2011 Industry Builder Hall of Fame Inductee
Peter Kiddell, President, Canwest Shows Inc.
Introduction Speech by Orest Iwanylo:
He started as a sales broker in 1976 at the Canadian National Hardware Show in Toronto. In 1986 he went into the pitch business, working at a wide variety of consumer shows, starting in Toronto and then across Canada and the US.
After 13 years of working in the trenches, in 1999 he was offered an opportunity to purchase a small, struggling woodworking show.
With his feet barely wet as a show producer, he was off to the races... He took the show to other markets, purchased a pet show, purchased and expanded several sewing shows, and then... took one of his biggest risks starting and expanding the "Taboo Naughty but Nice Shows", ...he went into the ski show business, purchased and started several boat shows, as well as several health & wellness shows.
He didn't quit there... Facing growing rental costs, he purchased enough a/v equipment, as well as pipe & drape, carpet, tables & chairs and a forklift to supply all his shows.
He then partnered with a friend and started in the display contractor business to become the in house decorator at a venue and later... purchased a tent and decorator business on the west coast.
To run all of these businesses, he focused on recruiting experienced people from the industry, and hired & trained many new apprentices...offering all the opportunity for career growth and ability to earn above-average incomes.
He demands a lot, but always rewards his people with shared successes.
Realizing this is a people business, he travels from coast to coast... meeting with other show managers, exhibitors, suppliers, venues and loves doing deals over lunch and a good cabernet...usually on a handshake.
This man is a character. He speaks his mind, he doesn't pussy foot around delicate issues and doesn't know what political correctness is all about.
He claims he would be doing much more in the business if he was only 20 years younger…I can't imagine that!
Despite the incredible growth of his businesses, he prefers to spend his time with his loving wife Wendy and their family Kevin, Breanne and Lou.
For those of you who don't know who I'm talking about... he's the one you'll hear at our conferences with the boisterous laugh, and you'll see... sometimes with a cigar in one hand and usually...with a good glass of wine in the other, but... he'll always have a hand ready to shake the hand of a friend...or to do another deal!
I'd like to introduce to you...a deserving winner in our Industry Builder category...Peter Kiddell.
Peter, thank you for your contribution to our industry and congratulations on your many successes!!!
Acceptance Speech by Peter Kiddell:
THANKS OREST FOR THAT INTRODUCTION,,,, I ALMOST DIDN’T KNOW WHO YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT... I DON’T REMEMBER YOU EVER BEING SO KIND IN ALL OUR FACILITY CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS OVER THE LAST DOZEN OR SO YEARS……ILL REALLY LOOK FORWARD TO OUR NEXT MEETING!!
I’D LIKE TO THANK THOSE WHO VOTED FOR ME TO RECIEVE THIS AWARD..IT IS INDEED AN HONOUR AND PRIVLIDGE TO BE RECOGNISED BY ONE’S INDUSTRY PEERS. WHEN I FIRST EXHIBITED IN 1976 AT THE CANADIAN NATIONAL HARDWARE SHOW AT THE CNE, IN THE OLD INDUSTRY BUILDING (WHICH AS MOST OF US KNOW, IS STILL THERE AND RECENTLY HOSTED PART OF OUR BOAT SHOW), I NEVER THOUGHT I’D END UP SO IMMERSED OR STAY SO LONG IN THE SHOW BUSINESS…1976….that WAS BEFORE THERE WAS A JUNIOR AFTER FRED COX…IN 1976 AS OREST MENTIONED… I WAS A SALES BROKER SELLING HAIRDRYERS AND WATCHBANDS…THEN IN 1986, I FOUND A PRODUCT IN THAT SAME INDUSTRY BUILDING, SAME SHOW, SOME OF YOU MIGHT REMEMBER…FLITZ METAL POLISH AND FIBREGLASS CLEANER…IT CLEANS, IT SHINES AND LEAVES A LASTING FINISH ON ALL YOUR COPPPER GOLD SILVER..NOW LADIES YOU’LL PARTICULARLY LIKE …..BUT I DIGRESS.. AS WE ALL KNOW, THERE’S LOT OF HIGHS AND LOWS, SUCCESSES AND MISSES IN THIS INDUSTRY, (JUST ASK ANYONE WHOS WORKED FOR DMG, SPORTSMAN SHOWS OR GES…)BUT ONE OF THE ASPECTS THAT REALLY MAKES THE SHOW BUSINESS SPECIAL, IS THE IMMEDIACY OF THE MOMENT. ITS ZERO TO 100 AND BACK DOWN TO ZERO A WEEK LATER. AS WE SAY IN THE PITCH BUSINESS…THE DAY OF THE FAIR IS THE DAY TO BE THERE.
ANOTHER REASON WHY I LOVE THIS BUSINESS, IS THE PEOPLE I’VE WORKED WITH OVER THE YEARS ON ALL SIDES OF THE INDUSTRY. THEY HAVE TRULY HELPED ME TO BE SUCCESSFUL AND I THANK THEM FOR THAT. I’M SO LUCKY HAVING SO MANY GREAT PARTNERS…I’M SURE SOME OF YOU WILL RECOGNISE THEIR NAMES…..PETER ODWYER WITH ST. GEORGE SHOW SERVICES AND ISLAND TENTS, IAN FORSYTH WITH CANEAST SHOWS, LINDA WADDELL AND CANADIAN BOAT SHOWS, JOE PAPA AND GREENTREES SHOWS, KEITH HATTEN AND PIZZAZ INTERNATIONAL AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST, MY GENERAL MANAGER OF OVER 10 YEARS, TERRA CONNORS WHO ALLOWS ME THE FREEDOM TO TRAVEL AND MAKE DEALS SO I DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT CANWEST. ALL THESE PEOPLE ARE TRUE INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS AND I DRAW ON THEIR HELP AND EXPERIENCE EVERY DAY. ….I ALSO DRAW ON A KEG OF RED WINE… AND OF COURSE, MY TRUE PARTNER AND WIFE WENDY, WHO HAS SUPPORTED MY ADDICTION OVER THE YEARS FOR WORKING WEEKENDS, TRAVELLING EVERYWHERE AND STRESSING OVER EVERYTHING….SHE TRULY IS THE BEST.
FOR THOSE OF YOU JUST ENTERING THE BUSINESS, REMEMBER, ITS NOT A NINE TO 5 OR MONDAY TO FRIDAY JOB….THE MORE YOU PUT IN THE MORE YOU’LL GET BACK….AND THE OCCASIONAL HANGOVER… 35 YEARS IN THE BUSINESS….I GUESS IF I WORKED FOR THE GOVERNMENT OR A FACILITY…I’D BE RETIRED…. I WISH I WAS THERE TODAY IN TORONTO TO THANK YOU IN PERSON AND TO SHAKE ALL YOUR HANDS, BUT I’M IN VICTORIA AND VANCOUVER TODAY AND A BOAT SHOW ON THIS WEEKEND….HOWEVER I HOPE TO SEE YOU ALL IN LONDON THIS JUNE. IT’LL CERTAINLY BE A CLOSER DRIVE TO THE COTTAGE IN MUSKOKA THAN KELOWNA WAS LAST YEAR!! I HOPEING ALL MY PARTNERS WILL BE COMING TOO AND BRINGING THEIR A GOLF GAMES WITH THEM.
I’M DEFINITELY LOOKING FORWARD TO THE CONFERENCE. IT’S DEFINITELY MORE FUN AND ENTERTAINING THAN A SEWING SHOW….BUT MAYBE NOT AS MUCH AS A SEX SHOW!!
TAKE CARE AND THANKS AGAIN. CHEERS!!