Without bees there would be no almonds and therefore, no Silk almond beverage in your feel-good breakfast moment. Knowing that the flowering roads pollinators rely on to get around and pollinate are in decline in urban areas, Silk Canada and Carl Social Club collaborated with Pollinator Partnership Canada and various merchants to launch an innovative corporate social responsibility (CSR) program that helps travelling pollinators safely from one green space to another with the Silk Bee Line along Place de Castelnau, in Montreal.
Inaugurated in celebration of World Bee Day in the spring, with free vanilla cold brew lattes made by local coffee shop Larue & Fils, the brightly coloured route featured fresh pollinator-friendly flower planters with buzzy facts on bees, bee hotels for our fuzzy friends to rest along the way, and a pollinator-inspired ground mural created by Canadian artists Marc-Olivier Lamothe and Cath Laporte spanning three blocks (that is, over 220 m long).
“Silk proudly stands as an agent for change in supporting pollinators, as reflected in the first and only Bee Friendly Farming® Certified almond beverage in Canada. We wanted to develop a social program that would amplify this environmental responsibility and encourage Canadians to become part of the story. The idea of helping our urban pollinators along their way through a city with a physical route made perfect sense,” says Jean-François Morin, VP Creative at Carl Social Club.
The vibrant visuals adorned all the activation touchpoints – billboards, bee line signage, through social and via a localized partnership with The Weather Network, and even 15,000 pollinator-friendly wildflower seeds distributed in the Villeray community for passersby to help the bee line grow, creating a unified look and feel that attracts locals and visitors (pollinators included), bringing awareness to the issue and empowering the community in a friendly and upbeat way.
Local merchants joined the movement and received bee-friendly flower boxes to put in front of their store all summer long in order to feed the pollinators and help them move around. Carl further empowered the community’s voice, collaborating with three Montreal-based social media creators to produce a series of content on pollinator health and the launch of the Bee Line. This content educated on Silk’s values and shared tips on how Canadians could do their part at home to support pollinators. In Toronto, partner content creators created a series of IG stories that launched on Pollinator Week (June 19), raising awareness of Silk’s commitment to regenerative farming practices.
“Silk is dedicated to supporting our pollinators and we wanted to create something in Canada that would make a meaningful difference and encourage Canadians to also do their part.” says Fiona O’Brien, Marketing Director, Danone Canada.
The collaborative community initiative worked with local partners to deepen its impact including: Pollinator Partnership Canada, Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension neighborhood, Society of Développement Commercial du Quartier Villeray, Place de Castelnau merchants, Café Larue & Fils – De Castelnau, visual artists Marc-Olivier Lamothe and Catherine Laporte, Pattison, and Université de Montréal.
The bee-friendly campaign had an amplified presence across Canada with 95 bee hotels placed on OOH billboards in key urban areas in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver – a continuation of Silk Canada’s pollinator health research project in partnership with Pattison and the Université de Montréal.
To find out about how you or your organization can become involved in similar CSR initiatives, visit: https://pollinatorpartnership.ca/
Featured image credit: Silk Canada.