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on the scene

From the left: Wes Hall, Deborah Cox, Ron White and Chantal Kreviazuk at The World That’s Possible Gala.KENNEDY POLLARD/The Globe and Mail

War Child’s The World That’s Possible Gala

Nearly $800,000 was raised on the evening of Dec. 5 in Toronto. The funds will support War Child, an organization founded more than 20 years ago, which works with war-affected children and families. The Royal Ontario Museum was the backdrop for the gathering, which was a kind of Can-rock cabaret where music and comedy were central to the evening. Among those performing for the few hundred in attendance was Metric, Colin Mochrie, Josh Radnor, Aiza Ntibarikure and Chantal Kreviazuk, who was recognized during the event with the Founder’s Award for her long-standing commitment to the organization and its work. Gary and Donna Slaight’s commitment to philanthropy was recognized, and Mohamad Fakih, owner of Paramount Fine Foods was honoured for his commitment to helping refugees (he’s employed hundreds of new Syrian-Canadians since 2017). Honourary gala chairs included War Child ambassadors and actors Amanda Seyfried and Thomas Sadoski, who though not in attendance sent warm wishes by video message, and Wes Hall, who was there in the room. Also out was author Margaret Atwood; singer Deborah Cox; gala committee members including Jennifer Bassett, Sarah Paterson and Adrian Lang and Denise Donlon, who also serve on the org’s board of directors; and of course Dr. Samantha Nutt, founder and president of War Child Canada and her husband, Eric Hoskins, former Ontario Minister of Health.

Carryn Ruffolo, left, Margaret Atwood and John Ruffolo.KENNEDY POLLARD/The Globe and Mail

From the left: Gary and Donna Slaight with Samantha Nutt.KENNEDY POLLARD/The Globe and Mail

Denise Donlon and Randy Lennox.KENNEDY POLLARD/The Globe and Mail

Aiza Ntibarikure, Colin Mochrie, centre, and Christopher Cargnello.KENNEDY POLLARD/The Globe and Mail

‘da Kink in My Hair celebrates its 20th Anniversary

Set in a West Indian hair salon in Toronto, ‘da Kink in My Hair, written by Trey Anthony debuted at the Toronto Fringe Festival in 2001 to great acclaim, two years later it was expanded and became wildly well received in Canada and abroad. In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the show, and for the first time in as many years, TO Live and Soulpepper produced a full-scale remount of the work. Weyni Mengesha, Soulpepper’s artistic director, who directed then, was back, alongside many members of the original cast including Ordena Stephens-Thompson, d’bi.young anitafrika, Miranda Edwards and Satori Shakoor. To celebrate the milestone, opening night saw two parties, both a pre-show reception for arts supporters and those closest to the show, and splashy post-show celebration given in the lobby of the Bluma Appel Theatre at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts. Among them out was Broadcaster and writer Amanda Parris; filmmaker Director X; Mayor John Tory; singer Divine Brown; Rainbow Railroad executive director Kimahli Powell; and of course Soulpepper executive director Gideon Arthurs and TO Live president and CEO Clyde Wagner.

Jaz 'Fairy J' Simone at the ‘da Kink in My Hair 20th anniversary celebration.TOM SANDLER/The Globe and Mail

Michie Mee.TOM SANDLER/The Globe and Mail

Director X and Trey Anthony.TOM SANDLER/The Globe and Mail

Eion Bailey and Weyni Mengesha.TOM SANDLER/The Globe and Mail