My book launch won’t be until February, 2012 but with Christmas around the corner, that’s not all that far away so I’m planning now. The budget which Penguin has kindly put together is tight for the 100 people I’m expecting, so I’ve been busily (and shamelessly) asking for help. I’m thrilled with the results so far!
The idea is to have a Cuban theme. I really wanted to have live Cuban music so I blew most of the budget on that and the facility. The amazing Caridad Cruz and César Ricardo will be playing and I’ve booked the Orange Art Gallery in trendy Hintonburg.
The owner, Ingrid, not only has the perfect space for my needs, since we want to display gorgeous photographs of Cuba by David Barbour, but she’s including two neon palm trees that were towering in the main room when I was there to check it out. They were up for Christmas, but they’ll be brought out again for the launch — perfect!
My friends and colleagues from work have also stepped up to the plate (literally) when it comes to food, and we’ll be making all kinds of Cuban dishes. But I had also wanted some of the wonderful plantain appetizers I’d tasted at a party catered by Havana, a Cuban café in Ottawa.
Of course, I have no money left for appetizers for that many people but uber-financial planner and voracious reader, Sylvia Manning of TD Waterhouse Financial Planning is going to help with those in exchange for some additional invitations to the launch and some signed copies of the book. Yayy!!!
Then there’s alcohol. My office, Royal LePage Team Realty, will donate a case of wine (thanks, Brian and Kent!). And Penguin will check out potential sponsors on the rum side — after all, we have to have mojitos! Meanwhile, I have some calls out to local breweries to see if they can chip in and I’ll see if I can swing a couple more corporate sponsors. In exchange, they’ll get named on Twitter, FB and here, as well as on all promotional material, and often, so if you’re in the Ottawa area and want to lend a hand, contact me!
The other stuff I have to arrange is small but it’s all about the details. I’m thinking of doing tape outlines on the concrete floor like the ones in the banner to this blog. My friend and colleague John Bennett, a former OPP officer, has tracked down yellow caution tape for me. Another friend is going to Cuba for New Year’s and has offered to pick up some odds and ends for me, like Che T-shirts for my bartenders.
I’m still hoping to find some chocolate cigars that we can maybe customize the band on to tie into the book — anyone out there have a connection with Purdy’s Chocolates in my old home town of Vancouver? Or some other chocolate cigar vendor?
I’m trying to track down some other things we need just for the night — like easels for David’s paintings, glasses for drinks, and coat racks for all those winter coats so if you are in the Ottawa area and can help out with any of those, please let me know.
My long time friend and accountant, Doug McLarty of McLarty & Co, has pledged a little cash to help with all those miscellaneous items I have to round up, but I think — just maybe — that I can pull this off with a little help. February 16, 2012, Orange Gallery, 6PM to 8:30 PM. Mark your calendars!
Check out Penguin Canada’s book trailer for The Beggar’s Opera here! It’s pretty cool!