Last Thursday, 1800 people packed into the Art Gallery of Ontario for one of the biggest galas of the year: the AGO’s Massive Party. Judging from the gigantic fascinators and whimsical get-ups, this is an event targeted at—and attended by—a segment of the city’s up-and-coming creative, young professionals. Of course, we also spotted some of the old guard, who, we have to admit, exhibited a more refined sense of dress and decorum than the younger patrons (we’re fairly certain we saw the flesh of one young woman’s derriere popping out of her sultry red dress). Members of the Weston family huddled in a corner on the third floor chatting idly with Sentry Investments vice-president Wolfgang G. Kruning and his wife (though the Loblaw magnates were loathe to have their picture taken), and the party’s artistic director Bruno Billio made the rounds alongside party co-chairs Laura Adams and Hughene Acheson.
The sprawling fete occupied three floors with a self-contained party on each. Party-goers walked onto the rammed foyer and were greeted by two bars that lined a giant tableau-style mock-Victorian photobooth. The “pics or it didn’t happen” mentality ensured there was plenty of activity there all night, but the area largely served as a transition between the parties downstairs and up. What was arguably the largest elevator we’ve ever set foot in took us to a prom-themed affair downstairs, complete with a full basketball court (dunking was strictly forbidden—we may or may not have tried) and a live band. But the real action was upstairs. At points, the line up to get into the elevator was so long that a friendly security guard tipped us off to the fact that if we left the third floor we might never return. Wisely, we stayed. The Soul Proprietor (Eon Sinclair of Bedouin Soundclash) spun party tunes and the dance floor eventually filled up, shifting the vibe from stiff to kind of sloppy (an inevitability, really, with that many pretty young people and that much free booze). The party became so loose toward the end of the evening that we were certain we’d spot a desperate last-minute hookup or a dance-floor makeout—and we were delighted by no less than two couples passionately locking lips right in front of us.