Event organizers hold virtual visits with Santa while giving back
TORONTO -- Visits with Santa look a little different in 2020.
“Since we can’t do it in person, we’ve gotta bring it online,” Tiffany Stern, co-owner of Bounce Entertainment, said.
With holiday festivities on hold due to the pandemic, Stern and Joel Nadel, vice president of Event Imaging, have come up with some clever ways for children to connect with Kris Kringle.
“We’re focusing on bringing a virtual environment, a virtual atmosphere, right to the comfort of your own home,” Nadel told CTV News Toronto. “To keep all families safe, and most certainly Santa.”
On offer are a Virtual Santa Experience, where children can chat one-on-one with Santa in a private meeting. There is also a Santa Cameo, where St. Nick sends a customized, personalized video message.
The event teams have also created an interactive studio that will be used for online holiday parties and variety shows.
“We have created an amazing virtual world for people to come into, very safe, very COVID-friendly,” explains Stern.
It’s a world that Stern and Nadel never could have predicted one year ago.
“The entire event industry has been affected, and that’s certainly including us,” Nadel said.
“This pandemic has really separated people, and it makes it very hard to do what we do since our business really is based around people gathering,” adds Stern.
Still, they have reimagined celebrating the holidays and, even with so much change due to COVID-19, are finding ways to give back.
“Charitable foundations are part of our hearts,” Nadel said. “Bounce Entertainment and Event Imaging have chosen to donate all proceeds from some of our work to the Salvation Army.”
“It warms my heart to know that we can really bring the spirit of the holidays to people,” Stern said.
As for Santa, Nadel and Stern say he’s handling the new virtual visits quite well.
“Santa Claus is extremely excited about the new opportunity,” Nadel said. “He wants to ensure that everyone remains safe.”