To support CANFAR (The Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research), Canada’s only independent charitable organization dedicated to ending AIDS/HIV through research, Toronto’s philanthropists, socialites, and advocates alike all gathered in the Bloor-Yorkville area on November 25, 2015, for an unforgettable evening.

canfar bloor street entertains 2015 co-chairs sylvia mantella and salah bachir
CANFAR Bloor Street Entertains co-chairs Sylvia Mantella and Salah Bachir

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For one night only, Yorkville, well known for its high-end boutiques, transformed 23 of its finest retailers, restaurants, museums and galleries and into dazzling dining rooms. Participating locations, including Birks, Burberry, Holt Renfrew’s Holts Café, Tiffany & Co., and much more partnered up with Toronto’s top chefs to create inspiring menus for the night.

Harry Rosen, for example, presented its menu with a napkin folded into a white tuxedo with a red ribbon for HIV/AIDS awareness pinned on it.

Creative dishes such as AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario)’s foie gras stuffed pheasant with brown butter-parsnip purée by Chef Annick Legoaix and Nespresso’s coffee infused lobster cappuccino by Chef Carl Heinrich were on the list.

Following the dinner was the CANFAR Bloor Street Entertains after party held at the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum), where over 800 of Toronto’s tastemakers continued the night with drinks, more food, entertainment, and a silent auction.

Though the invitation did not specify a dress code, elaborate gowns and fancy tuxes pervaded the venue.

Daniel et Daniel continued to serve delectable and interesting bites like gluten-free vegan zucchini roulade with sun-dried tomato hummus filling tied with a scallion ribbon, Chinese chicken wrap with ingredients wrapped into a ball instead of a roll, “Big Mac” with bao buns instead of burger buns, and pissaladière, a puffy pastry topped with various pizza toppings.

With either a drink or a snack in hand, guests browsed through the silent auction corner.

A pair of business class return flights to London’s fashion week with a four-night stay at Shangri-La at the Shard, a return flight on a private jet to lunch with supermodel Coco Rocha, and two business class return ticket to any Air Canada destination system-wide (donated by Air Canada), were just a few among the many luxury items available for bids.

Co-chairs Sylvia Mantella and Salah Bachir then joined the host on stage to pick out one lucky winner from the raffle draw who left with a Rolex.

The band played nostalgic songs like “I’ve got you under my skin” and bolero “Bésame Mucho“. Architect & interior designer Dee Dee Taylor Eustace took the lead on the dance floor when the DJ set the soundtrack to party mood later in the night. It did not take long for others to join her. Gluten free chocolate truffles of all flavours then circulated the room to refuel those over burnt calories.

Bloor Street Entertains 2015 successfully raised $800,000 in one night. The annual gala has raised nearly $6 million for CANFAR since inception. This year’s proceeds will go to supporting CANFAR funded researchers’ current projects including researching on an essential component of the drug that is keeping many people living with AIDS alive, findings that have almost eliminated AIDS/HIV transmission at birth, and research for a cure or vaccine to end AIDS.

(photos by Terrence)

CANFAR Bloor Street Entertains 2015 After Party at The ROM

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