by AJ Lam

The Teddy Bear Affair raises funds for the Children’s Aid Foundation, which since 1979, helps vulnerable kids across Canada overcome the obstacles in life that hold them back.

“Through no fault of their own, thousands of Canadian children face lives of poverty, neglect and abuse – unpromising conditions for a healthy, productive adolescence or adulthood.

Helping to break this cycle – to prevent its recurrence – and to bring education and enrichment opportunities to these kids is what The Children’s Aid Foundation is all about.”

Twenty-eight years ago a small group of influential “Torontonians” set out to transform the lives of at-risk children for the better. Their mission was to provide hope, stability and security to children in need. Together, they created a memorable evening to benefit these children. With the teddy bear as their emblem, the first Teddy Bear Affair was held.

Today, The Teddy Bear Affair is widely recognized as one of Toronto’s most highly anticipated black-tie galas, with the 2013 edition garnering the Canadian Event Industry Awards Best Fundraising Event. With the aid of patron sponsors CIBC and CGI, and other sponsors such as the Gryphon, Slaight Family Foundation, Air Canada Foundation, Mindham Fine Jewelry, Chatelaine, RBC, TD, HSBC, and Scotiabank, the evening attracts over 1,000 of Canada’s most influential citizens and senior executives.

The theme of this year’s Teddy Bear Affair, held at The Metro Toronto Convention Centre, was Viva Italia, with Italian themed collector teddy bears, silent and live auctions, live painting, paintings, gourmet food stations, and open bar, including an Air Canada pilot dispensing sparkling wine from a conveyor belt of fluted glasses full of sparkling wine.

During the second part of the evening, a delicious dinner by Chef Fabio Viviani, and entertainment led by Montreal Rhapsody Orchestra and hosts Rick Campanelli and Natasha Gargiulo delighted the impeccably dressed guests.

Revenue generated from the event is used to support The Children’s Aid Foundation’s for prevention, enrichment and education programs.