By Lonny Knapp Posted November 29, 2007, 11:08 AM EST
Teddy Sings the Blues was the theme of this year’s Teddy Bear Affair. Children’s Aid Foundation tapped design firm Décor & More to pull off the Creole-infused gala fund-raiser for 1,000 guests.
Décor & More transformed a pre-function space at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre into a French Quarter-inspired cocktail lounge. Partygoers strolled along a re-created stretch of New Orleans’ Bourbon Street, past street lamps, fountains, and vine-covered trellises, where they encountered bluesy buskers, meandering magicians, and hard-working tarot card readers.
Photographers from Distinctive Foto Imaging snapped guests posing in front of a green-screen so that a New Orleans background could be added to the picture.
An image of the Teddy Bear Affair’s Blues Brothers-inspired bear mascot jazzed up a decorative waterfall in the auction space. Off to the side, the name Teddy’s on a black awning beckoned passers-by into a mock blues club. Actors from Stop Tyme Productions hired to portray The Blues Brothers greeted guests as they entered the dining space.
Décor & More dressed the space in shades of blue. Dark blue linens from Micki’s covered the tables and chairs, while the elegant lampshade centrepieces contained arrangements of stunning blue orchids. Speaking of shades, a cool black pair completed every place setting.
MTCC executive chef Angelo Fernandez collaborated with Chatelaine food editor Monda Rosenberg to create a gourmet meal celebrating Louisiana cuisine. The feasting began with seared Cajun tuna and jumbo shrimp, accompanied by lemon Cajun aioli and spiced pecans. Dessert was banana cream mousse cake infused with bourbon sauce, drizzled with mango coulis, and garnished with fresh berries
CTV news anchor Ken Shaw and Dini Pugliese, co-host of CityTv’s Breakfast Television and Star! Daily, hosted the event. Tom Cochrane and fifteen-year-old blues prodigy Alex Tintanelli provided live musical entertainment. Westbury Sound supplied the sound system and Vegas-style lighting.
This year’s silent auction featured music memorabilia such as a B.B King-autographed album and a Fender Telecaster signed by all three members of the Police. Other items included a stylish pre-construction condo from Cresford Developments and one-of-a-kind teddy bears created to resemble celebrity musicians.