Montreal came together, on September 16, to raise money for the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal (MAC) Foundation at the eagerly anticipated MAC Ball. Some 700 guests from the arts and business sectors attended what is one of the most popular and closely watched events of the year, and a net profit of $510 000 was raised for the MAC Foundation.
Orchestrated by Josée Noiseux, Chair of the Ball Organizing Committee, and staged by 45 DEGREES, the event planning and special projects arm of Cirque du Soleil, the exclusive event was inspired by George Orwell's 1984. Guests were invited to step into a world of surveillance and deprivation of liberties that highlights how crucial it still is to defend those liberties on a daily basis. In addition, guests had the chance to participate in the Ball's famous auction, made possible thanks to the generous artists who donated works to raise money for the Foundation.
Every year, the MAC Ball, the Foundation's main source of funding, sells out months in advance. The standout event marking the start of a new cultural year and its prominent guests help create a strong community for the MAC while building a network of patrons committed to local culture.
With the 2017 MAC Ball edition, it is close to 3,5 million dollars that were raised over the last seven balls. The event allows the Foundation to contribute financially and practically to the MAC's activities. This important contribution is used, most notably, to support the MAC's educational activities, enrich the MAC's Collection, extend the reach of contemporary Quebec artists and bring some of today's leading international artists to Montreal.
Supporting Québec producers and designers and an eco-friendly move
Since it is a major event, it was important for the MAC Ball to support Québec producers, suppliers and designers. As such, the evening's caterer, Marc-André : Le traiteur, offers high-end, contemporary, yet accessible food showcasing local talent. Abstaining from using any processed products, the chef is uncompromising when it comes to taste, quality, product and his creative process. His numerous local suppliers include la Ferme de la Petite Nation, which supplied the Cerf de Boileau, and Lirode, which supplied wild products of Quebec. The bluefin tuna served at the event was sourced from sustainable fisheries in Gaspésie. The pastries were created by Patrice Pâtissier.
The MAC Ball is known for its glamorous red carpet where all the latest trends are displayed. Many of this year's Ball attendees chose Quebec designers, such as Frédéric Joncas, UNTTLD (from designers José Manuel St-Jacques and Simon Bélanger), Xavier Laruelle, DUY and Denis Gagnon.
The MAC Ball took a decidedly eco-friendly turn this year, namely by being held at TOHU, where every space, every experience is steeped in environmental consciousness. Indeed, the TOHU pavilion is green not only in colour, but also in practice, thanks to its LEED OR (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. To achieve this certification, strict environmental standards and requirements must be adhered to during the construction of a building and sustained through its management. TOHU obtained the certification through to the required principles and practices, making it one of the first Canadian projects to attain this level of ecological performance.
Organizing such a successful event every year would naturally be impossible without crucial help from our precious partners and the Organizing Committee that help strengthen the MAC's philanthropic tradition and build a new community to support the museum. Putting the undeniable prestige and glamour of the event aside, the MAC Ball finds its true purpose in the generosity and commitment of the Organizing Committee's members who give their time, talent and energy to the cause.
This year's event was co-chaired by:
- France Margaret Bélanger, Executive Vice President, Commercial and Corporate Affairs, Montreal Canadiens Hockey Club, Bell Centre and Evenko
- Yanick Blanchard, Executive Vice President, Head of Corporate and Investment Banking, National Bank
- Mitch Garber, Chairman of the Board, Cirque du Soleil
The evening's hosts were:
- François Dufresne, Chair of the MAC Foundation
- Josée Noiseux, Chair of the Ball Organizing Committee, and board member of the MAC Foundation.
- Alexandre Taillefer, Chair of the MAC Board of Trustees
- John Zeppetelli, Director and Chief Curator, MAC
The members of the Ball Organizing Committee, which was chaired for the first time by Josée Noiseux, were:
- Sophie Banford, Executive Director and Editor, KO Média
- Anne-Marie Barnard, Director, Communications, Marketing and MAC Foundation
- Ruby Brown, President, Rubybrown.com
- Violette Cohen, volunteer tour guide, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
- Nathalie Goyette, Partner, PwC Law LLP
- Stéphanie Larivière, Director, Equity Capital Markets, National Bank
- Danièle Patenaude, Assistant Director, MAC Foundation
- Marie Samuel Levasseur, Coordinator, MAC Foundation
- Jean-Philippe Shoiry, Head of Content Strategy and Partner, Republik
- Marie-Josée Simard, Director, Legal Affairs, Duchesnay
- Nicolas Urli, Co-owner, Flyjin, Hà, Jatoba and Velvet Speakeasy
- Debbie Zakaib, Executive Director, mmode