S/ Was There: Power Ball: The 21 Club

Lights were low but the energy was high at the twenty-first annual Power Ball Gala presented by Holt Renfrew. The city’s who’s who gathered in celebration of the most ambitious fundraising event of the year. The theme: 21 Club, inspired by the buzzing energy of Manhattan’s illicit speakeasy.

Upon entry, VIP guests were welcomed to a culinary extravaganza hosted by Sarah Keenlyside of CXBO Chocolates and La Banane. Overflowing buffets of shrimp spreads, cheese fondues, and chocolate fountains were accompanied by aerial acrobats on chandeliers that kept glasses topped with Fiol Prosecco.

The main event began afterwards, where guests explored the out-of-this-world immersive artworks. Under the Big Top, partygoers were emerged in a sea of red from the S/ installation by Laura Kikauka titled Keep Them Wanting Less. Guests took pieces of the work home with them, as encouraged by the artist.

As the night carried on, art lovers admired the highly Instagrammable exhibitions from Bruno Billio‘s neon Tron209 room to Max Streicher’s large-scale inflatable sculptures, Sleeping Giants. Late night eats from Arthur’s Restaurant were hidden away with a secret door entrance staying true to the speakeasy theme.

The evening came to a close with a fabulous burlesque drag show curated by Tobaron Waxman of the Intergenerational LGBT Artist Residency. Tynomi Banks, Flarington King, Gay Jesus, and Dainty Smith sang, sashayed, and stripped across the stage as the crowd sipped and celebrated.

Scroll through the gallery to relive Toronto’s biggest art bash.

Images courtesy of George Pimentel.