THE INVITATION: At the Innovators Ball

Suzanne Boyd, editor-in-chief of Zoomer, at the Innovators Ball. Story by Emily Blake.

Little girls know that there are certain parties that are better than the rest. They are anointed with the magic name – a ball – and that name gives them a glamour and intrigue that no other mere fete can match. This year, the annual Innovator’s Ball had that special ingredient, and the added bonus of “magic” itself as a theme. As the Ontario Science Centre currently plays host to the Harry Potter Exhibit, all those who wish they got an entrance letter to Hogwarts bought a ticket and booked a car service for the evening.

My evening began at a pre-coif at Amber in Yorkville hosted by the effortless hostesses of The Society, along with Hello! Canada and Siren Communications. Tropical hued martinis were passed, lashes applied by the gals from Gee Beauty and all the girls and their nattily dressed dates piled into the Vextini photo booth for pre-party glamour shots (the photo slips were also rumoured to grant line-skipping access to Amber’s notoriously impossible to get into post-Innovator’s party).

And on and on the evening went – before darkness fell we were zipped to the Science Centre, checked off lists,and in the great hall before you could say Butterbeer. Throngs filled the transformed space. The first cocktail I was given was giving off a disconcerting amount of smoke (magic or dry ice stir stick – who’s to say?) and was quickly ditched for a trusty vodka soda. The socials abounded – the new gen represented by party stalwarts like ASC PR’s Natasha Penzo and marketing girl wonder Amy Burstyn-Fritz. Media darlings swished through in their gowns, E-in-C’s Suzanne Boyd and Lisa Tant looking especially smashing. Some guests even got into the true spirit of the evening – I spotted Professor Snape swishing a cape ominously while the ineffable Marcello Cabezas went all in with a painted face and pointy hat for the entire “Magician’s Apprentice” aesthetic. Moving through the dance floor, amongst the trays of nibbles, flutes of bubbles and shiny baubles, I got a first glimpse of one of the city’s truly lovely visions – the charity gala girls in their spring frocks, all flutter and shimmer.

However, in honour of full disclosure I feel compelled to confess that the true high point of the evening was my tour of one through the Harry Potter exhibit. I marveled and dreamt, and just for a moment, no matter how long my lashes, I really was just a kid at the Science Centre, imagining other worlds.

Below, Ben Mulroney, the master of ceremonies for the evening, with wife Jessica.

Model Yasmin Warsame and friend.

Actor Zaib Shaikh and Kirstine Layfield, executive director of programming for the CBC.

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