Edmonton musicians add soundscapes to Vignette designs.
Words: Connie Smart
Lying on the grass during the recent Calgary Folk Festival, Amish Morjaria looked up and saw the logos of Forward Level Marketing and Stand & Command on the Drum’holla stage.
At that moment he thought to himself, Wow we really did this, it’s really happening.
“It was such a rush and it came together so quickly,” says Morjaria, partner at Forward Level Marketing, explaining the opportunity to sponsor and name a stage at the annual music festival came about with just a six week window.
Regardless of the short timeline, the decision to lend their support (both through funding and in-kind strategic consultation) wasn’t a difficult one for Morjaria, his fellow partner Jon Holden, and public speaking training company Stand & Command’s principal, Avnish Mehta.
“We knew each other so well and had been actively working together for the past three and a half years, so we were able to envision this together and think about how we could make something special,” says Mehta.
While it took just a couple of days to come up with the name Drum’holla (which aligned with the stage’s experiential badlands theme), Morjaria says the journey behind the name is what’s most important.
“It represents connection, two small companies that have nothing but love for each other being able to partner for a cause bigger than themselves,” he says. “It’s connection to the audience, and audience members connecting to one another and their community. That’s the story. It’s not about us.”
Holden explains the idea for the folk festival collaboration came partly from an ATB business gathering in Banff last November that incorporated music and networking. “We left feeling totally inspired by the experience and thought how amazing it would be if we could do something like that for our own clients some day...and, wow, I can’t believe we just did.”
For Mehta, the stage’s impact really hit home for him on the Sunday. “At one point during that day, I was standing in the middle of the stage looking out at all these people from totally different places in their lives, brought together by a connection to music. That was the moment I thought, this is exactly why we’re doing this,” he says, adding with a laugh, “I almost cried.”
For other smaller business wondering how they can give back in a bigger way to their community, Morjaria offers these words of wisdom.
“Don’t ever think you’re too small to make a difference. There’s always a way to make yourself bigger, and that’s through partnerships,” he says. “Connecting with people with the same purpose, that makes you bigger. Connecting with a bank that believes in you and wants to help you grow, that makes you bigger. Connecting with organizations like Calgary Folk Festival that bring our community together and make it stronger–all of that makes you bigger. You don’t have to go it alone.”