Toronto Film Critics Association Awards Gala, March 6, Toronto
Riceboy Sleeps, filmmaker Anthony Shim’s somewhat autobiographical film, which centres on a Korean single mother who moves to Canada to raise her young son, took home the Toronto Film Critics Association’s Rogers Best Canadian Film Award. This top prize, which comes with a $100,000 cheque, was given at the 2023 edition of the TFCA’s awards gala on March 6 in Toronto. The TFCA, which is comprised of Toronto-based journalists and broadcasters whose forte is film criticism and commentary, has, since 1997, hosted this annual gala, a night to toast their picks of the year’s best films and celebrate the industry at large. While Shim wasn’t able to attend the gathering in person, one of the film’s lead actors, Ethan Hwang, was, and was presented the award by actor and Indigenous activist Tantoo Cardinal. Cardinal also awarded prize contenders, directors Clement Virgo for the film Brother and David Cronenberg for the film Crimes of the Future, each with $5,000 from Rogers Communications. Later in the evening, comedian and TV personality Rick Mercer presented the Stella Artois Jay Scott Prize for an emerging artist to filmmaker Carol Nguyen, and actress Maitreyi Ramakrishnan awarded the fourth annual Telefilm Canada Emerging Critic Award to Michelle Krasovitski. Among those in the room for this cinematic toast: actress Amanda Brugel who was on hosting duties; executive director of Rogers Group of Funds Robin Mirsky; TIFF CEO Cameron Bailey; photographer and filmmaker Caitlin Cronenberg; Canadian Film Centre CEO Maxine Bailey; and TFCA President Johanna Schneller.
Celebration of Care Gala, Feb. 25, Vancouver
On a recent Saturday evening in Surrey, B.C., an impressive $2-million was raised in support of the Surrey Hospitals Foundation. One in three Surrey residents is under the age of 19 and the money raised supports children’s health initiatives. Before forks had even been lifted, the night was off to great start, Marina Haddad took to the stage to announce a million-dollar offering in memory of her late husband, entrepreneur-cum-philanthropist Sherrold Haddad, who also served as chair of the Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation’s board. Later, Harp Dhillon, who currently chairs that board spoke to the 650 guests in attendance. He emphasized the lack of specialized care in Surrey— a large and ever-expanding city—and the need for speciality services to treat even the most common health issues. A live auction followed, which contributed greatly to that total sum. Among those in the room: Dr. Ratanshi, a board-certified plastic surgeon and the lead reconstructive craniofacial surgeon and microsurgeon for the Fraser Health Authority, and television personality Sonia Sunger, who served as emcees for the evening; board member Ralph Berezan, president of Berezan Group, a presenting sponsor of the gala; David McFarlane senior vice-president, Western Canada at EllisDon, another presenting sponsor; and Jane Adams, president and CEO of Surrey Hospitals Foundation.