NKPR Women’s Entrepreneurship Grant 2022

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Would you believe it if we told you that ONLY a quarter of all entrepreneurs in Canada are women? While women entrepreneurs around the world are powerful drivers of development and economic growth, due to a lack of funding among other factors, many of them are often unable to get their businesses up and running. With this in mind, on the occasion of NKPR’s 20th anniversary, we launched the inaugural NKPR Women’s Entrepreneurship Grant along with our media partner Canadian Business, to empower and uplift women entrepreneurs by providing them with the tools they need to make their dreams a reality. 

Over the last few months, we had the privilege of discovering a variety of amazing women-owned businesses through the incredible number of entries we received from all over Canada. We narrowed it down to 5 finalists who were shortlisted based on an in-depth process that included their elevator pitch, business plan, video submission and interview. Today, we are pleased to announce that Nuria Madrenas, Founder of Tacit online gallery and art consultancy, is the winner of our first-ever NKPR Entrepreneurship Grant! In addition to $10,000 in funding, Nuria will receive valuable hands-on coaching and mentorship sessions. According to reports, only 2% of global art spending is on works by women and Tacit is working to address this gender disparity through promoting women-made art amongst emerging collectors and giving female artists a platform to showcase their work. We look forward to supporting Nuria and providing her with the funding, guidance and tools that she needs to make this a turning point in her entrepreneurial journey. Congratulations Nuria!

Moreover, as all four shortlisted candidates demonstrated tremendous business acumen and potential that deserved to be nurtured, the grant was extended to include an additional 10 hours of mentorship from NKPR to assist them in meeting their business objectives. Read on to learn more about the four shortlisted candidates and their businesses: 

  1. Celia Lopez, founder of Placemade: PlaceMade is Toronto’s first health and fitness workspace, designed specifically for health and fitness professionals. Celia’s vision is to empower health and fitness professionals with a foundation for success by providing a top-quality workspace, business support and a powerful community to aid in their mission to promote an active lifestyle.
  2. Jessica Bevilacqua, founder of Dog Standards: A customized, fresh dog food delivery service offering a convenient and healthy feeding solution for pet parents. Pet owners are asked questions about their pup, after which the app’s algorithm calculates the pup’s daily caloric requirements, and creates a customized meal plan.The dog’s food is then shipped on a regular schedule in eco-friendly thermal packaging with feeding guidelines on the back! 
  3. Tila Laurence, founder of Pretty in paint: Pretty in Paint are trusted repaint specialists who provide their clients with quick, quality, affordable painting services in both residential and commercial painting sectors. The company is truly changing the way people think about painting and trades through a service and product that is a ‘cut’ above the rest.
  4. Sade Lambo and Rachel Lambo, co-founders of Sade Baron: Co-founded by a mother daughter duo, Sade Baron was built on the pair’s own experiences with dry skin, and is a 100% vegan brand that has been thoughtfully crafted using high-quality nutrients as a source of food for the skin.

Now more than ever, we need to support and empower women entrepreneurs and work towards a world where they can thrive and succeed on their own terms.

20 Hours of Kindness

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Social responsibility is at the core of our business, and we’ve always worked towards leaving the world a better place than I found it. Keeping this spirit alive, I am excited to announce the return of our 20 Hours of Kindness initiative! 

Back for its fifth year, 20 Hours of Kindness is an ongoing agency-wide initiative that aims to give back, foster a culture of kindness, empower team members to support a cause they are passionate about, and, in turn, inspire others to do the same. Taking place on July 21st, the initiative will have #TeamNKPR spend 20 consecutive hours giving back to the community at various locations around the GTHA.  This year the team will be supporting a selection of causes including the Canadian Mental Health Association, the Canadian Ukrainian Foundation, Dr. Roz’s Healing Place, Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary, the St. Felix Centre, and The Dr. Borna Meisami Commemorative Foundation.

Dr. Roz’s Healing Place

NKPR is running a fundraiser for Dr. Roz’s Healing Place to support women and children who are victims of domestic abuse. With the proceeds donated, we will purchase items for those at the shelter that empowers and supports their wellness needs and will host a lunch for them on the 21st.

Please donate monetary funds to our GoFundMe or in-kind donations to our NKPR office at 312 Adelaide St. West. 
We are accepting items such as:

  • Shampoo/conditioner
  • Hairbrushes
  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrushes/toothpaste
  • Loofahs
  • Body wash
  • Chapstick

Please donate monetary funds to our GoFundMe or in-kind donations to our NKPR office at 312 Adelaide St. West

The Canadian Ukrainian Foundation

NKPR is running a clothing drive in partnership with Kidney Clothes to support Ukrainian Refugees. Kidney Clothes will trade NKPR’s clothing donations with Value Village for money which will be donated to the Canada-Ukraine Foundation. 

Please donate the following items to support our clothing drive with Kidney Clothes to raise funds for the Canada-Ukraine Foundation.
We will accept the following items:

  • All used clothing
  • Footwear and outerwear
  • Belts, ties and purses
  • Yarn, fabric and patterns
  • Blankets, bedding and linens
  • Draperies, pillows and cushions
  • Luggage and sleeping bags

Donations can be dropped off Monday July 18 – Thursday, July 21 during office hours (9am – 5pm)

The Canadian Mental Health Association

Join us for a mindful morning of yoga and meditation in support of CMHA, with the instructor, Dr. Meagan Maguire. After everything we have endured in the last 2+ years, mental health has never been more important. This year for 20 Hours of Kindness, the NKPR team is hosting a 1-hour yoga & meditation session on Thursday, July 21st from 7:30 am-8:30 am at the Toronto Music Garden.

Participation is $30 per person, and all donations are to be made through our fundraising page: https://cmha.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.personalCampaign&participantID=10363

Because one in five Canadians will experience a mental health issue in any given year. But five in five – all of us – have mental health, and we all need to take care of it.

What: Morning Yoga & Meditation Class

When: Thursday, July 21st from 7:30 am-8:30 am

Where: Toronto Music Garden (weather dependent)

Donation: $30 to attend the class (or as much as you would like to donate) 

Class sign up: https://forms.gle/do1NzeTk5rccaDJM6

Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary

NKPR will be raising funds for Happily Ever Esther, a farm sanctuary that rescues abused and neglected farm animals. Team NKPR will be spending the day volunteering at the farm and assisting as farmhands.

All donations are to be made through our fundraising page: https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-support-happily-ever-esther-farm-sanctuary

St. Felix Centre

Email vitoria@nkpr.net for information on how you get can be involved.

On July 21, the NKPR team will volunteer at St. Felix Centre, supporting with meal service at lunchtime. St. Felix Centre is a non-profit community centre dedicated to providing compassionate service and a safe, welcoming and respectful environment inclusive of all religions, genders, cultures and abilities. 

The Dr. Borna Meisami Commemorative Foundation

Through the Restoring Smiles initiative, they offer free dental and
oro-facial reconstructive services to women who have survived domestic violence. To date, Restoring Smiles has provided over $800,000.


NKPR Spring Events Recap

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These past few months, our events calendar has kept us on our toes and we absolutely loved it! From rolling out the red carpet and organizing press days, to hosting launch parties and unveiling brand experiences – events form a huge part of NKPR’s DNA. Our personalized approach and strong relationships with our clients allow us to tailor each event to their unique needs, and create unforgettable experiences that leave guests asking for more! In case you missed it, here’s a recap of all the events that Team NKPR worked on in the last month:

  • Fleur De Villes at Bloor-Yorkville: Our favourite Toronto neighbourhood, Bloor-Yorkville was abloom with colour from May 4th until the 8th! Fleur de Villes paid tribute to trailblazing and trendsetting women throughout the ages with its theme for the year, ‘FEMMES.’ As a self-guided floral trail through Bloor-Yorkville, the event featured over 40 innovative, fresh floral installations and pop-ups across the neighbourhood, allowing visitors to learn more about these notable women through interactive displays. Team NKPR worked to secure press coverage to promote the week-long event by offering private tours to a select group of influencers and media for an educational walk-through of the district! Through our private tours, NKPR  secured coverage in Narcity, Blog TO, Daily Hive and The Toronto Guardian.
  • Adrak Restaurant Launch: Fantastic Indian cuisine in Toronto has a new name – Adrak! We hosted previews for select media and influencers and took them on an unparalleled immersive Indian culinary journey. As guests dined, they got to watch the restaurant’s expert chefs (trained under renowned Chef Vineet Bhatia) in action; expertly whipping up classic and contemporary dishes derived from both the streets and the palaces of South Asia. Adrak is truly the BEST Indian restaurant that Toronto has to offer!
  • Lanterra Spring Forward: The Spring Forward was held at #31 Parliament and applauded many of Lanterra’s top and platinum brokers for their excellence in sales. In addition, the event celebrated the launch of Lanterra Living— Lanterra’s creative new program, established to help the next generation get into home ownership. Lanterra introduced #TheFive outstanding individuals who will be the first to experience Lanterra Living and ultimately move into their new homes at Natasha The Residences!
  • Gumball 3000: On May 27, Bloor-Yorkville was abuzz with sleek cars and superstars for the 22nd Annual Gumball 3000 Rally. The international celebrity rally was a 7-day drive from Toronto to Miami, and had superstars including deadmau5, Bun B, Ken Griffey Jr., David Hasselhoff, CeeLo Green come together to raise money for the Gumball 3000 Foundation, supporting a variety of youth-based projects in low-income communities. For the Toronto leg of the event, the street was transformed into the Gumball Grid, and visitors were invited to come view the incredible supercars before they took off. Team NKPR managed to secure segments and coverage across top-tier print, online and broadcast media including Toronto Star, BlogTO, CP24 and CTV among others.
  • Distinguished Social Affair: NKPR proudly supported and participated in Eric Hendrikx‘s Distinguished Social Affair—a fundraising cocktail event in support of prostate cancer awareness and men’s mental health. This fundraiser took place days in advance of this year’s ‘Gentleman’s Ride’—a global motorcycle event raising funds for men’s health. Eric Hendrikx has been a global ambassador for the Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride since 2018, named Orange County’s 2019 Grand Marshal, leading more than 2,000 dapper motorcyclists along California’s Pacific Coast Highway. At NKPR, eventing is in our bones –– We work directly with clients to assist in the planning, promotion, and execution of events. For the Distinguished Social Affair, NKPR worked with Eric to raise awareness for the initiative and staff the venue to create an intimate experience, with a hand-selected guest list including notable Toronto media and philanthropists. 
  • Shantelle Bisson Book Launch: Shantelle Bisson‘s third book, ‘Loving yourself without losing your cool,’ is out and we celebrated the occasion by hosting an intimate launch event for Shantelle to promote her newest release and to celebrate her incredible accomplishments. An authority on parenting, Shantelle’s latest book is a super inspirational read filled with sincere life lessons, practical advice and personal stories of Shantelle’s own triumph over childhood trauma. 
  • Peter Triantos X Eric Hendrikx “Rock & Roll Forever”: NKPR was a proud part of the launch of “ROCK & ROLL FOREVER”, a collaborative exhibition by Rolling Stone contributor, Eric Hendrikx and Toronto-based contemporary painter, Peter Triantos.  Held at 21 Avenue Road in Yorkville from June 18—29th, 2022, the show featured Hendrikx’ signed, limited edition black and white photographs of iconic rockstars—Slash, Ben Harper, Fergie, Foo Fighters—along with a unique collaboration of original mixed media artworks by Triantos and Hendrikx. Proceeds from all sales went towards men’s mental health and suicide prevention through Movember and The Unison Fund. Working directly with the team at the Peter Triantos Gallery, NKPR facilitated the curation of a targeted guest list to ensure that both art lovers and media alike had the opportunity to tour the gallery and get the inside scoop on the pieces.
  • Yorkville Exotic Car Show: On Father’s Day, Bloor-Yorkville rolled out the red carpet to showcase some of the fanciest cars from around the world at the 12th Annual Yorkville Exotic Car Show. Spanning across 9 car corrals, visitors to the neighbourhood were treated to over 100 classic, rare, and exotic cars! The Yorkville Exotic Car Show is the country’s largest luxury car show and attracted a record crowd of over 100,000 people, and raised $100,000 for the Melanoma Network. NKPR worked to secure coverage on Breakfast Television, CBC Toronto, Global News, CityNews 24, CP24, CTV News, Fairchild TV and across notable online portals too.
  • Joseph Ribkoff Amplify 231 Sales Meeting: Team NKPR headed to Montreal for a celebration of fashion with Joseph Ribkoff. Present in 60 countries worldwide, the meeting brought together 200 country managers to immerse themselves in a week-long celebration of #JR. To kick off the occasion, Natasha was asked to deliver her 2018 TEDx Talk on The Importance of Showing Up to inspire the team, and set the tone for the exciting week!

NKPR Client Spotlight: Mandy Rennehan adds another feather to her cap with new HGTV Canada show ‘Trading up with Mandy Rennehan’

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At NKPR, we commit ourselves to working with clients that we’re excited about; those who are disruptors in their fields, drive innovation and empower others – and construction mogul, MANDY RENNEHAN is the perfect example of that! Mandy’s entrepreneurial journey began at the young age of 10 in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, when she started selling bait to local fishermen for profit in order to help her family financially. She left home at 18 to learn more about construction, opened her first company at 20, and soon found herself at the top of a male-dominated industry, all before she turned 30.  

Truly a woman on a mission – Mandy is currently CEO of construction company Freshco, an accomplished author and a TV show host too! Following the recent launch of her book ‘The Blue Collar CEO,’ Mandy is now riding high on the success of her new TV Show “Trading up with Mandy Rennehan,’ which is produced by Scott Brothers Entertainment, and airs every Thursday on HGTV Canada.  

What we did 

Team NKPR has been a proud part of Mandy’s inspiring journey; right from the early stages of the show, all the way up to her most recent press appearances for it! Our first meeting with Mandy, years ago, was enough for us to see that she was a superstar in the making, and this was the opportune moment that the idea for ‘Trading up with Mandy Rennehan’ came to life. We worked with Mandy on the early development of the show and played a part in getting the show picked up by Scott Brothers Entertainment and greenlit by HGTV Canada!

As the agency-of-record, our main goal once the show was greenlit, was to continue generating awareness for Mandy Rennehan and contribute to her overall brand recognition and growth with new audiences across North America by successfully leveraging her show and her book through broadcast, online, and print opportunities. We facilitated strategic partnerships and media relations with long and short-lead pitching to secure coverage for “Trading up with Mandy Rennehan,’ and provided ongoing counsel on media opportunities and promotions that would help catapult Mandy’s profile and success as an industry leader and credible personality across North America. 

The Show 
Set in Yarmouth, ‘Trading Up’ follows Mandy and her apprentices as they transform run-down properties into extraordinary homes for resale. Mandy has been a passionate advocate of getting tradespeople the respect they deserve and diversity in the field, and her new show reflects this commitment. Filled with funny moments, a remarkable cast and crew, life lessons, positivity and even appearances by her near and dear ones (including her father), ‘Trading up with Mandy Rennehan’ is an absolute must-watch as Mandy proves yet again that she’s truly a Master of the trades!