TIFF-Inspired Hosting Ideas

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It’s that time of year again. Toronto is buzzing with anticipation as celebrities flood the city, and paparazzi prepare to capture the stars in their finest hour. And what would TIFF be without the glitzy events to host Hollywood’s finest? Oliver and Bonacini’s Natalie Ho has the inside details of what makes a TIFF event sparkle. She’s given us all the info we need to recreate our own magic with family and friends in the comfort of our own homes. Follow these steps to treat your guests like A-list celebrities.


What would a party be without eye-catching decor? Ho is inspired by Hollywood’s latest fad, the flower wall. Thanks, Kimye . You can do it, too! “It can be done without real florals. You can use paper and put more of an DIY stamp on it.” Click here for a few different ideas on how to recreate this luxe feature at home.

Perhaps try something more interactive? Guests have most likely dressed to impress, so why not capture it in a creative way. “Have a chalkboard wall in your house or some sort of backdrop where your guests can take photos.” This year, Webster’sadded the word “selfie” toits dictionary, so we can all agree the selfie is here to stay – might as well give your guests a space where they can indulge.

The easiest way to wow your guests is a signature cocktail. Ho says, “We are seeing some unique syrups being created. Anything from rosemary syrups to tea syrups like rosemary tea, hibiscus tea. You can take it quite far.” And for those DD’s, syrups are also great in mocktails.

If you’ve gone through the hassle of planning a dinner party, why not go the extra step and creatively print your menu? It’s little gestures like this that are easier than they appear – brownie points! “It shows a little personality, I think, and it also gives you the opportunity to write a little thank-you note to your guests on the menu,” says Ho.

Ho suggests setting your desserts out on a table with a variety of options. This gives your guests the opportunity to mingle and choose exactly what they are craving.

Treat bags aren’t just for childhood birthday parties. Ho has plenty of suggestions for guest takeaways. If you made a signature cocktail with syrup, place a bit of the syrup in a vessel for your guest to make their own at home. If you would like to keep with the TIFF theme, give popcorn! Not just plain old popcorn, of course. “Next level-type popcorn. It’s a neutral flavour and gluten-free. We’re doing a siracha popcorn. You can do dill pickle, you can do seaweed and honey. There are so many interesting combinations.” And don’t forget packaging. That’s the best part! Get creative and try fun boxes – add your own personal touch.