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CTV Christmas Party Channels Doctor Zhivago

For its holiday party, CTV dressed the Guvernment/Kool Haus in decor inspired by the classic film Doctor Zhivago, including an ice castle, a replica of the Red Square, and a Russian tea room.

Stag-head pillows and faux fur throws dressed four floating beds suspended from the ceiling.

Photo: Gary Beechey

Late last month, Mafalda Caruso, director of special events for CTV, had no idea how she was going to pull together a holiday party for the television station’s 3,000 employees. “I didn’t even have a theme. I was getting a little worried,“ Caruso said at Thursday's party. “And then it just hit me one day, and I Googled Doctor Zhivago.

Caruso, a self-professed movie buff, threw a Breakfast at Tiffany’s-inspired party for her colleagues last year. “People seem to love the movie idea. They get right into the theme,” said Caruso, who partnered with Jeffry Roick of McNabb Roick Events to create a snowy Siberian setting at the Guvernment & Kool Haus nightclub. The 49,000-square-foot entertainment complex was one of the only venues in the city large enough to house the event, Caruso said.

Crews began setting up for the party on Tuesday morning. “It’s been a huge undertaking, so thank god we had two days,” Caruso said. McNabb Roick transformed the space, giving each of the venue’s seven separate rooms a unique feel.

Blowing snow drifted through the air as guests entered the ice castle room, a winter white haven dressed with ice sculptures, birch trees, oversize snowflakes, and luxurious white furs. Four food stations—two of which featured buffets made of ice—were placed throughout the room. Glass spheres set in wreaths and surrounded by votive candles topped dining tables draped in white linens and fur. Four floating beds, covered in white faux fur throws and large pillows, hung from the ceiling, offering comfy places to lounge.

Guests in search of something sweet had the choice of visiting the Russian Tea Room—where towering dessert dishes laden with sugary treats topped the bar—or another room filled with confections. Large silver and glass urns overflowed with candies, and two chandeliers made of lollipops, bubble gum, and chocolates hung from above.

Daniel et Daniel Event Creation & Catering served roast lamb and smoked duck in a dimly lit “hunters lodge” decorated with mirrors and pillows bearing images of stag heads. Red lighting, provided by Westbury National Show Systems Ltd., filled yet another room dressed in cutouts of the famous buildings in Moscow’s Red Square. The decor also extended outside, where two horse-drawn sleighs stood beside a row of evergreen trees placed at the entrance.


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