Absolut Partners with The 519 and Gladstone House to Create Open Spaces for Canadians to Mix Differently

Partnership Features Pop-Up Experience, Educational Sessions, and Allyship Content Series

TORONTO, Nov. 22, 2021 /CNW/ – Today, Absolut launches a partnership with Gladstone House and The 519 aimed at helping Canadians open up: their minds, their circles, their perspectives, and their experiences. The goal? Foster communities across the country where regardless of gender expression, sexuality, race, ethnicity, ability, age, or religion, everyone is invited to mix together.

The new, Canada-wide campaign will kick off this week with Open House: a one-of-a-kind, pop-up out of Gladstone House – a cornerstone event space and hotel for Toronto’s queer community. Featuring three immersive rooms centred around unique bar experiences, Open House will draw in patrons by offering an inclusive and inviting atmosphere for all those who are willing to actively challenge their biases, mix differently, and be surprised at what’s possible.

Absolut believes that mixing it up can help enrich conversations, create lasting bonds, and open Canadians’ eyes to different viewpoints, but the brand also knows that polarization of social and cultural views are at their highest in Canada.1 As spaces which allow for the mixing of people, groups, and experiences, Absolut believes Canadian bars and restaurants are well placed to help alleviate this issue when they are open and inclusive for all. With this campaign, Absolut wants to reinforce to both patrons and the hospitality industry that we all play a part in fostering more inclusive environments for others, particularly for folks – including women and members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community – who may have felt excluded or intimidated within these spaces in the past. That’s why the brand is working to progress the ways in which Canadians interact within these spaces:

  • In partnership with The 519, Absolut is delivering 90-minute educational sessions to Absolut hospitality partners, equipping them with the necessary tools to help make their spaces feel more open and accepting of queer and Trans communities. These workshops and their resulting conversations will help Canada’s hospitality industry provide more welcoming environments where everyone can participate without fear of ridicule or ostracization.
  • To reinforce Absolut’s ongoing commitment to helping Canadians unlock what’s possible through mixing, the vodka brand is also partnering with diverse Canadian voices, including Scarlett Bobo @itsscarlettbobo (they/them/she/her), Jamie Pandit @justjamiep (she/her), and Allie & Sam @allieandsam (she/her). Amplifying their first-hand experiences to help educate audiences on allyship in all its forms, influencers will share tips for combatting hurtful viewpoints such as heteronormativity, cisnormativity, and gender stereotypes, inviting their followers to join the conversation, learn as a collective, and open up to more accepting ways of interacting with others.

“At Absolut, we believe that bars and restaurants can be places where we meet different people, experience new things, and ultimately, challenge pre-existing notions,” notes Aoife O’ Reilly (she/her), Senior Brand Manager, Absolut for Corby Spirit and Wine. “This campaign provides an opportunity for Canadians to mix in a completely new way, while offering the tools and support needed to create more open and inclusive environments for people of all walks of life.”

“We’re delighted to be partnering with Absolut to help advance more affirming spaces for 2SLGBTQ+ communities in bars and restaurants”, says Ashley McGhee (She/Her), Manager, Education & Training at The 519.  “The opportunity to engage with 2SLGBTQ+ folks and spaces such as Gladstone House, who have worked hard to provide welcoming spaces which expand beyond just the Village, has enabled The 519 to continue fostering more inclusive and celebratory spaces for gender and sexuality diverse communities on a national scale. We are excited to work with Absolut to continue this meaningful – and necessary – work, providing education and training to bar service staff across the country.”

“Inclusivity is at the forefront of Gladstone House, and we are pleased to be collaborating on such an innovative pop-up at the hotel,” shares Kieran Roberts (he/him), General Manager of Gladstone House. “We are continuously looking for new ways to bring arts and culture to West Queen West, ensuring that our community is represented. The hotel has a long-standing history of being a dedicated ally to the 2SLGBTQ+ community, and this continues to be a priority for us. The concept of Open House is exactly what we strive for at Gladstone House.”

Absolut’s Open House pop-up bar will run at Gladstone House from November 24th to December 5th, with a media-exclusive, kick-off event from 6:00pm to 8:00pm EST on Wednesday, November 24th, 2021.


About The 519Founded in 1975, The 519 is Canada’s most prominent 2SLGBTQ+ community centre and service provider. Committed to the health, happiness and full participation of the 2SLGBTQ+ communities, The 519 is a City of Toronto agency, and registered charity, with an innovative model of Service, Space and Leadership. The 519 strives to make a real difference in people’s lives, while working to promote inclusion, understanding and respect.About Corby Spirit and Wine LimitedCorby Spirit and Wine Limited is a leading Canadian manufacturer, marketer and distributor of spirits and wines. Corby’s portfolio of owned-brands includes some of the most renowned brands in Canada, including J.P. Wiser’s®, Lot 40®, and Pike Creek® Canadian whiskies, Lamb’s® rum, Polar Ice® vodka, McGuinness® liqueurs, Ungava® gin, Cabot Trail® maple-based liqueurs and Chic Choc® Spiced rum, and Foreign Affair® wines. Through its affiliation with Pernod Ricard S.A., a global leader in the spirits and wine industry, Corby also represents leading international brands such as ABSOLUT® vodka, Chivas Regal®, The Glenlivet® and Ballantine’s® Scotch whiskies, Jameson® Irish whiskey, Beefeater® gin, Malibu® rum, Kahlúa® liqueur, Mumm® champagne, and Jacob’s Creek®, Wyndham Estate®, Stoneleigh®, Campo Viejo®, and Kenwood® wines. Corby is a publicly traded company based in Toronto, Ontario, and listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the trading symbols CSW.A and CSW.

About Gladstone House

Located in the heart of West Queen West, Gladstone House is Toronto’s longest continually operating hotel and a cultural pillar within the city. Thoughtfully reimagined, the original architecture is preserved and contrasted with colourful contemporary artwork that embraces the building’s heritage and spirited community. The hotel welcomes both international travelers and local residents alike to experience an exchange of culture, perspectives and ideas. Home to the beloved Melody Bar Drag Brunch, Gladstone House has a long history of fostering a safe and inclusive space for the 2SLGBTQ+ community. For more information, please visit www.gladstonehouse.ca.

SOURCE: Corby Spirit and Wine Communications