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. The festival just kicked off this Thursday September 5th, and will conclude next Sunday September 15th. Among celebrities seen at Toronto International Film Festival this year are Jennifer Lopez, Ellen Page, Wesley Snipes, Robert Pattinson, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Daniel Craig, Kerry Washington, Susan Sarandon, Kristen Stewart, Jessica Biel, Coco Rocha, Anna Wintour, Antonio Banderas, Dev Patel, and many others.
One of the most glamorous parties dedicated to TIFF this year was the annual Bask-It-Style by Toronto based public relations firm GLO Communications. Back for its eleventh year, Bask-It-Style hosted its annual media day Wednesday, September 4th, at the Thompson Toronto Hotel (550 Wellington Street West). Media were invited to preview and experience celebrity VIP treatment from this year’s 20 sponsors, a glamorous event that I also had the pleasure to attend. Taking place during the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Bask-It-Style hand delivers VIP gift bags to celebrities on-the-go with a survival-kit of goodies to enjoy while navigating TIFF. From beauty and health to style, tech and food, Bask-It-Style has everything for a star on a busy TIFF schedule. 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, Tom Wilkinson, Rachel Weisz, Iggy Pop, Princess Charlotte of Monaco, Elle Fanning, Helen Mirren, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman and many more.
“This is our eleventh year of Bask-It-Style”, says Jessica Glover, Principal, GLO Communications. “We are thrilled to be back at the Thompson Toronto Hotel showcasing brands that are in our TIFF must-have survival kit.”
On Wednesday, September 4th, media were invited (by appointment only) from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM to receive the star treatment. This year’s venue was once again the luxurious Thompson Toronto Hotel, which is in the heart of the trendy King West area – the same venue as in the previous three years – 2016, 2017 and 2018. The elegantly designed Front Room is an 858 square foot area that reflects the hotel’s signature avant-garde style, blending luxury furnishings with high-tech functionality. It features built-in audiovisual, including a 60 square foot media wall with plugins for Mac Mini, Apple TV, and HDMI.
This year, celebrities are receiving a variety of sense-provoking goodies in exclusive travel bags designed by Amber & Ash.
Amber & Ash: celebrity limited edition gift bag sponsor
Browns Shoes: media bag sponsor
DK Publishing: Fashion, The Definitive Visual Guide by DK (new edition)
D. O. Rueda: Rueda Wine from one of eight wineries
Dr. Bronner’s: Pure Peppermint Pure-Castile liquid soap
Green & Black’s: milk or dark chocolate bar in one of ten flavours
Hanalei: Kukui oil lip treatment
Indigena Skincare: Botanical “Glowing” travel kit
LIVA foods: date sugar
Michael Hill: 10 karat gold delicate ring featuring six diamonds
MIRA: Good Girls Lie by J. T. Ellison
Monat: REJUVENIQE™ oil intensive, MONAT STUDIO ONE THE CHAMP™ conditioning dry shampoo
Oteas Canada Inc.: exclusive Fan Favourites tea assortment in biodegradable packaging
Welo: probiotic bars
Sharp magazine: magazine sponsor
Toronto Thompson Hotel: venue partner
Todd’s Better: egg white protein crisps in one of four flavours
Toronto Popcorn Company: grab bag in garlic parmesan or bacon cheddar
Tru Niagen: Tru Niagen supplement
Turo: $200 Turo credit
Celebrity gift bag sponsor – Amber & Ash
This year’s celebrities will receive all of their goodies in a limited edition travel tote designed by Amber & Ash exclusively for Bask-It-Style at TIFF (retail value $89.99). This bag includes versatile straps to go from tote to backpack and features several internal and external pockets for accessibility, as well as a compartment that allows the bag to be placed over a luggage handle. The bag is made of durable, PU coated cotton and embellished with full-grain leather accents with signature A&A lining. The team also had a variety of their Fall 2019 bags on display in the suite during the media event.
|Amber & Ash bags|
Drive around in style with TURO
Looking for a unique, stylish ride to cruise around the city or roll up to a red carpet in? Feel like an A-lister with TURO’s exclusive peer-to-peer car-sharing platform. A pioneer of the sharing economy, Turo guests got to choose from a unique selection of vehicles from a community of trusted local hosts. On display at this year’s event there was the show-stopping cinematic DeLorean from Back to the Future film (1985) to give guests a taste of what the TURO inventory has to offer. Guests were treated with a portrait taken with the car.
|DeLorean time machine from "Back to the Future" film (1985)|
Take a trip to Spain with D. O. Rueda
D. O. (Designation of Origin) Rueda took guests on a trip to Northern Spain as they had the chance to taste 17 different wines from eight of the region’s wineries, with Canada’s master sommelier, Bruce Wallner. Rueda, a wine region in Spain located in the community of Castile de León, is known for its production of the verdejo grape due to its unique climate and land. Guests were treated to a bottle of wine to sip back after a long night of film action at TIFF (retail value $15-$30). The wineries featured at the event were Palacio De Bornos, Finca Montepedroso, Bodega Gotica, Javier Sanz Viticultor, Bodega Verdeal, Sat Rueda Perez, Bodegas Menade, Marqués De Riscal.
Steep and sip with Oteas
For all the tea lovers, Oteas will be brewing something special with their limited edition Fan Favourites tea combo-pack. Guests were invited to get their taste buds ready for these unique blends of tea. From sweet to spicy and aromatically energizing, these special blends are nestled in plant based packaging and biodegradable tea bags. Good for you and the planet. The Fan Favourite selection, inspired by the fans of films at TIFF, included the flavours Strawberries & Cream, Raspberry Leaf, Organic Earl Grey, Organic Green Tea with Peppermint, Organic Lemongrass, Ginger & Cinnamon (retail value $12.95). Pick your favourite blend, steep and enjoy your film!
|Sampling Oteas tea|
Skincare, haircare and health products
All the hustle and bustle of TIFF can take a toll on your skin. The Indigena Skincare team were on-site with skincare to make you glow! Indigena Skincare’s Glowing travel kit (retail value $215) includes: Labrador Tea day and night cream, Rose Petal eye cream, Sea Veggie face lotion and Blueberry Bliss lip scrub. Their rare botanical extract blends are foraged from the Canada’s Boreal forest and the North Atlantic, leaving your skin nourished and rejuvenated instantly. Skincare and haircare go hand in hand when it comes to being red carpet ready.
MONAT Global’s intensive anti-aging haircare line (retail value $45-$129) unites the best of nature and science to provide luxurious treatments and styling products that give your hair the all-star treatment. Their team were on-site offering touch-ups and hair tips, featuring their flagship product, REJUVENIQE™ oil intensive, along with their MONAT STUDIO ONE™ styling collection. The MONAT product line, which is leaping bunny approved and vegan, includes a professional styling collection, a men’s haircare and grooming line, a children’s collection, pet care and several targeted hair care systems and treatments.
|MONAT beauty products|
|Tru-Niagen health supplement|
Sparkle and shine with Michael Hill’s gold collection
No look is complete without some great jewellery to tie the look together. Michael Hill will be bringing red carpet worthy looks with their classic and elegant designs, showcasing this season’s gold essential pieces like their 10 karat gold mini hoop earrings (retail value $139) and their perfect dainty and stackable 10 karat gold ring featuring six diamonds (retail value $449).
|Michael Hill jewelry|
Explore the latest titles from major publishing houses in Toronto
Back by popular demand, the reading room will offer guests the unique chance to explore a collection of the latest fall titles from two major publishing houses. MIRA showcased its latest title Good Girls Lie by J. T. Ellison (retail value $21.99), a pulse-pounding new novel that examines the tenuous bonds of friendship, the power of lies and the desperate lengths people will go to in order to protect their secrets.
|Author J. T. Ellison, showcasing her new book "Good Girls Lie"|
Alongside MIRA, the heavy-weight DK Publishing showcased their new and noteworthy fall title Fashion: The Definitive Visual Guide (new edition, retail value $65). You will learn all about fashion’s trailblazers and trendsetters in this boldly illustrated, definitive guide that charts style from the late 19th century to the modern day. I also have the previous edition of Fashion: The Definitive Visual Guide from Bask-It-Style 2016, courtesy of Chris Houston, marketing director with DK Publishing.
|Chris Houston, Director of Marketing with DK Publishing, presenting new titles to guests|
Some other exciting items in the bag
The gift bags will also include some exciting products from various beauty, food and lifestyle brands.
Dr. Bronner’s – Pure Peppermint Pure-Castile liquid soap is the brand’s most popular scent, with organic peppermint bursts as you lather. Clean your house and body with no synthetic preservatives, detergents or foaming agents EVER!
Another great sustainable and natural product is Hanalei’s Kukui oil lip treatment (retail value $20 USD). This lip treatment delivers intense moisture and silkiness with the use of pure kukui oil and shea butter, while agave and grapeseed oil provide high levels of antioxidants that will help soothe and keep the skin looking healthy throughout TIFF season.
Being fabulous can build up an appetite, which is why Green & Black’s will help you indulge with your sweet tooth with their variety of milk and dark chocolates that offers something for every palate; ginger, current, burnt toffee, hazelnut, sea salt, and almond are just some of the delicious flavours they have to offer (retail value $4.49).
Next, you can feel guilt-free about this sugar alternative with LIVA date sugar (retail value $13.95). A raw, organic non-GMO sweetener made with only two ingredients, dehydrated Deglet Noor dates and love. LIVA date sugar retains all of the nutritional value of dates and all of the trace minerals that are absent in virtually all other sweeteners.
Get three days’ worth of probiotics on the go with Welo’s probiotic bars (retail value $2.49-$2.99). Welo’s bars are locally-made and contain only three grams of sugar, they are perfect for any busy lifestyle!
For a more savoury snack, Toronto Popcorn company treats us to their gourmet popcorn in the yummy flavours of garlic parmesan and bacon and cheddar (retail value $2.75), need we say more?
With all these yummy treats you can feel guilt-free about snacking on Todd’s Better Snacks, a crunchy treat made with egg white protein (retail value $2.99). With flavours like sour cream and onion, BBQ, white cheddar and salt and vinegar, these flavour filled snacks are packed with 10 grams of protein!
Finally, SHARP magazine takes the pulse of society to bring sophisticated men the information and entertainment that they want and need. SHARP’s pages are full of the latest in fashion, luxury travel, technology, automobiles, food, entertainment and celebrities.
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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 and evaluation and measurement.
Amber & Ash
Launched in the fall of 2016, Amber & Ash has been dedicated to emerging as a unique voice in the fashion and tech accessories market specifically on Amazon. Every item the brand brings to market is constructed to protect and last while beautifully complementing customers’ wardrobes. Since the launch they have expanded into laptop bags, totes, backpacks, and accessory phone cases; manufacturing thoughtfully carry goods for everyone for every day.
Browns Shoes, a family-owned business established in Montreal 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.
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.
D. O. Rueda
D. O. Rueda was founded in 1980, the first D. O. in Castilla y Leon and is ranked as the top white wine region in the Spanish market, according to Nielsen. Situated on a high plateau with a continental climate, Rueda has long cold winters, short springs and hot summers, perfect for the Verdejo grape, the dominant varietal in the region. High elevations and gravelly stone soils allow the Verdejo to ripen by mid-September and develop deep aromas and flavors resulting in dry, fresh wines that are food-friendly and accessible.
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.
Green & Black’s
27 years ago, Green & Black’s was launched – 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 in Portobello Road 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.
Inspired by all that the Hawaiian islands has to offer agriculturally, Hanalei company set out to create gentle, easy-to-use beauty products that reflect the essence of Hawaii and the spirit of Aloha. Real Hawaiian botanicals like kukui nut, Hawaiian sugarcane, and noni are formulated into the products. All of Hanalei’s products are cruelty free, paraben free, and sulfate free.
Indigena Skincare began in the heart and mind of a 12-year old little girl who loved her home, nature and the world of beauty. Indigena is a unique combination of nature, science and Indie beauty. They are a Canadian cosmetics manufacturer who has developed a niche in natural skincare using northern boreal indigenous extracts from Newfoundland & Labrador’s remote and clean eco systems and surrounding sea. They do beauty differently – no fillers, just nature, bottled for you. For more information on Indigena Skincare innovations please visit IndigenaSkincare.com.
Arising from her powerful determination to reconnect with the sweet moments in her life, founder Lubaina Rakla set out on a quest to create and bring the very best raw and organic date sugar to the market. LIVA raw organic date sugar contains only two ingredients – dehydrated, ground Deglet Noor dates and love. LIVA provides a vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO healthier alternative to traditional sweeteners. It’s a great natural sweetener for all of your baking and beverage needs. Customers can purchase LIVA in a 400 grams canister and coming soon in convenient sachets for when you’re on the go! Life’s a little sweeter with LIVA. For more information, please visit LivaFoods.com.
The Michael Hill story began in 1979 when Sir Michael and his wife Christine opened their first store in the New Zealand town of Whangarei, some 160 kilometres north of Auckland. Since then, the company growth has been guided by a unique retail jewellery formula. Through dramatically different store designs, a product range devoted exclusively to jewellery and development of high impact advertising, Michael Hill Jewellers rose to national prominence. In 1987 Michael Hill International was listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange, the same year the group expanded into Australia. In 2002, Michael Hill expanded into North America, opening its first stores in Vancouver, Canada. The Canadian presence now includes stores in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Ontario. Exclusive jewellery collections available at Michael Hill stores include Sir Michael Hill Designer Bridal, Knots, Spirits Bay, Southern Star, Whitefire, and Northern Radiance with Canadamark diamonds.
Discover the brightest stars in adult fiction, from bestselling authors to exciting debuts, HarlequinTradePublishing.com. Harlequin is one of the world’s leading publishers of books for women, with titles issued worldwide in as many as 32 languages and sold in up to 93 international markets. The company publishes more than 110 titles monthly and more than 1,300 authors from around the world. Harlequin is a division of HarperCollins Publishers, itself a subsidiary of News Corp and one of the largest consumer book publishers in the world. Harlequin has offices in 14 countries, including offices in Toronto and New York. For more information, please visit Harlequin.com and Facebook.com/HarlequinBooks. Follow Harlequin on Twitter: @HarlequinBooks.
MONAT Global was founded in Miami, Florida in 2014 by the Urdaneta family, and has since expanded to include Canada and the United Kingdom. Since its inception, MONAT has established itself as a revolutionary hair care line that beautifully unites the best of both nature and science, using the latest scientific technologies and clinically proven proprietary ingredients on the market. This carefully crafted collaboration of science and nature allows MONAT to provide an unparalleled and unique age prevention hair and skin care experience. MONAT’s ingredients are vegan, naturally based, safe, pure and sustainable. They say no to animal cruelty and are proudly leaping bunny certified. For more information about MONAT visit MonatGlobal.com/ca.
A conscious awakening has occurred across the globe. Great taste, and far less waste is what modern grocery consumers want. Oteas believes that in order to elevate our human health, our physical environment should not have to be compromised. The company is committed to using high quality hand blended ingredients, and 100% plant-based packaging. This commitment puts Oteas in a league of their own as a quality tea 100% plastic free, biodegradable and a true zero waste consumer product.
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.
Toronto Part of the King West landscape since 2010, Thompson Toronto has become known for its refined edge. A vibrant destination for discerning travellers 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, 105 ultra-sleek guestrooms, including three brand new suites for 2016, all 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. For more information, please visit ThompsonHotels.com.
Todd’s Better Snacks
The story of Todd’s Better Snacks is all about making a great tasting, great-for-you snack with astounding crunch. Tired of the compromise between great taste and good-for-you, Todd set the bar high: make a crunchy and great tasting snack with the best quality protein – egg whites – and do it right here in Canada. The result is Todd’s Protein Crisps. Why egg white? Egg white protein is the gold standard protein for athletes and growing (as well as grown up) bodies. Todd’s Protein Crisps contain over 2 whole egg whites per serving. They’re also gluten and peanut free, keto and paleo friendly, and naturally low carb. Todd’s Protein Crisps embrace classic flavours, and are truly great tasting, setting them apart among high-protein, good-for-you snacks. They have just the right amount of saltiness, huge crunch, and are perfect for hungry kids and adults on the go – at school, at work, or after the gym, so people can feel good about Todd’s, and enjoy a quality snack made of real and local foods, one that satisfies.
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 it can be enjoyed Canada-wide by ordering from its website. Toronto Popcorn – it’s not your random popcorn!
TRU NIAGEN™ is a unique form of vitamin B3 shown to maintain levels of NAD, to support cellular health. All five peer-reviewed published clinical trials confirm Niagen maintains NAD levels in blood. Tru Niagen is approved for sale by Health Canada as a natural health product (NHP), and it has also received Certified for Sport® status from NSF International, a leading independent public health and safety organization.
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 the 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.
Welo (short for We Love) was founded in August 2016, after they were inspired by what they had learned for themselves about the importance of probiotics and gut health. All of their products are made from ingredients they stand behind, and every product sold supports water, education, or food projects in Kikima, Kenya.
|During the event|