13th Annual Artists for Peace and Justice Gala

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Our 13th annual Artists for Peace and Justice (APJ) Festival Gala took place Saturday, September 11, raising critical awareness and needed funds to support education in Haiti.  In an intimate setting at the home of Natasha Koifman, local and global communities gathered during TIFF to support this imperative initiative.  Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors and guests, $500,000 was raised in one evening, with 100% of funds raised going directly to The Academy for Peace & Justice in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, to provide public access to secondary school education.

Eric Hendrikx, Natasha Koifman, Shantelle and Yannick Bisson, Geddy Lee and his family

APJ co-chairs Natasha Koifman & Suzanne Boyd

Natasha Koifman, ​​President of the Board for Artists for Peace and Justice (APJ) Canada, and on the Board of Directors for the organization’s American counterpart, co-chaired the gala with APJ Canadian board director, Suzanne Boyd. 

APJ Canada Board of Directors: Yannick Bisson, Rose Mantella, Sussane Boyd, Carrie Kirkman, Natasha Koifman, Dr. Reza Nabavian, Shantelle Bisson, George Stroumboulopoulos, Joanne Bull

Emcees George Stroumboulopoulos & Natasha Gargiulo 

Actress Natasha Gargiulo and APJ Canadian board treasurer, George Stroumboulopoulos, emceed the event, beginning with a moment of silence dedicated to both the recent devastation in Haiti and twenty year anniversary of 9/11. 

Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Geddy Lee

In recognition of APJ’s long-standing commitment to altruism, Geddy Lee, of the iconic Canadian rock band Rush, received this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his commitment to philanthropy. “For philanthropy to have any impact requires a tremendous amount of collective action—momentum,” said Lee. 

APJ Canadian Changemaker Award Recipients, Shantelle and Yannick Bisson

Rick Springfeild virtually surprised his friends Shantelle and Yannick Bisson with the Canadian Changemaker award for their relentless charitable efforts over the years, supporting APJ as well as Childhood Cancer Canada, Sheila’s Place, Boost for Kids and more.   

Natasha Koifman, ​​President of the Board for Artists for Peace and Justice (APJ) Canada

Natasha Koifman, ​​President of the Board for Artists for Peace and Justice (APJ) Canada

“Education should not be a privilege, but a human right for every child,” said Koifman. “And yet Haiti only offers paid secondary education. Many Haitian families live on one dollar a day making it an impossibility. I am so grateful for the many people who have been part of APJ since day one and everyone here tonight. Together, we have helped 26,000 students get an education since 2012. It’s incredibly important we support a community that in reality, is in our own backyard. We have to take action.”

Jimmy-Jean Louis video message

Both physical and virtual experiences showcased the first-hand impact of APJ on the lives of youth in Haiti, including video wholehearted messages from Jaebets Gilles, Execute Director, St. Luke for Haiti Foundation Educational Program, and Jimmy-Jean Louis, actor and Ambassador at Large to Haiti, who reminded guests of the significance of their support—education and training that empowers the next generation of leaders with resilience and hope for better living conditions.    

A special virtual message from Ben Stiller

Rick Springfeild crowd-pleasing virtual performance of “Jessie’s Girl”

Long-time APJ supporters, Ben Stiller and Susan Sarandon, virtually thanked guests and reminded them of the impact these fundraisers have on education and health programs in Haiti.  Legendary musicians Jim Cuddy and Rick Springfeild also contributed brilliant virtual performances.

Live performance by Witch Prophet and DJ Sun Sun 

Live performance by Kayla Diamond of Slaight Music 

Paul Beaubrun’s live performance of Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry” closed the evening. 

Special live performances included Witch Prophet and DJ Sun Sun, Kayla Diamond of Slaight Music, and Haitian artist Paul Beaubrun who flew in directly from Haiti and made it in just in time to close the evening.

David Daniels & Natasha Gargiulo leading the live auction

This year’s live auction was led by former Canadian Changemaker Award recipient David Daniels and Canadian TV personality Natasha Gargiulo.  Highlights included a bidding war between Lee Piccoli and Yannick Bisson for Anthony Ricciardi’s “Day Dream”, an original painting that went to Lee for a generous APJ donation of $20,000.  Ginger Barkey and Rose Mantella bid aggressively for Russell Young’s “Marilyn Crying”, a large format, diamond-dusted screen print donated by Taglialatella Gallery, before Danny Soberano from INK Entertainment Group offered a second piece for auction, allowing both bidders to take home this prize artwork, raising a combined $120,000 donation.  Michael Bratty and Gillian Oxley competitively bid for a walk-on role on Murdoch Mysteries. Lead actor Yannick Bisson and Shaftesbury, the production company who donated the auction item, generously offered both bidders a walk-on role opportunity, raising $30,000.

Auction piece ‘Marilyn Crying’ by Russell Young, donated by Taglialatella Galleries & INK Entertainment

Ritz Carlton Epoch Bar

The night was a huge success, having had support provided by many local community members and sponsors. A huge thank you to the Ritz Carlton, who set up their Epoch bar featuring specialty cocktails, Flow for keeping our guests hydrated, and Shaftesbury, Slaight Music, and No.7 Dale.  Big shout-out to Motorino Restaurants, who kept guests warm with their coffee cart.

This year’s APJ NKPR team

Thank you to everyone who attended and participated in this year’s gala.  To learn more about Artists for Peace and Justice, visit https://www.apjnow.org/.

Photography by: Ryan Emberley 

Yannick Bisson, Geddy Lee and George Stroumboulopoulos

Raymond Perkins, Charles Kabouth and Vinay Virmani

Kim Newport-Mimran & Joe Mimran

Brian Brown, Natasha Koifman and Anthony Riccardi 

Diane Bald and Michael Budman

Dax DaSilva

Basem Hanna and Marina Hanna

Eric Hendrikx, Natasha Koifman and Danny Soberano

Jeremy Woods-Ross and Ellie Mae

Lee Piccoli with family & friends

Matthew and Jaqueline Wilson

Eric Hendrikx & Natasha Koifman

Introducing… NK Artists!

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We are proud to announce the launch of NK Artists – a brand new division of NKPR that connects talent and artists we are passionate about with strategic programs and endorsements that drive their personal brands forward.

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Opening this division was a natural progression for our agency as there is so much talent who need help building their brands. We consistently develop strategic partnerships for clients that raise their profiles in meaningful ways. NK Artists is the perfect opportunity for us to deliver the same results for artists, creating programs that allow them to grow and drive their brand forward.

For more information on NK Artists, click here!

NK Artists is proud to work with:

Misty Fox - celebrity makeup artist
Misty Fox – Celebrity Makeup Artist

Caspar Haydar - luxury design, production, and event manager (lead in Sugar Stars)
Caspar Haydar – Lifestyle & Decor Expert

George Stromboloupoulous - interviewer and Hockey Night in Canada host
George Stromboloupoulous – Iconic Interviewer

Erin Kleinberg - Coveteur founder and fashion designer
Erin Kleinberg – Fashion Designer, Curator and Visionary

David Drebin - internationally renowned photographer
David Drebin – Internationally Renowned Photographer

 

Introducing… Kandy with a K!

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What could be better than eating candy… for a cause?

When planning our 10th anniversary initiatives, we knew we wanted to include something fun and unique that gives us the opportunity to give back. An integral part of our mandate, NKPR has championed cause-related  initiatives that have helped  to raise 10 million dollars for various charities and organizations since day one. Now at year 10, we wanted to create a fun and sweet way to give back!

Combine our passion for social responsibility with an office sweet tooth, countless event candy bars and the concept for Kandy with a K was born!

Kandy with a K is a cause-driven candy store offering an assortment of nostalgic candies. Think Popeye Candy Sticks, FIZZ, Tootsie Roll Pops, Gumballs and Pop Rocks! Are we bringing back childhood memories yet?

Starting May 14, Canadians can purchase an assortment of ‘kandy’ in the amounts of $25, $50, $75 or higher in support of 10 Canadian charities that hold a special place for NKPR and our clients – Camp Oochigeas, Musicounts, Paws for the Cause, Artists for Peace and Justice, Partners for Mental Health, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, Girls on the Run and Can Fund!

We have already placed our first order! After all, how could we have an unlimited supply of candy in the office without indulging a bit ourselves?

Now we need your support!  Please visit kandywithak.com for a sweet way to give back!  The Kandy with a K bar will also be set up in the NKPR office so come visit us at 312 Adelaide St. W. to pick up your candy in person!

NKPR is incredibly excited to be celebrating our 10th Anniversary this year! Check out NKPR’s timeline, a look back at our 10 years in business!

XO!

The NKPR Team