TORONTO On February 23, international humanitarian organization Right to Play hosted a fund-raiser for about 300 guests. The inaugural event, founded by fashion television personality Glen Baxter, was held on the private penthouse level of the Thompson Hotel and placed a premium on messaging. “This is a great opportunity to raise awareness for Right to Play,” said Robert Witchel, national director of the nonprofit's Canadian office. “We hope that through this experience, people get to know our brand.”
Rather than cover the space with logos, planners Candice Chan and Alison Slight of Candice&Alison Luxury Events opted for one focal point. At the entrance, large letters spelling out “Right to Play” lined a wall of windows, with the city skyline serving as the backdrop. “We obviously knew that one of the highlights of the space was the view,” said Chan, referring to the penthouse's floor-to-ceiling windows. “We put branding where people’s eyes tend to go.” The design team also used to the strategic installation to incorporate sponsor Puma into the decor: the “Y” was covered with the sportswear company's leaping wildcat logo.
Chan and Slight also pulled from Right to Play’s signature red, yellow, and black colour scheme to further integrate the nonprofit's identity into the event. Reznick Carpets carpeted the entire space in bright red, and Westbury uplit it with red LED lights. Yellow and red floral arrangements from Jackie O decorated the bars and tabletops. The colour palette even made its way into the drinks menu, with Hennessy Black, "(Belvedere) Red"—a limited-edition bottle that supports HIV and AIDS research—and fresh red fruits like cranberries, strawberries, pomegranates, and guavas.
The event raised $80,000 for the organization and its mission to improve the lives of children in underprivileged communities through sport and play. Right to Play has already decided to host the fund-raiser on an annual basis.