Fanshawe hosting interactive evenings at Budweiser Gardens

Header image for Interrobang article CREDIT: EMILY STEWART
Fanshawe College is sponsoring interactive evenings with special guests at Budweiser Gardens this fall. Dr. Phil, Michael Moore, and Gene Simmons are speaking on separate nights.

Fanshawe College is sponsoring the Interactive Evening series at Budweiser Gardens, with three events scheduled so far.

The Budweiser Gardens website scheduled events where Oscar and Emmy-winning director, political activist and writer Michael Moore, KISS frontman Gene Simmons, and Daytime talk show host Dr. Phil Mc- Graw will speak on separate nights.

Moore, known for documentaries like Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11, will be speaking on Sept. 29.

Simmons will stop by on Nov. 6. This will be a break for Simmons from the celebrated rock band’s End of the Road World tour, which is scheduled to end Dec. 19, as listed on the band’s website.

Dr. Phil will speak on Nov. 14, and his event’s page on the Budweiser Gardens website listed public speaker and REIN™ Ltd. president and managing partner Richard Dolan as the host of the evening.

Danielle Phillips, the marketing and graphic design coordinator at Budweiser Gardens, said that Concert Factory, an entertainment promoter, pitched the interactive evenings to the venue. She added Concert Factory decides how many of these events will run, along with who will speak at each interactive evening.

She added Fanshawe’s reputation is why Budweiser Gardens picked the college as a sponsor of these interactive series, which will feature a Q&A session with pre-approved questions.

“They’re definitely very involved and big in the community so we thought they would definitely be a good partner, especially with the shows that we have coming up,” she said. “It’s definitely a draw for some of the students to come and see some of those events.”

Dave Schwartz, the College’s executive director for reputation and brand management, said that along with the sponsorship, Fanshawe creates the digital signage and sponsors the London Knights team.

“The nice thing about it is Fanshawe got a tremendous amount of exposure for doing very little,” he said. “Which is great.”

Schwartz also said the sponsorship is valuable. In a follow-up email with Interrobang, he said the college sponsored $9,500 for each event’s main marketing.

He added the interactive evenings are “an extension” of the college’s rules on free speech because the events are off-campus.

“If they brought in a controversial speaker, I still think we’d support it as long as we got the value of the sponsorship,” he said. “That doesn’t mean the college agrees with the views of the speakers, even Michael Moore or Gene Simmons, ‘cause it is freedom of expression, so we support that.”

The Free Speech section of the College Policy Manual said the college encourages its members to share their ideas without worrying about backlash, “even if these are considered to be controversial or conflict with the views of some members of the college community”.

Ticket prices for the interactive evenings differ, depending on the night, on the Budweiser Gardens website. Prices for Moore and Simmons’ events range from $59.95 to $149.95 for general admission and $49.95 to $139.95 for students. Tickets to see Dr. Phil range from $75 to $225 for general admission, and $65 to $215 for students.

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