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DOING IT WITH PANACHE: Fundraiser Spans an Entire Weekend

By on January 21, 2013

The Planner’s question: Is this a trend?


West Park Healthcare Foundation is holding a fundraiser aptly named Panache. It will be held in Toronto over a two-day period, from November 30 to December 1. What is unique about this event is that it’s not just dinner or an auction, but rather a two-day celebration of contemporary culture, highlighting food, fashion, entertainment and luxury.

Not shy about ticket value, the price tag for a package is $5,000 or $10,000 per couple, depending on the option of Trustee or Guest. Panache appears to be going for the perception of exclusivity and added value. They’re trying to attract spenders from beyond Toronto by marketing the experiential event across Canada and around the world.

The weekend kicks off on Friday night with individually hosted dinners held at various locations throughout Toronto. Exclusive venues include: the Ritz-Carlton, TD Bank’s 54th Floor, the Windsor Arms Hotel, 180 Panorama in the Manulife Centre, Evergreen Brickworks, the Gardiner Museum, George and Shangri-La. Celebrity chefs include: Michele Mazza, Jean Paul Lourdes, Celestino Drago and Ian Gresik. Guests indicate their preference on the response card and organizers work out the logistics.
The festivities continue on Saturday with a gourmet lunch and live auction to be held at the new Four Seasons Hotel. Featured lots include glamorous travel coupled with unusual concept items such as an insider’s tour of The Vatican and a simulated fighter pilot experience.

Saturday evening caps things off with a performance by the Grammy Award-winning Pointer Sisters at the Toronto Centre for the Arts. Panache guests will also enjoy an exclusive VIP reception.

Ashleigh Manzon, Senior Development Officer, Leadership, puts it as follows: “With the launch of a $100 million campaign, West Park had to rethink the ways in which a hospital reaches out to its surrounding community. We knew we had to go bigger and bolder than your traditional gala. The scope of what we’re trying to accomplish required an event of the same magnitude. “

“The idea was to create an epic five-star weekend that takes the best of what Toronto has to offer and presents it to guests on a silver platter: the hottest venues, the best chefs, trend-setting fashions, electrifying entertainment, auction experiences that simply cannot be replicated and the opportunity to see and be seen among the city’s best and brightest. We want people to come away thinking this is something they could only experience in Toronto and only at Panache.”

Panache will support the I CAN Campaign, with proceeds going to West Park’s new Patient Care Centre.



Marilyn Lazar is a freelance writer with a special interest in travel and events. After graduating from Concordia University in Communication Studies, she continued her education in travel writing at Ryerson University Toronto and through Mediabistro in New York. Marilyn can be reached at Read her articles at

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