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From top left, clockwise: Canadian philanthropists Tanner Kidd, Jen McCain, Meghan Yuri Young, Sage Paul and Barbara Frum.Carlyle Routh

It’s tempting to call this new generation of philanthropically minded women the next “glitter girls” (we photographed them in some pretty brilliant examples of holiday trousers and skirts, after all). But what sets this group apart from their fundraising and awareness-raising forebears is an approach that prioritizes inclusivity and advocacy as much as schmoozing and pizzaz. So it’s not surprising that they’re full of inspiring ideas for how you too can do good this season.

The looks

On Tanner Kidd: No. 21 shirt, $978 at George C. (georgec.ca). Dries Van Noten skirt, $1,385 at Holt Renfrew (holtrenfrew.com). Zvelle shoes, $375 through zvelle.com.

On Barbara Frum: Marc Jacobs tuxedo shirt, $415, Alexander Wang dress, $1,255 at Saks Fifth Avenue (saksfifthavenue.com). Trousers, $124 at Banana Republic (bananarepublic.com). Lisa Corbo ring, $450 at George C. Zvelle shoes, $395 through zvelle.com.

On Jen McCain: L’Agence shirt, $480 at Intermix (intermixonline.com). Rag and Bone trousers, $565 at Nordstrom (nordstrom.com). House of Lafayette hat, $498 at George C.

On Sage Paul: T Alexander Wang shirt, $320 at Intermix. Hillary Macmillan trousers, $295 at Hudson’s Bay (thebay.com). Melody Ehsani earrings, $70 at Nordstrom. Zvelle bootes, $515 through zvelle.com.

On Meghan Yuri Young: Comme des Garcons top, $695 at Holt Renfrew. Eliza Faulkner skirt, $270 through elizafaulkner.com. Patricia Wong earrings, price on request through patriciawong.com. Biko neckalce (worn as bracelet), $325 through ilovebiko.com. L’Intervalle boots, $228 through lintervalleshoes.com.

Jen McCain

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Carlyle Routh

“I remember my grandparents introducing the idea of giving back at a very early age,” says Jen McCain, granddaughter of McCain Foods Limited co-founder Wallace McCain. “I remember going to a ballet performance when I was new to Toronto, maybe age 7 or 8,” the New Brunswick-born twenty-something says. “And remember thinking, ‘Wow, that is something I will never be able to do, but I have a true appreciation for.’”

McCain, who is founder and president of investment and holding firm Irie Capital Corporation, is a member of Canada’s National Ballet School’s board of directors and is active in the organization’s First Position Young Patrons group. McCain also co-chaired the ballet school’s 2016 gala alongside her grandmother, Margaret McCain, a noted philanthropist and the first woman to serve as lieutenant-governor of New Brunswick. “It was something that was really important to both of us, to show the transition of a cause and how two generations can be supportive of it,” she says.

When it comes to her generation, giving back matters. “I think it’s very millennial,” she says. “A social mandate is so much a part of everything that we do and it’s part of our natural thought process on a daily basis.” McCain feels fundraising doesn’t have to only focus on the glitzy gala circuit but can “become part of day to day life.”

McCain, who also raises funds for Save My Scruff, a dog rescue charity in Toronto, and is a member of Human Rights Watch’s LGBT Global Circle, is a style disruptor, too. “I started to appear more [socially] when I was more comfortable with myself,” she says. “Before, when I would go to a gala that was synonymous with traditional formal wear that was feminine, I didn’t identify with it. But as soon as I found my own section of the wardrobe, then I wanted to go out and shake things up.”

Suggested Donation

$300 for two tickets to the Young Patron’s Reception at Canada’s National Ballet School annual gala on March 7, 2019, which will be Glam Rock themed. For more information, visit nbs-enb.ca.

Shirt, $95, trousers, $95 at Banana Republic (bananarepublic.com). Dries Van Noten shoes, $995 at Specchio (specchioshoes.com).

Barbara Frum

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Carlyle Routh

For dance manager and producer Barbara Frum, making connections comes naturally. “It’s fun for me to put people in a room and see what happens. What’s the worst that could happen? They don’t have a good time? They’ll get over it!” she says with a smile during our interview at SoHo House Toronto.

The endlessly energetic Frum, who has served on committees for the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, the National Ballet and the Canadian Opera Company (“basically all the big ones”), splits her time these days between New York and Los Angeles. “It comes with major responsibility,” she says of that well-known name she shares with her late journalist grandmother, Barbara Frum, whom she never had the chance to meet. “I have Barbara’s book on my nightstand and I look at it all the time,” she says. “It’s not about being competitive or feeling any pressure, but there’s a certain level of respect and honour.”

On matters of style, she says she’s a firm believer in a uniform and notes her predilection for pantsuits. “I always thought people would take me more seriously in a blazer," she says. "So the pants and blazer has become my thing.”

Frum speaks with the unbridled confidence of youth. “My value is in ideas,” she says of what she brings to her work – and what she would like to see more of in fundraising. What she doesn’t like is being looked at with, “a dollar sign on my head or as someone who will have a dollar sign in the future – there’s no fun in this exchange, it feels transactional.” Frum wishes more established institutions were interested in the energy a new generation can bring. “One thing I do have is energy,” she says.

Suggested donation

$1,000 for a spot on the Patron’s Circle of the Fall for Dance North festival, Canada’s premier international dance festival. For more information, visit ffdnorth.com.

Rag and Bone blouse, $465 at Nordstrom (nordstrom.com). Milly trousers, $560 at Saks Fifth Avenue (saksfifthavenue.com). Lisa Corbo bracelet, $950 at George C (georgec.ca). Zvelle heels, $535 through zvelle.com.

Meghan Yuri Young

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Carlyle Routh

A photo of a tray of slightly beaten up oranges, with a grocer’s label reading “not the best but still good” and a price tag of 99 cents, was recently posted to the Instagram account @TheSadCollective. The initiative, run by writer and blogger Meghan Yuri Young, helps normalize the way we discuss mental health on and offline.

Yuri Young did a double major in English and psychology at the University of Toronto, but it wasn’t until she found herself in the throes of a divorce that a serious interest in mental health emerged and her two areas of study aligned. “I don’t suffer from clinical depression, but for almost two years I was definitely depressed and I was grieving,” Yuri Young says to me over the phone from her Toronto home. She says all the “sun will shine again”-style language that litters the web in hopes of spurring self-help made her want to scream at times. That’s why the Sad Collective’s motto has always been, “It’s okay not to be okay.”

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health reached out three years ago to ask Sad Collective to headline its annual Canada-wide One Brave Night fundraiser, and since then, speaking engagements and spots on panels have followed, keeping Yuri Young active and on Toronto’s social scene. “I think there needs to be more inclusion and diversity,” she says of the society circuit, highlighting her interest in dry events, especially when fundraising for mental health.

Yuri Young feels more and more people of her generation are looking to grassroots organizations and more accessible fundraisers to raise money and awareness, but notes that the prospect of getting dressed up for a swish gathering remains alluring. “I really like to make a statement – and I’m not afraid to make one.”

Suggested Donation

Any amount to Skylark, a Toronto-based charity dedicated to serving children, youth and families who are struggling with complex mental health needs and offers walk-in clinics with counselling services free of charge. For more information, visit skylarkyouth.org.

Greta Constantine hoodie, price on request by special order through gretaconstantine.com. Greta Constantine skirt, $1,245 at By Tocca (bytocca.ca). Biko earrings, $95 through ilovebiko.com.

Tanner Kidd

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Carlyle Routh

“My nightmare is when someone says they have a wall they need to fill,” budding interior designer Tanner Kidd says to me in the living room of her Toronto home. Design by collaboration is her mantra and approach. “I love the collecting aspect of design. I don’t think that a room is ever done,” she says. “If it feels done, then maybe you’re not in motion.”

While the spaces Kidd conceives are unfussy and her taste in art decidedly contemporary, her style of dress tilts to the traditional, with a wardrobe punctuated with classic frocks fit for fundraisers from established labels such as Carolina Herrera, Oscar de la Renta and Wayne Clark. “I love an evening dress and I love the idea of black tie,” she says. “I love traditional, but I think you can be contemporary too, and excel at both."

Toronto’s art community is where Kidd, whose mother and grandmother are both active collectors, feels most connected and is focusing her fundraising energy. Kidd, who put together a table at the recent Canadian Art Foundation Gala, has joined the the Power Plant’s Circle of Contemporaries, and is a member of the organizing committee for a 40th anniversary fundraiser for Mercer Union, an artist run gallery space and centre in Toronto. “I want to help with Mercer Union because I believe in Mercer Union. I’m not gala hopping, that’s for sure."

“I only want to go to a gala if I’m interested in the cause,” she says, citing the National Ballet of Canada’s annual fundraiser, Mad Hot Ballet, as a favourite to do. "I actually go to the ballet.”

Suggested Donation

$350 for a one year Circle of Contemporaries membership at The Power Plant. For more information, visit thepowerplant.org.

Victoria Victoria Beckham shirt, $455 at Holt Renfrew (holtrenfrew.com). KaelaKay skirt, $189 through kaelakay.com. Patricia Wong earrings, price on request through patriciawong.ca. Lisa Corbo necklace, $450 at George C. (georgec.ca).

Sage Paul

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Carlyle Routh

When I reach Sage Paul via telephone, the fashion designer and artist, who is transforming the way we see Indigenous design, is in in Calgary for Otahpiaaki Fashion Week to speak on a panel about cultural appropriation. She is also presenting her fashion work, which although contemporary at first glance, is rooted in old practices. “It’s a focus of mine to use what I’m gifted and use the teachings that I’m given,” she says.

Paul, an urban Dene woman and a member of English River First Nation, was born in Toronto and studied fashion at George Brown College. This year, she participated in the first installment of Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto (IFWTO), for which she serves as founder and artistic director. “I wasn’t expecting it to be as big as it was,” she says. “The visibility was huge, and once it happened we realized that we had created a platform that was so important for Indigenous designers and for the people in the art world and culture sectors who wanted to see the work."

IFWTO is just one of countless projects Paul is devoted to. She recently joined the Ryerson School of Fashion’s advisory board and she’s on the board of Red Pepper Spectacle Arts, all while laying the groundwork for the next IFWTO, which is set for May, 2020. She is also developing a contemporary Indigenous fashion course at George Brown College, as well as producing a project for the British Council’s 2019 International Fashion Showcase.

While Paul thinks of the society scene in Toronto as “not part of my world” and “fun, but clearly very exclusive,” she has hopes of one day creating a Met Gala-style event that puts Indigenous fashion in focus and lifts up the Indigenous design community. No doubt, with Sage Paul at the helm, it would be a must attend happening.

Suggested Donation

Any amount to Native Women in the Arts, a not-for-profit organization for First Nations, Inuit and Métis women who share the common interest of art, culture, community and the advancement of Indigenous peoples. For more information, visit nwia.ca. Paul also highlights Indigenous designers to support including Running Fox Beads (@runningfoxbeads on Instagram), Mad Aunty (mad-aunty.com) and Section 35 (sectionthirtyfive.com).

Sara Battaglia shirt, $598 at George C. (georgec.ca). Sacai skirt, $1,470 at Holt Renfrew (holtrenfrew.com). Running Fox Beads patch (worn on shirt), $180 through @runningfoxbeads on Instagram. Biko earrings, $145 through ilovebiko.com. Leith mules, $105 at Nordstrom (nordstrom.com).


Photography by Carlyle Routh. Styling by Georgia Groom. Makeup by Diana Carreiro for P1M.ca/Make Up For Ever. Hair by Kirsten Klontz for P1M.ca/Oribe/Dyson. Makeup assistant: Romy Zack for P1M.ca. Hair assistant: Vanessa Baudner for P1M.ca. Photo assistant: Michael Kazimierczuk. Styling assistant: Tara Ocansey.

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