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Tastemakers Lounge keeps it fresh at TIFF

Online auction to benefit SickKids Foundation, new sponsors, emphasis on showcasing Canadian brands

Toronto, ON — For the sixth year, Rock-It Promotions Inc. will host its annual Tastemakers Lounge, a gifting suite located at the Intercontinental Toronto Yorkville Hotel during the Toronto International Film Festival. This year, Tastemakers returns with the theme Fresh Goods. Talent and VIPs invited to the lounge will have a chance to experience products on display and three interactive stations that are sure to keep everyone fresh during TIFF!  

The first stop will be choosing a new and stylish pair of frames from Wescan Optical for prescription or fashion wear. Wescan Optical experts will be on hand all week to fit every guest with a design that suits their personal style, as well as find the best shape for their face. A new pair of frames is the perfect way to freshen up anybody’s look and a great accessory for those that want to change things up.

Mattel makes an encore appearance at Tastemakers Lounge with some of its newest games, a surefire way to keep your inner child fresh. Mattel brings back the joy and fun of “family game night” with the award-winning card and party game Apples to Apples, where players use their imaginations to come up with surprising and outrageous comparisons from a wide range of people, places, things and events. Mattel will also showcase Loopz, a skill and action music memory game that’s super fun. Other games up for grabs include Whac-a-Mole Card Game, Uno Card Game, Pictionary Card Game, Mad Gab Picto-Gabs Card Game, Pictionary Man and Blokus.

Also returning is Joe Fresh Beauty, the ones who do fresh best. Makeup artists from Joe Fresh Beauty will create red carpet looks and treat guests to pre-interview makeup applications with its affordable, high-quality cosmetic line. Guests will also take home a selection of cosmetics to suit their skin tone and create a natural or playful look.

Tastemakers Lounge will also have amazing product on display such as hand bags, gift cards and more from Jessica Jensen, ballet slippers from Damn Heels, apparel for men and women from local eco-labels Guats and Bamjamz, inspiring necklaces from MMCrystal, revolutionary skin care from Nanoblur (Indeed Labs), and more. Eco-chic accessories from Keep Leaf and tasty treats from Rawlicious will be featured in every gift bag. Each guest will also take home a roomy and reliable reusable bag from Me + You. In keeping with its mandate to support local brands, almost all of the companies participating in the lounge are proudly Canadian.

As always, Tastemakers Lounge is giving back. This year, they are partnering with online auction production experts Vonality. Together, they will launch a web-based auction that will feature Mattel games autographed by talent, and will run from Tuesday, September 21 to Friday, October 1 at A portion of the proceeds will support SickKids Foundation.

The lounge’s décor comes care of Toronto design firm Marla Brown Events, who use their expertise to create a fantastically fresh atmosphere. Official photography for the lounge is provided by Central Image Agency Inc., Canada's Boutique image agency.

Rock-It Promotions is currently scheduling appointments for the Tastemakers Lounge Media Preview on Wednesday, September 8 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Appointments can be made outside of those hours. The Tastemakers Lounge opens its doors to guests by appointment from September 9 to 16 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please note, media appointments are limited for this event.

About Tastemakers:
Launched in 2005 by Debra Goldblatt and Leesa Butler, Tastemakers is the first full-service, Canadian-owned and operated product placement company specializing in gifting lounges and “swag bags”. The first Tastemakers Lounge premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Since then, Tastemakers has had a major presence at Canada's Juno, Genie and Gemini awards shows, plus broadcast network, sporting and corporate fundraising events. Hundreds of talent have visited the lounge including Woody Harrelson, Freida Pinto, Elias Koteas, Kat Dennings, Eric McCormack, Gabby Sidibe, David Cronenberg, Jennifer Aniston, Tim Robbins, Viggo Mortensen, Perez Hilton, Forest Whitaker, Shirley MacLaine, Ellen Burstyn, Kristin Booth, Emily Hampshire, Joshua Jackson, Christian Slater, Sigourney Weaver, Samuel L. Jackson, Joaquin Phoenix and many, many more. Tastemakers has garnered press in media outlets such as Us Weekly, The Globe and Mail, National Post, Toronto Star, and more.


SickKids Foundation
Established in 1972, SickKids Foundation is the fundraising organization for The Hospital for Sick Children – one of Canada's most research-intensive hospitals and the largest centre dedicated to improving children's health in the country. The foundation's fundraising is driven by the belief that improving the health and well-being of children is one of the most powerful ways to improve society.  Community support is a critical source of funding for The Hospital for Sick Children. For the fiscal year ending March 31, 2010, SickKids Foundation made an investment of $52.5 million in children's health research, education and care. A direct result of community support, this is one of the largest investments in pediatric health care and one of the largest contributions to a hospital anywhere in Canada.

Vonality is the market leader for high-profile, fan-based social commerce campaigns and online auction marketplaces for online charity auctions, branded online marketplaces, private auction marketplaces, cause marketing campaigns and white-labelled VIP loyalty programs. Clients include high-profile entertainers, celebrities, product marketing companies, entertainment media companies, retailers, corporate brands and charity organizations. Vonality has developed award-winning campaigns for clients including American Idol - Idol Gives Back Foundation, UGG Australia, Se Ce Apparel, William Morris Agency, Hard Rock, Swarovski Crystal, Molson Canadian, WIFT, Singapore Airlines A380 and many others.


Bamjamz has redefined the concept of pajamas with a revolutionary sleep and loungewear collection made from luxuriously soft and comfortable bamboo stretch blends. Launched in January 2010, Bamjamz is the latest concept from Guats Life Style Inc. founders Brad Rudin and Adrian Kraizel. Bamjamz fits the lifestyle of the modern woman – comfortable, stylish and sustainable with natural performance and athletically inspired detailing. The Bamjamz fall/winter 2010/11 line-up includes its Signature and Graphic jersey collections, as well as a new Bamjamz Spa collection made from a premium bamboo French terry stretch blend. All products are designed and manufactured in Canada.

Damn Heels
Damn Heels are sexy, fold-up ballerina-style flats tucked into an expandable bag that's small enough to pop into any clutch, desk or suitcase. Women slip their sore, blistered feet into the soft-sided flats and their stilettos into the cute reusable bag. Damn Heels is on a mission to make sure no woman ever has to go barefoot with her heels in hand again.

Guats Active. Life. Style.
Guats Active. Life. Style. is a Canadian-branded collection of bamboo active lifestyle clothing launched in 2008 by Guats Life Style Inc. founders Brad Rudin and Adrian Kraizel. Made from Guats premium bamboo blends, the lineup includes the most comfortable and naturally functional clothing on the market today. Custom designed and made in Canada, the Guats brand is known for its great fit, flattering designs, inspiring graphics, and the comfort of its signature bamboo fabrics.

Indeed Laboratories Inc.
Indeed Laboratories Inc. is a high-technology Canadian skin care developer and marketer whose focus is to eliminate all marketing hype and costs from skin treatments, and instead deliver real results as cost-effectively as possible. Indeed uses very high concentrations of the rarest, most effective actives from clinical laboratories in Switzerland, Spain, France and the United States to develop highly specific treatment products. Indeed recently launched a groundbreaking skin correction cream.
Originally developed to address the concern of high-definition cameras showing skin imperfections of Hollywood celebrities, Nanoblur uses the most advanced form of optical prism technology to literally “blur” the lines and imperfections on your skin.
This advanced nano-optical treatment erases signs of aging and the look of lines, wrinkles, crow’s feet, sagging, and enlarged pores within seconds, without any tint. Through efficiency and honesty, Indeed aims to maintain the most reasonable prices in its class.

Jessica Jensen
The Jessica Jensen signature handbag label is a testament of effortless style for the modern day woman. The collection combines luxurious Italian leathers, handcrafted workmanship, unique detailings and seasonal hues creating designs that are both timeless and fresh. From traditional basket weaves and custom panel weaves, to statement making totes and clutches, the versatility of the Jessica Jensen collection embraces a philosophy of sophisticated fashion for everyday living.  Jessica Jensen handbags have become a new must-have classic in designer accessories, and have been featured on Fashion Television and across the pages of Vogue, InStyle, Lucky, Accessories, Fashion, Flare and Elle. Courteney Cox and Sarah McLachlan have also been spotted carrying Jensen’s bags both on and off the red carpet.

Joe Fresh Beauty
Joe Fresh Beauty is an extension of Joe Fresh Style and is Real Canadian Superstore’s answer to Canadian consumers’ desire for accessible quality beauty products for all occasions and complexions. Featuring the inspiration of Canadian style leader Joseph Mimran, the mastermind behind Alfred Sung, Club Monaco and Caban, as well as the creative director for the President’s Choice Home Collection, the line features more than 200 items and a comprehensive range of face, lip and eye products, enabling today’s busy Canadian consumer to shop for her makeup where she shops for groceries, and achieve a great look without breaking the bank.

Keep Leaf
Keep Leaf is a lifestyle – your lifestyle. Going green is no longer a fad, but a part of a new reality: reuse and reduce. Keep Leaf believes that consumers do not have to compromise on quality and style to observe responsible, sustainable practices. That’s why they developed a range of specialty reusable products that are premium quality, modern, chic, easy to use and well priced.  The company saw an opportunity to make it better, and they did.

Marla Brown Events
Marla Brown Events is a large Toronto-based event design company known for creating fabulous, over-the-top events for more than 12 years. Marla Brown has orchestrated intimate dinners for 12 to standing cocktail parties for 2,000, all with a unique sense of design and superior attention to detail. Her wealth of knowledge, contacts and experience in event planning allows clients to be a guests at their own party. Brown has appeared on the Slice Network and HGTV as a design expert.

Mattel Inc.
Mattel Inc. is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacturing and marketing of toys and family products. The Mattel family is comprised of such best-selling brands as Barbie, the most popular fashion doll ever introduced; Hot Wheels; Matchbox; American Girl; Radica; and Tyco R/C; as well as Fisher-Price brands, including Little People, Power Wheels and a wide array of entertainment-inspired toy lines. In 2010, Mattel was named as one of Fortune Magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For" for the third consecutive year, and was ranked among Corporate Responsibility Magazine's "100 Best Corporate Citizens." Mattel is also recognized among the "World's Most Ethical Companies." With worldwide headquarters in El Segundo, California, Mattel employs approximately 27,000 people in 43 countries and territories, and sells products in more than 150 nations.

Me + You...
Me + You... premium style reusable bags are proudly made in Vancouver, Canada to help eliminate wasteful plastic bags. It takes 60 million barrels of oil per year to make the plastic bags we use worldwide! With the dreadful flow of oil in the Gulf of Mexico, it’s a good time to consider how Me + You... can make a positive impact on the environment. Start simple, use reusable bags in place of single use plastic bags. Help Me + You... get one million people to sign a pledge to stop using plastic bags. Find Me + You... bags at Whole Foods Market locations, select boutique stores and online.

Fashion veteran Michelle Merizzi, creator of MMCrystal’s distinctive, elegant crystal creations, takes a departure from red carpet bling with the launch of “Loves Legions” tags at the Toronto International Film Festival. The tags carry inspiration from the “dog tags” worn by brave men and women serving in military forces all over the world. Each “Loves Legions” tag is engraved with a single inspiring word and brought to life with Swarovski elements. A portion of sales from every “Loves Legions” tag sale supports veterans and wounded soldiers in the country where they are sold.

Rawlicious opened its doors in 2008, in response to the demand for delicious and nutritious food. Toronto's only fully raw restaurant located in the west end, Rawlicious has been producing sexy feel-good food that is loaded with all of the key enzymes and nutrients that food is meant to have. Rawlicious hopes to make raw food more widely available to a mainstream audience by establishing new outlets across Canada via franchising. Rawlicious. Unbelievable Food.

Wescan Optical  
Canada’s own Wescan Optical, a division of Westgroupe, was established in 1998. Wescan’s mission is to produce the highest quality and most innovative eyewear available on the market today. Wescan’s premium product line includes international brands such as Evatik, Fysh UK, Kliik: Denmark, Chloé, Converse and Theory. Wescan eyewear brands are available in 33 countries around the world.

For additional information or interview requests, please contact:
Debra Goldblatt, rock-it promotions, inc. at or
416.656.0707 ext. 101

Leesa Butler, Tastemakers, at or 416.417.4517

To schedule a media appointment, please contact:
Michelle Easton, rock-it promotions, inc. at
or 416.656.0707 ext. 103


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