We’re Calgary’s Premier Hospitality Firm.
We are Simply Elegant, an accomplished event and catering company headquartered in Calgary Alberta. We provide expert planning, catering, floral, decor and management services for all kinds of events, including private parties, corporate events, and weddings.
We are a multi-divisional company that offers a full range of services to meet all your planning needs in one place. We love what we do, and we’d love the opportunity to see how we could make your life easier and your event the best it could be. You could say “We’re in the Business of Events.”
We started as a catering company in 1996. Owner Robert Vidra, a trained chef, came to Calgary determined to open a catering operation that met the specific needs of the business community. He talked to everyone from receptionists to the CEO’s of Calgary’s largest companies to design a catering company that would best meet the needs of the Calgary culture.
The business developed a reputation for providing excellent food, outstanding service and tremendous value. In fact, the service was so good that Simply Elegant’s clients encouraged the company to move into events, because of their unwavering attention to detail. Simply Elegant expanded into events in 2005, adding a nationally recognized, award-winning designer and events planner to the staff.
Now, instead of having to deal with a variety of vendors, clients are able to turn over everything to Simply Elegant, right from the early planning stage through to the decorations, catering, entertainment, execution and clean up.
We actively listen in order to understand the corporate culture and needs of our clients and create events that reflect their brand and values. We do not believe in “one size fits all.” Rather, we customize events by working collaboratively with our clients. We never take for granted the trust that our clients and vendors put in us.
Simply Elegant staff are experts in their field. Numerous employees have enjoyed long-standing careers at Simply Elegant. We value their loyalty and support their continued education.
We have established strong, working relationships with our vendors and treat them how we want to be treated. We believe that honesty, integrity and social responsibility are vital to our corporate culture and seek out vendors with similar values. Our future includes caring for the planet and we actively seek ways to lessen our footprint on it. We are mindful of the environment as we design our events.
- Leadership starts at the top. It has always been the core principle of Robert Vidra to accept responsibility for all that happens and not blame others; all of our staff follow that same conviction.
- We enjoy what we do by creating fun and a little magic.
- Our business is not an object but a live entity; we are a community of people who love to work and socialize together.
- We believe that change is inevitable and by accepting the evolution of change, we can inspire others.
- There is nothing more important than communication.
- We are open to accepting constructive criticism.
- We accept that each person has strengths and weaknesses; we recognize the strengths of others and minimize their weaknesses by providing support and working as a team.
- Success is directly measured by those around you; we cannot be what we are without our staff and vendors – it’s the people we work with that make us great.
- Each person is required to work in other departments so they understand the other divisions.
- We share in the joys of others and their lives.
- We are community minded and give time, money, food and services to the Calgary community and Hospice Calgary (whose work with those facing end of life challenges humbles us).
- We believe in doing the right thing even when it is not the easy thing.
- We believe business is earned and trust cannot be abused.
- Enlightenment through education brings out the best in us.
- We give employees company money to go out for dinners and experience new things that make them happy.
- Supporting strong policies since 1996; we did what was right before most people cared.
- We recycle, reuse and reduce.
- We do not take advantage of our vendors; it is through collaborating with them that we can succeed.
Simply Elegant’s Green Initiative
There’s no point being a premiere events and catering company if we’ve run out of planet to live on. So we take our responsibility to the environment very seriously.
Here are some of the ways we work towards sustainability:
- We support and purchase from local food products and suppliers
- We use organic vegetables where possible
- 90% of the meat we purchase is from Alberta, including free range fed chickens and turkeys
- 25% of all produce we purchase is grown locally in the Pacific NW
- 90% of the fruit we buy comes from North America
- We provide biodegradable disposable cocktail and lunch plates
- We provide “green” cutlery at client’s request
- Since 1996, we’ve used chaffing dishes (not tinfoil) for all hot food
- We use plastic platters, which are sanitized and reused, instead of disposable ones
- Our food is presented on china by request
- All cardboard and office paper products
- Kitchen cooking oil
- Bottles and cans with proceeds being donated to local community groups
- Straight line food delivery for “green routing” to specific downtown corporate buildings to reduce fuel consumption, minimize vehicle exhaust plus conserve gas
- Strict maintenance programs for delivery vehicles
- Kitchen freezers, fridges
- Air conditioner units
We’re glad a healthier environment matters to you too. Thanks for wanting to know more about our green philosophy. We’ll keep striving to find new ways to lessen our footprint on the planet.
- Hospice Calgary
- Médecins Sans Frontières HK / Doctors Without Borders (MSF)
- Canadian Red Cross
- David Suzuki Foundation
- World Wildlife Fund
C.E.O and Owner
Robert is a certified chef and has worked in the hospitality industry for over 35 years. He founded Simply Elegant in 1996 and designed each division to complement each other. He named Simply Elegant after Albert Einstein’s theory “if we can describe the universe in a ‘simple but elegant way’ we can understand the universe.” Simply Elegant has prospered due to Robert’s belief and nurturing the staff community. With his leadership Simply Elegant has grown from its humble beginnings as a catering company to a full-range hospitality firm.
Director of Special Events
Sharon is a Certified Special Event Professional (CSEP) and has been a manager with Simply Elegant since 2004 in the roles of operations manager, florist, decorator, wedding and event planner. Prior to Simply Elegant, she owned a successful Vancouver floral and event decorating company. As a key note speaker and educator in the event industry, she has been a member of the International Live Events Association for over 25 years. Sharon’s range of expertise and natural ability to communicate with our clients makes her a valuable asset to our firm.
Director of Food & Beverage
Peter received his “top drawer” training at the Hotel Management School in Leipzig, Germany and honed his skills during his 8 years at Kempinski Hotels and Resorts, one of the oldest European hotel chains. His previous experience ranges from being a tea expert to an extensive knowledge of Champagne. His calm, professional demeanor is perfectly suited for coordinating large, international catered events to small, intimate dinner parties. Our clients love Peter’s attention to detail and personalized service when it comes to menu selection for their events.
Toni oversees our marketing department from design work and social media programming to implementing other digital and traditional media campaigns for Simply Elegant. With more than 20 years experience in marketing and branding, Toni is also involved in marketing research and ROI estimates. She is experienced in measuring performance indicators for events. Plus she’s been an adjunct professor for 10 years at MRU teaching courses in marketing, research and branding. Toni has a BA in Economics and an MBA in Marketing.
Office & Accounting Manager
Shelley is the person behind the scenes keeping us organized by handling both the office and accounting functions. Shelley came to Simply Elegant with over 25 years in the industry where she did everything from being a short order cook, to serving and managing a downtown pub. Ten
years of working at the famed King Eddy taught her a great deal about music and, more importantly, people. After 10 years with Simply Elegant,
Shelley is a calm force during busy events. She has an eye for detail in our proposals and makes sure all the numbers add up.
Ed is a P.Eng. and an MBA who graduated from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Advanced Studies, in Mexico. With over 20 years of Information Technology consulting experience in North and Central America and the Caribbean, Ed is in charge of our Information Network. As part of our team since 2003, Ed has developed our information infrastructure onto a private cloud system which integrates communications, productivity, collaboration, data protection and security. He makes sure all of our internal systems are efficiently managed.
Digital Marketing Manager
Alex has over 10 years experience managing marketing campaigns through digital channels such as display, paid search and social media advertising. He previously worked on client accounts including Rolex and Mercedes-Benz USA. Alex has a Bachelor of Management (Marketing) degree and is a certified professional in Google AdWords, Inbound Marketing by HubSpot and Social Media Marketing by Hootsuite. Alex has worked with Simply Elegant for the past 5 years and is responsible for website development and our online marketing.
Our Wedding Services
Browse our unique menus, beautiful wedding flower arrangements and themed wedding decorations to craft your dream wedding.
We take the time and pay attention in planning wedding details. Let Simply Elegant design your perfect wedding based on our years of expertise. Our staff includes some one of the most experienced and skilled wedding planners in Calgary.
Wedding decorations are frequently overlooked yet a perfectly designed decor can express the style of the newlywed couple and wow your guests. We have a selection of decorations that can be tailored to suit your wedding theme.
Be it centerpieces as entranceway floral arrangement or wedding party bouquets and boutonnieres, our in-house floral department offers the magic needed to make your wedding complete. Florals can add a special touch to your wedding day.
Beautiful weddings include planning the details, decorating the venue, flowers for the wedding party, and delicious food. We have catering packages for you to choose from or you can customize the food menu to suit your preferences.
Our Wedding Blog
When bad weddings happen to good brides, it often comes down to the wedding planning. Many brides vastly underestimate the time it will take to plan and execute their wedding, which can lead to all kinds of stress, conflict, and additional costs. In fact, the average...
Your wedding is a very special day in your life and while you’re making your wedding plans let’s not forget about wedding flowers and planning the wedding reception. For most guests at a wedding, the bouquet and garter toss can be the best part—especially if some of...
Every wedding catering project is different, but the one thing that is always a critical factor to the success of the following reception is the catering of the food and beverages. Good food and spirits is what makes the festive celebration memorable. Run out of food...
We manage all aspects of off-site private and corporate Catering, Event Management, Wedding Planning, Decor & Florals.
Hours of Operation
We are open Monday through Friday from 7:30 am to 5:00 pm. Closed Saturday and Sunday except for special events.
Food orders should be placed at least one business day prior to the meal delivery. Nonetheless, we will accept orders until 9:30 am on the day of delivery if we have the resources available. Same day or rush orders may be subject to a 25% surcharge.
Hot Food Orders
As hot food requires more preparation time, orders should be placed two business days in advance of the day of the event. Hot meals require a minimum of 8 or more of the same item.
Cold meals require a minimum of $75.00 before tax and delivery.
Volume increases to an order may be made up to 9:30 am the day of delivery. Reductions to an order are not possible the day of your event due to our production schedule.
All cancellations less than one business day in advance of delivery will be charged in full. We will deliver the food at the specified time unless requested otherwise by the client. Large parties will require more than one business day notice depending on the size of their event. Please refer to our cancellation policy regarding events.
Standard Corporate Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner (Catering with disposables or simple rentals from 7:30 am to 5:00 pm)
Delivery to one central company drop off point. This is either a special room outside the elevators, the servery, or the main reception desk.
Delivery Charges are based on the following criteria:
- Distance traveled
- Heavy load-ins
- Client special requirements
- Loading dock availability
- Time of delivery
1. Delivery &/ or pickup in Zone 1- Downtown Core or NE quadrant.
- $12.50 for one way and nothing needs to be returned.
- $25.00 for two way if we need to come and pick up equipment
- After hours delivery Monday to Friday call for details.
2. Delivery &/ or pickup in Zone 2, outside downtown core, within 10km from our location
- $25.00 for one way and nothing needs to be returned.
- $50.00 for two way if we need to go back to collect any equipment.
- After hours delivery Monday to Friday call for details.
3. Delivery &/ or pickup in Zone 3, within 25km from our location
- $35.00 for one way and nothing needs to be returned.
- $70.00 for two way if we need to go back to collect any equipment.
- After hours delivery Monday to Friday call for details.
4. Delivery outside corporate limits please call for details.
Simply Elegant is committed to responsible management practices that provide a healthy and safe workplace for our employees and clients, and that safeguard the public while protecting the environment in which we work.
Our commitment includes:
- Complying with established occupational health and safety regulations and environmental laws;
- Integrating health, safety and environmental considerations into the way we conduct our business;
- Management setting an example and providing leadership in health and safety, setting health and safety policies and procedures and providing training and adequate resources to perform the job safely;
- Employees at all levels being responsible and accountable for the company’s health and safety. Active participation by everyone at all times, and in every job is necessary for the health and safety excellence Simply Elegant expects.
Planning – Assess potential health and safety hazards related to company activities; eliminate, minimize or mitigate adverse effects of operations.
Responsibility – Utilize facilities in a safe and responsible manner. This shall include development of procedures that support health and safety.
Communication – Maintain regular communications with employees and other stakeholders on health and safety matters.
Training – Provide education and training to support public and employee health and safety.
Performance – Set measurable targets and improve performance through an effective health and safety management system.
By fulfilling our safety, responsibilities and continually improving our Health and Safety Management System we will all share the benefits of a safe, healthy, and injury-free workplace.