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Hollywood Entertainers Impress Guests at Clinton Gala

Hollywood celebrities don't usually hit town until the Toronto International Film Festival rolls around each September. But a black-tie benefit for the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative attracted a crowd of A-list celebrities and musicians to a gala dinner at the Harbour Castle Westin on Saturday. Canadian mining financier Frank Giustra hosted the event, timed to coincide with the annual convention of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, which kicked off Monday at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

The dinner attracted a crowd of more than 1,200 guests and raised funds to alleviate poverty in developing countries affected by the mining industry. Tables for the event sold for as much as $300,000, with a further $16 million being donated at the gala, according to a report in The Toronto Star. The eco-friendly eventwhich was powered by Bullfrog Power using wind power and low-impact hydroelectricityfeatured an organic menu of Canadian produce including Arctic char, Lac Brome duck, and organic beef tenderloin.

The eveninghosted by Canadian comic Eugene Levyincluded a star-studded lineup featuring Elton John, who sang "Rocket Man" and "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me." Wyclef Jean performed "Wyclef for President" and Shakira sang "Hips Don't Lie." Burton Cummings, Norah Jones, and Robin Williams also entertained the audience while Tom Cruise and John Travolta encouraged guests to donate to the cause.

Guests in attendance included Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty, MP Belinda Stronach, Argos quarterback Damon Allen, retired Toronto Maple Leaf Tie Domi, former Newfoundland premier Brian Tobin, Mark Wahlberg, Paul Shaffer, and Kelly Preston.

We went to find out what attendees thought about the event. In the smoking area, we polled guests outside the high-security event.

"The entertainment's quite fun. I'm normally hugely cynical, but in actual fact I'm quite enjoying it. I feel very privileged to be part of it. But I hate this stupid climate."
British natural resources investor

"It's a marvelous venue. The entertainment is great. When you bring all these Hollywood people together, it's extraordinary. Clinton is an extraordinary speaker, and he's a passionate person."
Frank, Toronto investment manager

"I found it a little bit crowded for the amount of people in the space. Robin Williams was a highlight."
Cameron, Toronto banker

"Eugene Levy is unbelievable as M.C. He takes things off the cuff, has everything on mark, and really appeals to the audience."
Cameron's wife

"I think everything that is being done here tonight is just incredible. It's been very delightful."
Californian mining executive

"The company was great and the dinner fantastic. It's all around a great evening for the cause."
Frank Anderson, Vancouver business executive

"Norah Jones is fantastic."
Toronto investment banker

 


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