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The best parties that went down on the first weekend of TIFF

Find out where Elliot Page, Nelly Furtado, Director X, Shaquille O’Neal and more were hanging out after hours

Despite fears that this year’s TIFF would be lacking star power due to the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike, the red carpets have been littered with big names, and a time-honoured Hollywood tradition has returned: the invite-only after-hours TIFF bash. Here, an inside look at the most star-studded galas, premieres and kick-offs that took place over the festival’s first weekend.


Artists for Peace and Justice Gala
Nelly Furtado was honoured at the APJ gala
Photo by Vito Amati/Getty Images

Nelly Furtado was spotted at the Artists for Peace and Justice (APJ) gala, a fundraiser that supports youth in Haiti. Here, she raises the roof before being honoured with the Artists for Justice and Peace Award.

Lido Pimienta at the Artists for Peace and Justice Awards
TORONTO, ONTARIO - SEPTEMBER 09: Lido Pimienta speaks on stage at the 15th Annual Artists For Peace And Justice Fundraiser During Toronto International Film Festival on September 09, 2023 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Vito Amati/Getty Images for Artists for Peace and Justice) Photo by Vito Amati/Getty Images

Furtado’s award was presented by 2017 Polaris Prize winner Lido Pimienta.

APJ Co-chair Suzanne Boyd, Director X and Dax Dasilva
Photo by Ryan Emberley/Getty Images

APJ co-chair Suzanne Boyd and tech CEO Dax Dasilva flank filmmaker Director X, who received the Canadian Changemaker Award.

Nelly Furtado and Amanda Brugel at the APJ gala
Photo by Ryan Emberley/Getty Images

Handmaid’s Tale actor Amanda Brugel with Furtado.

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Charles Khabouth attends the 15th Annual Artists For Peace And Justice Fundraiser During Toronto International Film Festival on September 09, 2023 in Toronto, Ontario.
Photo by Ryan Emberley/Getty Images

Prolific Toronto restaurateur Charles Khabouth.

George Stroumboulopoulos attends the 15th Annual Artists For Peace And Justice Fundraiser During Toronto International Film Festival on September 09, 2023 in Toronto, Ontario.
Photo by Ryan Emberley/Getty Images

Long-time APJ supporter George Stroumboulopoulos emceed the event.

ric Hendrikx and NKPR Founder and APJ Co-Chair Natasha Koifman attend the 15th Annual Artists For Peace And Justice Fundraiser During Toronto International Film Festival on September 09, 2023 in Toronto, Ontario.
Photo by Ryan Emberley/Getty Images

Writer-photographer Eric Hendrikx and APJ co-chair Natasha Koifman hosted the event in their backyard.


Backspot premiere party
Elliot Page, D.W. Waterson and Devery Jacobs at the Backspot premier party
Photo by Lu Chau

After the world premiere of Backspot, the team behind the new cheerleading flick attended an after-party at Marbl. Elliot Page executive-produced the film, D. W. Waterson directed and Devery Jacobs, of Reservation Dogs, starred.

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D.W. Waterson DJed at the Backspot premier party
Photo by Lu Chau

Waterson also deejayed.


RBC House Opening
Shaquille O’Neal DJing
Photo by Kennedy Pollard, courtesy of Getty Images and RBC TIFF House at Petros82

The RBC house at Petros82 hosted a music-themed party, which was deejayed by former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal, a.k.a. DJ Diesel.

Shaquille O’Neal and Priyanka at the RBC House opening party
TORONTO, CANADA - SEPTEMBER 8: <> at RBC House on September 8, 2023 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Kennedy Pollard/Getty Images for RBC) Photo by Kennedy Pollard, courtesy of Getty Images and RBC TIFF House at Petros82

O’Neal also met Priyanka, the winner of Canada’s Drag Race season one.


Black Academy Legacy Awards Kick-Off Party
Director X and Stephan James attend as RBC House presents The Black Academy Legacy Kick-Off Party at RBC House Toronto International Film Festival 2023 on September 10, 2023 in Toronto, Ontario.

The RBC House and Petros82 hosted a celebration of Black Canadian talent. Here, Director X is seen hanging out with actor Stephan James, founder of the awards.

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 Zaib Shaikh and Kirstine Stewart attend as RBC House presents The Black Academy Legacy Kick-Off Party at RBC House Toronto International Film Festival 2023 on September 10, 2023 in Toronto, Ontario.
Photo by Ryan Emberley/Getty Images, courtesy of RBC TIFF House at Petros82

Zaib Shaikh, consul general of Canada in Los Angeles, with Kirstine Stewart, head of Shaping the Future of Media at the World Economic Forum.

Siphesihle November attends as RBC House presents The Black Academy Legacy Kick-Off Party at RBC House Toronto International Film Festival 2023 on September 10, 2023 in Toronto, Ontario
TORONTO, ONTARIO - SEPTEMBER 10: Siphesihle November attends as RBC House presents The Black Academy Legacy Kick-Off Party at RBC House Toronto International Film Festival 2023 on September 10, 2023 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Kennedy Pollard/Getty Images for RBC) Photo by Ryan Emberley/Getty Images, courtesy of RBC TIFF House at Petros82

Siphesihle November, a principal dancer at the National Ballet of Canada and the subject of the documentary Beyond Moving, made an appearance.

Women in Film Luncheon
The panel at the Women in Film Luncheon, which included Laura deCarufel, Anubha Momin, Meredith Hama-Brown, Noura Kevorkian, Zoe Hopkins, Vanessa Magic
Courtesy of The Kit and Four Seasons Hotel Toronto

The Kit and the Four Seasons Hotel co-hosted a celebration of women in film. The Kit‘s co-editor Laura deCarufel (far left) is pictured here with panellists (from left) Anubha Momin, Meredith Hama-Brown, Noura Kevorkian, Zoe Hopkins and Vanessa Magic.

Halla Rafati and Laura deCarufel at the Women in Film Luncheon
Courtesy of The Kit and Four Seasons Hotel Toronto

DeCarufel with Halla Rafati, the founder and CEO of Halo and Co. Public Relations. 

Lisa Laflamme attended the Women in Film luncheon
Courtesy of The Kit and Four Seasons Hotel Toronto

Broadcasting icon Lisa LaFlamme was among the attendees. 

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Kathleen Newman-Bremang, Kayla Grey, Elaine Lui at the women in film luncheon
Courtesy of The Kit and Four Seasons Hotel Toronto

Writer Kathleen Newman-Bremang, TSN anchor Kayla Grey and Etalk correspondent Lainey Lui attended.

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