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Andre De Grasse 19.62 signature wine launch

Andre De Grasse, with his six Olympic medals, is among the most decorated male Olympians in Canadian history. On Sept. 20 in Toronto, the sprint icon launched a limited-edition wine, with a splashy party at Casa Loma to celebrate.

De Grasse partnered with Niagara-on-the-Lake winery Pillitteri Estates on the vino, which is aptly named 19.62, De Grasse’s gold-medal-winning time from the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Just 6,000 bottles of the 2020 vintage are being released, with a portion of proceeds going to the Andre De Grasse Family Foundation. Launched in 2018, the namesake foundation supports young people through varied sports and education initiatives, as well as supports health care, namely SickKids Caribbean Initiative, a collaboration between the Toronto hospital and seven facilities in the Caribbean.

Canada’s fastest man kicked off the evening stationary, with an on-stage conversation with fellow World Champion 4x100m relay team members Aaron Brown, Jerome Blake and Brendon Rodney. The four men discussed their paths to victory, underscoring the importance of precision and trust. After a quick live auction (funds from which also supported the foundation), it was party time. De Grasse mixed with the crowd of stylish party-goers, who packed the castle’s panelled library and atrium. A performance by songwriter and rapper TOBi and music by DJ Charlie B kept guests moving well into the night. Among them were Canada’s most decorated Olympian, swimmer Penny Oleksiak; TSN’s Kayla Grey who served as emcee; fashion influencer Christian Thompson; Toronto Raptors star OG Anunoby; and singer/songwriter k-os.

  • Jay Stephenson, left, Christian Thompson and Kayla Grey.Nick Lee and Brian de Rivera Simon/Handout

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ONE LIFE Gala

A total of $400,000 was raised on Sept. 24 in Toronto at the inaugural One Life gala, an evening in support of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre’s Magic Castle. The beloved play area – which also provides annual childcare for around 1,000 kids of patients undergoing cancer treatment – is the only program of its kind in an adult cancer centre in Canada. The funds raised will support a major much-needed renovation of the space.

Gone at this latest gathering was a traditional sit-down dinner. In its place was a casual fete and cocktail party with passed food and performances. Peppered in throughout the evening were remarks, notably from event chair Tina Tehranchian, senior wealth advisor with Assante Wealth Management (the evening’s presenting sponsor), and Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation CEO Miyo Yamashita. On-stage, tributes were made to seven prominent cancer survivors, among them politician Olivia Chow, singer Annie Ramos, journalist Libby Znaimer and Neville Kirchmann, the former Coca-Cola Canada president, who served as gala honorary co-chair alongside his wife, Lorraine. There were performances as well, by the aforementioned soprano Annie Ramos, who was joined on stage by Robert Ball, Valerie Stanois and Emily Hau. Among the 300 out at the sold-out inaugural do: Assante Wealth Management president Sean Etherington; fashion and finance type Lily Li; event sponsor Jennifer Pearlman; and creative director of the fashion label Narces, Nikki Wirthensohn Yassemi.

  • Simon and Kelly Rosen.Ryan Emberley/The Globe and Mail

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