Virgin Unite Canada – The Mad Hatter’s Ball

Virgin Unite Canada – The Mad Hatter’s Ball


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So this was my first swanky fundraiser invite. The Mad Hatter’s Ball was an event for Virgin Unite, the not-for-profit entrepreneurial foundation of the Virgin Group. This is the second year this event has taken place in Canada. It also takes place across the world in other major cities.

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Virgin Unite is the entrepreneurial foundation of the Virgin Group. We work with great partners all over the world to develop new approaches to social and environmental issues.

We’re fortunate that Richard and the Virgin group pick up our overhead costs – so 100% of all donations go directly to the frontline where it is needed the most.

We believe that the only way we are going to drive the scale of change that needs to happen in the world, is if we revolutionise the way that the business and social sectors work together.

We want to use all the entrepreneurial energy across the Virgin Group to help drive this revolution.

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Richard Branson didn’t spend much time with us as he had to leave as he was trying to break an Atlantic crossing record with his children. His flight got moved up and he wasn’t able to direct the auction like scheduled. It was later abandoned.

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Kathy Griffin was the host and she is really, really funny. I was totally blown away. I didn’t think much of her before but I’m a fan now. Marky Ramone djed for us as we dined. We were entertained by Natalie Imbruglia, GrinderGirl, Acrobazia, Bjorn Again and Fiest. I left before Bjorn Again closed, I hate Abba. Feist was amazing live and Acrobazia astounded everyone with their feats of strength. They were poetry in motion.

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It’s too bad he was available for the auction as it wasn’t all that exciting. I was disappointed to see that Fund a Start-Up in Africa auction item wasn’t bid on. Toronto really didn’t open up it’s wallet. Perhaps it’s just a reflection of the market and the general uncertainty of everything. If I was only a millionaire, then the start up and the Necker Island Experience would have been mine.

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I didn’t recognize many people in the crowd. It was a lot of businesses with tables and the rich people of Toronto. Q9 Networks had my favourite table because most everyone was dressed up. The Mad Hatter’s costume was perfect (pictured above), down to the purple gloves. I was told it started with the hat and ballooned into something more. It was hilarious to see the Mad Hatter sans costume in the Path the other day. I had to do a double take, but then we do share a building.

It was a well organized event and very entertaining. I definitely got a look through the looking glass so to speak.

Slideshow after the jump

By Anita Clarke

Anita Clarke is an Engineering Storyteller and the founder of the fashion blog “I want – I got.” She was one of the first and most prominent online fashion writers in Toronto and Canada.

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