Mad Hot Ballet in support of Canada’s National Ballet, Toronto
On June 13, disco got a new lease on life thanks to this year’s Mad Hot Ballet, a gala that supports the National Ballet of Canada, which raised $1.3-million. Jumpsuits, platforms and glittering pantsuits were aplenty as guests hustled their way into the Four Seasons Centre to catch an hour-long showcase of the company’s best and brightest, which kicked off a full evening program, presented for the 12th consecutive year by CIBC. Dancers Harrison James and Jillian Vanstone (in costumes by designer Jason Wu) performed the world premiere of Joshua Beamish’s Lollapalooza, and later, Svetlana Lunkina and Evan McKie performed a new piece titled Sospiri Duet by Brazilian choreographer Juliano Nunes. Post-performances, cocktails were had by the nearly 2,000 guests who packed the hall, and later, big ballet benefactors rounded up their table guests and headed to a splashy dinner given on stage, where mirror balls hung, reflecting specks of light onto guests. Fittingly, they boogied well into the night.
The Governor-General’s Performing Arts Awards Gala, Ottawa
Since its inception in the early 1990s The Governor-General’s Performing Arts Awards have recognized accomplished creators with roots in Canada. On June 2, culture players from Ottawa and beyond gathered at the National Arts Centre for the annual awards gala: The evening honoured this year’s remarkable recipients, among them classical pianist Angela Hewitt and twin-sibling pop musicians Tegan and Sara. It also marked the first awards under the patronage of Julie Payette, Canada’s 29th Governor-General. Yours truly was a guest of Birks, who returned as presenting sponsor of the event and, at the gala dinner, a rather speedy meal held in advance of the big show, I was seated at the table of Eva Hartling, chief marketing officer at Birks Group Inc. At tables nearby were philanthropist Emmanuelle Gattuso, who served as honorary chair as well as Amoryn Engel and Air Canada’s Ben Smith, who co-chaired the evening.
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