• By: Keith Whittier

A Night of Glam and Gourmet at 5IVE5IFTEEN

All photos by Eric Vance.

Many hold to the thought that Ottawa is a tame and quiet town, and on Oct. 15 the organizers of the recent 5IVE5IFTEEN did their best to bring some flair back to the capital. Blackbook Lifestyle, an Ottawa marketing and communications agency, and Arc the Hotel, one of the city’s only boutique hotels, joined forces last week to celebrate their recent milestones. Blackbook celebrated its 5th anniversary, while ARC the Hotel has been active in Ottawa for 15 years, hence the aptly titled 5IVE5IFTEEN. 

A server shows off items from ARC lounge’s new menu.
A server shows off items from ARC lounge’s new menu.

ARC the Hotel officially opened in 2000, and the trendy, European-style boutique hotel has since become a choice destination for entertainment industry parties. With its modern decor and warm environment, the venue worked perfectly for 5IVE5IFTEEN. 

The anniversary party allowed guests to hear several DJ’s, experience live fashion installations, and sample some of ARC’s newest menu items. The hotel named Jason Peters as its new executive chef in August, and Peters was on hand to introduce menu items for party guests to sample. Peters said that ARC Lounge and Bar, the hotel’s restaurant, favours local ingredients, and guests sampled scallops, beef, and chicken dishes. Dishes such as crab cakes, goat cheese and beet tarts, and shaved beef tataki tacos were also distributed throughout the evening.

While listening to the latest hits and sampling signature food and cocktails, guests were encouraged to explore the multi-room venue and pose for professional pictures on the event’s red carpet. Ottawans came dressed to impress, despite the dreary weather outside. 

Arc the Hotel’s restaurant/bar.
Hotel chefs prepare tacos for party guests.

The event’s host was America’s Next Top Model alum Matthew Stephen Smith. Smith was a gracious and enthusiastic host, gamely posing for photos with party attendees on the event’s red carpet, and making small talk with everyone he encountered. James Jefferson, co-owner and creative director of Blackbook, and Daniel Mackinnon, Blackbook’s PR manager and co-owner, also warmly greeted every guest and seemed completely at ease during the glitzy event. After all, according to Jefferson, organizing events just makes his job more fun.

“What I’m most proud of is that we just get to have fun doing what we’re doing,” said Jefferson, reflecting on the last five years with Blackbook. “You get to meet interesting people, and throwing parties counts as work.”

Jefferson described Blackbook Lifestyle as a marketing, communications and public relations agency that looks after anything clients do publicly. The agency also counts graphic and web design, advertisements, and product launches amongst their many tasks. ARC the Hotel is one of Blackbook’s clients, which made the event location a no-brainer, said Jefferson.

“They’re one of our clients, and we’ve always thought they were a great hotel, they’re really the only boutique hotel in the city, and they’re very fashion forward,” said Jefferson. 

After five years, Jefferson said Blackbook is proud of the relationships the company has cultivated with its clients. He said the agency has been lucky enough never to actively look for clients, as clients usually go to the agency themselves. He said they’ve been with many clients since the beginning, and have evolved with them.

“We’ve grown with them, and grown with their brands, and it’s nice because you get to a point where you intuitively know what [the client] needs,” said Jefferson.
If the smiles on party attendees’ faces were any indication, it seems both of these Ottawa businesses can look forward to many more milestones.