TORONTO, ONTARIO - A new twist for 2012: TIFF itself is entering in the fray of fundraisers, in a dramatic and splashy way — with a stylish fundraiser of its own called Friends of TIFF on Saturday, Sept. 8. It will be an ambitious outdoor/indoor event in the lakeside Corus Quay building.
It may well out-glitz all the other players if Warren Spitz — president of UCS Forest Group and rising star of the TIFF board — has his way.
“We are a charity, so why not us?” asks Spitz, chair of a small board committee in charge of the event. “We needed to move forward and this is a way of generating revenue. We wanted to create a special evening for our supporters, people who love TIFF as a renowned institution that does a lot of other great things besides the festival.”
The evening will have a James Bond theme, promoting a major exhibition opening at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in October. Without a doubt the festival will corral some of its top red-carpet stars to show up. “There is going to be an exciting lineup of talent in town that weekend,” says Spitz. “I can promise some celebrities will be at our event. I just can’t say who.”
The price to secure a table of 10 is $25,000. Having sold more than 30 tables already, Spitz is expecting a full house. And now he is selling a few hundred tickets for $500 each to the late-night after-party that will wind up the evening. This year, fundraising events during TIFF should raise cumulatively close to $4 million.
It’s in this heightened atmosphere, when everyone gets to act like a celebrity, that charities can raise millions of dollars.