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#TIFF18: Beyond Gifting | A Look At 2018’s TIFF Gifting Lounges That Did More Than Just Gift Media & Celebs

#TIFF18: Beyond Gifting | A Look At 2018’s TIFF Gifting Lounges That Did More Than Just Gift Media & Celebs


EGPR ESSENTIALS LOUNGE: The Essentials Lounge by EGPR is truly for the media working the festival. Held for one full day prior to the festival, the lounge aims to equip media guests with everything they need (their “essentials”) during TIFF. The lounge focuses on experiential activations that not only put great brands in front of media, and lovely product into their pockets – it gave them pampering experiences as well.

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Media guests got to enjoy:

  • Soothing facials by GlamGlow Canada. The brand introduced their brand new Clearing Treatment Super Mud Mask. The perfect quick treatment to give all media a glowing complexion to rock at all the red carpets. Guests walked away with a full-size of this new Super Mud Mask.
  • Hair touch-ups and beautiful braids by Design.ME Hair. This Canadian hair care company also gifted media with their Puff.ME Shampoo & Conditioner duo, their iconic Puff.ME Volumizing Powder and adjustable Hold.ME Hairspray. Guests were also given a first-hand look at the brand’s new Quickie.ME Dry Shampoo sprays and foams launching October 1st.
  • Makeup touch-ups were provided by Smashbox Cosmetics. Guests were given a look and feel of the brand’s 50 shade foundation collection as well as glam touch up looks using their newest eye, cheek and lip shades and colors.
  • DKNY introduced media to their new “Stories” fragrance and allowed guests to get their bottles engraved on site
  • Keds Footwear gave media the opportunity to try on some of their newest kicks and take the perfect shoefie

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Any by far my most favorite part of this lounge was the This Works products. The Deep Sleep Pillow Mist spray by the brand works like a charm and ensured I got good rest while working the festival myself. Totally one of my ESSENTIALS for life! :)

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Canada’s original and most coveted gifting lounge, Suite on the Sixth (formerly Tastemakers) by rock-it promotions inc. has always been one of my favorites. The entire experience has been so pleasurable having attended for the past 5 years. The lineup of brands have always been top notch and the gifting has been GOLD. The reason I love this lounge so much is probably because it was born from the exact experience I enjoy each year. “I was inspired to start the lounge because 15 years ago, I was working with a big actress and a ton of gifts were being sent to her. I brought everything to her and she wasn’t able to use any of it (leather jacket – she was vegan; bottle of champagne – she didn’t drink alcohol, etc). I thought ‘there has to be a better way for brands to connect with talent!’ and after some research, I discovered what was being done at festivals like Sundance. Shortly after, Tastemakers was born” says Debra Goldblatt-Sadowski, president and founder of rock-it promotions.

What I absolutely loved about this lounge is that they focused on giving back as well. Suite on the Sixth supported Leave Out Violence (LOVE), an organization devoted to helping youth who are challenged by many forms of violence to build the skills and confidence necessary to change their lives and communities. Guests had an opportunity to show their support by autographing a large display board that was later given to LOVE for auction. Suite on the Sixth donated $50 for each signature on the board, up to $10,000.


“We had such an incredible group of sponsors this year! Everything from Simply Protein giving guests snacks to keep their energy going, to Casper gifting pillows for a better sleep, to showcasing Canadian brands like Perth Soap Co. and Crumps Naturals. We also had makeup from L’Oreal Paris, books from Penguin Random House, a pair of BOGs boots for the upcoming cooler months, Lindt Chocolate (because we always need chocolate!) and more. I like to ensure all the brands offer something useful for our guests as opposed to items that may not fit perfectly or actually be used” continued Goldblatt-Sadowski.


The NKPR It Lounge has always been at the top of my list each year. This year they continued their partnership with the Producers Ball and moved to a brand new space – The Lounge at Live Nation Canada with a music and film theme that included a Rolling Stone celebrity portrait studio, programming centered around industry panels and thought leadership, and unique sponsored activations from presenting sponsors including SwarovskiLise Watier, Hounds Vodka and OGX.

It’s become clear over the past few years that this lounge by NKPR goes beyond gifting, it celebrates the music, film and art industries by creating conversations and connections that truly matter. The gifting is just the cherry on top!


This is a snap from one of their glamorous and beautiful photo activations created by Swarovski. Who doesn’t love a little sparkle and shine in their day?



Bask-It-Style by GLO Communications is a twist on traditional gifting, giving busy stars on the go one less thing to worry about while in town promoting their films and schmoozing with their peers – collecting new products. This year Bask-It-Style took celebrity gifting to new heights by assembling and hand delivering VIP gift bags to the hotels where the stars were staying during the festival. In the past, celebrities gifted through the lounge have included: Matt Damon, Jennifer Garner, Julianne Moore, Naomi Watts, Colin Farrell, John Legend, Sir Elton John, Rachel McAdams, Pierce Brosnan, Blake Lively, Olivia Wilde, Tom Wilkinson, Rachel Weisz, Iggy Pop, Princess Charlotte of Monaco, Elle Fanning, Helen Mirren, Bryan Cranston and John Goodman. 

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So what made the lounge unique this year, in its 10th edition? “This year, we hosted the lounge in the Penthouse Suite at the Thompson Toronto hotel, where media got to bask in style of how a celebrity lives while in town for TIFF.  Who doesn’t love to hang out in a 2000 sq ft suite full of luxury” said Glover, Founder, and CEO of GLO Communications.

This year, celebrities will receive a variety of sense-provoking goodies in bags designed by Sully Wong

  • Anne-Marie Chagnon: One of six jewelry styles
  • Biossance: Assortment of skin care products
  • Browns Shoes: Media bag sponsor
  • Crazy D’s Soda Labs: Crazy D’s Prebiotic Craft Soda in Ginga’ Kick, Rockin’ Rolla’ Cherry Cola or Twisted Citrus
  • Creeds: Gift card and bag of CINQUE x Creeds Coffee Bar Custom Roast
  • DK Publishing: Astrology by Carole Taylor
  • Dr. Bronner’s: Peppermint Castile Liquid Soap
  • Eska: Carbonated natural spring water in regular or citrus
  • Green & Black’s: Organic Dark Chocolate Bar in Burnt Toffee
  • Greenhouse Juice Company: Rococoa Organic, Dairy-free Shake
  • Healthy Crunch: Trail Mix in a variety of flavors
  • House of Hayla: HOH Monochromatic Heel
  • MIRA: The Neighbours by Hannah Mary McKinnon
  • Natur-a: Fortified Almond Beverage Minis in original and chocolate flavor
  • Nomz: Almond Nomz Energy Bites
  • Pilot Coffee Roasters:  Pilot Cold Brew Latte
  • Ripley Entertainment:  A Century of Strange! from Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! book series
  • Sharp Magazine: Magazine sponsor
  • Sully Wong: Celebrity gift bag sponsor, the KYOJIN Bag
  • Thompson Hotel: Venue partner
  • Toronto Popcorn Company: Gourmet Popcorn in Old Fashioned Kettle Corn and Buffalo Kick
  • Turo: A credit for Turo services

Daniel Pillai

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