Stars and media alike were welcomed to kick off TIFF at this non-traditional gifting suite
Another TIFF festival is now over – Torontonians just experienced 11 days of cinema, celebrities, glamour and parties during TIFF 2017. Among celebrities seen at Toronto International Film Festival this year were Halle Berry, Diane Kruger, Angelina Jolie, Andrew Garfield, James Franco, Idris Elba, Kate Winslet, Emma Stone, Eric Clapton, Jessica Chastain, Rachel McAdams, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lawrence, Jake Gyllenhaal, Helen Mirren, Donald Sutherland, Drake, Lady Gaga, Julianne Moore, George Clooney, Elle Fanning, and others.
One of the most glamorous parties dedicated to TIFF 2017 was Bask-It-Style -- Toronto’s premiere gifting experience, Bask-It-Style by GLO Communications, which opened its doors for media and celebrities for the ninth time at TIFF 2017. The event took place in the Front Room of the Thompson Hotel (550 Wellington Street West, Toronto), on Wednesday September 6th, one day prior the start of the festival, from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM (by appointment only) – media were invited to indulge themselves with a variety of lifestyle sponsors from beauty to fashion and books to technology and to receive the star treatment.
|Entrance to Bask-It-Style 2017 event|
|Gifts participating at Bask-It-Style 2017 lounge|
|Bask-It-Style 2017 at Thompson Hotel in Toronto|
I went to the Bask-It-Style event in the afternoon. I started attending this event in 2012, and I have been there ever since – this is the 6th year that I have the pleasure to attend this glamorous and exciting event dedicated to TIFF. This year’s venue, the luxurious Thompson Hotel, is located in the heart of TIFF, in the trendy King West area (the same Bask-It-Style location as last year). The elegantly designed Front Room of Thompson Hotel 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.
“We started Bask-It-Style in 2008,” says Jessica Glover, Principal, GLO Communications. “We are thrilled to be back at the Thompson Hotel and this year’s sponsors are showcasing some exciting new products and technologies.”
Print your TIFF experience with HP's new pocket printer
Upon entering the suite, guests could share their favourite mobile-locked TIFF photos at the HP photo print booth with their new HP Sprocket Photo Printer. With the ultra-portable HP Sprocket, you can wirelessly and instantly print and share 2” x 3” photos from your smartphone or tablet. The HP Sprocket is the perfect way to bring your celebrity sightings to life during TIFF and beyond. Priced at $159.99 CAD, the Sprocket is available at HP.com, Staples, Best Buy and Amazon.
|Presentation of HP Sprocket at Bask-It-Style 2017|
Refresh and re-energize with DAVIDsTEA
The hustle and bustle of TIFF can take its toll on the body’s energy -- DAVIDsTEA was on-site with a pop-up tea bar serving a variety of their relaxing and replenishing teas. Media could choose from iced or hot premium teas and hot or iced premium matcha. Matcha naturally detoxifies the body while focusing the mind, which is loaded with antioxidants and a good source of caffeine. Guests could leave with Harvest Tea Singles (retail value $25), a collection of loose leaf teas with flavours perfect for fall, prepared in pre-portioned packets for ready-to-steep use; as well as a 5 Faves Sachet Travel Pouch (retail value $12), a canvas pouch made to hold five tea sachets; and a Tea Press (retail value $35) a travel mug designed with loose leaf tea in mind making it possible to steep on-the-go.
|David's Tea booth at Bask-It-Style 2017|
|Guests enjoying David's Tea at Bask-It-Style 2017 event|
Treat yourself to handmade jewelry, meet with a Canadian designer and get your hair styled
In the style and beauty room, guests could experience the stylish 2017 A-List Super Tote (retail value $275), a lightweight and locally crafted celebrity bag designed exclusively for Bask-It-Style by Toronto designer Annie Thompson. The bag is made from a blend of PC nylon and polycotton and it features plenty of pockets and compartments making it the perfect everyday bag. Guests could also get a hands-on look at Annie Thompson’s signature utilitarian style with a viewing of her Fall 2017 collections, designed with the environment and community in mind.
|Canadian fashion designer Annie Thompson showcasing one of her bags|
|Pureology haircare products|
Expand your book collection with major brands
Back by popular demand is the Reading Room, guests could browse a compelling array of books, meet with authors and test new devices. As title sponsor of the 2017 Reading Room, Rakuten Kobo ambassadors were on-site showcasing their newest device, the Kobo Aura H2O, as well as gifting $25 gift cards.
DK Publishing, a publishing house from Toronto and a long-time Bask-It-Style partner as well, showcased its latest titles perfect for upcoming gift guides, including Birds of Canada, a complete guide to over 600 species of birds complete with stunning full-colour photographs.
|DK Publishing booth in the Reading Room|
|Chris Houston of DK Publishing (left) presenting the newest titles to guests|
|Chris Houston of DK Publishing (far right) in the Reading Room at Bask-It-Style 2017|
|Writer Adrienne Kress presenting her newest novel for young readers "The Explorers"|
|"The Explorers", a novel by Adrienne Kress|
|Toronto based writers Karma Brown and Adrienne Kress, snowcasing their latest novels|
|"In This Moment", a novel by Karma Brown|
The goods don’t end there!
Gift bags for celebrities also included:
Local Toronto apothecary and artisan beauty boutique, Helen + Hildegard’s, Joy organic gift set complete with the Joy Bath Soak and Essential Oil Blend (retail value $70) which will be a perfect item for media and talent to enjoy after a busy red-carpet and not only.
A Barefoot Venus beautiful Goddess Bliss bag (retail value $160) filled with a gift card and five of their most popular products including their Dry Body Oil, a spray on oil which offers instant deep-hydration to dry skin and a Lip Bliss; a deeply nourishing shea butter balm loaded with meadowfoam oil; a natural SPF, to keep lips protected from the sun.
|Barefoot Venus products|
Keep the pampering going with Mèreadesso’s Face + Neck cleanser (retail value $48), a non-foaming all-in-one face wash, toner, shaving lotion and makeup remover gentle enough for sensitive skin.
To battle being hungry, dehydrated on press days, the bags included Thirsty Buddha Sparkling Coconut Water from Buddha Brands Co, a natural, heart-healthy source of hydration free of added sugars; as well as a bag of their delicious Hungry Buddha Coconut Chips.
To continue the hydration, guests left with Natur-a fortified almond beverage.
For those who like salty treats, the bag included Toronto Popcorn Company’s Kettle Corn flavoured popcorn, created with locally sourced ingredients at their flagship store located in Kensington Market.
Guests could also go home with a can of Ace Hill Pilsner, the new exclusive beer partner of Porter Airlines, a refreshing beer with subtle flowery notes combined with sweet caramel undertones.
This year, celebrities received a variety of sense-provoking goodies in bags designed exclusively for Bask-It-Style by Annie Thompson. Total value is $1,370 which included:
• Ace Hill Beer: A can of the Ace Hill Pilsner
• Annie Thompson – A-List Super Tote, celebrity gift bag sponsor
• Barefoot Venus: Assorted skin care products and a $100 gift card
• Browns Shoes – media bag sponsor
• Buddha Brands Co.: Thirsty Buddha sparkling coconut water and Hungry Buddha coconut chips
• DAVIDsTEA: Harvest tea singles, a 5 Faves sachet travel pouch, and a tea press
• DK Publishing: Birds of Canada – new edition
• Helen + Hildegard: Joy bath soak and essential oil blend set
• HP: The HP Sprocket photo printer
• Mèreadesso: Face and Neck cleanser and microfibre buffing cloth
• Natur-a: Chocolate or vanilla almond beverage
• Park Row Books: In This Moment by Karma Brown
• Penguin Random House LLC: The Explorers: The Door in the Alley by Adrienne Kress
• Pureology: Clean Volume shampoo and conditioner and a bottle of Colour Fanatic hair treatment
• Rakuten Kobo Inc.: Kobo Aura and $25 gift card
• Sharp Magazine: Magazine sponsor, the ultimate magazine for men
• Studio1098: handmade sterling silver maple leaf earrings
• Thompson Hotel: venue partner
• Toronto Popcorn Company: a bag of Kettle Corn Popcorn
• Yardley London: English Rose perfume
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About GLO Communications
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.
Ace Hill Beer
Ace Hll is a Toronto-based beer company focused on quality and simplicity. What began as a one-man homebrew operation in our co-founder's garage several years ago, has quickly grown into one of Canada's most creative and sought-after beer brands. Their Pilsner and Vienna Lager are widely available across Ontario at leading bars and restaurants, LCBO's, Beer Stores and grocery stores. “Our mission is to provide high-quality, accessible beers and make an impact on culture. We donate 1 per cent of sales to clean water causes, because without good water there would be no good beer. We brew Ace Hill at a partner facility in Toronto called Brunswick Bierworks, using fresh, all-natural ingredients.”, say Ace Hill Beer representatives.
Annie Thompson is one of Canada’s most revered fashion designers. Established in 1981, Annie Thompson Studio creates limited quantities of carefully crafted, made-in-Canada separates to compliment unique bodies and personalities. As an advocate of green living, Thompson uses mainly organic and natural fabrics in her stand-out designs. From dress-up gear to her most casual, everyday styles, Thompson’s designs are quietly loud, thoroughly comfortable and surprisingly complimentary. Thompson's “Personal Baggage” line of contemporary, upcycled handbags and backpacks offer users rare character and functionality. There is nothing trendy or mass-market about Annie Thompson’s designs.
With a passion to experience indulgence in the everyday, 3 sisters started crafting bath and body products for the daily routine. Using Mother Nature’s legendary powers to seduce the senses, beautify the body and help heal the spirit the philosophy of Barefoot Venus emerged; old time ingredients are consciously crafted by the three sisters to provide serious skin treatments and a wildly angelic experience. Welcome to the world of Barefoot Venus… be prepared to glow like the goddess you are!
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.
Buddha Brands Company
Buddha Brands Company has a mission to bring healthy products to health-conscious people, while preserving the health of our planet. As members of 1% for the Planet, they pledge to give back 1% of Thirsty Buddha and Hungry Buddha sales to sustainable organizations worldwide.
Great tea, friendly stores and above-and-beyond customer service. It seemed like a simple idea, but they couldn’t find anyone else that was doing it. So in 2008, they decided to take matters into their own hands. Today DAVIDsTEA has over 230 stores across Canada and the US. You can choose from over 100 types of tea, including exclusive blends, limited edition seasonal collections, traditional straight teas and exotic infusions from around the world. With colourful, modern packaging, sleek in-house designed tea accessories and a friendly, welcoming attitude, DAVIDsTEA offers a tea experience that is fun, fresh and unintimidating. To keep up with the latest products and offers, follow along at Facebook.com/DavidsTea and Twitter.com/DavidsTea.
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.
Helen + Hildegard
Beauty infused in everything. This is the Helen + Hildegard philosophy, reflected in their unique collection of natural beauty brands and organic herbal teas. H+H is where traditional botanical principles and innovation in green chemistry come together. Conscientiously sourced from sustainably responsible suppliers, all of their products draw from the intelligence of plants to instill healthy skin experiences and leave a beneficial footprint on our planet.
HP Inc. creates technology that makes life better for everyone, everywhere. Through their portfolio of printers, PCs, mobile devices, solutions, and services, they engineer experiences that amaze.
Mèreadesso believes healthy, beautiful skin shouldn’t be easy, it should be effortless. Offering one-step skin care products that leave immaculate results, Mèreadesso is the epitome of simplicity, ease, and effectiveness: one regime for every skin type, age and gender.
At Natura Foods, we know that you base your decisions about your diet on what’s best for your health. That’s why we’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. Our Natur-a product family meets a growing need: to provide you with a healthful alternative to dairy products. And that’s why Natura Foods continues to develop delicious, nutritious, organic health foods and beverages made from plant products.
Park Row Books
Park Row Books was launched in 2016 and is dedicated to publishing an exclusive list of voice-driven and thought-provoking books across a variety of genres, from mainstream literary fiction and book club fiction to literary suspense and narrative nonfiction. Park Row is an exciting destination for literary writers who want a boutique publishing experience with the support of a powerhouse commercial publisher. Like the Manhattan street after which it is named, and which was once the home of New York’s many newspapers, Park Row takes immense pride in fostering free expression, innovative ideas and important voices.
About Pureology SeriousColour Care: Pureology offers a complete collection of haircare and styling products that enhance and protect colour vibrancy while ensuring improved condition and healthy shine. From concentrated ZeroSulfate® shampoos to conditioners, masques and stylers, each and every product contains the exclusive AntiFadeComplex® component to maximize colour retention from start to finish.
Rakuten Kobo Inc.
Owned by Tokyo-based Rakuten and headquartered in Toronto, Rakuten Kobo Inc. is one of the world’s most innovative eReading services offering more than 5 million eBooks to millions of customers in 190 countries. Believing that consumers should have the freedom to read any book on any device, Kobo provides people with a choice when reading. Kobo offers an eReader for everyone with a wide variety of E Ink eReaders to suit any Reader’s style including the Kobo Aura, Kobo Aura H2O, and Kobo Aura ONE. Along with the company’s free top-ranking eReading apps for Apple®, BlackBerry®, Android®, and Windows®, Kobo ensures the next great read is just a page-turn away. Kobo’s award-winning eReaders can be found in major retail chains around the world. For more information, visit Kobo.com.
Studio1098 is consistently recognized as one of the Best Jewelry Stores in Canada. Winner of the coveted NOW Magazine Readers’ Choice Award for Best Jewelry Store for 2015, Studio1098 has been named both one of Toronto’s “Top 10” places to buy a diamond engagement ring and one of Toronto’s best jewelry stores by BlogTO. Studio1098 is known for its excellent client service and its unpretentious, relaxed environment, where Tamara Kronis, Studio1098’s Chief goldsmith, gemmologist and jewelry designer creates high quality, custom fine jewelry right in the studio with the help of her team. Studio1098 is located at 1098 Yonge Street, just north of Rosedale subway station on Yonge Street between St. Clair and Bloor.
About goldsmith, gemmologist and jewelry designer, Tamara Kronis
Tamara Kronis, Studio1098’s Chief goldsmith, gemmologist and jewelry designer, offers personalized custom design that ensures that each piece of fine jewelry she and her team create is “as unique as you are,” reflecting the individual style of each client. Her designs are inspired by art, architecture, and the movement of metal. Kronis is particularly influenced by the eras of Art Deco and Art Nouveau, but also loves taking on the design challenges of modern pieces inspired by geometry and nature. Prior to becoming a goldsmith, Kronis had a successful career as a commercial lawyer at a prominent Toronto law firm, and continues to be active in the business world as a corporate director of a large public utility. Kronis has won numerous industry awards as a goldsmith, has exhibited her work internationally, and has also taught a course at George Brown College on the Chemistry of Gemstones. Kronis lives in Toronto with her husband Martin and their two children.
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 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.
Toronto Popcorn Company
It’s not your random popcorn!
Company overview: Yardley London is famous as a purveyor of luxury fragrances and soaps. The much-storied House of Yardley was born in England in the mid-seventeenth century, during the reign of King Charles I. Today's Yardley London embodies a rich and wonderful heritage with pride. They continue to create exquisite luxury items for discerning customers the world over, carrying on a tradition and lineage that other perfumery houses can only aspire to.
Photographer credit: Evan Bergstra / Ryan Emberley Photography