October 3, 2009

Toronto Botanical Garden Flocktail Party

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I'm not a snob. I'm not. I talk to everybody. But I will admit to you that I really love a spectacular event. The best in wine, food and people always thrills me, and all of that could be found at this fundraising event. If you didn't attend, you missed a lot.

I arrived about 45 minutes early. I figured I could take the time to photograph many of the items that were on auction. Surprisingly, I catch Paul Zammit, TBG Director of Horticulture, still in his work clothes lighting the outdoor lamps.

Toronto Botanical Garden

While Paul rushes off to see to more last minute details, Erin Davis, Best PR Boutique, explains the event schedule to me and gives me some pointers.

Toronto Botanical Garden

There was an army of cater waiters ↓ . As you can see Erin, (What a Doll!), had her soldiers standing in a row, ready to greet guests with Flocktail cocktails and delicious hors d'oeuvres. The food was amazing. L - E A T Catering provided everything from lamb and shrimp to mini burgers and poutine. You couldn't leave this event hungry.

Toronto Botanical Garden

S. Larry Danziger, Lexus On The Park, Corporate Sponsor, showed me their latest hybrid vehicle. Much of the work of the TBG is about environmental preservation, so to have a sponsor with an ecologically friendlier car is a good fit.

Toronto Botanical Gardens

All the volunteers were ready to help the patrons place their bids at the silent auction.

Toronto Botanical Garden

Like one of "Charlie's Angels" beautiful Mosha Canty acted as both model and security guard for corporate sponsor Mindham Fine Jewellery's display case.

Toronto Botanical Garden

The live auction consisted mainly of the 10 birdhouses that were part of a design competition, two of which are shown below. The others can be seen at the TBG website in their summer showcase.

If you are building a birdhouse for a songbird you might as well hear it so Steve Culver and Sean Solowski provided a horn for their house wren structure.

Toronto Botanical Garden

Adam Staniland, Bas Olsman, David Delaney, Jeremy Van Dyke, Lilia Kiriakou, Neeraj Bhatia, and Tina Los created this industrial purple martin house.

Toronto Botanical Garden

Eventually the guests began to arrive.

Here we have Canada's foremost garden writer, Marjorie Harris (in red), Geoffrey Dyer, TBG Past President, and Janet Davis, garden writer and photographer.

Toronto Botanical Garden

Geoffrey Dyer then introduced me to Gene Morton and his wife Bridget Stutchbury, author of Silence of the Songbirds.

Toronto Botanical Garden

Peter Guinane, Past Chair Canada Blooms, was excited to talk about Canada Blooms 2010 and it's new location at the Direct Energy Centre.

Toronto Botanical Gardens

Like Superman, Paul Zammit, made his quick change and joined the party. He is seated here with Liz Hood, TBG Children's Program Supervisor. I had never met Liz before, but I was soon charmed. Talk with her for 5 minutes and you will know what I mean. This woman is smart, well spoken, and funny. It's nice to meet someone who just "gets it", someone who can see the larger picture. I look forward to following her career.

Toronto Botanical Garden

Canadian celebrity and founding Artistic Director of Soulpepper Theatre Company, Albert Schultz, arrives to be the auctioneer.

Toronto Botanical Gardens

Cultural Iconographer and Artist, Charles Pachter, and former “Queen of Queen Street”, Sandy Stagg, talked with me about what Toronto used to be like. Later, we stormed the kitchen to steal some chocolate bonbons, were caught and rightly booted back out into the reception. Sandy complained, “They made me do it!”

Toronto Botanical Garden

Mea culpa!

Many of the guests were very extraordinary. One looked over at a woman wearing a computer graphic print jacket and was heard to say with delight, “Look at her! That beautiful jacket is so Milan 2010!” Now that's something you don't hear every day.

Marjorie Harris (left) hangs with her buddies, outdoor lighting designer, Pam Bingham, with Barry Parker and Helen Chapman, both from The Horticultural Societies of Parkdale and Toronto.

Toronto Botanical Garden

Kathy Dembroski, Sponsor and Flocktail committee member, and Thomas Sparling, Flocktail Co-Chair, seem exhausted and relieved that the event went so well. They should be more than relieved. They should be very proud. They put together “The Garden Event” of the season. Kudos and Congratulations!

Toronto Botanical Garden

Someone who also did very well for himself, Sean Solowski, at the end of the evening, while waiting for a cab shows me with pride the First Place Award he received for his design.

Toronto Botanical Garden

If you are hosting a garden related event in the GTA and would like it covered in gardentoronto.ca or would like to place an e-poster about it on our Events Calendar, just contact me. I am always delighted to promote anything gardening in Toronto.

Mark

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