By Amoryn Engel
Project Sunshine Canada’s Eighth Annual Ball was an evening full of fun and inspiration. Patrons were treated a different kind of gala at the Four Seasons Toronto where, instead of a formally seated dinner, scenesters enjoyed drinks and a strolling supper in cool lounges where everyone could mix and mingle. Dozens of auction items on offer kept guests busy and crooner Sean Jones charmed his way through the room full of lovelies. Project Sunshine is a non-profit organization that provides free educational, recreational and social programs for children and families facing medical challenges. The highlight of the night was hearing from the absolutely beautiful Eloise McIntosh, who could speak to the impact that these programs have had on her and her family. An inspiring night all around!
What many thought was the 29th annual Writers’ Trust Gala was actually an amazing birthday celebration for Canadian icon Margaret Atwood, at 75 years young. A who’s who of Canadian arts, business and society attended the seated dinner, which featured a Canadian writer at every table. A surprise rendition of “Happy Birthday” was performed by the Doane school, led by performance artist Melanie Doane. Atwood said in a brief thank-you speech afterwards that it was a wonderful surprise, and acknowledged that it’s very difficult to surprise her. She also said that she felt so celebrated on her birthday that “it’s a great encouragement to me to turn 75 as often as possible.” She noted that the need for an organization that financially supports Canadian writers is even greater now than it was when she and four other writers founded the Writers’ Trust of Canada in 1976. Proceeds from the event, which exceeded $200,000, fund the programs and initiatives of the Writers’ Trust, including ten national literary awards, a grant for writers in financial crisis and the Berton House Writers’ Retreat.
It’s not every night that the best of Bloor-Yorkville’s boutiques, museums and restaurants open their fashionable doors after-hours. But then, this wasn’t an ordinary evening; it was time to kick off the festive season with the annual Bloor Street Entertains. Toronto’s mink mile came together to host a unique dining experience for boldface names looking to make a difference in the fight against HIV & AIDS. Revellers then “crashed” the Crystal at the ROM for an after-party that certainly entertained.
Our Society Editor, Amoryn Engel, keeps you updated on Canada’s most exclusive events (and the movers and shakers who attend them) here and on Twitter: @amoryn.