In February 2019 I had the opportunity to plan the launch and fundraiser event for GIFT, Girls in Film and Television, a local non-profit initiative offering programs to female identifying youth to give them the opportunity to explore all aspects of filmmaking and the film industry. Their belief is that more girls behind the camera leads to more women behind the camera and that more women behind the camera leads to better representation of girls and women on screen. The vision is a worldwide media landscape of gender parity behind the camera and on the screen with a diversity that represents our world.
The goal of the event was to introduce GIFT to Edmonton and to start building a community of support around a very important initiative. GIFT offers workshops throughout the province and doesn’t want a girl’s financial situation to be an obstacle so there is also a subsidy program to support families at all income levels. The theme of the night was cinematic soul; we curated this through a red carpet welcome, cocktail tables in black and dusty pink, with beautifully lit crystal centerpieces. Our venue was Lexus South Pointe, which offered floor to ceiling windows that we lit up with light bars that lined the bottom of each section. River City Events was a wonderful décor partner in helping us achieve the perfect vibe for our theme!
Guests were greeted with the soulful sounds of the Dana Wylie Band and a delicious pink signature cocktail created by Bottomz Up Bartending. Our host for the evening was the charismatic Bridget Ryan who welcomed the crowd and educated them on the GIFT initiatives. Guests were also treated to an assortment of tasty passed hours d’oeuvres prepared by The New Deli. After the reception portion of the evening guests moved over to a stage area where we heard from Camille Beaudoin, founder of GIFT, and were entertained by the hilarious improv group, Ra Power, made up of Amy Shostak and Joleen Ballendine.
We had a roaming photographer, Hannah Hamilton capturing all of the fun and engagement from the night, including guests taking advantage of the GIFT photo wall! When the evening wrapped up guests left with GIFT bags filled with goodies from Hillberg & Berk, Lexus South Pointe, ATB Branch for Arts & Culture, and Lucere Dermatology.
All in all it was a memorable night that created awareness, raised funds, and created community to grow a not for profit in our city founded from the hearts of those living the industry.
To learn more about GIFT and the programs they offer head to their website www.girlsinfilmtv.com.