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As crowds descended on Yorkville this past weekend to catch a glimpse of stars like George Clooney, in town for the Toronto International Film Festival, the intersection of Queen Street West and University Avenue also saw an influx of star-gazers hoping to see homegrown notables such as Kim Cattrall, Blue Rodeo, and Howie Mandel make an entrance at Canada's Walk of Fame inductee presentation, held at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts on Saturday. (Other inductees included Dean and Dan Caten of DSquared, Tom Cochrane, Raymond Burr, Robert Munsch, and Chantal Petitclerc.)
This year marked the second time the Walk of Fame held its flagship event during TIFF's opening weekend and the second time it hosted a glitzy post-show inductee ball at the Sheraton Centre Toronto. But there were some tweaks to this year's multi-platform event, notably a new broadcast and creative partner in CanWest (last year's show ran on CTV) and a more prominent fund-raising component to the ball, with money raised going to international development organization Free the Children.
Another charitable component came with RBC's sponsorship of the ball. The bank's Blue Water Project—a commitment of $50 million to global fresh water initiatives—got play with elements like ripple-effect lighting and tap water on the tables. As show attendees walked the block from the Four Seasons Centre to the Sheraton, the carpet turned from red to blue. As they rode the escalator to the ballroom, a canopy screen projected a water-centric animated video.
Along with the water elements, event designer and producer Leslie Kyriacou of Kyriacou & Associates said it was important, as always, to keep the event Canada-focused. Pine trees and ferns (which doubled as outdoor decor for the red carpet portion of the evening) and shale rocks filled the ballroom's entrance area, and antlers accented seating inside. The evening's menu emphasized local ingredients with items like heirloom tomato salad and forest mushroom bisque, as well as wine from Canadian golf champ Mike Weir's vineyard.
To ensure quick seating and a smooth start to the ball, staff held up table numbers as the event's 970 guests filled the ballroom. Three sets of tables—one for inductees, one for V.I.P.s, and one for other ticket holders—received different decor treatments to easily identify each section.
A live auction later in the evening saw five experience-based packages up for grabs, the biggest being a 10-day African vacation and humanitarian visit guided by Free the Children founder Craig Kielburger.
The Walk of Fame inductee presentation, hosted by Anne Murray, aired Sunday night on Global.
Correction: This story has been updated to reflect the fact that RBC supplied the animated video that was projected onto a canopy at the gala.