The Make-A-Wish Foundation's second annual One Wish gala on November 22 raised funds for children with life-threatening illnesses with a Moroccan-themed benefit reminiscent of the Arabian Nights. Event management firm Solutions With Impact created the theme for the fund-raiser under the direction of Jennifer Branco, the foundation's manager of corporate development.
As they arrived at the Carlu, the 500 guests stepped off the elevator and passed through an Arabian tent to enter the event. Inside, a young performer dressed as Aladdin sat perched on an antique Howda chair as three belly dancers swayed to the rhythms of Gurpreet Chana and his tabla ensemble. Mickey Mouse was also on-hand to pose with arriving guests while photographers from Distinctive Foto Imaging snapped pictures.
The venue’s grand foyer resembled an Arabian marketplace, where guests could peruse silent-auction items displayed on tables covered with patterned silk. Potted ferns and palms, large golden urns, hanging lanterns, and a large fiberglass elephant added to the ambience.
The event team dressed the Carlu’s concert hall in purple, red, and gold. White drapes hung from the ceiling, creating the feeling of being inside a tent. San Remo Florist designed centrepieces featuring tropical Areca palms, bronzed Arabian lanterns, black baccara roses, and deep red gerbera daisies.
The dinner menu, by Eatertainment Special Events and Catering, included Middle Eastern dishes such as harira, a hearty tomato broth with lentils, chickpeas, and coriander served with poppy-seed bread twists.
Ben Mulroney of CTV’s eTalk hosted the evening, which culminated with musical performances by Juno award winner Chantal Kreviazuk, Suzie McNeil, and Jully Black, among others.