Toronto, Canada (PressExposure) September 15, 2009 -- The first Cinema Against AIDS Toronto event was a black-tie gala that featured a fabulous cocktail reception, dinner, a live auction, and brilliant entertainment. The event, held to accompany the Toronto International Film Festival, benefited both amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, and Dignitas International.
amfAR's first Cinema Against AIDS benefit was hosted by Dame Elizabeth Taylor and was held in Cannes during the 1993 International Film Festival. Since then, the annual black-tie gala has established itself as the most exciting and well-publicized party held during the Cannes Film Festival. Due to the great success of the Cinema Against AIDS event in Cannes, amfAR has expanded the benefits to international film festivals in Dubai, Venice, Rome, and Utah. Since 1993, these amfAR charity dinners have played a vital role in bringing attention to the fight against AIDS and have brought in more than $48 million in financial support for the Foundation's AIDS research programs.
The evening started at 6:30 p.m. with a champagne reception at The Carlu, located at 444 Yonge Street in Toronto. 8:00 p.m. was the fabulous dinner, designed and prepared by Chef Jamie Kennedy, a live auction, and performances by Sarah McLachlan and Deborah Cox. The night began to cool down at 10:00 p.m. in Grey Goose Round Room Lounge where celeb sightings were all around. At a whopping $100,000 CAD a table, the evening was for the elite and generous.
With Kenneth Cole as this year's amfAR chairman and special ambassador for the fundraiser Michelle Yeoh, there were plenty of fabulous celebrities in attendance. The new Viva GLAM spokesperson, Eve, for MAC, was seen rubbing elbows with Verne Troyer, and Toronto natives Deborah Cox and lingerie model Essy. John Demsey, the Estee Lauder group president and chairman of the MAC AIDS Fund, flew in from fashion week in New York to attend last night's fundraiser. The Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson was in attendance, along with Miranda Richardson and Bill Nighy.
The celebrity auction featured a hand-painted Balenciaga runway piece (with a $75,000 price tag) and an Alpine ski package with the triple world champion Manu Gaidet at the exclusive La Compagnie chalet in Courchevel. All in all, the night was a great success for the organization, Toronto, and AIDS research.