By Susan O'Neill Posted September 14, 2009, 4:32 PM EDT
TORONTO Film studios, retailers, beverage sponsors, and charities were among those hosting celebrity-studded parties during the Toronto International Film Festival's opening weekend. At the Windsor Arms Hotel, president George Friedmann partnered with the charity Artists for Peace and Justice to host a fund-raiser for children in Haiti that doubled as the hotel's 10th anniversary party on Friday night. The event, attended by more than 400 guests, included a red carpet managed by NKPR and created by New York artist Peter Tunney, who invited celebrity guests to dip their feet in red paint before walking on a mural that read “Peace and Justice.” Guests then received foot treatments at a series of spa stations set up outside the hotel.
On Saturday evening Hello! Canada hosted a party for 600 guests at the Birks store on Bloor. ”Hello! launched in the fall, so we've always tried to celebrate the world of celebrity during TIFF,“ said Tracy Finkelstein, the publication's group director of business development and promotions. This year, the magazine filled the jewelry store with images taken by celebrity photographer George Pimentel for a “Hello! Hollywood” party, sponsored by Dove Chocolate. “It's a non-traditional party environment,” Finkelstein said of the space, noting that Birks staff remained on hand and guests had the opportunity to try on jewelry and shop during the event.
Also on Saturday, Jameson Irish Whiskey sponsored an all-Irish party at the Hugo Boss showroom, held in honour of two Irish films—Triage, starring Colin Farrell and Paz Vega, and Perrier's Bounty, starring Cillian Murphy, Jim Broadbent, and Brendan Gleeson. VisionCo. and ASC PR worked with Corby Distilleries to produce the event. Green lighting filled the venue, a green carpet sat at the entrance, and bartenders from the Martini Club created whiskey cocktails for guests.
On Sunday, Canadian Film Centre founder Norman Jewison invited more than 2,000 guests to the C.F.C. grounds on Bayview Avenue for the organization's 21st annual barbecue and fund-raiser. More than 10 caterers set up food stations throughout the grounds, and the C.F.C. appointed Canadian actor Kiefer Sutherland as chair of its Actors Conservatory, which provides on-screen training for actors.