Keying on the theme "The Night That Never Ends," the event gives guests the excitement and intrigue of "James Bond"--on land, on sea and in the air. Here, the "before" image of the 326-foot barge (which serves as the "Pier" venue), which was custom-painted and fitted with tent structures, fencing and custom gangways prior to being delivered via tugboat 45 miles to its final destination.
On the water: The barge (Pier) was the destination for the Bond Tropicana Casino reception as well as the after-party, complete with underwater fireworks.
On the land: One "secret agent" keeps watch as guests enter the event through an industrial landscape created with seven 30- to 53-foot long trailers. "Bond girl" hostesses ensure guests reach their next destination safely as they walk this aisle of intrigue.
Parkour artist "secret agents" simulate fight scenes as guests walk the industrial landscape.
"Secret agents" perform stunts above the heads of guests
Bam--it’s glam! The official 150-foot-long TIFF red carpet awaits guests as they turn the corner from the industrial area. The LED screen at the end of the red carpet provides each guest with a larger-than-life image of themselves as well as engages guests on the Pier with each new arrival to the party.
The screen and custom, Bond-inspired logo of the event: "The Night That Never Ends.
Event chair Warren Spitz and his wife, Maureen, walk the red carpet and are greeted by the paparazzi.
Guests stand between the land and the water on custom gangways watching an action-filled highlight of the evening: the helicopter stunt call to dinner.
The entrance to the Pier, inspired by world-famous casinos, includes a Bellagio-inspired fountain.
The Bond theme is performed by internationally renowned violinist Sophie Serafino as guests emerge onto the Pier. Only moments before this, rain had been pouring down.
Bond-inspired Absolut vodka martinis flow as guests try their luck at the Tropicana Casino. Surrounding the floating casino Pier, giant decor elements, yachts, security boats and fast boats create suspense.
In the air, on the water! A live-action stunt plays out on the water as the TIFF helicopter carries our Special Agent to the rescue.
The Special Agent leaps from the helicopter, then the Bond Girl on her Sea Doo scoops him from the water and takes him safely to the end of the Pier.
The live-action stunt: A villain chases the Bond girl around the Toronto waterfront as the band on the Pier plays the Bond theme to elevate the excitement.
A surprisingly dry Special Agent is escorted the length of the Pier, inviting guests to join him for dinner and the next level of intrigue. The dining tent and formal program including the live auction help raise more than $700,000 for TIFF programming.
A tablescape in the multi-level tent for 500 guests not only represents the TIFF brand but pays homage to elegant moments in Bond films.
A Bond moment plays out in the dining tent where guests dine on an award-winning menu created by the Ritz-Carlton and executed by the catering team, Presidential Gourmet.
Darren Criss, star of the hit TV show "GLEE," performs an impromptu rendition of "Teenage Dream" during a break in the live auction.
Canadian singer-songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk delights dinner guests from center stage.
Legendary folk singer Gordon Lightfoot performs one of his classic songs on one of the three stages in the multi-level 40- by 320-foot dinner tent.
Once the formal portion of the evening is complete, guests are invited back on the Pier where VIP guests are secretly waiting. The after-party became another highlight of the evening.
The fireworks display includes underwater missiles, choreographed to the Bond theme, lighting up the night sky.
The “Night That Never Ends” continues well into the wee hours of the morning. What will the second annual TIFF Gala in 2013 hold for guests? Sorry but it's top secret, says e=mc2, which operates offices in Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto.