The Toronto International Film Festival kicks off today and that means a whole lotta celebs descending upon our city for 10 days of film screenings, red carpet events and of course, those legendary "can a fan get a hook-up, seriously" TIFF gifting suites. Each year it seems these lounges get better and better and the first swag sneak peek, George Stroumboulopoulos 5th annual Made In Canada Lounge, was proof.This year's Made In Canada Lounge sits just outside Strombo's Tonight studio in the CBC Building at 205 Wellington Street where a once empty space has been converted into the coolest hockey man cave meets rustic winter chalet that I've ever laid eyes on. Like really, if your guy said he wanted an area to entertain the boys for game night and he came up with this, you'd be need to make him a steak every night as a reward.
Designed by Montreal design collective, Apartment 4 and curated by Best PR boutique, The Made in Canada Lounge features more than 75 chic fashion, food, beauty and decor brands that combine to create a rustic luxe oasis, every detail inspired by Canadian culture and provided by companies from our home and native land.
While many gifting lounges seem to be a girly girl's dream, Made in Canada definitely delivers for the dudes. It's packed with tons of gourmet hockey night snacks like Neal Brothers Maple Bacon Kettle Chips, Cococo Chocolatiers award winning Rosemary Fusion Chocolate Bar and premium white rye, gin and bitters from Dillon's Small Batch Distillers. All the fancy junk food is offset by good for the bod healthy treats like Vega's One Bar, premium loose leaf teas from Sloane Fine Tea Merchants and seriously amazing Sugar Bush Maple granola from Georgian Bay Granola Company. I had this for breakfast and might be spoiled forever.
This doesn't mean that the 21st century
Fashion is also found here and it's quintessential Canuck. Think fur-trimmed Canada Goose jackets, Tuck Shop Trading Co. City of Neighbourhoods Toques and even a custom TIFF 2013 Montreal Canadiens jersey. Being that Strombo's a pretty stylish guy, a few dapper accessories also made the cut like bow ties from Gregory Allen Company and unique pieces from jewelry designers Jenny Bird and Shawna Tabacznik. I was also stoked to see my new favourite local bag designer, Sneha Varma, in the house.This all sounds likes a TON of swag for celebs to walk away with, and you're totally right, but Made in Canada isn't just about gifting amazing local labels to the stars (though that's pretty awesome in itself). Strombo's inviting his high profile celebrity guests to sign Canadian Tire donated hockey sticks while visiting the lounge so that they can later be auctioned off for charity. Just who will be visiting you ask? I couldn't get intel but previous years have seen the likes of Drew Barrymore, Edward Norton, Clive Owen, Seth Rogen and Olivia Wilde, to name a few.
If you're currently green with envy and wishing your acting career hadn't ended with ninth grade drama -- fear not! Strombo will be giving away a selection of these Made in Canada Lounge products to audience members at the start of his fall season plus, hosting a TIFF swag giveaway online. The fall season (and live tapings) of GEORGE STROUMBOULOPOULOS TONIGHT begin September 16th, 2013 and the online contest launches September 5th.
To get yourself in the audience and to enter online to win some Made in Canada swag visit www.strombo.com.
-- Tamika Auwai is our resident Style Editor, Shopping Enthusiast and Wardrobe Expert.