Eighteen upscale pop-up dining rooms arrive in Yorkville on November 28, their kitchens staffed with Toronto culinary royalty including Mark McEwan, Susur Lee and Sassafraz’s executive chef Geoff Webb. The one-night-only foodie fantasy is part of Canada’s largest fundraising gala in support of HIV initiatives, Bloor Street Entertains. Now in its 22nd year, the event is expected to raise $800,000 for the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research.
The fundraiser began 30 years ago as Food For Thought, a series of dinner parties held at the homes of Toronto socialites. In 1997, the event blossomed into Bloor Street Entertains, and those dinners moved to galleries, hotels and luxury retail spaces. It has since raised $8 million for CanFAR’s research and awareness programs.
Restaurants and caterers providing the four-course dinner include Café Boulud, Momofuku and Colette Grand Café. This year’s hosts include the Gardiner Museum, William Ashley, Dolce & Gabbana, Harry Rosen, Holt Renfrew and Yorkville Village, where McEwan will present a custom menu. The Yorkville Village dinner, to be held inside Bois & Cuir, will feature décor by Nicholas Smith of Opening Night Flowers and cocktails by The Botanist Gin.
Following a four-course dinner, guests will gather for an extravagant After Party at the Four Seasons Hotel, with music from Toronto-based DJ Barbi and a performance by Canadian Idol winner Theo Tams. Lauren Chang of sex-education theatre troupe SExT will perform “Bodak Consent,” a rap about healthy sexuality that riffs on Cardi B’s hit “Bodak Yellow.” Diners will also have an opportunity to bid on silent auction items, including trips to Austria, China, Thailand and Germany.
Last year’s Bloor Street Entertains was co-chaired by supermodel Coco Rocha and philanthropist Sylvia Mantella, and was attended by influential Torontonians such as Suzanne Rogers, designer David Dixon, and CanFAR national spokesperson Valerie Pringle. It raised nearly $700,000 for CanFAR and won the Best Event for a High Profile Charity award at the Canadian Event Industry Awards.
This year’s event is co-chaired by fashion journalist Bernadette Morra; her husband, luxury real-estate agent Jimmy Molloy; and Rui Amaral, director of Scrap Metal art gallery. “The increasing Canadian infection rate is completely unacceptable,” Morra said in a statement, referring to the 5% rise in the number of Canadians living with HIV between 2014 and 2016. “The more information that is shared about testing and prevention, the better.”
The 22nd Bloor Street Entertains is Wednesday, November 28 at 6:30 p.m. Single tickets are $1,000, and a table is $10,000. For more details, visit canfar.com