10 Questions With Janice Cardinale

DesignDawgs recently caught up with Janice Cardinale, owner and creative director of The Idea Hunter  in Toronto, Canada. Cardinale is known for creating customized event solutions through the process of tracking down cutting-edge event design and entertainment ideas in the special events industry. Her passion to live, work and share ideas has made The Idea Hunter a valuable resource for all corporate planners, producers and industry professionals. We were thrilled to hear her take on our signature Ten Questions here:

What’s the most important item to have at an event?

The most important thing to have at an event is the right music. Music has the ability to connect with people on an emotional level making it a powerful tool in setting the tone of the event. At The Idea Hunter we are always on the hunt for musical experiences that are fascinating, innovative and immersive. With so many new and younger artists emerging on the North American scene we are very fortunate be able to mentor them and raise the bar on the next generation of artists.

What’s your favorite app of all time?

Pinterest. With a busy schedule throughout the year, I am able to cruise this app for ideas on the go. Pinterest is one of the greatest visual apps in the market today and with the whole world sharing ideas, it makes finding inspiration, creativity and new ideas simple.

The Idea Hunter

The Idea Hunter at the recent Canada Rocks event.

What’s your favorite venue?

I live in Toronto and love many venues. My favorite is The Distillery, which has been re-invented, re-furbished and restored to attract tourists, families, weddings, corporate events and experiences. This property has many venues, galleries, and restaurants that you can work with. It is a bit of the old world meets 21st century. The Distillery is an iconic landmark in Toronto where after the prohibition, they produced whisky and rye.

Winter wedding or summer wedding?

I do not plan or execute any weddings, but personally I am fond of summer weddings and was married in May which was a beautiful month to wed. I’m also a big fan of destination weddings, and tell my children all the time that they should consider this. These types of weddings throughout the year are typically smaller, more intimate and more cost effective for everyone. The guests enjoy their experience and everyone comes back feeling relaxed and happy.

The Idea Hunter

The Idea Hunter 2015 Holiday Party

What favorite vacation spot inspires you the most?

Wow, now this is a tough question to answer because I have travelled extensively over the years for business and pleasure. However one of my favorite vacations was in Hawaii. There is nothing comparable in my mind to the serenity, beauty, sunsets, people and the many islands that dot the coast line. Hawaii is an experience and this is what I remember about being there.

Vintage or new?

I am vintage and I do love vintage when it comes to design, décor, fashion and food. I feel vintage is more authentic and approachable. I find that many millennials are embracing this style and reinventing it for the 21st century.

The Idea Hunter

From the Minto Holiday Party featuring duo musicians.

DJ or live music?

I love live music because it is genuine, powerful and engaging. There is nothing like walking into an event and watching a live performance unfold and the passion that these artists have for their music. Live music can make a person laugh or cry. Live music is real, it is not something you can turn on in your car or listen to at home. I find that there is a perception that live music is expensive but in reality there are many musicians who are breaking into the event market and who are more affordable then DJ’s. these days. By supporting live music, you are helping a new generation of musicians to grow and thrive.

Sit down or buffet?

I have always liked a buffet from long before it became trendy. Foodpreneurs are popping up all over the map with new ideas to tantalize the most discriminating foodies in town. Buffets lend themselves to visual merchandising, chef interaction and a variety of options. I believe there will be more of a movement to how we present food in this next decade with technology leading the way. Think of turning food upside down, installations for food, moving parts, special effects and emerging farm to table experiences where sharing the experience becomes the entertainment.


“Pixel Performance” from the TIFF Opening Night Party.

Stage or screen?

One of the questions I ask my clients when they first engage in our services is,” do you have a stage?” Depending on the type of entertainment one chooses, a stage can make the performance explode or not. Today, stages come in various shapes and sizes with moving parts, led lighting, even stages hung from the ceiling. Performers, artists, entertainers and speakers love to stage their act so that the crowd can properly see them. While screens are effective in a large space accommodating thousands of people, the stage is an intimate way for guests to react and share their experience with the performance.

Fav design trend of all time?

It is so hard for me to choose my favorite design trend of all time because I really do live for the new and different. I have built my business to thrive on the constant evolution of changing trends. When it comes to my business, the trend that I am embracing currently is how a traditional art form can be modernized to appeal to a younger generation of growing and thriving audiences. The Idea Hunter is constantly re-inventing itself and I have been able to keep ahead of trends by having a vision for style.

A video compilation of event design inspiration by The Idea Hunter.

Cardinale continues to contribute to the industry by supporting and mentoring students at Seneca College and is a board member on the event design and management program. Janice is an editor at large writing monthly posts for Canadian Special Event on line magazine. She also contributes to MPI, TSE, Biz Bash and other industry publications. Today Janice speaks on Trends In Entertainment & enjoys sharing her knowledge, expertise and experiences with other event professionals across Canada.

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