life isn't average. neither are we.
Toronto Cocktail Week
Kristina Chau - Monday, September 30, 2013

Happy Monday!

Some of you may be thinking "as if there is such a thing", but when you work in an industry and at a job that you love, it really does exist!

With having said that, I really do love my job and this week your party guru is assisting at the inaugural Toronto Cocktail Week.  Taking place October 1 - 7, TCW is a joint venture between The Grid, SpiritHouse, and the Toronto Institute of Bartending. It promises to be the must-attend drink and food festival of the year—Toronto’s answer to Tales of the Cocktail, SFCW, and London Bar Week all wrapped into one. The Grid and SpiritHouse/TIB plan to make a lot of noise and really shake things up in Toronto’s cocktail scene. No pun intended!

To join in on the festivities, event tickets can be purchase online at but for a quick reference, here are a list of the events:

Opening Night/Hogtown Shakedown Semi-finals
October 1, 2013 | 6:00PM - 8:00PM | SpiritHouse

Ten of Toronto’s best bartenders will compete for a spot in the Finals, kicking off the inaugural Toronto Cocktail Week. Attendance is included with a Founder’s Pass or invitation only.

Event: The Cosmopolitan: 25th Anniversary
October 2, 2013 | 7:00PM - 11:00PM | The Spoke Club, Portland Room

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Cosmopolitan! It’s your chance to dress up and explore the Cosmopolitan in its classic form. Partake in drink-making lessons from world-renowned bartender and godfather of the Cosmopolitan, Dale DeGroff. Better still, join Toronto bartenders, Sarah Parniak (Cold Tea) and Joe Howell (The Spoke Club), as they create their own, millennial takes on the drink.

Hogtown Shaketown Bartender Competition Finals
October 3, 2013 | 7:00PM - 10:00PM | The Drake Hotel

Witness an epic battle of Toronto's top bartenders as they compete to make 5 cocktails in 5 spirit categories, using mystery ingredients. They’ll have limited time. Kevin Brauch will host. 

ON THE TOWN! A tribute to Bars, Speaks & Legendary Saloons with Dale Degroff
October 4, 2013 | 4:30PM - 7:00PM | The Dakota Tavern

Join James Beard Award-Winning mixologist and author Dale DeGroff for an evening of stories, cocktails, and songs from legendary watering holes and his 40 years of working them. Masterful story-telling, crafted cocktails from bygone eras, and tunes from the Great American Songbook make for an unforgettable evening!

Whiskey 3-Way Show 
October 4, 2013 | 7:00PM - 1:00AM | Maison Mercer

Attend, taste and discover the brown liquor! Enjoy a bevy of Toronto’s all-star mixologists whipping up 3 of their best whiskey-based cocktails. Taste food from 3 of Toronto’s most interesting eateries, and choose small pour flights from over 30 different kinds of whiskey from the world’s finest distillers.

The Grid’s Cocktail Generator Gala
October 5, 2013 | 7:00PM - 1:00AM | The Burroughes Building, 6th Floor 

This epic finale to the week will feature an all-star cast of bartenders from neighbourhoods across Toronto mixing drinks with a unique twist: The menu consists only of adjectives. Using The Grid’s Cocktail Generator, attendees will be asked to choose three in order to have customized cocktails whipped up for them.

Mott’s Clamato Caesar Brunches
October 6, 2013 | Times dependant on venue | Various Venues

Just what the doctor ordered at the end of Toronto Cocktail Week: a Mott’s Clamato Caesar and some yummy food. Check out our complete list of participating venues and enjoy brunch paired with a custom Mott’s Clamato Caesar, all for only $15!

The TCW13 Industry Thank You Party
October 7, 2013 | 7:00pm | The Drake Hotel

Join us at 86’d to wind down TCW with our partners, friends, and family. Taste winning cocktails from the Hogtown Shakedown bartender competition and stay for some surprise entertainment. Admission is free!

Throughout the week there will be other festivities happening at partner events and crawls around the city so be sure to plan accordingly!  

I hope to see you out at one of these fabulous events and we'll celebrate together.  Cheers!

For the life of the party,

My Top 5 Toronto Events July 26-28, 2013
Kristina Chau - Friday, July 26, 2013
Happy Friday party people!

Here is my list of the top five fun events to check out in the city this weekend:

1.  Toronto's Festival of Beer - The 19th annual Toronto's Festival of Beer kicks off today at 4:30pm and goes through until Sunday.  This festival is a celebration of Canada's rich brewing history and features over 200 brands on site for sampling, an array of delicious food vendors, various attractions like their Brewmaster's Series and musical acts at the Main Stage.  Can you say Eye Know like De La Soul?  Tickets are still available for Sunday afternoon but you can be sure to find those selling last minute tickets on Craigslist.  Cheers!

2.  Critical Mass Toronto - Perhaps you're more into fitness than beer then you'll want to check out the Critical Mass Bike Ride happening tonight. These free and friendly bike rides occur on the last Friday of every month. Cyclists meet at the corner of Spadina and Bloor at 6 pm and take off at 6:30 pm.  If you plan on participating, remember to be safe.  Ensure your bike is tuned and road-ready and don't forget your helmet!  Happy riding :)

3.  Live Green Toronto - This Saturday between 11am - 9pm, Yonge Street will be closed from Queen until Dundas for the largest outdoor celebration of all things green. There will be a Green Street Market featuring all eco-friendly products, a Kids' Zone, Beer Garden where $2 of each Steam Whistle purchased goes towards Live Green Toronto programming, & free yoga!  Be sure to also check out the main stage at Yonge and Dundas Square for performances by Treble Charger, Kardinal Offishall, and Shawn Desman. Go green!

4.  Beaches International Jazz Festival - It's the closing weekend of this festival's 25th anniversary celebrating jazz culture and music so there's sure to be a great number of fun things to check out.  Take a look at the venue listings for Woodbine Park, Kew Gardens, the Beach Boardwalk Stages & Streetfest to find out what shows are happening so you can plan your trip accordingly!  Insert "jazz hands" here :p

5.  Toronto Burlesque Festival - The 6th annual Burlesque Festival kicked off last night and continues all through this weekend.  Check out the schedule for events happening at the various venues in the city.  My personal favourite is the Burlesque Brunch on Sunday at the Cadillac Lounge on Queen Street in Parkdale. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door and gets you entry to one of Toronto's sexiest morning shows! Food and beverages aren't included with this ticket price but that just means you can satisfy your taste buds with whatever tickles your fancy while satisfying other needs ;)

Well there you have it.  We live in such an awesome city so I hope you get out there and enjoy it!

Oh - and one more thing.  I need to do a  shameless shout out to one of my best friend's and roommate Jennifer of Fit Squad Training as we'll be celebrating her birthday on Saturday.  Happy birthday girl!

For the life of the party,


Do Your Thing
Kristina Chau - Monday, July 22, 2013

Hey there party people,

I know it's been a long time since I've written but I'm excited to be back and writing once again! The reason I've been MIA is that over the past year, I took on a contract through Not Your Average Party to help launch a brand new event venue in the city called the Beer Academy.

Nestled in the heart of downtown Toronto, the Beer Academy features a small-batch craft brewery, and a tasting room/retail store where guests can relax with their favourite pint. The venue also features an experiential event space that includes a sensory tasting bar, a beer-lover’s library, which was my domain.

Launching an event venue is no easy task.  There are many things to consider when doing so, but the main items I assisted with were:

 Consulting on and establishing best practices for running a successful event venue.

 Conducting an RFP process to decide on the best-suited vendors to partner with – i.e. caterers, staffing company, rentals, etc.

 Creating a sales and marketing package to distribute to potential clients. You can check out the final event package here.

 Advising on social media plans, promotional events and identifying advertising platforms to help market the space.

 And overall managing the day-to-day event operations and bookings.

This position started out as a 3 month contract and was extended to almost a full year which is why I've been more than a little pre-occupied and had to shift my main focus away from Not Your Average Party, but I never lost sight of what's most important, and that is always doing what I love.

My time at the Beer Academy was a great experience as I have learned a lot and have a great addition to my portfolio.  I was also fortunate to work with an amazing team there and have built further relationships and partnerships that I know will only help me on my continued exciting and fulfilling journey of being an entrepreneur!

So remember party people, always "Do Your Thing" no matter what that is because:

And in that vain, here's my song of the day: 

Have a great week and stay tuned for my next edition where I feature some of the great vendors I got to work with during my time at the Beer Academy.

For the life of the party,

not your average party