Meet Simply Elegant
Robert Vidra started a catering company in Calgary in 1996. Over time Simply Elegant grew into an all-in-one hospitality firm. This means that we have the resources to make your event a success from venue selection to event planning, catering, decorations, flowers, etc.
CEO and Owner
Robert is a certified chef and has worked in the hospitality industry for over 40 years. He founded Simply Elegant in 1996 in Calgary and designed each division to complement each others. Read posts by Robert.
Director of Food & Beverage
Mark began his career in the hospitality industry in 1988. In 1995 he received his Journeyman Red Seal in the Culinary Arts. Throughout the years Mark has worked for hotels, fine dining, and corporate restaurants. Read posts by Mark.
Eric, a chef apprentice since the age of 15 and the most recent addition to the team. As an executive chef Eric believes in the value of building a strong team by uplifting everyone’s strengths to balance out each other’s areas of growth. This is his commitment to our team and to your meals.
Event Production and Design
Jade has been active in event planning for both corporate and private functions since early 2006. In addition to years of related experience, Jade has pursued additional professional training and is a graduate of Mount Royal University’s Event Planner Certificate program. Read posts by Jade.
General & 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.
Ed (Electronic Engineer and MBA) 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.
Digital Marketing Manager
Alex has over 20 years of experience managing marketing campaigns through digital channels such as display, paid search and social media advertising. Alex has worked with Simply Elegant since 2012 and is responsible for website development and our online marketing efforts.
Our corporate customers
These are just a few of our corporate customers.
About the company
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 Calgary 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 CEOs of Calgary’s largest companies, designing a 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 for Calgarians. 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 a “Hospitality Firm” 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 through to the decorations, catering, entertainment, execution and clean up.
Starting in 2018 Simply Elegant ventured into it’s very first venue called Skyline; a one of a kind event venue situated on the 4th floor of the new Kensington Legion building. Then in 2020, partnered with the Calgary Shriners to create Waterfront Park (home of the Shriners). Since the very beginning Simply Elegant’s goal was to work with and develop robust community of great Calgarians.
Our team is still growing; always looking to the future and great possibilities.
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 in Calgary. 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 in Calgary, Alberta 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.
- We believe in doing the right thing even when it is not an easy thing.
- We believe business is earned and trust cannot be abused.
- Enlightenment through education brings out the best in us.
- We give an 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.
- Shriners of Calgary
- Médecins Sans Frontières HK / Doctors Without Borders (MSF)
- Canadian Red Cross
- David Suzuki Foundation
- World Wildlife Fund
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 Calgary, AB 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.
View all current positions below. We invite you to apply to become our team members. Please note that only qualified candidates will be contacted. Thank you for your interest!
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