Brazilian Carnival Ball

Brazilian Carnival Ball
Arthritis & Autoimmunity Research Centre Foundation, University Health Network

Arthritis & Autoimmunity Research Centre Foundation, University Health Network

April 23, 2007 17:41 ET

The 2007 Brazilian Carnival Ball Raises Over $2.6 Million for Arthritis Research

The Ball has been Canada's top fundraising event for over 41 years

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - April 23, 2007) -

Editors Note: A photo for this release will be available on the CP picture wire via CCNMatthews.

The annual Brazilian Carnival Ball came to Toronto once again on Saturday, April 21, 2007 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. This year, the Ball celebrated over 41 years of dance, music and friendship and raised over $2.6 million for the Arthritis & Autoimmunity Research Centre Foundation in partnership with University Health Network.

The 'who's who' from Toronto's arts, fashion, business and political arenas come together to help raise awareness and funds for the worthy cause. To date, the Ball has raised almost $47 million net for numerous causes in healthcare, research, education and culture in Canada and Brazil. This spectacular event features a parade of colourfully clad dancers who entertain and spur the crowd to embrace the spirit of Rio's Carnival and to samba the night away.

"Every year we are wonderfully surprised by the overwhelming support the Ball receives. From its beginnings as a small event in a church basement in Toronto, this event has evolved into a highly anticipated and well supported charitable fundraiser in Canada," says Carolyn Keystone, 2007 Brazilian Carnival Ball Chair. "This remarkable event has helped so many charities over the years and we are so grateful to everyone who has contributed to making the Ball a resounding success year after year."

About the 2007 Beneficiary

This year the Ball has chosen the Arthritis & Autoimmunity Research Centre (AARC) Foundation as the beneficiary of the Ball. Proceeds raised from the gala will benefit the AARC's research in the areas of arthritis and related autoimmune diseases - a family of disorders affecting over 4.5 million Canadians.

About the Ball

The Ball began in 1966 with a committee of only six to eight people who brought the tradition of the famous Carnival held in Rio de Janeiro to Toronto. The Brazilian music, new to Toronto, had everyone on the dance floor all night long and the event became an instant success. Each year the Ball grew in popularity and size and was hosted at venues such as the Sutton Place Hotel and the Four Seasons Hotel. The Ball has also received international recognition and in 2002 was held in the Chateau de Versailles in France and proceeds from that evening benefited the Louis Pasteur Institute.

Founder, Anna Maria de Souza, recognized that the Ball was becoming a 'must-attend' event and that it was the perfect medium to raise funds for charitable causes. In 1973, Variety Village became the first recipient of the Brazilian Carnival Ball in Canada and through the years other beneficiaries have included Princess Margaret Hospital (prostate cancer research), St. Michael's Hospital (heart disease research), and York University (Accolade Project, Faculty of Fine Arts).

Today, the Brazilian Carnival Ball is held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and attracts 1,800 guests and raises over $2 million net each year, making it one of the largest fundraising galas in the country. Sixty Carnival dancers entertain the Toronto crowd with their dancing and dazzling costumes, which are flown from Brazil to Toronto each year for the event.

Celebrity and dignitary attendance is always a highlight of the Ball and this year is no exception. The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, The Honourable James K. Bartleman, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, The Honourable Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario, His Excellency Valdemar Carneiro Leao, Ambassador of Brazil to Canada, His Excellency Americo Dyott Fontenelle, Consul General of Brazil in Toronto, The Honourable George Smitherman, Minister of Health and Long-term Care, Deputy Premier, and His Worship David Miller, Mayor of Toronto, all gave their patronage to the Ball and some were in attendance on Saturday evening. In addition, Rex Harrington, formerly one of Canada's premier male ballet dancers for the National Ballet of Canada, Chan Hoh Goh, principal dancer at the National Ballet of Canada, and Brazilian model Caroline Bittencourt were also in attendance.

Zeka Marquez the world famous Brazilian artist and designer was responsible for the striking and lavish decor. Luis de Castro was the talented decor manager.

About the Sponsors

The overwhelming success of the Brazilian Carnival Ball would not be possible
without the generous contributions from the many corporate sponsors. Leading the way as this year's Presenting Sponsors was the BMO Financial Group and Brookfield Asset Management with TD Waterhouse as the Premier Sponsor.

The 2007 Brazilian Carnival Ball was the most successful Ball to date. It not only entertained those in attendance, but it also reminded them that their generosity and kindness will go a long way in helping Canadians suffering from arthritis and the over 110 related autoimmune diseases.

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