Saturday 30 September 2017

One Night in La Dolce Vita

This past Thursday, I had the privilege of experiencing "la dolce vita" firsthand at Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga, Ontario.  The event, entitled,  "One Night in La Dolce Vita," merged together Italian food, fashion, music and more, in efforts to raise money for the Oakville Hospital Foundation. With acute attention to Italian details and a variety of Italian inspired elements, the evening really did feel like a trip to il bel paese!

The experience began right from the parking lot.  As I stepped out of my car, I heard the sounds of accordion music fill the air, and immediately, I was reminded of the streets of Rome!   As I crossed the lot and passed the line of valet parking attendants,  I was not only greeted with the accordion music, but began to hear sounds of opera as well.  Once inside the venue, I could see where the opera music was coming from - the SOLO choir was set up just inside the entrance, greeting guests with beautiful melodies.  As I continued to make my way in, I was flanked by beautiful faux green hedges and marble-esque statues, which led to the grand rotunda area, where a delightful faux garden was set up, complete with "stone" benches and a fountain.  For a moment, I had a, "I don't think we're in Kansas anymore" moment, and instead felt like I was back in Florence visiting the Medici gardens!

The statues weren't limited to just the entrance, they were sprinkled throughout the venue, as well as gorgeous lemon trees.  It was a touch of Tuscany, that melted my heart! Further to the beautiful decor was fantastic food.  The tastes included: an antipasto bar complete with fine cheese, cured meets and olives; melt-in-your-mouth truffled infused risotto; a seafood bar complete with oysters; meatballs in a rich tomato sauce; and a dessert station with traditional Italian cookies.  Then there were the drinks: a Prosecco ice bar, as well as a circular bar featuring a Tag Vodka signature cocktail for the occasion.  The goodies didn't stop there - various stores also offered tasteful delights throughout the night, such as cannoli from Harry Rosen and free coffee from Starbucks.

If you weren't enjoying the delicious food, you were definitely taking in the delightful entertainment such as posing with a Ferrari 458 Spider Convertible; watching 6x World Champion Pizza Acrobat, Jay Schuurman; having your hair cut by a celebrity stylist from Alibi Barber Shop; or having your portrait drawn by an illustrator.  Oh, and if you ever wanted to star on the cover of your own romance novel, well they had that too! Guests could cozy up alongside model and actor, Jack Greystone, for their keepsake portrait from the night.

Let's not forget about the fashion!  Various stores were featuring exclusives such as: previews of their new fall/winter 2017 collections; specialty collections curated for the evening; raffle prizes; gift cards; and small gifts with purchase.  Most importantly, 10% of sales from participating retailers was being donated directly to Oakville Hospital Foundation.  Furthermore, 100% of proceeds from the Silent Auction was being donated to the cause.

As if we couldn't get any closer to Italy that night, guests were spoiled by the sounds of international DJ, hailing straight from Milan, Gianluca Vacchi!  Making his Canadian debut at the event, his infectious energy and amazing music sets had the crowds dancing the night away!

As the event came to a close, guests were reminded of the most important reason we were there - the Oakville Hospital Foundation.  A large, $10,000 donation cheque from Raffi Jewellers, graced the stage as hosts, Tanya Kim and Brad Smith, announced that the evening had been a great success for the Foundation.   

Hats off to the event organizers as the evening was truly a night in paradiso, that benefit a great cause!

If you are further interested in learning more about the event and/or how to donate to the Oakville Hospital Foundation please visit the Square One - One Night in La Dolce Vita - event page.

Check out some great highlights from the event, below:

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