I love stories. I always have. I’m an absolute sucker for a Dr. Seuss classic with an eloquent hidden meaning, or a brand finding the perfect way to tell us what they stand for. That’s why I’m so excited and proud of our client Hudson’s Bay for launching the Grand Portage Program, a national cause marketing program that will raise funds to help the Trans Canada Trail connect the remaining 2,200KMs of The Great Trail in honour of Canada’s 150th.
The program itself is comprehensive and the goals are lofty. It all started with a vision of Connecting Canada Through Adventure, and we found inspiration early on in Hudson’s Bay’s Country of Adventurers campaign. The net result of that early Storybuilding work is a program that now includes a line of signature merchandise that hits shelves today (bias alert: the collection is amazing and is really a one-stop-shop for all of your Canada 150 needs in my opinion at least), a ten market mall Celebration Tour in partnership with Cadillac Fairview, an authentic cross-country Portage, and a national, multi-channel marketing campaign that includes print, digital, social, cross-promotion, and influencer marketing among others.
On a brand level, we worked with Hudson’s Bay to build a narrative and concept around the theme of adventure with heritage, pride, and cause at its core. From the beginning we set out to create something that would not only tie back to Hudson’s Bay’s roots and their role in helping to discover and shape the Canada we know and love today, but would also allow them to give back to our country – a birthday present worthy of Canada’s 150th if you will. To get beyond storytelling, we also wanted to be sure to give Canadians an opportunity to experience the story and become an active participant in authoring it. To do that, we are launching a national mall Celebration Tour and cross-country Portage on June 22, 2017. The Celebration Tour will bring the story to life at ten Cadillac Fairview locations across the country, featuring popup retail, digital trail experiences and social photo opportunities. Orienteering and trail hunts for kids, as well as appearances from Hudson’s Bay ambassadors and Trans Canada Trail’s Trail Champions will also be a part of the Tour. The Portage, which features the iconic Hudson’s Bay striped canoe, will travel over 8,500 KMs+, ultimately arriving in Ottawa on August 26, 2017 to celebrate the complete connection of The Great Trail. Stay tuned for when we’re in a town or city near you!
This is one epic adventure and it’s just getting started. See you on the Trail!
HUDSON’S BAY TO CELEBRATE CANADA’S 150TH BIRTHDAY WITH GRAND PORTAGE FUNDRAISING PROGRAM
Hudson’s Bay to raise funds in support of Trans Canada Trail to connect The Great Trail
Toronto, ON – (March 2, 2017) – Today, Canada’s iconic retailer – Hudson’s Bay – announced a commitment to connect Trans Canada Trail’s Great Trail in celebration of Canada’s 150th Birthday through its Grand Portage fundraising program. The Great Trail, which is the longest recreational trail in the world, will finally connect Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast, leaving a great Canadian legacy to be enjoyed for generations to come.
Hudson’s Bay’s Grand Portage program is both a fundraising initiative and a call to action to Canadians across the country to explore and show their love for Canada. The multi-faceted program includes a collection of commemorative fundraising merchandise set to launch in March 2017, as well as a journey that will see a team of adventurers portage across the country from June to August 2017.
Connecting Canada Through Adventure
Using the Hudson’s Bay iconic striped canoe as a symbol of Canadian pride and adventure, the Grand Portage team will set off on June 22, 2017, traveling West to East from Victoria to Nova Scotia. Their adventure will culminate in a special celebration in Ottawa on August 26, 2017. Along the way, the Grand Portage team will engage with communities, special guests and Canadian icons and will share their adventures on social media using #HBGrandPortage. In addition, the Grand Portage team will join in the Celebration Tour, taking place in partnership with Cadillac Fairview at 10 premiere shopping centre locations in eight cities across Canada.
Canadians Help to Connect The Great Trail
Canadians across the country can take part in the adventure to help raise funds by purchasing two new limited-edition items – a keepsake mini canoe paddle ($20) and paddle keychain ($5) – both designed with the company’s iconic stripes. 100 percent of the net proceeds of these items will go towards funding the connection of The Great Trail.
In addition, Hudson’s Bay has created The Grand Portage collection, a series of souvenir items for men, women and children. The 58-piece collection includes t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, beach towels, journals, iPhone cases, confectionary and mugs, to name a few, and will range in price from $4 – $119.99 CAD. A portion of every purchase from The Grand Portage collection will support the connection of The Great Trail. The signature keepsake paddle, keychain and full Grand Portage collection will launch in all Hudson’s Bay stores across Canada and on thebay.com in March 2017.
“We are immensely proud of our heritage as Canada’s oldest company, and it was important for us to find a meaningful, long-lasting impact to honour our nation’s milestone birthday,” says Liz Rodbell, President, Hudson’s Bay. “We have always been a company of adventurers and partnering with Trans Canada Trail aligns with our values to be inspired by our heritage and passionate about our future. To help connect The Great Trail in our lifetime is extremely special, and we encourage Canadians across the country to join us in this endeavor and celebrate this vast, beautiful country we call home.”
“We are so grateful to Hudson’s Bay for hosting this innovative national program and for their support of Trans Canada Trail in this very special year,” says Deborah Apps, President and CEO, Trans Canada Trail. “Their support and the support of their customers across Canada, will not only help connect The Great Trail, but will also usher in a new chapter in our Trail history.”
Throughout the Grand Portage, Hudson’s Bay, in partnership with Cadillac Fairview, will engage Canadians locally and give them an opportunity to support the connection of The Great Trail. Travelling through eight markets including Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, London, Hamilton, Montreal and Ottawa and stopping at 10 flagship Hudson’s Bay locations between June and August 2017, the Grand Portage Celebration Tour will be anchored by pop-up retail mall activations and will feature appearances by the portage teams as well as digital and social experiences to engage fans and customers to make donations and augment the cross-country tour.
“Cadillac Fairview is proud to partner with Hudson’s Bay as the official host of the Grand Portage Celebration Tour,” says Sal Iacono, Executive Vice President, Cadillac Fairview. “Not only does this campaign connect Canada and Canadians through The Great Trail, but it also captures the country’s spirit of community and adventure, and we’re thrilled that our shopping centres are a part of this incredible cross-country journey.”
To amplify fundraising efforts for The Great Trail, Canadians across the country will also be able to donate any dollar amount through an online donation on hbgrandportage.ca, a microsite that will live for the duration of the program. In addition, from June 22 – August 26, Hudson’s Bay customers will be able to donate their Hudson’s Bay reward points in store towards Trans Canada Trail in support of The Great Trail.
Celebrating an Epic Canadian Journey
The Grand Portage program will come to a grand conclusion in Ottawa on August 26, 2017. Together, Hudson’s Bay and Trans Canada Trail will celebrate the 100% Connection of The Great Trail with a commemorative event. Open to the public,it will be a moment for all Canadians to celebrate a historic moment and honour our great country.
ABOUT HUDSON’S BAY COMPANY
Hudson’s Bay Company is one of the fastest-growing department store retailers in the world, based on its successful formula of driving the performance of high quality stores and their all-channel offerings, unlocking the value of real estate holdings and growing through acquisitions. Founded in 1670, HBC is the oldest company in North America. HBC’s portfolio today includes ten banners, in formats ranging from luxury to better department stores to off price fashion shopping destinations, with more than 480 stores and 66,000 employees around the world.
In North America, HBC’s leading banners include Hudson’s Bay, Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue, Gilt, and Saks OFF 5TH, along with Find @ Lord & Taylor and Home Outfitters. In Europe, its banners include GALERIA Kaufhof, the largest department store group in Germany, Belgium’s only department store group Galeria INNO, as well as Sportarena.
HBC has significant investments in real estate joint ventures. It has partnered with Simon Property Group Inc. in the HBS Global Properties Joint Venture, which owns properties in the United States and Germany. In Canada, it has partnered with RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust in the RioCan-HBC Joint Venture.
ABOUT HUDSON’S BAY
Hudson’s Bay Company, incorporated in 1670, is North America’s oldest company. Hudson’s Bay has grown to become Canada’s most prominent department store, today operating 90 full-line locations and thebay.com. It has established a reputation for quality, service, and style by offering well-edited assortments of exclusive and popular fashion, beauty, home and accessory designers and brands. It is part of the Hudson’s Bay Company brand portfolio.
ABOUT TRANS CANADA TRAIL
The Great Trail by Trans Canada Trail
It began as a bold dream in 1992: the idea of creating a trail that would be a gift from Canadians to Canadians. Since then, Trans Canada Trail (TCT) — a not-for-profit organization — has been working with donors, partners, governments, landowners and volunteers to create an epic trail of trails offering a wide range of outdoor experiences on greenway, waterway and roadway. TCT’s goal is to connect the Trail and the country for Canada 150 celebrations in 2017 and future generations of happier, healthier Canadians. Every province and territory is home to its own stretch of The Great Trail, which is owned and operated at the local level. For more information: TheGreatTrail.ca