Toronto: Hilary Swank, Alan Cumming Boost amfAR’s Inspiration Gala

amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, held its Inspiration Gala in Toronto Sept. 8, which saw the organization’s honorary co-chair Hilary Swank mingle with Adrien Brody and Paul Haggis (both in town for the world premiere of “Third Person”) and Canadian celebs in the city’s elegant 1930s Art Moderne special events palace The Carlu.

Swank took the stage to remind the black-tie crowd of recent breakthroughs in HIV/AIDS research that the nonprofit organization has directly supported through its worldwide fundraising and grant-awarding efforts.

Hosted by Alan Cumming, the event included performances, a dinner and an auction of luxury packages.

The evening’s most memorable moment was Cumming’s surprise appearance onstage to “assist” the auctioneer during the bidding for a package billed as Underground Safari—an intimate tour of underground New York drinking establishments with Cumming and an expert mixologist who has invented a hangover cure.

“It’s a night of major drinking and partying with me, and the next day you won’t feel a thing,” Cumming explained to the delight of the guests, who chanted “you won’t remember a thing” throughout the bidding, which topped an impressive C$22,000.

The gala got a sonic send-off from Olympia rock trio Gossip, whose singer Beth Ditto did a closing number with Cumming.

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