A bomb scare outside the Royal Ontario Museum forced organizers of Bloor Street Entertains, the annual fund-raiser for the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (Canfar), to cancel the party portion of its event on Wednesday, November 28. The museum’s new Michael Lee-Chin Crystal addition, the site of the party and silent auction, was closed off for security reasons as police shut down the surrounding roads to investigate.
The police later determined that the bomb was a hoax, an art exhibit planted by a student at the Ontario College of Art and Design. “Last Wednesday was a sad day for Canfar,“ said Elissa Beckett, executive director of Canfar, in a statement. “The cancellation of the party as part of Bloor Street Entertains leaves us short $100,000 in funding for AIDS research.”
The organization launched an online auction at Canfar's Web site, beginning at 2 p.m. today, in an effort to make back the money lost from the cancelled event. The auction will run for one week.
Prior to the bomb scare, the black-tie gala's guests dined in several high-end stores along Bloor Street. Tiffany & Company, Holt Renfrew, and Liss Gallery were transformed into intimate eating establishments to help raise money for AIDS research.
Tiffany hosted an intimate dinner party for 20 on the second floor of its Bloor Street store. Table centrepieces included large faux diamonds and elaborate candelabras surrounded by white flowers provided by Forget Me Not Flowers. Tiffany’s diamond jewelry collection surrounded guests as they dined on food from Keith Froggett of Scaramouche.
At Liss Gallery, host chef Tawfik Shehata of Vertical Restaurant and Bar served an extravagant seven-course dinner, including seared ostrich, filet of Mediterranean orata, duck magret, red mullet, and rack of lamb. When the after-party was cancelled, a quick phone call to his restaurant brought in special desserts delivered via taxi to appease guests disappointed by the ROM’s closing.
The Liss Gallery morphed from a formal dinner into an intimate party where people mingled and danced as Teresa Marchione, Vince Laviola, and Joe Trunfio of the Teresa Marchione Trio played into the wee hours of the morning.