Forget about the exclusive parties thrown for visiting A-list celebrities and film industry dignitaries the film festival usually brings to Toronto: this party was for the people.
Commandeering the corner of King and John, festival organizers managed to bring in an estimated 10,000 gawkers to the unveiling of the TIFF Bell Lightbox. And just how were thousands of Torontonians lured to the official opening of the $140 million state-of-the-art facility? Toronto music darling K’Naan, free cupcakes and sheer curiosity.
The afternoon’s program also included performances from Fefe Dobson and Polaris Prize nominated The Sadies, both hailing from Hogtown. Earlybirds were treated to free cupcakes from Madeleines.
The impressive TIFF Bell Lightbox houses five theatres, three learning studios, two concept restaurants and the Essential Cinema exhibition. To celebrate TIFF’s 35th anniversary, select films will be screened for free at the venue for the duration of the festival.
Somalian-born rapper K’Naan, announced as the surprise performer only the day before, capped off the party by serenading the crowd with an extended version of “Wavin Flag”, the infectious feel-good anthem of the 2010 World Cup.
All photographs by Jillian Remulla