TIFF 2013: Parties! Beauty treatments! Swag bags! The top 10 things you need to know before the festival begins

TIFF 2013 the Hive
TIFF 2013 gossip parties
Photography by Erin Seaman

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TIFF 2013 kicks off tomorrow and Toronto is quickly filling up with A-list stars, the people and publicists who make movie magic happen and, of course, the fans. While TIFF purists may think that the festival is all about the films, those of us who are entertainment obsessed know there’s more to it than that. From the red carpet fashion to the backstage gossip to the exclusive parties, we’re here to help you get in-the-know with the festival. After all, with all this talent in town, you need to prep for a late night run in with George Clooney or Jessica Chastain. Read on for our definitive list on where to eat, what to drink and how to dress during TIFF—as well as all the tips and tricks for “casually” bumping into your favourite celeb.

TIFF 2013 The Chase

The It Restaurant: The Chase

The financial district has been buzzing about The Chase since its opening last month and that’s sure to continue with Hugo Boss’s post-screening party for Enemy, which stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Sarah Gadon and Isabella Rossellini.

The Chase, 10 Temperance Street, 647-348-7000, thechasetoronto.com

TIFF 2013 gossip parties
Photography by Sonia Recchia/Getty Images

The It Hotel(s)

It may come as no surprise that Toronto’s top luxury hotels make for the best star spotting opportunities during TIFF. Reservations have been made and rooms are getting ready at the Trump, Ritz-Carlton, Shangri-La and Cosmopolitan for A-listers like Jessica Chastain, Scarlett Johansson and Kate Winslet. (Two years ago the Jolie-Pitt clan booked an entire floor of the Ritz-Carlton during TIFF and used the extra space to entertain friends like George Clooney and Ryan Gosling, nbd.) The Intercontinental Hotel on Front is also a huge TIFF hot spot—it’s where eOne hosts all their press junkets, meaning lobby lurkers will get a chance to spy the stars of August: Osage County (Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep), Kill Your Darlings (Elizabeth Olsen, Daniel Radcliffe) and more.

TIFF 2013 the Hive

The It Club: Live at The Hive

This intended worldwide club concept pop-up dreamed up by Toronto’s Mint Agency will launch at TIFF 2013 with a handful of celeb-stocked parties for The Railway Man, Third Person and the much-anticipated Worldview Party, which expects Reese Witherspoon, Mila Kunis, Marion Cotillard, Clive Owen and Zoe Saldana in attendance.

TIFF 2013 gossip parties

The It Drink: Grey Goose Glacier Goose

As the official sponsor of TIFF’s star-studded home base, Soho House, Grey Goose dreams up a bevvy of delicious cocktails each year. This year, our favourite addition is the Glacier Goose, which blends the brand’s pear flavoured vodka with apple juice, ice wine and amaretto.

3 parts Grey Goose La Poire
1½ parts freshly pressed apple juice
1 part freshly squeezed lemon juice
2/3 part Canadian ice wine
1/3 part amaretto
1/3 part sugar syrup

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into a rocks glass over a large clear ice ball.

TIFF 2013 gossip parties

The It Treatment: Vitality of the Stars by Valmont

During TIFF, the Quartz Crystal Spa at Trump Toronto will be offering the A-list intended Vitality of the Stars facial treatment. The 30-minute treatment acts as the ultimate quick fix before red carpet events, smoothing, detoxifying and oxygenating skin with glacial spring water infused products and a collagen upgrade which can be used around the eye or décolleté.

Vitality of the Stars by Valmont, $110 for 30 minutes. Quartz Crystal Spa at Trump Toronto, 325 Bay Street, 416-637-5595, quartzcrystalspa.com

TIFF 2013 gossip parties

The It Gossip: Mr. Will Wong

Mr. Will Wong may not be a name you’re familiar with and that’s a good thing. The Toronto-based entertainment blogger has front-row access to TIFF events, red carpets and parties yet still flies somewhat under the radar—making him your best kept celebrity gossip secret. This year he’s partnered with CP24 as their official TIFF Correspondent and also has Mongrel Media on board, meaning he’ll be live-tweeting from closer to the action than ever before.

The It Beauty Treatment: St. Tropez

When it comes to getting a glow, many start prefer to go the faux route and a St. Tropez tan is the number one choice. So it makes sense that Sophie Evans, St. Tropez’s international skin care and tanning expert, is in town during TIFF. While the brand is hush-hush on who exactly Evans will be spraying during the festival, past clients include Olivia Wilde, Kirsten Dunst, Zooey Deschanel, Sienna Miller and Miley Cyrus. Select salons in Toronto offer St. Tropez treatments but you can also get the look at home with their Self-Tan Bronzing Mousse ($38, sephora.ca).

TIFF 2013 gossip parties
Photography courtesy IMDB

The It Stars: Alicia Vikander and Callan McAuliffe

Big names draw the crowds, but TIFF is best at incubating up-and-coming talent and programming Oscar-winning films before the hype. (Argo, anyone?) With that in mind, keep an eye out on the red carpets for Alicia Vikander and Callan McAuliffe. These bright young things are both on their ways to becoming the next It actress and actor. Vikander is from Sweden and got international recognition after starring in Anna Karenina. She’s coming to Toronto thanks to her role as a pro-Wikileaks activist in TIFF’s opening night film, The Fifth Estate. McAuliffe, on the other hand, is set to be the next big heartthrob—and with good reason. He’s starring in Beneath the Harvest Sky at TIFF, was most recently in The Great Gatsby, and but is also the youngest recipient of a GQ Men of the Year Award. Get those autograph books ready!

TIFF 2013 gossip parties
Photography courtesy Rent Frock Repeat

The It Dress: Rent Frock Repeat

A week of TIFF events can require quite the wardrobe. If you’re an A-list star and consider Karl Lagerfeld and Christian Louboutin close friends, this isn’t an issue—but if you’re an up-and-coming actress or just the lucky recipient of a ticket to a TIFF party, it can be hard to dress the part without blowing your budget. Enter Rent Frock Repeat. This clever service lets you rent designer dresses (think: Ports 1961, Pink Tartan, Greta Constantine) for a fraction of the price. Toronto-based celebs like Tara Spencer-Nairn (The Listener), Georgina Reilly and Hélène Joy (both from Murdoch Mysteries) will be wearing Rent Frock Repeat dresses on the TIFF red carpet. In town for just a few days? Not to worry—they’ll ship your dress right to your hotel room.

Dresses from $50, Rentfrockrepeat.com

The It Swag Bag: Tastemakers Lounge

What’s a festival without a stuffed-to-the-brim swag bag? Rock-it Promotions’ Tastemakers Lounge is back for its 9th year and the gifts are better than ever. Stars like Katie Boland and Emily Hampshire are expected to be stopping by to receive goodies from Penguin Books, Awake Chocolates and Cake Beauty, all wrapped up in a limited edition TIFF tote designed by Jessica Jensen for VISA.