DG for the win!

Today on the fourth floor, we’re proud to announce that our very own boss lady, Debra Goldblatt-Sadowski, is nominated for PR Professional of the Year in the first-ever BizBash Toronto Readers’ Choice Awards. The awards are based on reader votes, so we’re calling on our friends, family, readers and colleagues to help our fearless leader take the award this month.

Photo credit: Jessica Blaine Smith

You may know Debra from her work talent-wrangling at TIFF, managing the crowds at fashion week or any number of projects she’s worked on since founding rock-it promotions in 2000, but we want to bring you the inside scoop on DG. So today, we present 10 secret reasons why she deserves your vote:

1. Debra has a poet’s soul. No, really. She studied creative writing at Concordia University and always dreamed of becoming a poet. However, that soul also has a pragmatic side that encouraged her to channel her love of writing into something more lucrative than poetry.

2. She can hook you up. Not only is she keeper of the keys at some of Toronto’s most exclusive events, one of her first jobs was working for a dating service.

3. She’s the
woman behind the man in the mask.
working with Woody Harrelson, who starred as the comedic superhero
“Defendor” in the movie of the same name, to marrying Matt Austin-Sadowski,
who, once upon a time, was a green Power Ranger, DG is basically the industry’s
own Pepper Potts.

4. She’s also a fairy godmother. Or at least according to her adorable three-year-old daughter, whose favourite game is “Fairy Godmother,” with Debra cast in the lead role.

5. She tweets it like it is. Sometimes sweet, sometimes sassy, Debra’s tweets are always on the pulse of Toronto. 

6. She’s a pioneer. A strong supporter of social media, she was one of the first PR pros to recognize the unique voice of social media, and in particular bloggers, creating controversy by inviting them into the tents at fashion week years before the term “street style” was part of our everyday lexicon. 

7. She has great taste. Debra was the first person in Toronto to start a full service gifting lounge company called Tastemakers (along with VP of Operations, Leesa Butler). Modelled after swag lounges in the U.S., she recognized a missing niche here and eight years later, has sparked some competition, but still has the best lounge at the festival.

8. On the Fourth Floor. rock-it was the first boutique agency to start a daily lifestyle blog back in 2010. Not one day has been missed since it was launched. The Media, Darling feature is our most popular and has attracted praise from competing agencies and journalists, alike.

9. Once you are part of the family, you stay part of the family. Many of rock-it’s clients have been on the company roster for many, many years. Drake Hotel, Alliance Films, Loblaw Companies, Fashion Design Council of Canada, Frigidaire and Electrolux, to name a few. Debra considers all clients to be top priority and always goes the extra mile, whether on vacation, weekends or evenings.

10. She’s a cool boss. Do you get to Google Tumblrs, do each other’s hair and attend wine tastings
during office hours? ‘Cause we do. Plus, we love our flexible dress
code, the fact that we can bring our dogs to the office, and
occasionally start our emails to her with “Hey, man.”

For these reasons and more, please support #debgeeforthewin and help her take the award at BizBash’s Celebrate Toronto Events 2012 reception on May 22. Visit bizbash.com/torontovotes to cast your vote! Voting is open until Thursday, May 17 and you can vote once per day, every day.


Rave: The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins’ best-selling, dystopian YA novel, made its silver screen debut on March 23 after much anticipation. We were lucky enough to catch the flick a few days early thanks to our friends at Alliance Films. Held at the Scotiabank Theatre, the Canadian premiere was something you had to see to believe – an orange red carpet lined with creepy-looking Peacekeepers, hundreds of eager fans queued up for a sneak peek and, most excitingly, Gale (Liam Hemsworth), Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and Cato (Alexander Ludwig) in town to introduce the film (see below).  

Holy babe alert!

We aren’t surprised that The Hunger Games has taken top honours at the box office two weekends in a row, with no signs of slowing down. Whether you’re team Peeta or team Gale – which, by the way, is the new Edward vs. Jacob – there’s no disputing the fact that Jennifer Lawrence is SO badass as Katniss Everdeen. She’s inspired us to wear side braids daily and look into some summertime archery classes.

We won’t get too much into the plot, as we don’t want to give away any spoilers to the 4 readers who may not have seen it yet, but wanted to share some of our thoughts on the film:

  • Woody Harrelson was a pitch perfect Haymitch. Though far more sober than portrayed in the book, Harrelson really pulled off Haymitch’s off-beat persona. We’re looking forward to seeing how his character develops.
  • How cool did all the citizens of the Capitol look? I mean, sure, they like to watch children murder each other on TV, but damn, they have some crazy style going on. We keep lurking on this killer Tumblr for more Capitol fashion insight.   
  • When Katniss volunteers as tribute on behalf of Prim? GOOSEBUMPS. Even thinking about it now, we get chills.
  • When Lenny Kravitz was cast as Cinna we were a little skeptical (and no, not because he’s black). However, we’re happy to say we were wrong! Kravitz’s Cinna was more understated than we’d anticipated… and that’s a good thing. We always like being surprised by casting.
Cinna, Haymitch and Peeta bro down.

Overall, the film did a wonderful job of adapting our beloved book. We’re already counting down till Catching Fire comes to theatres, but until then “May the odds be ever in your favour.

Rave: Bullet for Adolf

Close your eyes. 

Think back to summertime and your favourite memories: hanging out with your best friends, staying up late telling stories, enjoying the warm weather. Summer always comes jam-packed with reflection, and other people’s stories are often just as interesting and inspiring as your own.

 Photo Credit: Flickr

Woody Harrelson is bringing some of his personal summer memories to Toronto’s Hart House Theatre in his highly anticipated play, Bullet For Adolph – Almost A Comedy. The actor co-wrote the play and is in the city directing the show (previews today and tomorrow, and officially opening Thursday, April 21 through Saturday, May 7).

The play brings together a group of friends in the hot summer of 1983, in Houston, Texas.  The lives of eight people come together in unexpected ways during this memorable summer. The title refers to a gun once intended to kill Hitler, which plays a pivotal role in the plot.

Harrelson co-wrote the play with his friend of almost 30 years, Frankie Hyman. The two say the plot was inspired by their financially strapped days working construction together that same summer of ’83. The eight characters in the play are inspired by real people they knew.

To read an interview with Harrelson and his amazing Toronto cast, check out this story. Plus, Woody chatted with Rick Campinelli on ET Canada – watch it here if you missed it the first time. (He also does a little a cappella version of Happy Birthday – a must-see.)

Tickets are on sale now. And, find Bullet For Adolph on Facebook and Twitter.