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Posted by on Mar 22, 2013 in Bar Mitzvah, Bat Mitzvah, Event Experiences, Jewish Celebrations | 0 comments

March 9, 2013 – Ben’s Bar Mitzvah. Winnipeg, Manitoba.

March 9, 2013 – Ben’s Bar Mitzvah. Winnipeg, Manitoba.

“The party was a blast! We were all wowed by Eric. Thanks for all your help. Keep doing what you’re doing!”
-Rena. Follow Up E-mail Response from Ben’s Mom. March 12, 2013

One week ago, I was trudging my way across the Canadian prairies back home to Calgary. “The Road to Ben’s Bar Mitzvah” in Winnipeg had come to an end. Trying to pack everything that happened into a short article is quite tough! Strangely, I can do it in one word – Surreal.

The Back Story

I am good friends with Barry Kay, the owner of Cherry Tree Productions based out of Winnipeg. Over the past 20 years, he has built a reputation as Manitoba’s leading Bar & Bat Mitzvah DJ Entertainer. He is in my opinion the best Bar & Bat Mitzvah MC/DJ you can hire within Canada, and someone who I model my own performances after.

In January 2013, Barry called me up asking if I would be interested in hosting a Bar Mitzvah for him. He was already booked for another Mitzvah and his long time protégé Benji was out of country. I immediately said “Yes”! But I also asked “Why me? Why not find a great lively Winnipeg based DJ?”

Barry’s response was, “I haven’t ever seen you perform Eric. But I know you have the rare mix of energy, performance skills, and personality needed for a Bar Mitzvah.”

Fast forward to 5:00am Tuesday, March 5. I set out on “The Road to Ben’s Bar Mitzvah”! I stopped for coffee en route with several other leading Canadian DJs. Including Adam Dubeau for breakfast in Medicine Hat. Then later in Portage La Prairie for the Manitoba CDJA Meeting with Bryan Podworny, Dave Ternier, Tyler Whyte, and of course Barry Kay. I have learned and owe so much to these men. There would be no “Eric Electric” without them!

After 14 hours of driving I was ready to sleep, then jump into the first Production Meeting with Barry.

Production Meetings

What is a “Production Meeting”? It is the the meeting held within a week or few days of an event where final decisions are made (staffing, event timeline, inventory of required equipment, contests, games, etc).

My production meeting with Barry for Ben’s Bar Mitzvah felt like it lasted 3 days! From Wednesday to Friday I tagged along with Barry on errands and meetings soaking up as much knowledge of Jewish customs, Hora Dances, Bar Mitzvah games, Ben’s Hobbies, crowd control, etc as possible! From these conversations I prepared the final scripts, timelines, and music line up for the party.

Then on Saturday afternoon we unloaded the truck and began setup inside the Etz Chayim Synagogue!

Ben’s Bar Mitzvah!

I will be the first to admit, that the assistance of the Cherry Tree Crew made the Mitzvah Reception a true success. Thank you Paula, Rachel and Sarah for having my back and making everything look easy! I wish I had your help at every event I do!

100 children and 150 adults gazed at me as I kicked-off the festivities, “Good Evening. And Welcome to Ben’s Bar Mitzvah Celebration!”

Then, friends and relatives from across Canada shared a rare meal as a united family. Before kicking off the dancing, the Cherry Tree Crew helped me facilitate a game of Big Ball Bowling and Stuff-It.

I sadly don’t have a picture to post of these two activities, but it was utter fun (controlled) mayhem! Contestants held a dancing competition with their shirts stuffed to the size of sumo wrestlers! Fabulous prizes like iTunes and Lush gift cards were given out to the winners!

Then came time for Ben’s mom to share how joyful she was of her son’s milestone of helping lead the congregation earlier in the day. Ben thanked his guests, and it was time to party!

His uncles kicked off the hora with live saxophone and guitar performances. There was no slowing down from there! I won’t ever forget working as a tag team DJ with Paula while Cherry Tree Party Motivators Rachel and Sarah kept the kids bouncing all night!

As with most events, it was all over far too quickly! And a few days later after sleeping, it was time to return home to Calgary.

Reasons for Success

  • Staffing. Barry Kay and The Cherry Tree Crew has performed hundreds of Bar & Bat Mitzvah parties. Making them a very well oiled machine. Adding in my event hosting skills, made a dynamic combination.

  • Planning. In all approximately 25 hours of preparation was completed just by the Cherry Tree Crew and I. As a result we executed the event plan almost without a flaw and kept everything on schedule

  • Quality Event Team. In a previous post I discussed the important of a quality Event Team. The caterer, venue, decorator, and other vendors selected were experienced professionals. Everyone did their best work, and kept communication flowing. As a result the party was a success.

  • Due to quality staff from Cherry Tree Productions, thorough planning, and an experienced Event Team; Ben’s Bar Mitzvah was a surefire success!


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