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Toronto Public Library’s Biblio Bash Raises $700,000 in support of youth programs

biblio bash

Canada’s biggest names in philanthropy, literature and entertainment joined together for an unforgettable night at Biblio Bash in support of Toronto Public Library youth programs.

Written by Jordana Colomby

Biblio Bash returned to the Toronto Reference Library last week, raising nearly $700,000 for Toronto Public Library  youth programs. The annual event brought together top authors, philanthropists, arts and culture supporters, and entrepreneurs from across Canada to help empower youth in vulnerable neighbourhoods in Toronto. Guests donated through ticket sales, on-site donation and a silent auction where top prizes included a trip to Fogo Island and Raptors tickets. All the money from the event goes towards providing teens with free access to after-school homework help, technology, financial literacy learning and chances to participate in programs that help them develop crucial life skills.

biblio bash
Michael Redhill, 2017 Giller Prize winner, and author Ruth Marshall. Photo courtesy of George Pimentel Photography.

Canadian author, investor and television personality, David Chilton, hosted the sold-out event. Other renowned authors on the guest list included Giller Prize winner, Michael Redhill, children’s poet, Dennis Lee and New York Times Bestseller, Shari Lepena. The star-studded event hosted big names in business, philanthropy and entertainment, such as Suzanne and Edward Rogers of Rogers Communications, Lainey Lui of The Social and eTalk, and Kim Newport of Pink Tartan.

biblio bash
Vickery Bowles, City Librarian, Toronto Public Library; David Chilton, Biblio Bash Host; and Jennifer Jones, President, Toronto Public Library Foundation. Photo courtesy of George Pimentel Photography.
biblio bash
Suzanne Rogers. Photo courtesy of George Pimentel Photography.

For entertainment, local slam poetry group The Unchartered performed an exclusive piece. They work with Toronto teens through the Toronto Public Library’s Poetry Saved Our Lives program. The TPLF and Official Pictures premiered their documentary short film, “I’m Library People.” Using real-life stories on renown author Joy Kogawa, media personality George Stroumboulopoulos, and judge Donald McLeod. The heart-warming film shared how the library has impacted their lives.

biblio bash
Vanessa Craft, Editor-in-Chief, Elle Canada; Laura DeCarufel, Editor in Chief, The Kit. Photo courtesy of George Pimentel Photography.

Later on, guests enjoyed the library’s collection of over 15,000 vinyl records and live music from The Collective. To commemorate the night, George Pimentel set up his signature pop-up portrait studio. The set was right on theme, with vintage furniture and bookshelves stocked with over 1,600 books from the library.

biblio bash
Melissa Grelo, The Social, with husband Ryan Gaggi. Photo courtesy of George Pimentel Photography.