TIFF turf wars: eTalk and ET Canada have started to mark their territory and announce parties
Broadcast stations are starting to claim their territory for the 10 days of TIFF, mostly setting up headquarters from where they will navigate the circus of galas, schmoozing, parties and possible Oprah sightings.
The folks at ET Canada, Global’s major entertainment show, have claimed a parking lot rooftop in Yorkville, directly across from the Hazelton Hotel, where all of the show’s interviews will be held. A temporary floor is being installed, and the space is being decorated completely in white and accented with crystal chandeliers and an elevated DJ booth. The location is quite a departure from ET Canada’s Casa Loma headquarters in 2007 and 2008—it’s a smart move from a logistical standpoint (Austin Terrace isn’t exactly party central) but could potentially take the grandeur down a notch.
Senior executive producer Tamara Simoneau assures us, however, that this is not a cost-cutting move. “We were looking to evolve and not do the same thing again this year, even though it’s hard to leave a castle with its wow factor. The new venue is not cheaper because we’re building something from the ground up,” Simoneau says of the 600-person-capacity tented rooftop that ET Canada has dubbed Festival Central. “We’re hoping the buzz will be big and we’ll be getting more foot traffic.” She adds that since the venue will be smaller than last year’s, the parties will be more exclusive.
As for the other entertainment news giant, eTalk took the crown last year for its massive CTV block party at which Diddy performed, Sam Ronson spun records and Lindsay Lohan played with her cellphone. But CTV publicist Eleni Tenuta told us there are currently no plans to have another party on that scale. She did tell us, however, that celebrity interviews will be conducted at the InterContinental in Yorkville, and she let us in on some of the eTalk events that will be open to the public:
• One party will be in a tent at the back of the Four Seasons, where a DJ will be spinning and stylists from the Blo Bar (a blow-dry hair salon) will be showing off their skills.
Four Seasons Hotel, 21 Avenue Rd. Open September 11 to 15, 2 p.m.–7 p.m.
• Those needing a break from watching big screens can scale down to a small version at the Yorkville Roots. The second floor of the flagship store will be taken over by Nintendo, and visitors can drop by to test the company’s newest games.
Roots, 100 Bloor St. W. Open September 11 to 17, 10–8.
• CTV is sponsoring an event at the Hyatt at which Dior staff will man a “beauty station.”
Park Hyatt, 4 Avenue Rd. Open September 11 to 16, 10–7.