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On Thursday, May 31, the spring showers cleared just in time for Power Ball, hands down one of the best (and most Instagram-worthy) events in Toronto year after year.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the art-filled fundraiser took over the sprawling Power Plant Gallery, welcoming Toronto’s most influential, fashionable, and interesting art and party enthusiasts. For those in the dark, the affair fuses art, music, food, fashion, and society for an adult playground of a party that’s like no other.

As usual, the event was filled with sensory overload of massive proportions, making for no shortage of conversation starters and social media action – from the massive slide at the pre-party VIP portion, to a custom installation with over 2000 Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

This year, the well-heeled guests were invited to eat, drink, and be merry in celebration of Power Ball’s big, bacchanalian birthday celebration. With a carnival theme, nothing was too over-the-top at this party. The evening kicked off at 7 pm, as the big top opened for a pre-party reception that included food from top Toronto spots like DaiLo and RAW Catering, with beverages from Spirit of York Distillery, FIOL Prosecco, and Seedlip.

At 9pm, the party ramped up into a full-on boisterous bash when the guests started to fill the sprawling space. Talking points included things like a larger-than-life balloon installation by Ana Rewakowicz that was designed to evoke a sense of belonging, a hyper-simulating technicolour room by Dominique Petrin, and a digital piece by Jennifer Steinkamp that left guests pondering the intrinsically sexual nature of fruits up close and personal.

For those brave (and buzzed) enough, Toronto-based tattoo studio Ink & Water was on-site to offer circus-themed tattoos. For the fashion-lovers, the event’s presenting partner, Max Mara, showcased their Fall/Winter 2018 collection. As always, the live performances were crowd pleasers. This year, Power Ball featured performances by Sophie Jones, Prince Innocence, and Tona on the Prose Management & Boozer stage.

Other well-received highlights included gourmet carnival-themed grub – including all-dressed corn dogs and chili cheese fries from Kungfu Dawg’s shiny new hot dog cart and a preview of the new restaurant Zebu Steak + Bar through its food truck – and flowing drinks (with minimal wait times) from both the indoor and outdoor bars. Other party perks included a voyeuristic circus-themed booth, live graffiti art, fresh-shucked oysters from Oyster Boy, and an interactive installation by CXBO Chocolates, inspired by nostalgic fairway games.

Power Ball raises vital funds for the contemporary art gallery, enabling the waterfront gallery to offer the best in contemporary art though free exhibitions, public programs and events throughout the year.

Photos by Nick Lee

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