Taste of Toronto launches this summer

The international food festival is making its North American debut this summer at Fort York, with sponsorship opportunities now open.
taste of toronto

Taste, an international food and restaurant festival format backed by IMG, is making its North American debut in Canada this summer.

Taste of Toronto will bring top local and international chefs, including Mark McEwan, inside the walls of Fort York July 24 to 27. Sam Galet, VP managing director, IMG Canada, tells MiC the festival is looking for sponsors.

Six sponsors have already been confirmed for the water, hotel, grocery retailer, credit card, beer and premium cookware categories, and will be announced soon, says Galet, but Taste of Toronto is still aiming to sign high-end automotive, home appliance, wine and coffee sponsors, among others, including a presenting sponsor.

Brands can attach their names to “Features,” experiential activations that Galet calls “the backbone of the Taste events around the world.” For example, the Cookery Master Class, where visitors put on an apron and cook a meal with one of the participating chefs, will be sponsored by the grocery retailer. The cooking demonstration stage, where every half hour international and local chefs will appear in front of 200 open-air seats, typically sponsored by Electrolux in Europe and Miele in Australia, is looking to confirm a Toronto sponsor. The music stage and VIP lounge can also be sponsored.

Sponsorship deals will be bundled with activations including integration into a media buy currently being made, placement in the festival “Menu Card” magazine and souvenir guide, as well as promotions with IMG’s media partners.

Not including the presenting sponsor title, brands can expect to spend between $75,000 and $300,000 to get involved as sponsors with the festival.

There are also exhibitor opportunities for endemic food brands and local artisans. “Unlike some of the big food and wine events, we’re very limited by the space we have because we’re at Fort York, so we’re only going to have 50 exhibitor booths, so we are looking for the best olive oil and the best local bakery (for example),” says Galet.

The event has a capacity for about 25,000 visitors over six four-hour sessions. Visitors for the festival, which has run 100 times in 20 global cities, skews about 60% female and 40% male, with an average age of 36, according to Galet. Visitors to Taste of London spent an average of about £150 ($267 Canadian) per person on tasting dishes and exhibitor wares.