~~~ Stars and media alike are welcomed to kick off TIFF at the Fairmont Royal York at this non-traditional gifting suite ~~~
Toronto International Film Festival is back, as well as many other fashion events on the social scene in Toronto, after two years of the pandemic. This year, just like in the old days, up until 2019 to be more precise, Torontonians are experiencing 11 days of TIFF – cinema, celebrities, and glamour. And parties of course. The film festival just kicked off this Thursday, September 8th, and will conclude next Sunday, September 18th. Among celebrities attending Toronto International Film Festival this year are Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Hudson, Daniel Craig, Sara and Tegan Quin, Chelsea and Hilary Clinton, Nicholas Cage, Taylor Swift, Viola Davis, Daniel Radcliffe, and many others.
One of the most glamorous parties dedicated to TIFF this year is the annual Bask-It-Style gift lounge hosted by Toronto-based public relations firm GLO Communications. Back for its 12th year after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bask-It-Style hosted its annual media day on Wednesday, September 7th, at the Fairmont Royal York hotel in Toronto (located at 100 Front Street West, right across the iconic CN Tower). The event was held in Manitoba Room at the hotel, and I had the pleasure to attend it. It was great seeing everyone after three years since I last attended Bask-It-Style in September 2019 (I started attending this annual event in 2012). For the first time since 2019, the media were invited to preview and experience celebrity VIP treatment from this year’s eleven sponsors. Taking place during the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Bask-It-Style hand delivers VIP gift bags to celebs 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 by Bask-It-Style lounge 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 not the first time when Bask-It-Style annual event is held at Fairmont Royal York hotel in Toronto, it was hosted at Fairmont in 2014 as well. Other fashionable venues for Bask-In-Style in the previous years had been Shangri-La hotel and Thompson hotel, but also Pinnacle Centre condos, all located in the very heart of the city of Toronto.
“After a two-year hiatus it’s amazing to have Bask-It-Style make its return”, says Jessica Glover, Principal of Public Relations firm GLO Communications. “Fairmont Royal York’s historic relationship with Toronto’s film industry makes it the perfect venue to showcase some of the year’s most exciting brands.”
On Wednesday, September 7th, the media were invited (by appointment only) from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM to receive the star treatment at Fairmont Royal York hotel, Toronto’s most distinguished landmark hotel. Since debuting renovations in 2019, Fairmont Royal York features new dining experiences for Library Bar, Clockwork Champagne and Cocktails, and Reign Restaurant, Bar and Bakery, as well as the new luxury hotel-within-a-hotel, Fairmont Gold, with an exclusive lounge for guests. Fairmont Royal York was chosen as the venue for the fourth annual Toronto International Film Festival’s Tribute Awards Gala (the hotel’s legacy in hosting performances such as Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington during its famed supper club era). The hotel is also one of the most filmed locations in the city and has served as the backdrop in popular films such as Aaron Sorkin’s Molly’s Game. Fairmont Royal York’s prestige and history with the film industry make it an essential Toronto experience and the perfect venue for Bask-It-Style to make its return. Manitoba room, where the event took place earlier this week, showcases the modern refresh of the hotel’s meeting and event spaces and features original murals that depict the Canadian landscape and heritage of Fairmont Royal York.
This year, celebrities will receive a variety of sense-provoking goodies in vegan bags designed by MATT & NAT.
The goodies included in the gift bag are courtesy of the following sponsors:
Browns Shoes, media bag sponsor;
Black holographic mini favorite tumbler
Wild grown rooibos
Organic Cream of Earl Grey
Classic Faves sachet tea wheel
Matcha On-The-Go kit;
Fairmont Royal York hotel in Toronto, venue partner;
Kit & Ace, a clothing brand: Brushed French Terry pieces;
Voluminous Noir Balm mascara
Colour Riche Reds of Worth lipstick;
MATT & NAT, celebrity gift bag sponsor;
Pascoe, a health products brand from Germany:
Vitapas B complex
REN Vodka, REN Ultra Premium vodka;
SodaStream, SodaStream Art Sparkling Water maker;
Soo’AE, a beauty and skincare brand:
Hyaluronic Acid hydrating serum
Hyaluronic Acid hydrating moisturizer
Hyaluronic Acid hydrating cleanser
Supreme Gold hydrogel mask
Cactus & Aloe soothing hydrogel mask
Revitalizing Rose Petal hydrogel mask
My Collagen hydrogel lip patch
My Collagen hydrogel eye patch;
Toronto Popcorn Company: Grab a bag in garlic parmesan or bacon & cheddar.
A few more words about the celebrity gift bag sponsor, MATT & NAT
This year’s celebrities will receive all of their goodies in one of two vegan bags designed by MATT & NAT. The MYRON vegan backpack (retail value $185.00) features adjustable streams, two handles, a main compartment with top zipper closure, two large front pockets with asymmetrical flaps, and an exterior back zipper pocket.
The HYDE vegan tote bag (retail value: $180.00) features a self-bonded interior finish, a removable zipped interior compartment, and an interior smartphone pocket.
The outer body and lining of both bags are made from recycled materials, and the interior linings are made from 100 percent recycled plastic bottles.
I was surprised though that no authors or professionals from the publishing industry were present at this year’s Bask-It-Style event. In the past, writers like Adrienne Kress and publishing houses like DK Publishing had been frequent sponsors of Bask-It-Style. This year, however, the reading corner was missing at the event.
~~~Rethink water with SodaStream and return to luxury with REN Premium Vodka~~~
Are you a fan of sparkling water drinks and passionate about staying healthy and protecting the environment? SodaStream was on site on the media day this past Wednesday showcasing three SodaStream models, including the new SodaStream Art sparkling water maker (retail value: $169.99). The new model has a sleek, sophisticated design, that will blend into any kitchen and make it easy and fun to make fresh sparkling drinks on demand. Guests had the opportunity to learn how to use the sparkling water makers, to sample a variety of SodaStream flavors, and take home a SodaStream On-The-Go Bottle to bring your sparkling water wherever you go.
For those craving something a little bolder, REN Vodka has just the drink for you! Vodka is one of the most popular spirits in the world and for good reason. Available at the LCBO, REN Ultra Premium Vodka (retail value: $51.95) is an ultra-premium spirit established in Toronto with delicate aromas and flavors of citrus, sweet corn, and grain. REN was also on-site with its own sampling bar, where attendees had the opportunity to create their very own REN cocktails with an assortment of fun garnishes.
~~~Get comfortable and functional in style with Kit and Ace~~~
Canadian brand Kit and Ace create pieces that are fashionable, functional, and, most importantly, comfortable. The Vancouver-based company chooses high-quality fabrics that are lab and real-life wear-tested to ensure they can be washed and worn over and over again through the changing seasons. At this year’s event, Kit and Ace were on-site giving attendees the chance to get their hands on their softest fabrics and most popular styles from this year’s fall collection, including Brushed French Terry pieces (retail value: $79 to $158) and a sneak peek of Kit and Ace’s brand-new Vegan Outerwear line launching this coming Fall/Winter 2022 season.
~~~Skincare and natural healthcare solutions with Soo’AE and Pascoe~~~
Everyone attending TIFF wants to look their best, and Soo’AE representatives were also on-site at the Bask-It-Style media event to make sure all your skincare needs are covered. They showcased the newly launched Soo’AE Hyaluronic Acid collection, which is available at Walmart Canada. This includes Hyaluronic Acid hydrating serum (retail value: $23.00), Hyaluronic Acid hydrating moisturizer (retail value: $20.50), and Hyaluronic Acid hydrating cleanser (retail value: $19.50). This collection penetrates quickly into the skin to boost, bounce and lock in moisture with a non-greasy and fresh finish. Guests also had the opportunity to learn about the Supreme Gold hydrogel mask (retail value: $4.50), Cactus & Aloe soothing hydrogel mask (retail value: $4.50), Revitalizing Rose Petal hydrogel mask (retail value: $4.50), My Collagen hydrogel lip Patch (retail value: $4.50), and My Collagen hydrogel eye patch (retail value: $4.50).
While you look your best, it’s important to feel your best too. Pascoe were on-site making sure you feel as good as you look! For 125 years the German family-run business has been dedicated to creating, researching, and developing top-of-the-line natural healthcare products. Vitapas B complex (retail value: $34.95) is a multi-vitamin supplement with eight essential B vitamins to help promote a healthy immune system; and Pascoflair (retail value: $13.95) is a herbal medicine designed to help relieve restlessness and nervous to help you wind down quickly and wake up feeling refreshed. To hold all of your skincare and wellness goodies, with extra room for more, the German family-run business has the Beauty Pouch (retail value: $9.95), made from 100 percent organic cotton.
Some other exciting items in the bag
The gift bags will also include some exciting products from various beauty, food, and lifestyle brands.
Toronto Popcorn company treats us to their gourmet popcorn in the yummy flavors of garlic parmesan and bacon & cheddar (retail value $5.99), need we say more?
While you’re snacking on some delicious popcorn, why not have a drink as well? DAVIDsTEA is including their Black Holographic mini favorite tumbler (retail value $26.00), wild grown rooibos loose leaf tea (retail value $8.00), organic Cream of Earl Grey loose leaf tea (retail value $9.00), Perfect spoon (retail value $9.00), and DAVIDsTEA filter pack (retail value $12.00) to make sure you’re refreshed all media day!
L’Oreal is including its Elnett hairspray (retail value $11.99), Voluminous Noir Balm mascara (retail value $16.99), and Colour Riche Reds of Worth lipstick (retail value $12.99) to make sure you look your best at TIFF!
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GLO Communications is a boutique PR firm based in Toronto 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.
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.
DAVIDsTEA offers a specialty branded selection of high-quality loose-leaf teas, pre-packaged teas, tea sachets, tea-related accessories and gifts through its e-commerce platform at DavidsTea.com, the Amazon Marketplace, its wholesale customers which include over 3,500 grocery stores and pharmacies, and 18 company-owned stores across Canada. It offers primarily proprietary tea blends that are exclusive to the company, as well as traditional single-origin teas and herbs. The team’s passion for and knowledge of tea permeates the company’s culture and is rooted in an excitement to explore the taste, health and lifestyle elements of tea. With a focus on innovative flavors, wellness-driven ingredients and organic tea, David’s Tea launches seasonally driven “collections” with a mission of making tea fun and accessible to all. The company is headquartered in Montréal, Canada.
Soo’AE is the leading high-performance, plant-based skincare brand. Focusing on developing unique, innovative formulas for various skin concerns, Soo’AE is dedicated to providing a full range of clean skincare products at affordable prices. In an effort to provide each consumer with high-quality skincare products, they actively search for the best ingredients, and implement the latest technologies.
Fairmont Royal York hotel
Timeless and iconic for over 90 years, Fairmont Royal York hotel is the essential Toronto experience. Welcoming guests to the grand Art Deco lobby bar Clockwork Champagne & Cocktails, through to the distinguished Reign bar and dining room, the hotel unveils the return of the legendary Library Bar, the city’s renowned cocktail den. Crowned with charisma, Fairmont Gold is a luxury boutique hotel set within the upper 13th–18th floors and features the exclusive Fairmont Gold Lounge. Refined and captivating, the Grand Dame of Front Street takes centre stage as the city’s destination for ethereal wedding celebrations and inspiring conferences and events – embracing a legacy that is famous for generations. Fairmont Gold allows you to step into a new level of luxury at Fairmont Royal York hotel. Fairmont Gold is unlike anything Toronto has seen before. With expansive new suites, a brilliant new 18th floor lounge, and thoughtfully designed grand spaces, this is a rare experience of boutique luxury – an entirely new hotel, at the heart of the city’s most essential landmark. It gleams high above our downtown streets, with a bright metropolitan character.
Kit and Ace
Kit and Ace is a Canadian apparel company with Vancouver roots, driven by a mission to amplify optimism, and 100% committed to creating clothing that’s smart (technical and functional), easy to love (big on comfort and style), and made to last (timeless quality vs. fast and trendy). They are known for comfort-first pieces that inspire the joy of movement, with a product focus on unparalleled comfort, function, and pops of optimism. Their collection of versatile elevated essentials is inspired by the belief that comfort unlocks boundless potential.
L’Oréal Paris, the world’s no.1 beauty brand, is dedicated to empowering women and men by offering the most luxurious and innovative products and services available in the mass market. For most, the name L’Oréal is immediately evocative of the brand’s signature phrase, “Because I’m Worth It.” – the tagline behind the legendary advertising campaign for the Superior Preference® hair colour launch in 1973. Today, it represents the essence of the L’Oréal Paris brand as a whole, a spirit which is about helping every woman – and man – embrace their unique beauty while reinforcing their inner sense of self-worth. For more than 100 years, L’Oréal Paris has held an unparalleled commitment to advancement in technology, innovation, and research, providing ground-breaking, high-quality products for women, men, and children of all ages and ethnicities in five major beauty categories: cosmetics, skincare, hair colour, hair care, and men’s grooming.
MATT & NAT
Founded in 1995, in Montreal, Canada, MATT & NAT stands for MAT(T)ERIAL and NATURE. They live by a simple motto, “Live beautifully”. Living beautifully means appreciating the humanity, creativity and positivity found in all of us. The brand is inspired by the textures and hues of nature and, to better protect it, they aim to constantly better their ways, and are forever committed to not using leather or any other animal-based materials in their designs. MATT & NAT continues to explore new innovative ways to remain sustainable and eco-friendly. Over the years, they have been experimenting with different recycled materials such as nylons, cardboard, rubber, cork, and even windshield resins.
For over 125 years, Pascoe has been dedicated to creating quality complex homeopathic remedies, drinkable ampoules, botanical remedies, alkalizing tablets and drainage creams. The diversity of the product selection reflects and works to reach the complex and diverse needs for health products. Pascoe products are made from locally sourced raw materials that undergo standardized quality control and are manufactured under the strictest Good Manufacturing Practice guideline.
REN is vodka in its purest form. The name means “to be reborn”, and REN is just that – a rebirth and reimagining of one of the world’s oldest spirits. Crafted to perfection, this is more than an ultra-premium vodka – it’s an ultra-premium experience. Made from sweet corn in a copper kettle culminating in a smooth and clean finish, REN is a result of the most time-honoured recipes, finest ingredients, and unparalleled passion for what every vodka should aspire to be.
SodaStream, part of PepsiCo, is the world’s leading sparkling water-maker brand and Canada’s leading sparkling water brand by volume. SodaStream enables consumers to enjoy endless good bubbles at home, without hassle, and help save the planet. SodaStream bubbles are better for the consumer – healthy, easy to make, light to carry; and better for the planet – replacing up to thousands of single-use plastic bottles with one reusable SodaStream bottle. To learn more about SodaStream, please visit Corp.SodaStream.com and follow SodaStream on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
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 favorites to very decadent ones – that makes use of only premium ingredients. Always fresh and made with love, TOPopcornCo’s quality-over-quantity approach has made quite 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 just your random popcorn!
Press release provided by GLO Communications.
Photo credit: Kennedy Pollard Photography