CFC Kicks Off 30th Anniversary at 2018 Annual Gala & Auction

By Cory Angeletti-Szasz ● February 16, 2018 14:15

Guests sitting at tables inside a ballroom.

The 2018 CFC Annual Gala & Auction

Yesterday evening, a mix of screen industry executives and luminaries, philanthropists, and CFC donors and sponsors gathered at the Ritz-Carlton, Toronto to celebrate the official kickoff of CFC’s 30th anniversary at our 2018 Annual Gala & Auction.

The Gala is our largest annual fundraising event. Through the generous support of our sponsors, donors and gala guests, we raised funds towards our renowned programs and initiatives spanning film, TV, screen acting, screen composing and songwriting, and digital media. These programs help support, develop and accelerate the content, careers and companies of dynamic creative and entrepreneurial talent in the screen-based and digital industries. As we reflected on 30 incredible years of the CFC during yesterday’s Gala celebrations, we also looked to the future and look forward to welcoming future generations of storytellers through our doors.

A photo booth installation.

 PartyPix Photo booth installation

Our 2018 Gala celebrations got underway with a cocktail reception in the Ritz-Carlton’s Grand Foyer, where guests perused our silent auction, which featured luxury goods, packages and “money can’t buy” experiences that were available to lucky bidders. With drinks in hand, guests could wander down the Grand Foyer to an interactive “slider boomerang” photo booth experience, courtesy of Toronto Life and PartyPix, set to a backdrop of gorgeous navy blue and silver confetti balloons from T.O. Balloons.

Tables inside a ballroom decorated for a gala.

After the cocktail reception, guests were welcomed into the Ritz-Carlton Ballroom, which featured décor informed by CFC’s 30th anniversary – a luxe navy blue and silver décor scheme using large crystal candelabras as table centrepieces, which complemented the existing cascading crystal chandeliers in the Ritz-Carlton Ballroom. Once everyone took their seats, a message from CFC’s Founder and Chair Emeritus, Norman Jewison, played:

Directly following this message, alumni of the 2016 Slaight Music Residency – Aimee Bessada, Chris Reineck, Neil Haverty, Rebecca Everett and Spencer Creaghan – took to the stage to perform a medley of hit songs featured in Norman Jewison’s beloved films, including “The Cincinnati Kid,” “Send Me No Flowers,” “Only You,” “In the Heat of the Night,” and “Hurricane.”

Musicians performing on a stage.

Alumni of the 2016 Slaight Music Residency performing at the gala

The evening’s Co-Chairs, Slawko Klymkiw, CFC’s CEO, and Christina Jennings, Chair of CFC’s Board of Directors, then welcomed guests to the Gala and Klymkiw explained that the evening was a proud tribute to “30 years of excellence in storytelling, inspiring Canadian content creators and empowering emerging talent.”

He continued, “We are also proud that among our more than 1800 alumni and 200 alumni companies are some of the most prolific and celebrated creators and entrepreneurs working in the Canadian and international entertainment industries. Their talent has earned them many major international awards and accolades. […] We look forward to our alumni continuing to shape the entertainment landscape and building Canada’s reputation worldwide.”

As guests were enjoying their meals (braised short rib of beef for the meat-eaters and a cauliflower steak for the vegetarians), Slaight Music artist Tomi Swick serenaded the Ballroom audience with some of his original songs, including hit single, “Liberty.”

A musician singing and playing a guitar.

Slaight Music artist Tomi Swick performing at the gala

As dinner was wrapping up, Guest Auctioneer Stephen Ranger kicked off the Live Auction, which featured eight incredible bespoke packages, ranging from a priceless chance to see AMC’s The Walking Dead Season 8 Premiere event (including airfare and accommodations), to the opportunity to feel like a professional driver by testing the limits of a Porsche at Pfaff Track Day.

Once the auctions were closed and the raffle winner was announced, guests were invited to indulge on a variety of mini desserts and pastries at a lavish dessert bar in the Grand Foyer, while enjoying a nightcap or two.

A collage of individuals posing for the camera at a gala.

Guests enjoying the 2018 gala

Thank you to all of our sponsors, donors, gala guests and volunteers who contributed to making the 2018 CFC Annual Gala & Auction possible. Your support enables us to inspire the next generation of world-class filmmakers, TV writers, actors, composers, songwriters and digital media entrepreneurs to go beyond barriers, beyond borders and beyond expectations. See the full list of Gala sponsors below.

Enjoy the full Flickr gallery of photos of the night HERE.

2018 CFC Annual Gala & Auction Sponsors

Presenting Sponsors

The Slaight Family Foundation and Cineplex Entertainment

Platinum Sponsors

Entertainment One, Bell Media, Corus Entertainment, RBC, AMC, Netflix, Shaftesbury, Scotia Wealth Management, DHX Media Ltd., Boat Rocker Media, MLSE, Cast & Crew Canada, Thunderbird Entertainment, Universal Music Canada and CRAFT Toronto

Gold Sponsors

Highway Entertainment, TriBro Studios, PRG and Roy Foss Cadillac

Silver Sponsors

Deluxe Toronto, Daniels/O’Hagen/Stephenson, William F. White International, Rogers, Blue Ice Pictures, HBO, CBC, KPMG, Maple Leaf Strategies, Freemantle Media, AGF Management Ltd., TD Securities, Vukets & Associates

Bronze Sponsors

Goodmans LLP, BFL Canada, Pizzaville, Eggplant Picture & Sound

Media Partners

National Post, Toronto Star and Toronto Life

Official Entertainment Sponsor

Slaight Music

All photos by George Pimentel Photography

Cory Angeletti-Szasz

Manager, Communications (Mat Leave)