Legendary event producer and creative director, David Grant passed away at his home this morning, losing his battle with a brain tumour diagnosed earlier this year. He was 55.
David Grant has been hailed as one of Australia's greatest event producers internationally and at home. For 30 years his exceptional work took him to all corners of the globe for discerning clients in the arts, media, fashion, luxury, finance, sport, and political worlds.
His events were, and remain, the creative benchmarks in a very competitive industry. They included 9 of the 11 legendary Cointreau Balls, 10 consecutive Summer and Winter Olympics, Australia Days and President Clinton's official visit to Sydney in 1996. He was first to illuminate an Australian city when he lit nine buildings blue including the Opera House, Harbour Bridge and Centrepoint Tower for a perfume launch in 1990.
David won more than 35 industry awards including Meeting and Events Australia's "Australian Event Organiser of the Year" a record 10 times and he was made a member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2005 in the Queen’s birthday Australian Honours List, for services to the events industry and the Olympic movement.
He was the first known person to put dodgem cars in a ballroom. He won an international award for creating an underwater party complete with a white water rafting track down a six storey car park. He was the first to have a party on a floating pontoon, in a sewer, on a beach, in a jail.
Many claim to be "unique" characters, but David was, quite simply irrepressible and irreplaceable with a fearless sense of humour and irony.
Over the years he appeared on TV including The Block and "The Chopping Block", where he famously quipped that the restaurant he was reviewing "had all the charm and sense of welcoming of the waiting room at the Villawood Detention Centre".
David gave back to the industry by constantly taking time to speak at industry events, educational facilities and mentoring people who rang for advice weekly.
David is survived by his wife Katarina, four sons Seigfried, Max, Jack and Lewis, parents Bill and Maggie, brothers Michael and Peter, first wife, Lisa and a legion of admirers.