Bloor Street Entertains
The evening of Nov. 30 saw the 26th edition of Bloor Street Entertains. Dinners popped up in shops, hotels and galleries in and around Toronto’s Yorkville neighbourhood and together raised north of $1.4-million. The multivenue gathering is CANFAR’s most important annual fundraiser, and this year it was held on the eve of World AIDS Day under the theme of (rather, more of a call to action) “Let’s end HIV in Canada once and for all.” The funds raised will support exactly that, CANFAR’s continued quest to end the HIV epidemic in Canada through research, awareness building programs focused on prevention and testing, and ending stigma. BMO was back as the presenting sponsor, and there on co-chair duties was the bank’s vice-chair in investment and corporate banking, the Hon. Scott Brison, his husband Maxime St-Pierre and fashion plate Candice Sinclair.
Following the string of dinners given at more than 20 locals including Louis Vuitton, the Webster, Christian Louboutin, the Gardiner Museum, Tiffany & Co. and the Hazelton Hotel (host of yours truly), supporters gathered for the after party at the Four Seasons Hotel. Drag sensation Brooke Lynn Hytes performed for the crowd of 400 or so (more than 600 attended in total), there was music, there were gold painted dancers on plinths and a general feeling of thrills and frills. Also in attendance: Andrew Pringle, chair of the CANFAR board of directors, and fellow board members including Leeanne Weld Kostopoulos, Sylvia Mantella and Notisha Massaquoi; Catherine Nugent, who was among the founders of the event in the late 1980s; Toronto Symphony Orchestra CEO Mark Williams and his husband Joseph Castellano; BMO’s head of community giving Nada Ristich; plastic surgeon Dr. Trevor Born; hairdresser Jie Matar; three generations of McCains including the Hon. Margaret, Scott and Jen; and of course, CANFAR CEO Alex Filiatrault.
Canada’s Walk of Fame Gala
Dec. 3 would see Toronto’s sprawling Beanfield Centre as the backdrop for an 800 person black-tie gala and awards ceremony to honour Canada’s Walk of Fame 2022 inductees. The gala and ceremony is the national not-for-profit’s most important evening, a celebration of Canadian achievement in myriad disciplines, chief among them arts, entertainment and sport but also humanitarianism, philanthropy and science. Notably, the organization also works with young Canadians, through a series of programs, such as the RBC Emerging Musician Program which aims to nurture Canada’s next-gen talent.
Among those on stage during the evening was Yuliya Kovaliv, Ukraine’s Ambassador to Canada who was on hand to honour philanthropist James Temerty; author Margaret Atwood to honour Indigo executive chair Heather Reisman; Olympic medalist Andre De Grasse recognized the late Lionel Conacher and there to celebrate honouree Deborah Cox were singers Melanie Fiona, Glenn Lewis and James Baley and drag performers Tynomi Banks and Jada Shada Hudson. In the audience cheering on the lineup (the show airs nationally Dec. 17 on CTV) was former prime minister Stephen Harper and his wife Laureen; Linda and David Frum (who’s mum Barbara was being honoured); Ontario Poet Laureate Randell Adjei; the legendary Buffy Sainte-Marie; and Jeffrey Latimer, CEO of Canada’s Walk of Fame.