ONE YEAR IN.... a note from Louisa

She's typically on the other side of the wood... but our art-glass bar makes one killer backdrop for GM, Louisa Cohen

She's typically on the other side of the wood... but our art-glass bar makes one killer backdrop for GM, Louisa Cohen

I can’t believe it’s been one full year at the helm of this wonderful venue. Sometimes it feels like only a few weeks ago that I stepped into my role as GM - it also feels like I’ve been here since 1907 (that’s an Easter egg for anyone who’s paying attention…)

As I settled into the 'Bank Manager's Office' one year ago things were happening at lighting speed - I was eating, sleeping, and breathing this place - to be honest almost any given week you'll still find my dry cleaning at The Permanent if you know where to look... When 330 West Pender was a functioning bank - the manager lived on site - so perhaps this is apropos for the space I've assumed... 

Seeing this stunning heritage bank building transform from a restoration project and renovation site into a busy and elegant event space has been so exciting me for me. My father's passion for heritage spaces combined with Vancouver’s need for unique and exciting spaces has been inspiring.

For me personally It has also been scary, challenging, and really just a super awesome wild ride into the event and hospitality industry. 

We’ve played home to the cast of Riverdale, partied through the holidays with classy corporate crews of all sorts, hosted the launch virtual reality headsets to top-of-the-line toothbrushes, showcased incredible catering, created cocktail magic… and of course watched so many incredible couples ‘lock it down’ in front of the vault.

I don’t think any of this could have been accomplished successfully without a killer staff, our talented vendors, partners, and the stories of our phenomenal clients - all of them in-part making this old building sing.

After this year in - a heartfelt thank you to all of you I’ve met along the way... to many more celebrations together.

With my very best, Louisa


Permanent profiles michelle apples

Michelle being cheeky at an event we hosted this month for Starbucks Canada

Michelle being cheeky at an event we hosted this month for Starbucks Canada

We are excited to give you an insiders look at our wonderful (and busy!) event space - what better way to start than profiling some of the people that make this place run... Without further ado she’s the apple of our eye… and this Vancouver event space runs on her positive attitude and tireless work ethic - this is a little bit about Michelle Apples… the Renaissance-Woman of The Permanent.

What’s your role with The Permanent?
When I first got hired on at The Permanent I started off as a bartender, and quickly moved into an Event Supervisor role, from there I then filled the role as Event Coordinator with also adding Day of Coordinator for Weddings, sometimes Film Liaison, and now to Bar Manager/Women Of All Trades. So I consider my role a flexible one, filling shoes wherever they are needed in the event space.

Tell me about a typical day on the job… 
Every day is different which is probably my favourite thing about the job. Whether it is site visits with newly engaged couples, keeping Riverdale fans at bay, coordinating a wedding, running around like a crazy person to execute the perfect event, supervising events, heavy lifting and inventory, training staff, meetings, or sitting in the office “green room” with celebrities while they are filming. I don’t think any two days are ever the same. There is no such thing as a typical day at The Permanent. 

What is your favourite lunch in the ‘hood?
Finch’s… I am addicted to the Applewood Smoked Cheddar Baguette and the Chocolate Chip Cookies. I really need an intervention. 

Give us some behind-the-scenes secrets about the venue…what don’t we know?
Well I have yet to see a ghost (but I am patiently waiting). The whole building has such character, from the architecture and design, to the stained glass windows, the light fixtures, the original vault door and the secret entrance. This place is so unique. I constantly discover something new about this buildings design - unless you were constantly studying the building you wouldn’t even begin to be able to see it all. 

Most memorable event that you worked at The Permanent? 
Oh man, that is a hard question! To pick just one event is difficult there has been so many great ones. I love weddings because there is so much love that goes into them, but there have also been so many crazy designs - for example the 'Lush Scientist Awards'. Everything was science based (cocktails made in test tubes, diagonal lights all over the walls, these crazy cube type things on the tables). The smallest details were not overlooked for this event and the outcome was phenomenal. Of course I am a huge fan of Christmas so I love when people bring Christmas trees and decorations in as well. 

If you hosted an evening at The Permanent what kind of night would it be?
If I could host an evening here I would probably host a charity event, because I love to be able to give back to causes that I care about. I would also have live performances from local artists to be able to give them exposure. I feel like the Vancouver scene is really lacking live music. I recently spent some time in Nashville and it was incredible seeing live music everywhere you went. Live music really creates this amazing energy and atmosphere.