Dancers, costumes… Samba!
On Sept 15th, after nearly five decades, the fabled Brazilian Carnival Ball gave a final bow as it launched its 46th annual (and final) celebration at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Over the years, the ball – known as one of the largest and most spectacular Brazilian galas in the world, aimed to raise funds for a variety of causes (such as health care, research, culture and education) in Toronto and Brazil. The day was momentous and the entertainment was fitting for a grand finale.
This year, the event’s efforts went to support the de Souza Institute Foundation and the Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology (CAPO) – proceeds benefiting cancer care in Ontario. The night raised approximately $500,000.
Guests were treated to presentations from distinct guests including Ivan de Souza, President & CEO of the Brazilian Carnival Ball. de Souza recounted his greatest memories about the ball and emotionally spoke of his late wife, Anna Maria de Souza, founder of the event who fought a nine-month battle with cancer. The night was an appropriate tribute to her legacy.
This had to have been one of the most memorable events I’ve ever attended. Dancers from the Rio de Janeiro Carnival were flown in for the night – each decorated in incredibly ornate costumes. The sound of samba filled the room and the smiles and laughs were endless.
Dress code was black tie or costume. Lucky me – I got to ‘tux’ it up for the night. Lightheartedly, the thought did cross my mind to show up in a fun Halloween costume. I really should have as the winners for ‘best costumes’ wore extravagant outfits that included the ‘Mad Hatter’ from Alice in Wonderland…
Those in attendance enjoyed cocktails, appetizers and a delicious 3-course meal. A live auction took place and an entertaining set was played by the Via Brazil Band. The dancers were stunning and even invited party-goers to samba and salsa with them on the dance floor.
It’s hard to believe this was the very last Brazilian Carnival Ball. I feel really fortunate as this is the first time I ever got to attend it. Although the event might be over, the legacy and cause that Anna Maria de Souza created for the ball will forever be pursued.
Congratulations to the supporters, honoured guests and planners. Your final curtain call deserves a standing ovation.
About the Ball
The Ball began in 1966 when Anna Maria de Souza missed the excitement, music and magnificent splendor of her homeland Carnival and decided to bring the tradition of the famous Carnival held in Rio de Janeiro to Toronto. The hot Brazilian music, new to Toronto, had everyone on the dance floor all night long and the event became an instant success.
In 1973, Variety Village became the first recipient of the Brazilian Carnival Ball in Canada. In recent years, other beneficiaries have included the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto East General Hospital, The SickKids Foundation, The Princess Margaret Hospital and the Campbell Family Research Institute, The Arthritis & Autoimmunity Research Centre Foundation, Toronto General Hospital, Sunnybrook and Women’s College Health Sciences, Mount Sinai Hospital, St. Michael’s Hospital, University of Toronto and York University.
For the past 20 years, the Brazilian Carnival Ball has been held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Mesmerizing Carnival dancers entertain the crowd with their dancing and dazzling feathered, beaded and sequined costumes. Luis de Castro, the Ball’s Director of Décor, is responsible for this year’s elaborate design and interpretation of Rio de Janeiro.
About the 2012 Beneficiary
The 2012 Brazilian Carnival Ball proceeds will benefit de Souza Institute Foundation and the Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology (CAPO).
de Souza Institute was established in 2008 and named in honour of the late Anna Maria de Souza in partnership with Princess Margaret Hospital, University Health Network and Cancer Care Ontario. The Institute was created as an innovative centre of learning dedicated to improving cancer care by supporting excellence in oncology nursing. The mission of de Souza Institute is to provide Ontario patients and families with the best cancer care in the world by focusing on developing highly trained, specialized cancer nurses utilizing the latest evidence and approaches to cancer care. de Souza Institute Foundation will raise funds to support de Souza Institute efforts in improving the cancer experience for patients and families.
The Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology (CAPO) promotes excellence in psychosocial care for people with cancer and their families throughout the cancer experience – from diagnosis to treatment to survivorship or death. While the physical symptoms of cancer are addressed with medical treatment, the emotional impact of the disease is often overlooked. Psychosocial oncology is a specialty in cancer care that is concerned with the whole person, including the social, psychological, emotional and spiritual aspects of cancer through the entire cancer journey. CAPO works to transform cancer care wherever it is delivered – in hospital, in the community and in hospices. CAPO is a recognized international leader in the development of standards and guidelines for supportive quality of life care.