can be used as an input if you are daisy chaining a number of speakers together. Channel three controls the volume of the wireless blue tooth microphone and beside that you can see an output jack, again for daisy chaining two or more speakers together. Channel four controls the volume for the blue tooth device paired with the speaker while to the right of that is the white EHU button for either speech or music. Your on and off button, battery indicator and input the charge in the speaker with included power adapter are below channel four.
Here you can see the wireless receiver with the yellow indicator light for the blue tooth microphone that plugs into the speaker.
You can control your streaming audio directly from your blue tooth device with any DJ app. For those of you who like a more tactile control we also rent the IDJ LIVE 2 controller for an extra charge. With this controller you can control left or right slide, choose your song and load them either onto the left or right deck, stop, start and play controls are available also and this controller works with many blue tooth devices such as iPod, iPad, iPhone or computer. In addition you have control over the EQ with base and treble controls and rudiment DJ controls such as scratch, sync, set Cue points and platter control. With this system you have a simple, portable and easy way to have music in just about any location for your ceremony, small cocktail hour, small musical event or amplified audio for your speech presentation.
Please contact me through the contact form at DJBoogieShoes.com.Email me at Gary@DJBoogieShoes.com or call me at 604-816-7727 for rental rates or for any questions you may have about the Samson Battery Powered Blue Tooth Speaker System.
Hi, it’s Mark from Top Local Lead Generation. We’re here with Vancouver’s own Gary Waight. He’s the owner of DJ Boogie Shoes in Vancouver, your wedding DJ, a party DJ, event DJ, you name it, he’ll DJ it. How are you doing today Gary?
I�m doing very well, how’s yourself?
Good, so you’ve got a new service that allows for a lot more flexibility for where music can be played during a wedding event.
Yes, I do get a number of brides who have found a beautiful spot where they would really like to have their ceremony, their wedding ceremony but they’re limited in the fact that there’s no power there so they come and ask me, Gary can you set up a little PA system but there’s not power and before I couldn’t but now I’ve discovered powered speakers, battery powered speakers. They’re actually the new rage, as the new technology comes along it always gets better and better so we basically can now, come into your little spot, area even if there is no power and we can set up a little mini PA system and we can bring in music for your wedding reception or if you’re going to have maybe a barbecue there, kind of a thing and we can bring in music at lower volumes for the background music for dinner and for your ceremony. We can also include microphones so if you wanted to broadcast your wedding over the PA system that would be great too. Very flexible, they’re not huge and a very nice clean speakers. They’re not powerful for the dancing, you do need the plugin still, plug in system for that but they will come in and allow us to set up a smaller system just about anywhere you have some spot and you don’t need power to do it. Very easy, very quick and it gives you the service that you can have beautiful music anywhere you want it.
So that sort of opens the door then for like beach weddings or beach ceremonies or you know a beautiful, under beautiful tree in the middle of a park or what are maybe some other examples of that?
Well, that will be right, very right, lots of times there a lot of nice lake areas around here but there is no power; the beach that you mentioned, there’s no power but we can now overcome that with the battery powered speakers, wireless technology now, so any of those areas would work great even the backyard of your home if you have a large backyard there’s a lot of estates or people who do have farmland out in Langley area, even Surrey but they have beautiful little spots where they don’t have access to power but we can actually set up a little system for there, do their wedding ceremony and move to the main reception area later on.
Perfect, so if you need flexibility, if you need top notch service, if you want one of the best DJ’s in Vancouver for your wedding ceremony these are the guys to call. DJBoogieShoes.com Check out their website, lots of information there or give Gary an email
Where we listen to you and get it right on your big night!
DJ Gary, based in Vancouver, BC, has been in the music business internationally for over 20 years as a live performer and event DJ. He formed his company, DJ Boogie Shoes & Karaoke Services, in 2007. Having performed at thousands of weddings and events and committed to creating a fun, interactive, and flexible atmosphere for all his happy clients and guests, DJ Boogie Shoes can provide everything needed to enhance your events and entertain your guests.