The summer in TO is off to a strong start when it comes to the event scene.
This year in particular, Toronto has been home to a few that will define the summer in years to come – and no, we’re not just talking about the Pan Am Games (but they’re great too).
The warm weather has come with a handful of events that make us appreciate all our fine city has to offer. Here’s why…
The Art Affairs
The opening of Andy Warhol Revisited kicked off with a colourful party on June 30 that was attended by some of the most notable fixtures in the city’s art, culture, and social scenes. As Marilyn portrait-inspired look-a-like staff served up cocktails and gourmet grub, guests mingled to the sounds of Grammy Award winning DJ Louie Vega and posed for pictures next to Warhol’s iconic soup cans. If you missed the event, you can check out the exhibit until December.
At this year’s Power Ball, themed “Appetite for Excess,” for all the photo-worthy art installations, the food was an impressive work of art in itself. The evening began with an art performance and food installation by American artist Jennifer Rubell that included a chandelier of hanging octopus that guests cut with scissors, performance food art that saw dishes served through anonymous, gloved hands via holes in the table, and a food fight (for good measure). Another highlight of the evening was most definitely the ball-filled kiddie pools (a necessary photo op).
The Beverly Hills-Style House Parties
Come summertime, there’s no better party than a house party – especially when it involves a sprawling mansion with a lush backyard and a pool. That’s why we were among the last to leave at Grey Goose’s Summer Soiree, held on June 3 at a stunning home in the city’s Forest Hill neighbourhood. Aside from some of the favourite signature Grey Goose cocktails, party perks included synchronized swimmers, a real-life albino horse, and a crowd that was as well curated as the art on the walls.
About a month later, a similar vibe was found at a pink-washed mansion in the Bridle Path area for last Thursday’s (July 16) Pink Party to benefit the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Hosted by the man behind the hugely successful motionball charity, Paul Etherington, this year’s Pink Party was bigger than ever. The evening featured eats from Rock Lobster and Food Dudes, a Calvin Klein fashion show on the pool’s waterfall, and some of the city’s finest young professionals (including the always easy-on-the-eyes star of Suits, Patrick Adams).
Speaking of celebrities, if there’s ever a time for the world’s famous faces to hit Toronto, it’s once the snow is long gone. We told you about running into Wayne Gretzky and Martin Short at the Parachute Gala back in May, and June was full of even more celebrity encounters. First, Joe Carter’s Annual Charity Classic After Party drew a slew of celebrities to the Shangri-La on June 10, including Snoop Dogg, who was the evening’s headlining act (A.K.A. the best party entertainment ever) and stopped to chat on the red carpet.
Then, some of music’s finest – like Ed Sheeran, Adam Lambert and Lights – hit the city for the Much Music Video Awards (MMVAs), where we chatted with Sheeran on the carpet. The so-pretty-you-want-to-hate-her Gigi Hadid also drew screams from the fans on the carpet, before stopping by the pressroom to chat later on. Word is that Sheeran later spent the evening partying it up with our very own homegrown superstar, The Weeknd.
The Event Details
The Knot Group deserves an award in event planning for their total transformation of the now abandoned Hearn Generating Station for the Luminato Festival’s opening night party on June 18, the Big Bang Bash. Talking points (and prime Instagram material) included swings that hung from the exposed beams (if you could get your hands on one), a stunning L’Oreal makeup station that was an art installation in itself, a fire pit, and a Garden Maze. The crowd included some of the city’s most influential art scene fixtures, along with Nelly Furtado.
Fellow Toronto dream team event company, Candice & Alison, didn’t disappoint when it came to the details for last weekend’s exclusive Queen West pop-up to mark the Canadian launch of Juicy Couture’s I Am Juicy Couture fragrance. The pops of colour, endless flowers, and artistic displays of perfume made you feel like you were in the dressing room of royalty. Things like personally initialized bottles of perfume and a self-portrait station made this well-attended event one that went above and beyond your typical launch party.
It was only a matter of time before the Gardiner Museum followed suit with the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)to form its own young patrons circle. To mark the occasion, the museum celebrated with Tensions on June 19. Making for a rare appearance on the party scene, over cocktails, the crowd was treated to both an outdoor and indoor dance performance by the National Ballet School.