The annual Artists for Peace and Justice fundraiser upped the ante this year, charging $15,000 a table (up from last year’s $12,500) for a star-studded evening in the gardens at Casa Loma. Sponsored by Bovet 1822 (a watch company—although, as host George Stroumboulopoulos noted, “When they’re this fancy, you call them timepieces”), the night raised a whopping $1,500,000 for APJ, all of which will go directly toward groundwork in Haiti.
Director Paul Haggis and actress Madeleine Stowe were the big international draws, but Canadians held their own. There was an auction led by the Property Brothers (we finally learned which is which: Jonathan is the one with the blonde streaks; Drew has black hair), performances by Stacey Kay, the Arkells and The National, and guests like Jason Reitman, Caitlin Cronenberg, Kardinal Offishall, vocal quartet The Tenors and Arlene Dickinson, who joked that co-chair Sylvia Mantella’s fluffy Jason Wu dress made her look like “a human Swiffer.” Titans of industry showed up, too. “Who says there can’t be peace?” Strombo joked. “We’ve got George Cope [CEO of Bell Canada] and Ed Rogers in the same room!”
The auction saw buckets of money pledged for various things: $42,000 for a sound check with Sir Paul McCartney, for instance, or $50,000 for a private meet-and-greet with Diane Von Furstenberg, which was scooped up by Suzanne Rogers and developer Chris Bratty. The most sought-after prizes were a pair of walk-on roles on Haggis’s new six-hour HBO miniseries Show Me a Hero (written by The Wire’s David Simon), which went for a staggering $40,000 each.