On May 1, 2011, the inaugural Spark fundraising event in support of the Children’s Aid Foundation‘s new Ignite the Spark Fund was held at the Liberty Grand in Toronto. Over a brunch hosted by Global News co-anchors Leslie Roberts and Anne Mroczkowski, several renowned Canadians were honoured for doing their part in igniting the spark, including entrepreneur Arlene Dickinson, actress Andrea Martin, wrestler Nick Ugoalah, actress Debra McGrath, comedian Colin Mochrie, and choreographer/dancer Tré Armstrong.
An inspired fashion show followed, featuring touching personal stories from the celebrity honourees, unique theatrical performances and designs from the likes of Carolina Herrera, Marchesa, Vera Wang, Giambattista Valli and Oscar de la Renta. At times I was laughing and at others I was teary-eyed; the show was not only one of the most fun I’ve had the pleasure of watching, but it also underlined to me the importance of CAF’s mission to “improve the lives of abused and neglected children through prevention, enrichment and education”.
In fact, between the singing by Andrea Martin and an adorable gaggle of children, the dancing by Tré Armstrong, and a short comedy bit by Debra McGrath and Colin Mochrie, the fashion – as gorgeous as some of the designs were – played a secondary role in the show. Off the runway, however, was a different story. We spotted an abundance of royal wedding-inspired fascinators in the chic crowd, as well as fabulous florals courtesy of charity gala regulars Elly Barlin-Daniels and Jenna Naumovich. Their respective Dolce & Gabbana and Erdem dresses would have been right at home on the catwalk.
Jenna Naumovich in an Erdem dress, Hermès bag and Brian Atwood shoes
Highlights from the fashion show:
To make a donation to the Children’s Aid Foundation’s Ignite the Spark Fund, please click here.