A Slapshot of Success!

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At NKPR, we know fashion. But – surprise! – we also know sports. On Saturday, August 6, we showed off our athletics sides, along with kids from around the GTA, at the first annual Allstate Charity Ball Hockey Tournament at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga.

The fun got started early, as women’s hockey Olympic gold medalists Meghan Agosta and Tessa Bonhomme dropped by to sign autographs and show their gold medals to the kids.

Meanwhile, at the autograph booth...

They were later joined by Philadelphia Flyers centre Brayden Schenn, who – in addition to signing autographs – ran a skills session. Can you imagine having the opportunity to play with a real NHLer when you were a kid? Our ball hockey players made memories to last a lifetime.

Brayden Schenn at the autograph booth

When they weren’t playing hockey, the kids played dress up at the Allstate photo booth, trying on on real NHL gear and posing for the camera! But even an all-day ball hockey tournament wasn’t enough to exhaust these future hockey stars as they jumped on the trampoline, got creative at the craft table, and busted a move to the music that played throughout the event.

Allstate Ball Hockey Tournament Highlights

As if all that wasn’t enough to keep the kids excited, twelve lucky players won tickets to an upcoming Toronto Maple Leafs game in the Allstate charity raffle. The hungry hockey players and guests were also treated to a barbecue before heading inside the Hershey Centre to watch the Allstate mentorship game, featuring the top 42 bantam-aged hockey players from across Canada.

Best of all, all proceeds from team registration fees will benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Peel. We call that a slapshot of success! Check out more photos from the event.

NKPR intern lindsay home page

Meet the NKPR Interns: Lindsay Cabrera

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Summer always brings a fresh crop of interns to NKPR – and we’re grateful for a few extra sets of hands, especially leading up to the Toronto film festival and the NKPR IT Lounge.

In return for bringing their enthusiasm and fresh ideas into the office, these aspiring PR stars get an all access pass to the inner workings of a leading boutique PR firm. It’s a whirlwind course in creative communications, media relations and event production you just won’t find behind ivy-covered walls.

Think you’re up to the challenge? Get in touch to learn more about our internship opportunities.

***

At NKPR, we’re the first to defend the benefits of a strong work ethic and relentless determination, but sometimes a little bit of luck goes a long way.

Case in point: intern Lindsay Cabrera, who’s current gig at NKPR really was a product of being in the right place at the right time. Searching for a bartending job at one of the clubs in our neighbourhood, Lindsay happened across the NKPR office with a folder of resumes in hand. Needless to say, she went for it – and the rest is history.

Meet Lindsay!

What are you studying and where?
“I’m a graduate of the University of Western Ontario, with a degree in Social Science and a post-graduate diploma in Public Relations. Last year, I did a four-month public relations internship at Rogers and Cowan in L.A.”

Why PR?
“I’m drawn to the dynamics of PR because every day is full of new and exciting projects. To work in a field where I can be creative and turn my imagination into a reality is motivating.”

Salty or sweet?
“Sweet. I am the candy gal. Sour worms, gummy bears, peach rings… any kind of candy really.”

Daily must-read:
Perez Hilton. My guilty pleasure is celebrity gossip.”

What’s the most exciting/bizarre thing that’s happened to you at NKPR?
“How I got the internship at NKPR is actually a bizarre story. I was making the transition to Toronto from London, ON, and I was applying to some of the clubs in the area for bartending. I was walking down Adelaide St. and saw the NKPR building. I stood out front and thought to myself ‘NKPR? I know this place’. I Googled it on my BlackBerry, and it turns out I did. As a graduate in public relations I had done my research on Toronto’s PR firms. NKPR was a firm I was very interested in, and because I stumbled upon it by accident I knew I had to go inside and hand in a resume. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and fate brought me here to NKPR.”

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? How about now?
“As a kid I wanted to be in a big city like New York, and work in a huge building in downtown Manhattan. I didn’t know exactly what I’d be doing, but I had that much figured out, from watching movies. Now, I can say that my career goals and ambitions are much clearer. I love being here in Toronto, and I would still love to one day live and work in New York or L.A. I’d like to grow in my public relations career, and become a senior publicist for celebrity talent. I’m interested in entertainment, lifestyle, fashion and events PR.”

Facebook or Twitter?
“If you asked me this question a year ago, I would have answered Facebook in a heartbeat. Ask me this now, and I would have to say Twitter. They’re both great social media platforms, but Twitter has definitely grown on me. It’s a great way to stay informed on daily news stories.”

What company, brand or product would you love to work on?
“I would love to work on Artists for Peace and Justice (APJ). I think it’s such an amazing non-profit organization. I have such a soft spot in my heart for the children of Haiti. Working on APJ would feel invigorating to be a part of an organization giving opportunity to the children of Haiti.”

Favourite song-of-the-moment?
“I have about 1000+ favorite songs right now. I love music.”

What’s your idea of happiness?
“My idea of happiness is to be content. To be content means that I have everything in my life that I need. Nothing more, nothing less. It means to be mentally and emotionally satisfied with things as they are. It is to have a peace of mind.”

NKPR Fantasy Shopping Sprees

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This week, Beyonce ignited a bit of controversy (and NKPR discussion) with her $14,000 London shopping spree.

We all had to know: “If you had $14,000 and 90 minutes, where would you shop and what would you buy?” Since Beyonce went international, it gave us free reign to fantasize about our ultimate shopping destination.

Ignoring the 90-minute time limit altogether, Cat said she’d fly to Spain to eat at the famous El Bulli restaurant.

Heather also had the travel bug, and said she’d scoot off to Les Puces market in Paris to discover new treasures.

It’s no surprise New York was also a preferred shopping spree destination.

Laycee said she’d hit up Saks for shoes and summer dresses, and the Sephora flagship to buy a few dozen cosmetic bags worth of Stila makeup.

Since Lauren is jet-setting to NYC this weekend, she’s planning to buy out the shoe department at Bergdorf Goodman with her imaginary $14,000. “Starting with these Front-Zip Riding Boots by Givenchy. I work in long lead times, so I’m already thinking about Fall!”

Ever the multi-tasker, Rebecca would divide her time up at Barney’s:

“Thirty minutes in shoes (stocking up on Prada Fall/Winter 2012 Velvet and Leopard Print delights, Rag & Bone Tough Girl Boots and electric McQueen pumps), 45 minutes in clothing (Alexander Wang, 3.1 Philip Lim, basics from The Row and maybe a Leger or two) and 15 minutes in purses (A Chanel 2.55 bag? If you insist…)”

A brand new bag was also at the top of Kaley’s list:

“Even with the $14,000, I’m gonna need a $500 advance on my next pay cheque to cover the cost of a Proenza Schouler PS1 in Midnight Croc. LOVE.”

And Elli’s too: “Paris. Hermes. A Birkin.”

Reflecting her Company’s commitment to give back, Natasha would turn that $14,000 into $28,000 (via an online matching dollar-for-dollar campaign, of course!) and donate half to Artists for Peace & Justice and half to Camp Oochigeas. “That way I’d get to give give back and raise awareness!”

So we want to know: where would you power shop and how would you spend $14,000? Leave a comment or tell us in a tweet!

Shoot and Score for Charity

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Despite their home team not winning the Stanley Cup since 1967 and holding name to the longest active championship drought in the NHL (bring it on 2011/12!), you’d think that Torontonian’s passion for the game of hockey might be on the decline. I mean, how could it not?

Well, guess again.

Toronto hockey fans are some of the most loyal and dedicated fans in the world and just because the Stanley Cup has been presented doesn’t mean its time to turn the page on our national pastime.

Hockey season in the GTA goes all summer long. It’s just that in summer, it’s ball and street hockey warriors who rule the rinks.

What could be better than a beautiful Toronto summer day, a few friends, and a never-ending rink of concrete to test out your skills?

That’s exactly the kind of thinking that lead to the creation of the first-ever Allstate Charity Ball Hockey Tournament! Allstate Insurance and the NHLPA joined forces for a great cause, as all proceeds will benefit the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Peel.

Players aged 6-12 are invited to come to the Hershey Centre in Mississauga on August 6th to take part in a jam-packed day of tournament action. With guest celebrity fans, NHL players, and gold medal-winning athletes taking part in the festivities, it promises to be a day future hockey stars will remember.

Plus, there’s going to be live music, face-painting, pictures, autographs, and FREE Allstate All-Canadians t-shirts and mini sticks for all players! Not to mention that every player gets free tickets for the whole family to see the All-Canadians Mentorship Camp Exhibition Game for right after the tournament!

Evidently in Toronto all the built-up frustration from not winning the Stanley Cup over the past 44 years is vented by hosting really cool summertime hockey events (even if we can’t host the best one of all: the Stanley Cup Parade).

Visit www.allstateballhockey.ca to register your team today!

Ethan Wright

nkpr intern ethan wright

Meet the NKPR Interns: Ethan Wright

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Summer always brings a fresh crop of interns to NKPR – and we’re grateful for a few extra sets of hands, especially leading up to the Toronto film festival and the NKPR IT Lounge.

In return for bringing their enthusiasm and fresh ideas into the office, these aspiring PR stars get an all access pass to the inner workings of a leading boutique PR firm. It’s a whirlwind course in creative communications, media relations and event production you just won’t find behind ivy-covered walls.

Think you’re up to the challenge? Get in touch to learn more about our internship opportunities.

***

Previously a male-dominated industry, in recent years PR has shifted with women now leading the charge at some of the world’s leading agencies and firms. All we need to do is look around the office to see the evidence.

So no one was happier than former lone wolf André for the addition of Ethan Wright, the sole male intern at NKPR. Ethan’s quickly proven a valuable source of insight on topics we’re less-than-familiar with, like hockey, Street Fighter iPhone wallpaper and Motown.

Meet Ethan.

nkpr intern ethan wright

What are you studying and where?
“Environmental Science at Queen’s University

Why PR?
“Because trying to fix an environmental problem is one giant public relations nightmare! Best to start learning now!”

Salty or sweet?
“Sweet. Don’t mess with my Cinnamon Toast Crunch.”

Daily must-reads:
“The Toronto Star sports section and the Yahoo! Canada Puck Daddy blog.”

What’s the most exciting/bizarre thing that’s happened to you at NKPR?
“The most bizarre thing that happens to me at NKPR (consistently) is my failure to pick up on female-centric pop culture references. Who knew that the Kardashians referred to a group of sisters and not just Kim’s left and right butts?”

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? How about now?
“I wanted to play goal for the Maple Leafs or become a lawyer. Only one is still realistic.”

Facebook or Twitter?
“Twitter, because it’s entertaining and a good news source.”

What company, brand or product would you love to work on?
TIFF because I’m a huge movie fan and it’s one of the best film festivals in the world! And Aston Martin because, well, have you seen the DB9 Coupe? One day, one day…”

Favourite song-of-the-moment?
Ain’t That Peculiar”, Marvin Gaye

What’s your idea of happiness?
“Sitting on a Muskoka chair at the edge of a dock on a warm lake with a cooler full of cold beer and group of good friends.”

Vote for Your Fave Fila T-Shirt

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Most of us have dreamed of designing (okay, maybe just owning!) a custom-piece of clothing: the ultimate pair of pumps, the perfect little black dress or jeans that hug in all the right places.

To celebrate their 100th anniversary, our friends at Fila Canada are letting fans put their stamp on another wardrobe essential. The t-shirt!

During the month of June, Fila fans submitted innovative t-shirt designs for a chance to win exclusive access to a celebrity gifting suite and share their limited-edition t-shirt design with the stars of the Toronto film festival.

Well, the designs are in and now it’s your turn to help change the face of Fila!

fila t-shirt design contest entrants

Until Thursday, July 7, vote for your favourite design once per day to help select ten contest finalists. From those ten finalists, one grand prize winner will be selected by Fila Canada.

Voting is easy! Just click on over to the Fila Facebook page to check out the t-shirt designs and choose the one you’d want to wear.

We’ll keep you posted on the winner.

showdown in chinatown indochino steve nash

A Showdown in Chinadown

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Last week a few of the NKPR team jetted to NYC to join NBA athletes and custom menswear e-tailer Indochino for the ultimate sports and style showdown: a Showdown in Chinatown to be precise.

showdown in chinatown steve nash demba ba indochino

Seven-Time NBA All-Star Steve Nash wearing the Indochino Showdown in Chinatown Suit (left). Newcastle United footballer Demba Ba accessories his Indochino suit (right).

NBA athletes including Tony Parker, Marcin Gortat, Brandon Jennings and Steve Nash were suited up by Indochino for the 4th annual charity soccer match. The event benefits under-served children with medical support, education and personal development through the Steve Nash Foundation. But before the athletes hit the field, they connected one-on-one over ties and tape measures.

showdown in chinatown tony parker lz ganderson indochino

Three-time NBA Champion Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs checks himself out in the The Giallo Three-Piece Plaid Suit (left); ESPN columnist LZ Ganderson tweeted “thanks guys, you got urself a new fan/client” (right).

showdown in chinatown marcin gortat indochino raja bell

6’11” NBA Player Marcin Gortat and Indochino CEO Kyle Vucko (left); NBA Star and Utah Jazz Shooting Guard Raja Bell proves the Indochino Diplomat Suit loses none of its style when paired with a casual look.

Aimed at sophisticated, stylish guys, event sponsor Indochino is the world’s first online provider of made-to-measure suits. Bloomberg Businessweek dubbed Indochino a start-up to watch.

And if there’s one thing the ladies on the NKPR team would watch a lot more of, it’s basketball – but only if the players are wearing stylish Indochino suits!

showdown in chinatown indochino steve nash

Indochino CEO Kyle Vucko, Two-Time NBA MVP Steve Nash, Indochino Creative Director Heikal Gani

 

nkpr interns part 1 laycee

Meet the NKPR Interns: Laycee Catalano

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Summer always brings a fresh crop of interns to NKPR – and we’re grateful for a few extra sets of hands, especially leading up to the Toronto film festival and the NKPR IT Lounge.

In return for bringing their enthusiasm and fresh ideas into the office, these aspiring PR stars get an all access pass to the inner workings of a leading boutique PR firm. It’s a whirlwind course in creative communications, media relations and event production you just won’t find behind ivy-covered walls.

Think you’re up to the challenge? Get in touch to learn more about our internship opportunities.

First up in our Meet the NKPR Interns series? Laycee Catalano.

What are you studying and where?
“I’m studying Public Relations at Humber College.”

laycee catalano nkpr intern

Why PR?
“PR is about influencing behaviour to achieve objectives through effective relationships and communications; no day is ever the same and it keeps you on your toes. And using a walky-talky at events is pretty cool too!”

Salty or sweet?
“Salty! Any kind of Lays chips is my weakness.”

Daily must-read:
“The Metro and the Toronto Star. I have to keep up with current events.”

What’s the most exciting/bizarre thing that’s happened to you at NKPR?
“There have been many exciting moments for me at NKPR, including Fila on the streets, At My Best Day and Celebrate Bloor (using a walky-talky made me feel like a real professional!).”

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? How about now?
“Well, when I was younger I wanted to be the tooth fairy more than anything. After I grew up and realized that dream probably wasn’t going to happen, I turned my focus to public relations. Natasha is a very successful woman, and an amazing role model in a field that I’m striving to achieve success in.”

Facebook or Twitter?
“BOTH!!! I don’t know what I would do without my social media accounts. LinkedIn is also a fave of mine!”

What company, brand or product would you love to work on?
“That’s a hard question because the list is so long. However, I love sports so it would probably include a sports team.”

Favourite song-of-the-moment?
“‘Give Me Everything” by Pitbull and Neyo. I have a good feeling that song is going to be my summer song.”

What’s your idea of happiness?
“Happiness is a means not an end (my little brother always said that). If I had to think about what my idea of happiness is it would include a great career that allows me to achieve my professional goals. And driving a red Mini Cooper!”

Kiehl’s Shop for the Cause

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If there’s one thing everyone on the NKPR team does well, it’s shop! (Yes, even the guys.)

Tomorrow, June 23, we’ll be shopping for a very special cause: kid’s cancer camps.

Kiehl’s boutiques across Canada will donate 100% of revenues to associations affiliated with the Canadian Association of Pediatric Oncology Camps, including camps like Camp Oochigeas, the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation and the Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta.

kiehl's shop for the cause

To celebrate their 160th anniversary, Kiehl’s “Shop for the Cause” is in effect for 160 minutes beginning at 12 p.m. (in all time zones across Canada). Pop into any Kiehl’s store across the country to ensure your beauty buy helps make a beautiful difference.

Kiehl's Gives LogoCan’t make it to a Kiehl’s shop? You can also shop for the cause online at Kiehls.ca, from 12 to 3 p.m. EDT.

We thought shopping was retail therapy enough, but knowing our hard-earned dollars can help make a change beyond our individual shoe collections?

Well, in our (pocket) books, that’s money well spent.

 

Celebrate Bloor Red Carpet Recap

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Is there anything better than a lazy Sunday stroll on a beautiful summer day?

Yes: when that stroll is along a celeb-packed red carpet through the city’s most glamourous neighbourhood, with rockin’ tunes, hot cars and delish eats!

Yesterday the NKPR team, plus thousands of other Torontonians, spent the day celebrating the much-awaited completion of the Bloor Street revitalization project.

Attendees strutted up and down a one kilometre-long red carpet stretch of Bloor, from Avenue Road to Church Street, to take advantage of shopping deals, sample snacks from some of the neighbourhood’s most buzzed-about restaurants and covet the rides of the Yorkville Exotic Car Show. (We lost count of the Ferraris and Lamborghinis!)

The best part? A portion of proceeds from participating retailers, donations from the public and a generous $25,000 donation from The Holt Renfrew Centre helped support Artists for Peace and Justice, a non-profit organization created by Academy Award-winner Paul Haggis to support communities in Haiti through programs in education, health and dignity.

Now that’s something to celebrate!

If you missed out, we captured some of the star-studded fun. Check out the pics below!

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ET Canada host Rosey Edeh / Royal Wood

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Paul Haggis accepts a $25,000 from The Holt Renfrew Centre on behalf of Artists for Peace & Justice

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Lady Starlight / Keshia Chanté

Anjulie celebrate bloor recap red carpet toronto

Anjulie

mylene blake mcgrath celebrate bloor recap toronto

Mylène Dinh-Robic / Blake McGrath

degrassi the next generation celebrate bloor recap red carpet

The case of Degrassi: The Next Generation

stereos celebrate bloor recap red carpet toronto

STEREOS

miss universe canada finalists celebrate bloor red carpet toronto

Miss Universe Canada Finalists