September 13 2015 – One of the highlights of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) party circuit is the Canadian Film Centre (CFC) annual BBQ and fundraiser. The gathering of 2000 attendees happens at the CFC’s beautiful estate and gardens on Bayview Avenue (I have driven past it 100’s of times in my life and never realized what treasure was hiding back there).
Food and drinks were top notch and more vendors than you can possibly try during one event were offering their goods. Great libations were provided from Crystal Head Vodka, Karlo Estates, Flow Water, and Mill Street (my personal favorite beer) while some of the awesome food came from Holt Renfrew, 10tation catering, Nisos Importing (Greek olive oil and stuff! Yiasou patritha) and Pizzaville.
Musical entertainment was from the Slaight Institute (a music lab associated with the CFC). Liam Titcomb and Jillea were performing live while the DJ was Hey!DW. The stage was always crowded when there was a performance and the BBQ-goers really enjoyed the musical backdrop.
Further in the back of the event was a major highlight deep in the Greenhouse. AMD was there with a VR Dome – a room full of virtual reality demos and there was a lineup the whole duration of the event as the eager masses wanted to experience Virtual Reality. Clearly the future of entertainment the film industry will be paying close attention to how VR will transform and shape the economics of film making and digital entertainment. The two main makers of VR headsets are Oculus (owned by Facebook) and HTC and neither of them are available for sale to the public at this point, expect them to be the must have gadget for 2016. The PC experience both for gaming and film will require pretty modern hardware from AMD, but there is no doubt that the people who experienced the demos today were all blown away.
Some of the film and TV stars in attendance were:
- Erin Karpluk (star of Being Erica)
- Tara Spencer-Nairn (from Corner Gas)
- Sean Bridges (stars opposite Brie Larson in ROOM at TIFF 2015)
- Jayne Eastwood
- Cedric Smith
- Alexandra Beaton (The Next Step)
- Gerry Dee
- Naomi Snieckus (Mr. D)
- Jessi Cruickshank (Canada’s Smartest Person)
- Helene Joy
- Yannick Bisson (Murdoch Mysteries)
- Rick Mercer (Rick Mercer Report)
- Dan Levy (Schitt’s Creek)
- Annie Murphy (Schitt’s Creek)
- Sarah Levy (Schitt’s Creek)
- Bruce McCulloch (Young Drunk Punk)
CFC founder and Oscar winning director Norman Jewison gave a speech and during that announced the creation of a lab with eOne to create TV scripts. Books, video games, comics or other creative properties can be turned into TV pilots through this lab. Jewison looked great and it is hard to believe he is 89 years old. Truly one of the greatest Canadians involved in the film industry.
The rain mostly kept away and the BBQ was a stunning success. Now off to some TIFF movies for us to review! We leave you with some views from the grounds of the Canadian Film Centre.