Valary Chrisman, Hart House For Events

Valary is an event planner at Hart House with a passion for connecting people with extraordinary experiences. After three years at Hart House, she has many inspiring stories to tell. Below, she shares her insights on creating memorable events at Hart House.

 
“Hart House event spaces really resonate with people who are looking for a space that isn’t a conventional conference centre or banquet hall. They want a place that has character, a little bit more history and something different from what they’ve seen in other venues.“

“It is a very unique space. It’s gorgeous. We provide amazing service and food that is unparalleled in many other venues in which I’ve worked. Sometimes, one is sacrificed for the greatness of the other. We have both and I think that’s what draws people to us—the uniqueness of our space and also the reputation we’ve built. We get such rave reviews about the food we serve and the way that we deliver it and just for our customer service overall.”

Student Events

“Working with students is really exciting because for them, organizing an event from the ground up is so often a new challenge. In the process, they are learning concepts that are quite different from what they learn in the classroom.  And these skills they’re learning in event planning are transferable to any aspect of their lives, like writing and managing guest lists, time management, budget management. These are all things that they are likely to encounter in some way when they enter their careers as well. And I think that the team-building experience, working with us and with other members of their organization, is also really valuable. 

Community Events

 “With non-students, our role is similar, but typically, non-students have a bit more experience with events so we’re here to help guide them and to give clear information about what we can do and what we can offer them and what kinds of things are less compatible with our building, given its history and its parameters. I think it’s great that so many of our guests appreciate that hosting their event here helps contribute positively to the student experience.”

A Memorable Moment

 “There are so many! But there is one that really affected me. It was a celebration of life. The man that had passed had some history with U of T.  He was a very storied person who had lived a very successful life. He was an author. He had started a camp for underprivileged children and he had affected so many lives. Over 500 people came to his memorial. There were so many lovely stories about him and we got to be part of that experience. Working with this family to give such a resounding round of applause to his life in our space was an incredible experience and I really appreciated, even in just that small way, contributing to this celebration of his legacy.” 

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