Power Ball, one of Toronto’s more raucous fundraisers, turns 20 on May 31. While its generous bar means most attendees can’t look back on the past decade of bashes with much clarity, its creative installations are usually the most memorable part of the evening.
The team behind this year’s event enlisted Bompas & Parr, a London-based duo known for off-the-wall food art and other multisensory experiences, to take this year’s fete to the next level. “Curating a Flavour Fun Fair is a task few are fit for but we were born for,” says Sam Bompas, one half of the pair. He’s referencing this year’s theme, Carousal, which will reimagine the concept of a carnival. “Our approach will very much be ‘the art of the party,’ taking the bacchanal and elevating it to a place of reverence but also pleasure.”
According to Harry Parr, they have a unique recipe for creating the kind of energy that makes a get-together legendary: “Too many people to physically fit in the space, a powerful theme and some essential elements, which you can treat like a checklist: interesting drinks, live animals, an element of nudity and music over 85 decibels,” he says. “It has been scientifically proven that the music needs to be at least this loud if anyone is to dance.”
Here, they’ve simplified their unique approach for at-home entertaining.
1. Artsy chocolates
“High-impact bites are a winner. Serve something with colour and panache – if you’re serving something that everyone has eaten before, you’re spoiling their appetite without impressing them.”
Ziggy Stardust Disco Egg, $50, and assorted chocolates, $22.50 for a set of nine at CXBO.
2. Homemade gin
“Making your own liquor is an impressive and inexpensive trick and the equipment required creates a great alchemic lab feel.”
Stainless-steel alcohol infusion vessel, $74.99 at Cocktail Emporium.
3. Fruit cups
“Hollow out bits of fruit like pineapples, melons and pumpkins. Freeze them to use as massive glasses at the party. Tropical!”
Mini seedless watermelon, $4.99 at Sobey’s.
4. Handwritten invitations
“We’ve lost the art of writing and delivering invitations to our guests. Send them a hard copy and they’ll know you’re serious. You can get creative with the copy to tease out themes and what to expect.”
Carousel pop-up card, $7.95, Ferris wheel pop-up card, $9.95 at Hanji Gifts (hanjigifts.com). Ferris Wheel Press Brush fountain pen and Rohrer & Klinger iron gall ink, $183 at ferriswheelpress.com.
“Make sure you have a fog machine handy. Why shouldn’t your party employ the elements of a film set or rock band arena tour? If the fog machine is out of reach, try incense for a similar smoky haze.”
Concrete Cat incense + ash, $135 at Tokyo Smoke.
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