Cause celeb

With so many well-known charities raising money on behalf of those with HIV/AIDS, a recent article stating that a cure may be less than 10 years away might make someone blink, but the positivity is there. And nothing was more evident at this year’s Bloor Street Entertains, where chefs, venues and volunteers donated their time on behalf of CANFAR to host a slew of fundraising dinners at some of the hautest locations in the city in an effort to raise $500,000 in a single night.

At the Hugo Hugo Boss soiree we were treated to a performance by the über-smooth Voyce, a Toronto-based singer/songwriter, before heading up stairs to a three-course meal prepared by chef Michael Wilson of Crush Wine Bar. Seated next to Kevin Naraine of Hugo Hugo Boss, we enjoyed an intense but lovely chat with Alecia Bell of Elite Model Management and her husband Michael Nerfa, discussing everything from James Bond, to the economy and AIDS research, naturally. Other haute venues hosting dinner guests included Escada, Holt Renfrew, Cartier and George C, with fare by such venerable chefs as Marc Thuet, Jamie Kennedy, Marisa Rocca of Sotto Sotto and Pangaea’s Martin Kouprie.

As the night came to a close for this fashionable girl (we were knackered! Must be the weather), it was only getting started for the rest of the well-heeled crowd as they took over the ROM for some libations, dancing and a silent auction that included an African safari, Toronto helicopter ride and tons of jewels and fashion. Spotted roaming amongst the 1,400 guests were Jason Priestley, who was in Toronto to host last Friday’s Geminis, singer Fefe Dobson and Canadian Idol winner Ryan Malcolm.

Jason Priestley and wife, Naomi Lowde, at last Wednesday’s Bloor Street Entertains. Photography by Tom Sandler Photography