How to Plan a Recognition Event

Recognition events are an opportunity to acknowledge OTF’s support, earn media coverage for your organization and connect with your local Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP). Recognition events can be in-person or virtual. They can be as simple as a small stand-alone gathering with photo op or integrated into a pre-existing event. Food and beverage is not expected or required.

Read the following information in its entirety to help you successfully plan and host your OTF recognition event.

Contact your OTF Communications Advisor

Once you have an idea and/or tentative date for your event, contact your OTF Communications Advisor with your grant ID at least three weeks in advance to initiate the planning process.

Keep in mind, your local Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) will need to be invited, so selecting a date and time when MPPs are not in the Legislature is important. For more information on when the Legislature is in session, please check the Legislative Calendar. We strongly recommend Friday and Saturday events to reduce likelihood of rescheduling. 
Note: If an MPP’s office has contacted you directly to plan an event, notify your OTF Communications Advisor immediately.

Invite your guests

Once you have received confirmation from your OTF Communications Advisor to proceed with the event, you can invite your guests.

Important invites:

  • Your local MPP (for your grant’s riding): To provide brief remarks and officially acknowledge your grant on behalf of the government of Ontario. 
  • Local media, if appropriate (via media advisory). 
  • If you intend to invite any other government officials (provincial, federal, or municipal), notify your OTF Communications Advisor as soon as possible as they will advise on appropriate speaking order and protocols.

When possible, OTF will send a representative. IMPORTANT: OTF is responsible for identifying and inviting a representative. Please do not invite OTF staff or volunteers.

All other event invitations are at your discretion.

Prepare your event documents

You will need to prepare the following documents in advance and send them to your OTF Communications Advisor 2 weeks prior to your event. They will need to review, edit and approve these documents and will send the approved versions back to you for you to send out according to the schedule below.

  1. Event Agenda Template (send OTF approved version to MPP’s office and any other speakers 1 week before the event)
  2. Media Advisory Template (send OTF approved version to media contact list 1 week before the event)
  3. Media Release Template (send OTF approved version to media contact list immediately after the event)

Local Media Contact List

Prepare a list of media outlets in your community (print, online, radio, television). If there are reporters who have written stories about your organization in the past, be sure to include them. Create an email list that you can use to send your media advisory and release to. You can find each media outlet’s contacts on their respective websites. 

Photos and Reporting

Take photos! For virtual events, take a screenshot of the call. You can post your photos on social media, your website, newsletters, or other communication materials. You should also send a photo as a separate attachment with your media release, identifying the people in the photo from left to right. 

Before posting images from your OTF recognition event that include youth under the age of 18, be sure you have a signed consent form from their parent or legal guardian. If you do not, OTF has provided a sample photo release form for you to use:

After your event is over, OTF would love to hear about how it went. Follow up with your OTF Communications Advisor to let them know how it went and share photos (with names of people in them). 

Save links to any news coverage you received and include these in your final report.