The tradition of giving is strong at the 2009 Brazilian Carnival Ball

    Canada's top fundraising event for over 43 years

    TORONTO, April 25 /CNW/ - Once again this year, The Brazilian Carnival
Ball is giving back in a big way, as it celebrates over 43 years of
fundraising for numerous causes in both Canada and Brazil. This year's gala,
in support of the SickKids Research Institute, takes place tonight - Saturday,
April 25, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, South Building.
    The 'who's who' from Toronto's arts, fashion, political and business
communities dig deep during tough times to help raise awareness and funds in
support of SickKids Research Institute. To date, the Ball has raised more than
$53 million net for numerous causes in healthcare, research, education and
culture, helping to change the lives of people here in Canada and abroad. This
spectacular event will showcase extravagant Brazilian performers channeling
the spirit of Rio's Carnival through their beautifully coloured and sequined
    Janice and Earle O'Born are honoured to embrace the responsibility as
this year's Brazilian Carnival Ball Chairs as they are avid SickKids
Foundation supporters and have been involved with The Hospital for Sick
Children for many years.
    "We are extremely pleased with the support the Ball receives each year.
It is one of the most highly anticipated events in Toronto and has become one
of the largest charitable fundraisers in Canada," says Ivan X. de Souza,
President and CEO of the Brazilian Carnival Ball. "My dear wife Anna Maria de
Souza, the founder of this remarkable event, would be elated with the
overwhelming response and generosity of our sponsors and guests in attendance
this year."

    About the Ball
    The Ball began in 1966 with a committee of only six to eight people who
brought 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.
    Anna Maria de Souza recognized that the Ball was becoming a 'must-attend'
event and that it was the perfect medium to raise funds for charitable causes.
In 1973, Variety Village became the first recipient of the Brazilian Carnival
Ball in Canada and in recent years other beneficiaries have included: The
Princess Margaret Hospital and the Campbell Family Research Institute, The
Arthritis & Autoimmunity Research Centre Foundation, Toronto General Hospital,
Sunnybrook Health Sciences, Mount Sinai Hospital, St. Michael's Hospital,
University of Toronto and York University.
    For the past 18 years, the Brazilian Carnival Ball has been held at the
Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The Ball attracts 1,800 guests and raises
over $2 million net each year, making it one of the most successful charitable
galas in the country. Sixty mesmerizing Carnival dancers entertain the Toronto
crowd with their dancing and dazzling feathered, beaded and sequined costumes,
which are flown in from Rio de Janeiro Carnival to Toronto each year for the
    Celebrity and dignitary attendance is always a highlight of the Ball and
this year is no exception as the Ball is extremely thrilled to have the
distinguished patronage and attendance of His Royal Highness The Duke of York,
KG. The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada; The
Honourable David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario; The Honourable
Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario; His Excellency Paulo Cordeiro de Andrade
Pinto, Ambassador of Brazil to Canada; His Excellency Amérioc Dyott
Fontenelle, Consul General of Brazil to Toronto; The Honourable Mario Silva,
Member of Parliament for Davenport; His Worship David Miller, Mayor of
Toronto; His Excellency Sérgio Cabral, Governor of the State of Rio de
Janeiro; His Excellency Aécio Neves de Cunha, Governor of the State of Minas
Gerais and His Worship Eduardo Paes, Mayor of the City of Rio de Janeiro have
all given their patronage to the Ball and some will be in attendance this
    Also in attendance will be 11-year-old Madison Scott, a SickKids Patient
Ambassador (oncology), who is currently starring as Louisa in the Toronto
production of the Sound of Music and will be performing at this year's Ball.
    Zeka Marquez, the world-famous Brazilian artist and designer, is
responsible for the striking and lavish décor. Luis de Castro is the talented
décor manager.

    About the 2009 Beneficiary
    This year the Ball has chosen the SickKids Research Institute as the
beneficiary. Net proceeds from the Ball will support much needed paediatric
research that will continue to focus on issues important to children's health.
SickKids Research Institute is Canada's first and largest hospital-based child
health research institute. SickKids researchers are internationally recognized
as an authority on paediatric health and health research. Currently, there are
more than 1,000 funded projects underway within seven research programs.

    About the Sponsors
    The overwhelming success of the Brazilian Carnival Ball would not be
possible without the generous contributions and support from the Chairs,
Janice and Earle O'Born and many corporate sponsors. Leading the way as this
year's Grand Sponsor is Rogers Communications Inc., followed by the Presenting
Sponsor The Printing House Limited and the Evening Sponsors: BMO Financial
Group, CIBC, RBC, TD Bank Financial Group and George Weston Limited.
    The 2009 Brazilian Carnival Ball will continue its long standing
tradition of giving back to the community. It will not only entertain those in
attendance, but the proceeds raised from this year's Ball will touch the lives
of countless children and their families who will benefit from the ongoing
research at SickKids, which ultimately leads to higher survival rates, less
pain for children and less time in hospital.

For further information:

For further information: Vesna Krklinski, Six Degrees Medical
Consulting, (416) 643-8621, (416) 388-4893,;
Kendal Lo, Six Degrees Medical Consulting, (416) 643-8603, (647) 298-7154,

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