Saturday 20 October 2018

SQ1's One Night in La Dolce Vita 2018

Wednesday evening, I had the pleasure of attending Square One's second annual, "One Night in La Dolce Vita," a fundraiser benefitting both Oakville Hospital Foundation and Trillium Health Partners Foundation. Once again, no detail was spared on this amazing event, fully immersing guests in an authentic Italian experience complete with great food, decor and music!

The grand rotunda was transformed for the evening, with a beautiful fountain found in the centre surrounded by beautiful red roses and lush greenery.  Marble-esque statues, red roses and beautiful greenery were sprinkled throughout the venue, specifically around the various food stations which included a pasta bar, antipasto bar and fish bar complete with lobster and oysters.  There were a few new additions this year, including a "panzerottini" station by Jamie's Italian restaurant, that served mini panzerotti stuffed with smoked scarmorza and gremolata dusted with chili, fennel and grated parmigiano (so yummy!), as well as, a gelato ape truck providing a variety of tasty gelato treats.

Seeing as the evening was Venetian-inspired, the 1600 guests in attendance had the opportunity to witness the creation of glass-blown flowers, be greeted by Venetian stilt walkers, and take a photo on a gondola with singing gondoliers. 

While you weren't participating in one of those actives or indulging in the great food and drink, you could enjoy the various promotions and services offered by the various participating shops, such as Harry Rosen's specially curated pieces for the event; complimentary makeup and skincare consultations offered at Holt Renfrew; one-of-a-kind bracelet design at Links of London Sweetie Bracelet Design Bar; or personalized styling sessions with Michael Kors stylists.  Many stores also provided the opportunity to enter a draw to win a shopping spree, and/or offered complimentary food and drinks.  Just as they did last year, participating retailers donated 10% of their sales to the two foundations; in fact, Alex and Ani donated an extra 5%, making their total contribution 15% of their sales.

As if the event was not delightful enough already, guests also got the chance to see a pizza contest hosted by restauranteur, Janet Zuccarini - who was the Master of Ceremonies for the event - and celebrity chef, Bobby Flay!  With his well-known competitive spirit, chef Bobby Flay was the perfect host for such a competition, and not only delivered well, but surprised the audience with a decision to match the $5,000 prize with an additional $5,000 of his own, making the grand prize of the pizza contest a $10,000 donation to the winner's choice of foundation.  It was truly an exciting site to see! 

Between the 100% of proceeds from tickets sales, proceeds given by participating retailers, including the Venetian glass blower, and a donation by Raffi Jewellers, the event raised over $90,000 collectively for the two foundations. What a success! 

Much praise to the event organizers for transporting us all to il bel paese for one delightful evening, all while benefitting a great cause!  I can still hear the beautiful live Italian music from Carlo Coppola and his band as we all danced the night away! Grazie Square One!

If you are further interested in learning more about this event and/or how to donate to the two foundations, please visit the Square One - One Night in La Dolce Vita - event page as well as the Oakville Hospital Foundation page and the Trillium Health Partners Foundation page.

Check out some highlights of the evening below: 

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