The 28th annual Teddy Bear Affair gala in support of the Children’s Aid Foundation was a night of ‘la dolce vita’ where the Metro Toronto Convention Centre was transformed into a splendid Italian piazza, adorned in a panorama of Italian decadence and elegance.

The Teddy Bear Affair is one of Toronto’s long-standing top black-tie events with a fresh theme every year, like Paris in 2012 and California in 2013 and now Italy in 2014. The gala attracts many prominent members of Canada’s business and philanthropic communities, coming together to raise funds for the Children’s Aid Foundation.

An accordion playing traditional tunes in the background, a rustic fountain akin to many of those in Italian city squares, an Italian café, various performers like stilt walkers, musicians and jugglers that conjure up the lively and endearing Italy we know.

Italian wines were featured during the reception with designer gowns and tuxedoes to the ebb and flow of smiling and cheerful gala guests.

The course of events of the evening included an extravagant reception where guests were immersed in a transformed world celebrating the best of Italy among a backdrop of items for auction and entertaining performances.

Reception was followed by dinner by celebrity chef, Fabio Viviani, owner of several restaurants in Italy and United States, and TV personality. He has made appearances on Top Chef, Top Chef All Stars, Ellen, Good Morning America, and Access Hollywood. He also is the author of a New York Times bestselling cookbook, Fabio’s Italian Kitchen.

The hosts for the night were ET Canada personalities, Rick Campanelli and Natasha Gargiulo. The main entertainment was provided by Montreal Rhapsody Orchestra, a band with over 10 members known for their incorporation of a string and brass section and 3 vocalists. The band gave an outstanding performance that persuaded guests to enthusiastically take to the dance floor.

Montreal Rhapsody Orchestra

Montreal Rhapsody Orchestra


A raffle, silent auction and live auction were also held. A few of the vast number of auction items included 18 karate white gold chandelier earrings with 2.6 carat diamonds valued at $20,340 donated by Mindham Fine Jewellery, a private chartered jet to New York City courtesy of AirSprint Private Aviation valued at $16,000, and an oil painting, Glory Days, donated by Mary McLorn Valle valued at $4,000.

Then evening came to a close on yet another successful Teddy Bear Affair gala, with over 1,200 guests in attendance at this near-sold out event, and $1.7 million was raised for the Children’s Aid Foundation.

Congratulations to this year’s Teddy Bear Affair staff and volunteers, and generous donors for making another grand and whimsical evening of rejoice for a very important cause.

The Children’s Aid Foundation is a national organization committed to improving the lives of abused and neglected children by funding programs in the areas of education, enrichment and prevention. The foundation aims to help every child be a child and encourages them to pursue their interests and dreams.

For more information about the Children’s Aid Foundation visit

Photos by James Hsieh except where indicated.


Also check out Teddy Bear Affair 2013 and Teddy Bear Affair 2012.

A Taste of America at the Trump Hotel Toronto
The 5th Stems of Hope gala for kids with neurological disorders

James Shay