Anyone wondering where moneyed Toronto arts patrons were on Wednesday night should have checked the Four Seasons Centre, where the city’s old guard convened for the National Ballet of Canada’s 60th-anniversary Diamond Gala. Outside the centre, models posed in the sweltering heat, fanned by custom-designed tutus as white-haired doyennes, tuxedoed power brokers and a handful of devil-may-care party-goers in canvas shorts walked the red carpet. Inside, guests were treated to performances by the company (including the famously breast- and butt-heavy pas de deux from the ’90s contemporary ballet Herman Scherman)—although some members, like principal dancer Jillian Vanstone and first soloist McGee Maddox, were spotted in the audience, enjoying a night off.
After the show, guests sipped lemon martinis and downed mini cupcakes while boldface names retreated to the VIP lounge. We spotted Jorn Weisbrodt and Rufus Wainwright holding hands and chatting with guests, National Ballet artistic director Karen Kain looking resplendent in navy, and her husband, pantomime impresario Ross Petty, wearing stick-on diamond earrings. And there’s more: real estate magnate Elvio DelZotto and his wife, Marlene, archaeologist Trinity Jackman, society scion Cleophée Eaton, socialite Lynda Prince in a feathered cape straight out of Dynasty, Soulpepper’s Albert Schultz and actor Kristen Thomson, Walrus editor John Macfarlane and philanthropist Roz Ivey, and the Globe and Mail’s Gabe Gonda and writer Victoria Webster all came out to party. After the cocktails, as guests poured into the theatre for the onstage dinner, principal dancer Guillaume Côté, in a dapper tux, was seen looking through the crowd, likely for his wife, principal dancer Heather Ogden, and first soloist Tina Pereira spent so long gabbing in the lobby that she had to be ushered into the dining room by an event staffer.