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Royal Ontario Museum hosts ROM Ball, Toronto

The Royal Ontario Museum marked the opening of the exhibition Treasures of a Desert Kingdom: The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India, with a benefit gala on March 6 inspired by the sights, sounds and tastes of India. The sold-out gathering, co-chaired by Deepak and Neera Chopra, and Victor and Maureen Dodig, netted north of $500,000 to support the Toronto institution. Swish saris and natty Nehru collars were in abundance, a handful of music and dance performances popped-up throughout the evening, and there were a smattering of speeches, given by ROM director and chief executive Josh Basseches, Susan Horvath, president and chief executive of the ROM Governors, and high commissioner of India to Canada Vikas Swarup. Taking to the podium too, was the guest who added the most to the sense of occasion: The Maharaja Gaj Singh II of Marwar-Jodhpur, who attended with his daughter Princess Baijilal Shivranjani Rajye. The pair serve as the current caretakers of many of the 250 remarkable heirloom objects – including artworks, lush tents and alluring jewels – that make up the exhibition. Treasures of a Desert Kingdom: The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India runs in the ROM’s subterranean Garfield Weston Exhibition Hall to September.

Canada’s National Ballet School Glam Rock Gala, Toronto

The following evening, on March 7, Canada’s National Ballet School held its annual fundraiser, this year dubbed the Glam Rock Gala and co-chaired by Andrea Stairs Krishnappa and Nicole Watts. It’s a perennially pleasant evening which raises 40 per cent of NBS’s annual fundraising needs, through a typical gala format consisting of a cocktail hour, dinner and silent auction. However, it always stands out as one of the most exciting, thanks to its continued effort, led by the First Positions Patrons Committee, to include and engage the next generation of patrons of dance. While the established big-givers (Margaret Norrie McCain, Joan Lozinski and Michelle Koerner among them at this latest) sit for dinner, listen to speeches and submit their silent-auction bids, the hallways of the Carlu swell with the young, who arrive in time to catch the always wonderful performance offering, which this year NBS artistic director and chief executive Mavis Staines dedicated to the late Sandra Faire, a beloved television producer and philanthropist. The long-time NBS supporter would have had great fondness for what followed in her honour: a mix of contemporary and classical pieces, performed by the talented young people that the school trains and supports.

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