The Toronto International Film Festival, or TIFF as many know it, has gained international attention from the media, along with A-list celebrities. Today, I went to an event hosted by Perrier-Jouët at Nota Bene, where their bar area has been transformed in to a Champagne lounge. In celebration of Perrier-Jouët’s 200th Anniversary, Piers Handling, Director and Chief Executive Officer of TIFF, made a toast to the festival and beautiful moments captured by celebrity photographer George Pimentel.
Pimentel has traveled the world and photographed many A-List stars. He’s often spotted behind the lens and is a regular at the most prominent film festivals in the world. He also covers red carpet events, such as the Oscars, Golden Globes, Emmys, and Junos. Pimentel has knack for catching beautiful and genuine moments - much like those above and below.
Pimentel’s photographs will be on display at the Perrier-Jouët Champagne lounge at Nota Bene, located at 180 Queen Street West. Nota Bene will be serving Perrier-Jouët Belle Époque and Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut Champagnes with an accompanying Nota Bene’s Gruyere Cheese Tartlet amuse bouche for the duration of the Festival (September 8 to18).
Photos courtesy of George Pimentel
Last night, I found myself sifting through thousands of digital photo albums. I went through the shots from my Europe trip two years ago and it’s funny how two years seems so long ago.
I remember the two strongest feelings I had towards my trip: fear and liberation. Although all of my doctors advised me not to go, I grabbed my backpack and crutches (I had a hip/leg injury, where the docs could not diagnose the problem), and boarded a plane with 5 friends and off we went!
Maybe it’s because of my hip/leg injury that it was so memorable - skipping through lines at Versailles, going through secret doors in the Louvre and having Dayve, a friend, push me from painting to painting, sculpture to sculpture. We saw Nick Lachey, former 98 Degrees member, being escorted through the hidden pathways at the Louvre. I even ditched my crutches and decided to limp up to the Alps and dive into the Aare River - I’ll admit, not the smartest things I’ve ever done in my life!
Last night, I found myself smiling at the photos. In some ways, I haven’t changed much in two years. In others, I have changed drastically. But change isn’t a bad thing. In my case, it’s amazing. The things that have stayed the same, are the traits that make me who I am - crazy and fun with an insatiable zest for life :)
What happens when you call out for art and get 150 local submissions? You get The Courvoisier Collective, a program that aims to foster community, access to space and exposure for bright artistic talent.
Last night, I popped by gallery opening at Gallery 1313 on Queen West to witness the exhibit of winning submissions. I was blown away by a the pieces, which included paintings, mixed media art and photographs, to name a few. Surrounded by astonishing art, delectable food and flowing Courvoisier, this event showcased some of the brightest talent Toronto has to offer. (Did I also mention the charmingly handsome wait staff?)
Don’t miss out! For the month of August, the winning artwork will be displayed on high-traffic billboards and PATH Posters throughout the city and in a gallery exhibition at Gallery 1313 on Queen Street West.
For more information go to courvoisiercollective.com or check out the Courvoisier Collective Facebook page.
Image above (from top to bottom): First place billboard winner - An Icon Of This Industry by Erik Jerezano. Runner-up billboard winners - In Bruges I by Hyein Lee and Bat Rainbow by Mark Laliberte.
Long Weekend Love!
I dare you to try to name someone who doesn’t love a long weekend, especially in the summer! This past weekend, I decided to soak up some sun and frolic about in this glorious city.
High Park is one of my favourite areas in Toronto. I spent some time picnicking by Maple Leaf park, which overlooks Grenadier Pond. After feeding the adorable chipmunks, I was nearly attacked by a flock of Canada geese - I took this as my cue to end my day at the park.
Aside from enjoying nature, nothing beats good food and good friends. This weekend, my girlfriend Jo hosted a barbecue and I brought over two bottles of Barefoot Moscato, California Deliciously Sweet and Moscato Spumante Sparkling Champagne. The BBQ was flowing with food and alcohol but the bar was definitely raised when we opened the Barefoot Moscato. With a gorgeous view, amazing drinks and fabulous company, it was the perfect way to end our long weekend.
A few days ago I went to Kenzo’s launch of their new fragrance, Flower Tag, Kenzo brings Tagging into the fragrance world and hopes that wearers will freely express their dreams. I am a fan of this new fruity floral scent which boasts Rhubarb, Blackcurrant, Peony, Jasmine, Vanilla and Musk.
Kenzo commissioned an artist to create a piece that was reflective of the fragrance with graffiti and tagging. I think it’s great that Kenzo is channeling this avenue of art. I am often in awe of what a graffiti artist can create with just a marker and a can of spray paint. It’s too bad our mayor doesn’t see this in the same light.