Diary of the Week: Evening with Canada's Stars, H&M Home, ACTRA, Anti-Bullying and AMBI

By Jessica Pollack, Alex Cramer and Nicole Harvie

The excitement of Oscar weekend was nearing a fever pitch as a host of homegrown talents gathered at the stunning Four Seasons hotel in Los Angeles for An Evening with Canada's Stars. Hosted by Telefilm Canada, the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television and the Consulate General of Canada, presenters like Adam Beach and Emmanuelle Chriqui mingled with the likes of Sarah Rafferty, David Sutcliffe and a red suit-clad Jacob Tremblay (perfectly coordinated with a pair of Mounties!). "I think we just do it for the work," said Eugene Levy, one of the night's Academy Legacy Award winners. "We do it because it’s fun and when you get recognized for it, it’s really the icing on the cake." His partner in crime on Schitt's Creek and fellow winner Catherine O'Hara agreed, and revealed the Canuck habit she just can't shake: "I can’t stop saying eh. E-H. It’s nice, eh? Always."

Toronto influencers met at the mall - the Eaton Centre, to be exact - for the splashy unveiling of its revamped H&M store. At a whopping 57,000 square feet, it clocks in as one of the brand's ten largest flagships in the world, and such a momentous reveal called from some star power, which came in the form of a DJ set by Orange is the New Black star Taryn Manning and a live set by Juno nominee Alessia Cara, whose performance was visible from outside the store on two newly installed LED video screens. As fashionable faces mingled and sipped cocktails, they were also treated to a first look at the store's new home section, the only one in Canada.


The Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA) assembled a who's who of the Great White North's media power players for its annual awards ceremony, honouring talents like Sarah Gadon (Award of Excellence), who brought her parents as her dates; Oscar winner Christopher Pummer (Best Performance Male), whose award was accepted by Robert Lantos; and Catherine O'Hara (Best Performance Female), who was under the weather and accepted via hilarious video address. As cocktails turned to the main event and then a dance party into the wee hours, actors like newly married Rossif Sutherland, Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany, Connor Jessup of American Crime and Tara Spencer-Nairn caught up with their colleagues and toasted the evening's big winners.

Anti-bullying advocate and former BacheloretteKaitlyn Bristowe joined a sea of 200 pink-clad influencers at Vancouver’s Blue Water Café for the Pink Shirt Day Ladies Luncheon, presented by the CKNW Orphan’s Fund and Coast Capital Savings. As dynamic emcee duo Fiona Forbes and Karen Khunkhun spouted the message that “kindness is one size fits all,” the stylish crowd good-heartedly outbid one another on auction items like Absolute Spa packages and a private makeover experience for 10 at Holt Renfrew. Over divine west coast dishes, Bristowe candidly shared personal stories of the cyberbullying she experienced since her rise to fame. An impressive $60,000 was raised in support of anti-bullying and violence-prevention programs, and Coast Capital Savings will donate $1 for each use of the hashtag #pinkitforward to say something nice about someone else.

While a stylish crowd gathered for a very exciting announcement, one of the night's most anticipated faces was nowhere in sight. Ambi Gala co-founder Andrea Iervolino explained via video message that he had missed his flight hot on the heels of the Italian Film Festival in LA, where honourees included Lady Gaga. One of the hottest tickets during TIFF last year, the inaugural gala brought Prince Albert II of Monaco, Martin Short and Diana Ross, among others. As guests sipped Grey Goose cocktails, it was revealed that this year's event is set to be equally star-studded, with Martin Short returning as host and none other than Aretha Franklin scheduled to perform. If that wasn't exciting enough, the September festivities will benefit Children's Aid Foundation and UforChange.

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