FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Bennah Serfaty, amfAR Sr. Director of Communications: +1 212 806 1607, firstname.lastname@example.org
Natalie Marquis, amfAR Media Relations Manager: +1 212 806 1694, email@example.com
Canadian media: Kevin Pennant, +1 416 596 2978, firstname.lastname@example.org
HILARY SWANK, ALAN CUMMING SUPPORT amfAR AT THE INSPIRATION GALA TORONTO
GOSSIP and SEAN JONES PERFORM AT AIDS RESEARCH BENEFIT
EVENT PRESENTED BY M·A·C VIVA GLAM
Toronto, ON, Canada, September 9, 2013—Hilary Swank, Alan Cumming, Adrien Brody, Maria Bello, Paul Haggis, and M·A·C Global Brand President Karen Buglisi were among those who joined amfAR CEO Kevin Robert Frost at the Carlu last night to support amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, at the first Inspiration Gala Toronto. Broadway, film, and TV star Alan Cumming hosted the benefit event, and actress and producer Hilary Swank served as Honorary Chair. The event raised nearly $500,000 to benefit amfAR’s innovative AIDS research programs.
The highlight of the event was a raucous, high-energy performance by Gossip, who closed the night with a set that included their beloved hits “Standing in the Way of Control” and “Heavy Cross.” Gossip singer Beth Ditto brought Alan Cumming back to the stage for a surprise duet, a rendition of Dolly Parton’s “Here You Come Again.” The black-tie gala also featured a performance by Canadian singer/songwriter Sean Jones, and a men’s fashion presentation by Marc Jacobs, worn by Elmer Olsen models and styled by Corey Ng.
During the evening’s live auction, the chance to go on an “underground safari” with Alan Cumming sparked a bidding war among guests. The package included a night out in New York City with Cumming to explore the city’s most exclusive, hidden cocktail bars and clubs, plus round-trip Delta Air Lines tickets and a two-night stay at the Standard Hotel. Sylvia Mantella was the winning bidder, and at $22,000 it was the highest-selling lot of the night.
John Demsey, Group President, The Estée Lauder Companies and Chairman of the M·A·C AIDS Fund, was the event’s Chair. Host Committee members were Massoud Abbasi, Lisa Airan, M.D., and Trevor M. Born, M.D., Zark Fatah, Alex Filiatrault, Shinan Govani, Gregoriane Minot and Pierre Jutras, Kevin Pennant, Toufik Sarwa, and Mary Symons.
The Inspiration event series, produced by Josh Wood Productions, celebrates all aspects of men’s style and has raised more than $10 million to date for amfAR. Inspiration events have also been held in New York, Los Angeles, São Paulo, and Miami. The series has seen performances by such legendary artists as Katy Perry, Grace Jones, Debbie Harry, Jennifer Hudson, Scissor Sisters, Cyndi Lauper, Courtney Love, and Sinéad O’Connor. Honorees at previous Inspiration Galas have included Jennifer Lopez, Alan Cumming, James Franco, Kevin Huvane, Francisco Costa, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Fergie, Michael Kors, Mario Testino, Ricky Martin, Robert Duffy/Marc Jacobs International, and Pelé.
The Inspiration Gala was presented by M·A·C Viva Glam. Microsoft was Official Technology Partner. Shangri-La hotel Toronto was Hotel Sponsor. The Mantella Corporation was the evening’s Gala Dinner Sponsor. Pennant Media Group was Media Partner. Delta Air Lines is the Official Airline of amfAR.
amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research is one of the world’s leading nonprofit organizations dedicated to the support of AIDS research, HIV prevention, treatment education, and the advocacy of sound AIDS-related public policy. Since 1985, amfAR has invested more than $366 million in its programs and has awarded grants to more than 2,000 research teams worldwide. www.amfar.org
About M·A·C Cosmetics
M·A·C (Make-up Art Cosmetics), a leading brand of professional cosmetics, was created in Toronto, Canada in 1984 and is part of The Estée Lauder Companies, Inc. The company’s popularity has grown through a tradition of word-of-mouth endorsement from makeup artists, models, photographers and journalists around the world. M·A·C is now sold in 89 countries worldwide. Follow M·A·C on Twitter @MACcosmetics (twitter.com/maccosmetics), become a M·A·C fan on Facebook (facebook.com/maccosmetics), watch M·A·C videos on YouTube and find our M·A·C Senior Artists at macartiststweets.com. For a M·A·C location visit maccosmetics.com.
About Josh Wood Productions:
Josh Wood Productions has produced and promoted socially conscious events and concerts featuring artists such as Arcade Fire, Lady Gaga, Ricky Gervais, Norah Jones, Kylie Minogue, Lou Reed, Scissors Sisters, Michael Stipe, and the Pet Shop Boys. Their events have raised money and awareness for Downtown for Democracy, The Guggenheim Foundation, Empire State Pride Agenda, Friends of Hillary, Friends of the Highline, Hetrik Martin Institute, MoveOn, Obama for America, Oxfam, Rock the Vote, The Royal Shakespeare Company and Veterans for Peace. Josh Wood Productions’ latest project, “The Inspiration Gala Series: A Celebration of Men’s Style,” is an international fashion gala fundraiser benefiting amfAR. For more information please visit www.joshwoodproductions.com.