TIFF 2016: The splashy parties sure to draw A-list crowds

By Sarah Walker

Aside from the films, a big part of the Toronto International Film Festival is the parties. Each year, there are dozens of splashy events that see celebrities mix and mingle with each other and a select group of industry heavyweights and influencers. Many of the events raise funds for charity and several feature big-name performances.

This year is no different. In fact, TIFF 2016 is shaping up to be a year of unique bashes. While some are more intimate, others are so star-studded they're likely to be talked about for weeks to come.

Here are the most covetable tickets in town this TIFF!

AMBI Gala

When: Wednesday, Sept. 7
Where: The Ritz-Carlton, 55 Simcoe St.
Why: Hosted by the AMBI Group's co-founders - Italian-Canadian film producer Andrea Iervolino and businesswoman, producer and philanthropist Lady Monika Bacardi - this event will raise funds for Children’s Aid Foundation and UforChange. Earth, Wind & Fire and The Tenors are set to perform, while James Franco, Martin Short and William Baldwin will be part of the evening's formal program. Pamela Anderson, Mike Tyson, Danny Glover, Paul Sorvino and Heidi Klum are also set to attend.

Legendary singer Diana Ross performed at last year's gala.

Maison Moët

When: Thursday, Sept. 8 & Friday, Sept. 9
Where: 111 King St. E.
Why: If you want to sip on something like the stars, this is the bash to try to get into! Presented by Moët & Chandon, it will feature A-list DJs Hannah Bronfman and Jason Palma who will keep the dance floor full of celebs all night long.

Producers Ball Presented by Fandango

When: Friday, Sept. 9
Where: IT House x Producers Ball, 128 Peter Street
Why: This annual event hosted by Drew and Jonathan Scott celebrates the behind-the-scenes work producers do to make films happen. Directors, celebs and other media are also expected to attend.

Bungalow 8 Pop Up at The Rooftop Lounge

When: September 8, 9 & 10
Where: Thompson Hotel, 550 Wellington St. W.
Why: The tight-lipped pop-up nightclub at Thompson’s Rooftop Lounge, Bungalow 8 was a legendary nightspot in NYC popular with celebrities for its private discretion. This year, it's coming to Toronto for a third year. In 2015, Idris Elba, Darren Aronofsky, Cary Fukunaga, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Luke Evans, Donald Glover and Zachary Levi attended.

InStyle Gala

When: Saturday, Sept. 10
Where: Windsor Arms, 18 St. Thomas St.
Why: A staple of the TIFF circuit, the annual InStyle Gala returns to the Windsor Arms for another year. This is always one of the most star-studded events of the festival because it draws Hollywood heavyweights looking to get away from the public spotlight.

Property Brothers Drew and Jonathan Scott return as hosts in 2016.

Entertainment Weekly Must List Party

When: Saturday, Sept. 10
Where: Thompson Hotel, 550 Wellington St. W.
Why: This is the second year for this incredibly popular party, though details on what's happening are scant (organizers don't want too many secrets leaked about the event!). Last year, the festival's biggest stars swung by the party, including Sandra Bullock, Tom Hiddleston, Julianne Moore, Emily Blunt and Brie Larson.

Bovet 1822 Artists for Peace and Justice 2016 Festival Fair

When: Sunday, Sept. 11
Where: Casa Loma, 1 Austin Terrace
Why: This annual benefit marks its eighth year at the film festival, as usual raising funds and awareness for Paul Haggis’ Artists for Peace and Justice (APJ). This year's co-hosts include Maria Bello, Jeremy Renner, Catherine Keener and Maxwell, while APJ board members Paul Haggis, Pascal Raffy, George Stroumboulopoulos and more will attend.

Hello! Canada's 10th Anniversary Red Carpet Soirée

When: Sunday, Sept. 11
Where: Thompson Toronto Lobby Bar and Rooftop, 550 Wellington St. W.
Why: This event is one of the hottest tickets in town for international and Canadian talent as they take in sweeping city views from the Thompson Toronto rooftop and sip cocktails in the Lobby Bar. The fete celebrates both the festival and the Canadian publishing brand's 10th anniversary.

Shannon Tweed and Sophie Tweed-Simmons at a previous Hello! Canada TIFF bash.

BIRKS Diamond Tribute to the Year's Women in Film

When: Monday, Sept. 12
Where: Shangri-La, 188 University Ave.
Why: Each year, Telefilm Canada and Birks pay tribute to 12 Canadian women in film at a swanky tribute event that sparkles and shines. The 2016 honourees of the Birks Diamond Tribute to the Year’s Women in Film are directors Tracey Deer, Ann Marie Fleming, April Mullen, Léa Pool and Ann Shin; actors Amanda Crew, Caroline Dhavernas, Christine Horne, Sandra Oh and Jennifer Podemski; as well as scriptwriters Emma Donoghue and Marie Vien.

The Canada Party at TIFF 2016

When: Monday, Sept. 12
Where: The Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen St. W.
Why: This is the ultimate, unapologetically Canadian party to celebrate homegrown filmmakers during TIFF. Guests of honour will include talent who have a film in the festival and Canadian filmmakers/actors who have contributed to the film industry both north and south of the border. A strict "no posers, just hosers" policy will be in effect.

Festival Music House

When: Monday, Sept. 12
Where: Velvet Underground, 508 Queen St. W.
Why: This year marks the seventh year for this invite-only Canadian music showcase. The event gives celebs in town an opportunity to this nation's wealth of world-class musical talent. Hosted by Kardinal Offishall, the 2016 edition will feature live performances by Dragonette, Jessy Lanza, Charlotte Day Wilson and Modern Space.

Hugo Boss Post-Premiere Cocktail for La La Land

When: Monday, Sept. 12
Where: Lavelle, 627 King St. W.
Why: La La Land is, arguably, the hottest movie in town for TIFF, and it stars two of the most beloved stars in Hollywood: Emma Stone and Canadian Ryan Gosling. They'll swing by this event alongside their co-star John Legend.

Emma and Ryan will be fêtedat the La La Land party.

SAG-AFTRA & ACTRA's 'Celebration of Cinema' TIFF Event

When: Monday, Sept. 12
Where: Thompson Hotel, 550 Wellington St. W.
Why: Exclusively for ACTRA and SAG-AFTRA members, this red-carpet soiree will welcome top talent from both Canada and Hollywood.

Mongrel House

When: Throughout the festival
Where: Campbell House Museum, 160 Queen St. West
Why: Each night throughout the festival, Mongrel Media will present programming and entertainment for a select group of filmmakers and talent that star in their films. Top titles this year include Black Code, ELLE, Mostly Sunny, The Rehearsal and Window Horses.

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