Festival Site Wins Gold in International Competition

Small Halls Festival Website and MarCom Statuette


The Small Halls Festival is an annual, award-winning event in Ontario that brings together locals and visitors for great music, good food, and a celebration of rural heritage. 

In the Township of Clearview, community halls have been the heartbeat of rural life for generations. The award-winning Small Halls Festival celebrates that history with music performances and farm-to-table dinners, as well as family activities like chicken races, hikes, improv shows and bowling nights.

This year marks the Festival's 15th anniversary. The Township wanted a new website to better reflect the fun, high-spirited atmosphere and to make it easier for staff to update event details on the fly.


Reimagining the website

Our goal for the new website was to create a warm, welcoming feel that communicates the Festival's energy and the Township’s strong sense of community. We spoke with staff to hear their ideas and pinpoint challenges with the older website, and leveraged insights from building the the Township's main website. Our design team created a vibrant look for the festival site that is accessible, highly functional, and made for mobile.

Capturing the festival atmosphere

Images and video on the new website immerse users in the feeling of the festival and show tourists what they can expect when they attend. We enjoyed the challenge of creating an appealing, highly visual website that still meets Ontario's accessibility requirements and provides a great experience for those users who are visually impaired.

Creating an easy-to-use platform

We balanced gorgeous visuals with helpful tools for people to find, share and buy tickets for events. The goal was to build a clear and simple platform that anyone, from young kids to great-grandparents, can navigate easily. Useful filters (like the option to find free events) and handy buttons (like the Buy Tickets button, featured on every page) make sure people can quickly access the information they need.

Updating the site on the fly

Event details can change quickly, and up-to-date information keeps Festival-goers happy. Our team developed the interface so that staff have the power to quickly and easily adjust website content. We focused on making edits simple and intuitive, so that staff can update the website from their phone in a dark music venue.

This fun collaboration with Township staff led to a great outcome. The new website strikes a balance between usability and high-impact visuals that bring the feeling of the Festival online, attracting tourism and celebrating local culture. 

Take a minute to explore the new Small Halls Festival site, which just won gold in the international MarCom Awards!

October 25th, 2019
Disclaimer: Our team members contribute to this blog in their own voices. As such, opinions expressed in this post are not necessarily shared by Upanup. If you are curious or concerned, please contact us.