Posts tagged tastemakers

Swagger on a hundred, thousand, dozen… Polaris Prize Pierogies too.

right image via cbcradio3

Last year around this time, merely a few months into my fancy new life as somebody who doesn’t have to photocopy textbooks from her university’s library so that she can spend her OSAP on designer boots, I discovered the world of Gifting Lounges (swag suites, present lairs, Christmas-come-early — call it what you will)…

You can read the rest of that post here.

Big ups to EGPR’s Essentials Lounge, rock-it promo’s Tastemakers Lounge and the folks from RealTV Films for inviting me into your sweet suites. (HECK YEAH HOMONYMS!)

Moving onto things that AREN’T related to the TIFF (because I am simply sick to death of that film festival right now), The Polaris Prize was awarded last night to none other than Arcade Fire! Maybe you’ve heard of them?

I was psyched to hit last night’s gala at The Masonic Temple. All of the sets performed by short list nominees were great (obvs – they were nominated for a reason) but a few, like Galaxie‘s and Timber Timbre‘s stood out to me.

Austra actually blew me away. The driving beat in this song played LIVE in a venue with acoustics like that had me right entranced, Hamm jammin‘ at the back of that auditorium like a bass-eating zombie.

It’s important for my memory to note that they were serving Pierogies at the Polaris Prize Pala Gala.

Coincidence that both Toronto’s Polish AND Ukrainian festivals wrapped just one day earlier? Meeeeebe. Mebbe not. Either way, I’m smiling. Sweet boiled dumpling goodne s, three days in a row!

Life. She is good, my friends.

Thought of the day:
Why is it considered cruel to laugh at the misfortunes of others? When I suffer from misfortunes (and this is often, I assure you) it makes me feel better to know that at least somebody is getting pleasure out of the situation. Lulz, you know?

That is all. Early morning ahead. Bon nuit!

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Maple Leaf mittens for Party Whore hands (Tastemakers Lounge at the Gemini Awards )

Remember during TIFF when all of those famous people came to town and needed moving trucks to carry all of the awesome free swag they scored back to Los Angeles? (I wrote all about it for Yahoo and my blog if you need a refresher).

That was my first experience with celebrity “gifting lounges” and I was blown away.

I knew that celebrities receive tons of free goodies during award shows and events, but I had no idea how much they really did get (at the Oscars, it’s up to $85,000 worth of goods!) until I saw it first hand.

Furthermore, I would never have guessed that journalists get invited into these lounges too – let alone bloggers.

But the times they are a changing, I guess, and now media kids are all up in these things like Kristie Alley’s tongue in a jar of mayonnaise.

I don’t know where that came from. My apologies to Ms. Alley… And Mr. Hellman.

The 25th annual Gemini Awards went down this past weekend (Canada’s version of the Emmy Awards, pretty much), and this brought together our country’s finest English-language television stars right here in the fair city of Toronto.

Instead of lounges scattered across the city, as we saw during TIFF, there was but one lounge for the Gemini nominees and presenters. The ULTIMATE lounge. The Tastemakers Lounge.

When I got the invite from rock-it promotions to attend, I RSVP’d within minutes. I figured that if it was anything like the Tastemakers lounge at TIFF, it was worth the trip… and was it ever! Sheeeeet, for these alone:


Also amazing was the manicure I got (in Party Whore!) from Cheeky Monkey Costmetics that, might I add, still looks fabulous a few days on -miraculous for a busy-handed rapscallion like yours truly.

The Cheeky team was fabulous – hooking me up with an extra bottle of Camel Toe because I simply couldn’t get over how hilarious it was that there’s a nail polish called “Camel Toe“.

Clever packaging, strong branding and a great quality product too. I rave about it some more in my video below. You can buy it at the ten spot – has anybody had a facial there? I’ve been meaning to book one of these for months. I’m a (real) facial virgin… I’d love to see what the fuss is all aboot!

Another thing I’m raving over is Hallmark‘s recordable storybook collection. Genius idea!

I’m half-tempted to record myself reading Frosty The Snowman all distorted-like, serial killer stylez, so that I can mail it to friend anonymously and freak her out. Wouldn’t that be a funny prank?

Here’s my “look at all of this cool swag” video. It’s long and rambly… really best suited for people who have nothing better to do than watch me act like a nerd. So nobody.

Thanks a trillion, Tastemakers!


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tiff, tiff, Hooray!: Inside the Tastemakers Lounge

Sometimes, I come home to my tiny apartment after dark, exhausted after working for 14 hours, thinking of my Bay Street buddies who head home to their swank condos at the stroke of 6 each night and ask myself why the heck I got into journalism in the first place.

And then I glance over at the bulletin board of media passes hanging above my desk and I’m like “Oh yeah…”

Perks, ladies and gentlemen. Perks.

Media kids work our butts off in a very big way, and we’re not paid a great deal on the whole (at least I’m not). Especially when we’re young.

But producing content is 100% worth the effort it requires for many reasons – the most important of which, of course, is how fulfilling it is and all that junk…

The second most important is the the sweet, sweet kickbacks we every-so-often get when we’re on the right beat.

(Blokus courtesy of Mattel and Fysh Specs courtesy of Wescan Optical)

This week, I’m on the TIFF beat. And that spells happy.

Today I was writing about the fabulous world of film festival gifting lounges (you know, where rich celebrities go for the sole purpose of picking up high-end freebies that only rich people can afford but don’t have to afford because they get them for free? The irony. It kills us all, I know.)

I was fortunate enough to score an invite from Rock-It Promotions to check out the creme-de-la-creme of Swag Suites in Toronto, the Tastemakers Lounge at Yorkville’s Intercontinental Hotel.

image ripped from (thanks! / sorry!)

The place was gorgeous, first of all (Kudos to Marla Brown) and the attendants were all so sweet and helpful.

I talked to some business owners and publicists, snapped a few pics, ate some vegan deserts from Rawlicious, got a makeup consultation (+ a bag of goodies) from Joe Fresh Beauty, and walked away with a freakin’ bounty of awesome gear including:

- Some Bamjamz PJs (soft, comfy, eco-chic. Apparently, Woody Harrelson was all over the guy’s version last year)
- A pair of Damn Heels (this product is genius. Will definitely need these after running the party circuit this week.)
- A Loves Legends Patriot tag necklace (the American version… any of my U.S. buddies want it? Something feels so… wrong about wearing an American flag around my neck)
- A Me+You F@*ck Plastic Bag (SWEET)
- A Blockus game from Mattel (They were giving out lots of cool games (LIKE UNO!) and will be auctioning off star-signed versions of these after TIFF to benefit SickKids Foundation. Tres Sweet.
- A tube of Nanoblur (Have yet to try this, but I’m excited by the prospect of looking ten years younger. Can I really pass for an ninth grader?)
- A KeepLeaf coffee-cup holder
- And my favourite favourite favourite of all gifts, a pair of DESIGNER FASHION SPECS from Wescan Optical. I could pick from an entire wall of glasses.

I told the ladies that I liked mine big and nerdy. “Ah yes, the geek chic look is quite popular right now!” one of them told me.

You don’t have to tell me twice, hunny. Nerd is teh hot. Belieb me.

I can see why celebrities like this sort of thing.

Photo time:

And with that, I bid you adieu dear friends. It’s 1:17AM and I should get to bed. 6:23 AM wakeup call… tworkin’ till midnight tomorrow. See you at the social?

I wonder if faux-Joaquin will stop by…

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