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January 5, 2016

Australian Events Legend, David Grant, Dies in Sydney

david grant

The Australian events industry is mourning the passing of one of its great maestros. David Grant produced events across Australia and internationally in an outstanding career which spanned almost three decades.

He produced bespoke events for the incentive and conference markets as well as product launches, glamour fundraisers and sporting hospitality events which delighted and thrilled guests.

His clients ranged from high-end corporates like Hermes and Marie Claire, to government work including Bill Clinton’s 1996 visit to Australia, Olympic VIP hospitality for the IOC and major sponsors, and nine of the annual renowned Cointreau Balls in Sydney.  For a number of years, he ran an office in New York to service his U.S.-based clients, such as the Sports Illustrated Party for the Super Bowl.

Grant approached projects from a theatrical viewpoint, and dared to go where others hadn’t trod, blazing new ground. He was the first to light up whole buildings in Sydney, including the Opera House. He made one outdoor evening in Far North Queensland memorable by setting fire to the nearby cane field (this event won a SITE Crystal Award). On another occasion he provided dodgem cars for guests. The entrance for one glamour ball was via a slippery dip. 

As Grant said of his own company: “We don’t do ordinary or ‘good enough’ and we never repeat ourselves”. He took inspiration from everywhere – the worlds of fashion, theatre, television, art, food, music, anything that caught his idea and stoked his imagination.

Those who heard him speak at numerous industry events remember the rapid fire delivery and razor sharp wit as he shared his creative genius. He was exhilarating company, often irreverent in his approach, but always passionate about creating something different, something memorable.

Insightful, profane, hilarious, professional, unique, irrepressible, generous and sentimental are just some of the words used by the industry to describe Grant since his death.

An extraordinary 35 awards he received from industry, plus a Member of the Order of Australia from the government, attest to his remarkable body of work. 

David died at home of brain cancer aged 55 years on December 14 surrounded by his loving family. His loss is irreplaceable.


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About the Author: Elizabeth Rich





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