Stars and media alike were welcomed to kick off TIFF at this non-traditional gifting suite
Another TIFF festival is in town now – Torontonians are experiencing 11 days of cinema, celebrities and glamour. And parties of course. Among celebrities seen at Toronto International Film Festival this year were Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman, Natalie Portman, Salma Hayek, Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, Hilary Swank, Ryan Gosling, Keira Knightley, Susan Sarandon, Octavia Spenser, Carey Mulligan, Thandie Newton, Paris Hilton, Cara Delevingne, Ashley Benson, Lily Rose Depp (Johnny Depp’s daughter), Laetitia Casta, Christina Hendricks, Viola Davis, Colin Farrell, Liam Neeson, Jake Gyllenhaal, Joaquin Phoenix, Olivia Wilde, Jesse Eisenberg, Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Hugh Jackman, Melissa McCarthy, Julianne Moore, Matthew McConaughey, Steve Carrell, Amy Ryan, Andie McDowell, Emmy Rossum, Dev Patel, Jude Law, Elle Fanning, and others.
One of the most glamorous parties dedicated to TIFF this year was Bask-It-Style by GLO Communications. Now in its tenth year, Bask-It-Style is back and celebrating at the Thompson Toronto Hotel (located at 550 Wellington Street West, Toronto). The annual media day took place on Wednesday, September 5th. Bask-It-Style, a twist on traditional gifting, gives busy stars on the go, at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), one less thing to worry about while in town promoting their films and schmoozing with their peers – collecting new products. And this year it was no exception, as Bask-It-Style is taking celebrity gifting to new heights by assembling and hand delivering VIP gift bags to the hotels where the stars are staying during TIFF. In the past, celebrities gifted through Bask-It-Style hotel partners have included: Matt Damon, Jennifer Garner, Julianne Moore, Naomi Watts, Colin Farrell, John Legend, Sir Elton John, Rachel McAdams, Pierce Brosnan, Blake Lively, Olivia Wilde, Rachel Weisz, Princess Charlotte of Monaco, Elle Fanning, Helen Mirren, John Goodman.
“This is our tenth anniversary of Bask-It-Style,” says Jessica Glover, Principal, GLO Communications. “We are thrilled to be back at the Thompson Hotel showcasing their Penthouse Suite.”
|Bask-It-Style 2018, Thompson Hotel in Toronto, September 5th 2018|
This year, celebrities are receiving a variety of sense-provoking goodies in bags designed by Sully Wong.
Anne-Marie Chagnon: one of six jewelry styles;
Biossance: assortment of skin care products;
Browns Shoes: media bag sponsor;
Crazy D’s Soda Labs: Crazy D’s prebiotic craft soda in Ginga’ Kick, Rockin’ Rolla’ Cherry Cola or Twisted Citrus flavours;
Creeds: gift card and bag of CINQUE x Creeds Coffee Bar custom roast;
DK Publishing: Astrology by Carole Taylor;
Dr. Bronner’s: Peppermint Castile liquid soap;
ESKA: carbonated natural spring water in regular or citrus flavour;
Green & Black’s: organic dark chocolate bar in burnt toffee flavour;
Greenhouse Juice Company: Rococoa organic, dairy-free shake;
Healthy Crunch: trail mix in a variety of flavours;
House of Hayla: HOH monochromatic heel;
MIRA publishing house: The Neighbours by author Hannah Mary McKinnon;
Natur-a: Fortified Almond mini-beverages in original and chocolate flavour;
Nomz: Almond Nomz energy bites;
Pilot Coffee Roasters: Pilot cold brew latte;
Ripley Publishing: A Century of Strange! from Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! book series;
Sharp magazine: magazine sponsor, the magazine for men;
Sully Wong: celebrity gift bag sponsor, the KYOJIN bag;
Thompson Hotel: venue partner;
Toronto Popcorn Company: gourmet popcorn in Old Fashioned kettle corn and Buffalo Kick;
TURO: a credit for TURO services.
|Gift included in the gift bag at Bask-It-Style 2018|
Technology Room Drive around in style with TURO
TURO is changing the game when it comes to car rental services. A pioneer of the sharing economy, this peer-to-peer car sharing marketplace allows users to choose from a unique selection of vehicles from a community of trusted local hosts. Upon entering the Thompson Hotel, guests had the pleasure of going Back to the Future on-site with a limited production 1981 DeLorean DMC-12, showcasing what can be expected from TURO’s unique inventory. While hopping from city to city, stars in town for TIFF will receive a $500 credit, redeemable towards their TURO adventure.
|This beautiful DeLorean from 1981 (the same model as the one from the 1985 film "Back to the Future") is a TURO participant|
Refreshment Room Indulge your cravings with prebiotic craft soda and Cold Brew coffee
Crazy D’s Prebiotic Soda Labs team were on-site to discuss the health benefits of adding prebiotics to your diet. As the first soda sweetened with prebiotic root vegetables, Crazy D’s is organic, vegan and has no added sugar, caffeine, preservatives, colours or flavours. Guests could sample Crazy D’s three flavours: Rockin’ Rolla’ Cherry Cola, Ginga’ Kick and Twisted Citrus. They could also take home one bottle of Crazy D’s Prebiotic craft soda (retail value $4.49) of their choice of flavour. I chose to take home the citrus flavour, and I really enjoyed it.
|Crazy D's prebiotic craft soda|
|Cold Brew coffee|
Beauty Meets the Style Room Treat yourself to a hand massage with innovative skincare products and try on a pair of Canadian-designed high heels
The stress of TIFF can take a toll on your skin, especially with the intense summer heat. At the forefront of clean beauty, Biossance provided guests the star treatment with hand massages to highlight their skincare line. As we age, our skin’s natural moisture decreases so Biossance uses biotechnology to produce squalane derived from 100% plant-based, renewable sugar cane. Biossance team on the site gave each guest a trio of their best-selling products to take home, including the Squalane + Vitamin C rose oil (retail value $90) to brighten, firm and even skin tone; Squalane + Phyto-Retinol serum (retail value $48) to reduce the look of lines and wrinkles; and Squalane + Peptide eye gel (retail value $68) to reduce puffiness and dark circles around the eye.
|Biossance skin care products|
|House of Hayla Monochromatic Heels collection|
Reading Room Explore the latest titles from major publishing houses
Back by popular demand, the reading room offered guests the unique chance to explore a collection of the latest fall titles from three major publishing houses, as well as a special in-person appearance from the British author, Hannah Mary McKinnon. McKinnon was on-site and discussed her book, The Neighbours (retail value $19.99), published by MIRA, portraying an intense domestic drama where secrets from the past begin to slowly unravel a marriage.
|"TheNeighbors" by Hannah May McKinnon|
|Editorial news from DK Publishing|
|Chris Houston from DK Publishing presenting new titles to guests|
|Editorial news from Ripley Publishing|
Some other exciting items in the bag
The gift bags also included a gift card to experience premium dry cleaning services on-the-go, like a celebrity, from Creeds, Toronto’s couture dry cleaning, with a gift card valued at $250. Creeds will provide A-listers the assurance they need with same day pick-up and drop-off services for their precious red carpet gowns and designer suits. To complement their red carpet outfits, guests could select one of six jewelry pieces (retail value $75-$119) from Anne-Marie Chagnon, a Canadian-based jewelry designer, to suit their individual style. Each guest will receive a Dr. Bronner’s certified fair-trade, Peppermint Pure-Castile liquid soap (retail value $4.49). A combination of organic extra virgin coconut, jojoba, hemp and pure peppermint oil produces a unique soap free of synthetics, preservatives and thickeners.
After all of the pampering, guests could enjoy the bubbly and refreshing effervescence of ESKA with carbonated natural spring water in regular or citrus flavours (retail value $1.49). If water isn’t enough, Natur-a included their Fortified Almond mini-beverages (retail value $3.50) in original and chocolate flavours. Greenhouse Juice Co. provided their Rococoa organic shake (retail value $5.99). This dairy-free chocolate almond milk has 8 grams of plant protein and is rich in antioxidants.
Those jam-packed schedules offer little time for food breaks, so guests could snack on Nomz Almond energy bites (retail value $4), an organic, vegan, gluten-free treat made with organic nuts, dates, cocoa and coconut oil or Healthy Crunch trail mix (retail value $5.99) from Healthy Crunch, a peanut-free, and tree-nut free trail mix for on-the-go crunching in a variety of flavours. Next, Green & Black’s satisfies those pesky sugar cravings with a Burnt Toffee organic dark chocolate bar (retail value $4.49) packed with crunchy Yorkshire toffee pieces and 60% cocoa. On the other hand, those who prefer savoury snacks could enjoy gourmet popcorn from the Toronto Popcorn Company. Each bag will contain a sample of the classic Old Fashioned kettle corn or Buffalo Kick popcorn for those looking for an extra punch to the taste buds.
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GLO Communications is a boutique PR firm creating dynamic publicity campaigns for clients in the lifestyle industry, including publishing, fashion, beauty and entertainment. They specialize in media relations, PR strategy development, marketing communications, product launches, event management, media training, product seeding, evaluation and measurement.
Trained in visual arts at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), Québec native Anne Marie Chagnon has been creating wearable art since she was old enough to hold a welding torch. Since 1995, her modern and minimalist aesthetic has captured the attention of customers all over the world. Chagnon’s contemporary approach to jewelry design has been the driving force behind her career, resulting in high profile collaborations with companies like Cirque du Soleil. Significantly, Chagnon was also recently honoured to be selected by Iris Apfel to be included in the collection of artwork sold at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts. In April 2018, Anne-Marie Chagnon opened its first international flagship store in Tokyo, Japan.
Biossance No Compromise™ Beauty
Biossance is a beauty brand that formulates clean, non toxic skincare using the highest standards in the industry through their commitment to transparency and their blacklist of 2,000+ toxic ingredients.
Browns Shoes, a family-owned business established in Montréal in 1940, is synonymous with top international designer collections, luxurious leather goods, and exclusive street savvy fashion for ladies, men and children. Browns is one of the few companies that donates 10% of its pre-tax profits to charities. Mr. Morton Brownstein, Chairman, was recognized for his extraordinary fundraising work when he was appointed to the Order of Canada in July 2004.
Crazy D’s Soda Labs
Founded in 2016 by Darren Portelli, Crazy D’s Soda Labs, a Toronto-based company, offers the first healthy, no added sugar or artificial flavours, prebiotic soda. Crazy D’s prebiotic craft soda is sweetened with prebiotic root veggies, which stimulates the growth of beneficial bacteria that colonizes our gut microflora. Prebiotics help balance harmful bacteria and toxins living in the digestive tract providing lasting health benefits. These sodas not only taste great in three refreshing flavours, but they’re also crazy good! Noted as one of the top innovative products at the Green Living Show, they also give back by working with kid related charities such as Lonny’s Smile Foundation, Camp Winston and The Robbie.
Creeds: Trust CREEDS. Protect Your Image.
In a world where good service is desired but rarely experienced, Creeds stands out as a welcome exception. Ranking among the Top 10 in North America by the Leading Cleaners Internationale, Creeds offers more than three decades of garment care experience marked by superb craftsmanship, uncompromising attention to detail, and a willingness to continually evolve and improve their process and service. Every Creeds customer enjoys attentive, personalized service with an unwavering commitment to quality. Think of Creeds as your personal valet, working tirelessly behind the scenes to help you look your best. Creeds proudly services the GTA and cottage country. Visit Creeds online at Creeds.com to schedule a pickup, or at their flagship coffee bar and retail space at 390 Dupont Street in Toronto.
The world’s leading illustrated reference publisher whose aim is to inform, enrich and entertain readers of all ages, DK publishes highly visual, photographic non-fiction for adults and children, bringing unrivaled clarity to a wide range of topics with a unique combination of words and pictures, put together to spectacular effect.
Dr. Bronner’s is a family business committed to honoring the vision of founder Emanuel Bronner by making socially and environmentally responsible products of the highest quality, and by dedicating profits to help make a better world. Dr. Bronner’s commitment to social justice, environmental sustainability and progressive business practices is part of the company’s mission to put into practice the principles that inform the philosophy printed on the company’s iconic soap labels written by founder Emanuel Bronner. The company is the top-selling natural soap maker in North America and a major brand worldwide. Based on 2017 sales, a bottle of Dr. Bronner’s soap was sold, on average, every 2.2 seconds throughout the year. For further information, please visit DrBronner.com.
ESKA Inc.’s corporate offices are based in Toronto, and the plant in St-Mathieu-d’Harricana, Québec. ESKA natural spring water is one of the purest waters in the world. It comes from a perfectly preserved historic source for water – an esker in Northern Quebec, Canada. It emerges from the ground 100% microbiologically pure and is bottled directly from the source thus preserving its taste and purity.
Green & Black’s
Green & Black’s was launched 27 years ago – a high quality, dark, bittersweet organic chocolate bar, packed with 70% cocoa solids. Founded by husband and wife team Craig Sams and Jo Fairley, Green & Black’s was born in their flat on Portobello Road in London in 1991. The Green & Black’s brand has now expanded into different formats from small bars to Easter products whilst maintaining its uncompromised values on ethics and quality. With 12 unique bars in the portfolio, Green & Black’s is committed to creating great tasting, innovative and ethically sourced chocolate. For further information on Green & Black’s and to learn more about the brand’s history and ethical production of premium chocolate, please visit GreenandBlacks.co.uk. Green & Black’s products are available at natural health and organic food shops, independent specialty food stores and select major retailers such as Whole Foods, Sobey’s, Metro, Loblaws and Shoppers Drug Mart.
Greenhouse Juice Co.
Greenhouse is a proudly Canadian beverage company committed to producing organic, plant-based, functional beverages with maximum nutrient density, in a delicious, convenient format. Their mission is to offer widespread, sustainable access to plant-based nutrition of the highest quality. Their goal is to make it simple to savour the present while looking out for a healthy future – our future, and that of our planet.
The Healthy Crunch Company makes the best artisanal snacks on the planet. They believe eating whole real food makes you feel good inside and out. Happy crunching!
House of Hayla
Drawing inspiration from a selection of vibrant Pantone colour palettes, the new House of Hayla Monochrome collection combines the perfect mix of vegan synthetics sourced in a single tone to create a unified look that will compliment any outfit. From top to heel tip, the new Monochrome Heel collection by House of Hayla is a complete devotion to tone-a total submersion of colour.
Discover the brightest stars in adult fiction, from bestselling authors to exciting debuts. For more information on the publishing house, please visit HarlequinTradePublishing.com.
Natur-a Foods knows that you base your decisions about your diet on what’s best for your health. That’s why they’re committed to developing and producing soy beverages, rice beverages and almond beverages that are tasty, deliver great quality, and contribute to a healthy lifestyle. Natur-a product family meets a growing need: to provide consumers with a healthful alternative to dairy products. And that’s why Natur-a Foods continues to develop delicious, nutritious, organic health foods and beverages made from plant products.
Nomz is a proudly Canadian company that creates organic and tasty snacks made with minimal and simple ingredients. For more information, please visit Nomz.com.
Pilot Coffee Roasters
Pilot Coffee Roasters is a full-service specialty coffee roaster and cafe operator located in Toronto that offers a rotating selection of blends and single origin coffees as well as cold brew. Their roasts reflect the complex factors that give coffee beans their unique character – from varietal, to climate, soil and altitude of the growing region, to the care and skill of the farmer. What guides this coffee brand is their commitment to quality, sustainability and exceptional service. This means trade relationships that support sustainable development and positively impact the communities at origin.
Ripley Entertainment Inc. is a global leader in location-based entertainment. More than 14 million people visit its 100-plus attractions in 11 countries each year. The company has publishing, licensing, and broadcast divisions.
Sharp is published six times per year by Contempo Media, Inc., and covers a wide array of premium men’s lifestyle topics, such as fashion, grooming, watches, personal tech and automobiles. Contempo Media also publishes Sharp: The Book for Men, an ultra-premium, 240-plus page men’s lifestyle tome – in both English and French – biannually. Both publications are available on newsstands nationwide.
The cornerstone of Sully Wong’s footwear and accessories is in the design, craftsmanship and quality materials. Immense care and attention are put into each Sully Wong creation. The minimalist style establishes a level of sophistication to the pieces with sleek tonal accents, straight edges, and geometric shapes. The completed pieces are the ultimate blend of urban refinement, solid construction and classic silhouettes that define the very essence of form meeting function.
Thompson Hotel Toronto
Part of the King West landscape since 2010, Thompson Toronto has become known for its refined edge. A vibrant destination for discerning travelers and in-the-know urbanites, Thompson Toronto is a premier location, offering personalized service, distinctive culinary experiences and the city’s only rooftop lounge with a 40-foot infinity swimming pool. Designed by Studio Gaia, it has 105 ultra-sleek guestrooms, including three brand new suites for 2016, all of which feature floor-to-ceiling windows and a list of modern luxuries. Amid Toronto’s hot spots, Thompson Toronto is a star, offering guests food, drink and entertainment options to suit any mood: Thompson Diner, a contemporary classic diner; Rooftop Lounge, a retreat with poolside cabanas and cocktails; the newly-reimagined Lobby Bar; French bistro Colette; and the effortlessly cool nightclub Wildflower. And, with 30,000 square feet of prime event space, including the Rooftop Lounge and luxurious Screening Room, Thompson Toronto offers the ideal setting for conferences, meetings, weddings and more.
About Thompson Hotels
Founded in 2001, Thompson Hotels, a Commune Hotels & Resorts brand, is an international hospitality company that offers sophisticated luxury to its discerning clientele. The Thompson portfolio of lifestyle hotels includes the newly-opened Thompson Playa del Carmen in Riviera Maya, Mexico and the recently-opened The Cape in Los Cabos, Mexico; Gild Hall and Smyth in New York City; Thompson Chicago; Thompson Toronto; Belgraves in London; and Thompson Miami Beach. Thompson Hotels also has multiple new projects in development, including The Beekman in Lower Manhattan, Thompson Seattle and Thompson Nashville. Follow @ThompsonHotels on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for news and updates.
Toronto Popcorn Company
Founded in 2013, TOPopcornCo. has since established itself as the city’s go-to gourmet popcorn company. Toronto Popcorn Co. is a small-batch production popcorn company that specializes in creating popcorn – from old time favourites to very decadent ones – that makes use of only premium ingredients. Always fresh and made with love, TOPopcornCo’s quality-over-quantity approach has quite made a cult-following. Starting out as a hole-in-the wall retail concept in Kensington Market, Toronto Popcorn can now be found in retail stores all over the city, and can be enjoyed Canada-wide by ordering from its website. Toronto Popcorn – it’s not your random popcorn!
TURO is a peer-to-peer car sharing marketplace where you can book any car you want, wherever you want it, from a vibrant community of local hosts across the US, Canada, the UK, and Germany. Guests choose from a totally unique selection of nearby cars, while hosts earn extra money to offset the costs of car ownership. A pioneer of the sharing economy and travel industry, TURO is a safe, supportive community over 7.5 million strong with more than 275,000 vehicles listed and over 850 unique makes and models available. Whether it’s a truck to help out on moving day, a Tesla for an exciting new experience, or a classic VW bus for a picture-perfect road trip, TURO lets you find the perfect vehicle for your next adventure. Discover TURO at TURO.com.
Photo credit: Kennedy Pollard / Ryan Emberley Photography