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Creative Sponsor Installations Fill Power Plant's Power Ball

By Carla Warrilow June 18, 2012, 2:59 PM EDT

Outside, guests doodled on a Land Rover covered in vellum.

Photo: Josh Fee for BizBash

Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery's "Quarter-Life Crisis" Power Ball
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Held on Thursday, the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery annual fund-raiser, Power Ball, took its cues from the institution's 25th anniversary and the night's theme, dubbed “Quarter-Life Crisis.” That meant the art installations, sponsor activations, and decor revolved around juxtapositions.

“Its about the mix of polish and play,” said Tiffany Cox, major events and business development coordinator at the gallery. “At 25, what are you? What do you want to be? Do you want to just have fun and party, or do you want to take a step back and examine where you are?” The party was sold out for the third year in a row, attracting 1,700 guests, including 450 V.I.P.s, and raising $350,000 for the gallery.

The V.I.P. area, co-branded by Grey Goose and Soho House, drew media and attendee attention this year. “We’ve gotten a ton of press on the party and definitely on the partnership,” Cox said. Soho House, the exclusive club that will open its Toronto location in September, used the event as a platform to give Toronto art supporters a taste of what they might expect as a member at its unofficial launch. The V.I.P. party embodied a rustic English picnic with comfy lounge furniture, candles, blankets for guests, and stacked loading pallets acting as cocktail tables. The party took over the deck next door to the gallery, a completely new space for Power Ball, and included a performance by Dragonette.

Within the main space, Cox worked with sponsors to add creative and interactive activations. “I think it’s a matter of how you approach a sponsor. We want brands to get noticed at this party,” said Cox, who added that interactivity and fun were key components. Jaguar Land Rover, a new sponsor this year, had guests doodling on their luxury vehicles outside. Hugo Boss took over the outdoor tent with a 3-D video fashion show. Inside, Kobo strung 25 e-readers displaying book covers that dealt with quarter-life-crisis themes from a tree. A nearby swing read, “Take a moment to breathe …”

The rest of the gallery was filled with art installations acting as decor. Animator Philippe Blanchard filled one room with sculptures that, when hit by LED lights, changed colour and appeared animated. Sarah Febbraro took over another room with a talk show and help line for guests needing guidance on how to get through their own quarter-life crises. Because of the sheer size of the event, Cox eschewed passed plates and instead served food in two areas. “We’re always trying to figure out how to make it easy,” she said. Outside, guests helped themselves to roast bison sandwiches from Petite Thuet; inside, poutine, mac and cheese, and desserts were served.

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