To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the original series of Star Trek, TIFF endeavored to boldly go where no charity gala has gone before with their massive annual fundraiser: BOOMBOX. On Thursday October 27, we had the pleasure of experiencing TIFF Bell Lightbox’s transformation into a multi-level barrage of Star Trek inspired sci-fi extravaganza.

“Star Trek and the theme of exploring the unknown matched very well with having open access to the TIFF Bell Lightbox,” remarked committee-member Elizabeth Heggie. “I just really liked how the building was ours for the night and that’s not something that happens on the regular.” Areas not usually accessible to the public were creatively transformed into innovative event spaces.

One of the hidden gems was Maylee Todd’s takeover of the intimate HSBC Gallery with Cosmic Portal, a sensational live-music performance accompanied by a string quartet. The Toronto based multimedia artist/musician performed original songs combined with “virtual beings” and tantalizing 3D image-mapped ceiling projections designed to sway to the music. Jacob Niedzwiecki, a creative technologist/dancer produced Pillar, an app-powered augmented-reality installation held in LUMA. And of course, a sci-fi themed event would only be complete with an immersive virtual reality experience. RT!, a renowned Canadian story-tell/filmmaker, weaved together mesmerizing visuals from a variety of locations spanning the globe that left us with a sense of vertigo.

As if to evoke the raw raunchiness of a canteen on a spacecraft, TIFF’s loading docks was transformed into a dance party by artist Kyle Kofsky with tunes by DJ M, DJ Blush and the Warp Tens. Wrestlers from Superkick’d, a pro wrestling rock show, dressed up in full alien garb and fought to the death (no, not really). Although guests were encouraged to embrace their inner Trekkie by dressing up as their favourite characters, makeup artists were on deck to apply prosthetic Vulcan ears and Klingon foreheads to the uninitiated.


Finally, since all great parties should end on the dance-floor, the usual ticket office at the RBC Lobby was transformed into a massive event space with a grand-scale video projection of Tendril Studio’s, Sankhara, a visual journey depicting an astronaut’s view of the universe during the return home from a mission to the final frontier. DJ Jules Bangsworth and DJ Romeo filled the triple level atrium with “highly illogical” sounds. Clearly, resistance to have a great time that evening was futile.



For more info about TIFF’s fundraising initiatives visit

Photos by Nick Lee

Also check out TIFF BOOMBOX 2015, BOOMBOX 2014, BOOMBOX 2013 and BOOMBOX 2012.

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