Rave: Grace Kelly: From Movie Star to Princess

Last week the TIFF Bell Lightbox rolled out the red carpet for the opening of Grace Kelly: From Movie Star to Princess. We were lucky enough to snag an invite to this black-tie cocktail soiree and be among the first to view the collection of memorabilia from the iconic princess.

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We love our princesses, and the chance to be (pretty much) mingling with royalty while enjoying cocktails and canapés is not something we could miss.  Royal newlyweds, Prince Albert II of Monaco and his wife Princess Charlene were also in attendance to say a few words and celebrate the opening. 

Once inside the exhibit, we were instantly drawn to the couture, and of course, the jewels (see 144 diamond tiara below). It may have felt a little like reading someone’s diary, but we enjoyed looking through the handwritten correspondence from family and friends like Alfred Hitchcock and Bing Crosby.  

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We had to check out the special room designated to Kelly’s famed wedding gown, which served as inspiration for Kate Middleton’s wedding dress last spring. Designed by film costumer Helen Rose, it took six weeks and three dozen seamstresses to create the dress she wore down the aisle in 1956

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Among one of the most photographed women of the 20th century, the style icon’s timeless glamour and sophistication continue to be an inspiration to designers today. Her classic style and elegance were evident from the stunning gowns and accessories, and we may have gotten a few style tips ourselves.

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We definitely recommend checking out the exhibit – what better way to spend an afternoon than watching a classic film and checking out a style icon’s wardrobe?  Right now you can purchase a pass that includes both for $22. The exhibition is currently open at the TIFF Bell Lightbox and runs until Sunday, January 22.

Media, Darling: Linda Luong

Linda Luong is the Editor-in-Chief of Where Toronto, Where Muskoka and Essential Toronto magazines, where she started seven years ago as an assistant editor. Prior to that, she worked at a children’s publication with Metroland and at Canoe.ca as a reporter. She is an avid pinner on Pinterest, Etsy shopper (her latest purchase was a Queen of a Quite a Lot print), magazine junkie, pink enthusiast, and has never come across a lemon dessert she could resist.  

Image courtesy of Edwin dela Cruz.

Twitter: @linda_luong

What was your favourite class in high school? Why?
Biology. I took it all the way through high school just so I could do dissection at the end of the year. Plus it made me feel smart talking about osmosis, cell division and homeostasis.

How did you get your start as an editor?
At Canoe.ca as a reporter during 9/11. It was the best on-the-job experience working in a busy newsroom, juggling multiple stories, deadlines, trying to stay on top of every new development.

If you weren’t a Media, Darling, what would you be doing right now?
A baker. I am always baking something in my spare time – I’ve perfected peanut butter cupcakes recently, and my coconut cream cake and double chocolate brownies are often requested by my family and friends for gatherings.

Pitching or follow up: Phone or email?
Email. It lets me digest the information in my own time and percolate potential tie-ins to upcoming editorial content. And if it’s a product pitch, please provide pictures – it helps to have a visual to go along with the message, especially if you’re going to reference a particular physical element.

We know irrelevant pitches, calling you the wrong name and eight follow-ups are
no-no’s; what else should publicists avoid doing?
Really understand a publication and its mandate and audience before pitching something. I get a lot of pitches for products and services that are great, but as our publications are for visitors, some things will just not apply to our readers.

Respect deadlines. If you promise to send information, images or samples for a photoshoot by a certain date, then please do. There’s nothing worse or more annoying than having to scramble to find something else to include in an issue at the last minute because something you were expecting didn’t come in on time.

Be realistic in your pitches – don’t over promise. Please don’t promise me an interview with somebody if you haven’t spoken to their people yet and gotten the go-ahead, or please don’t tell me that a product will be in stores by my publication date just to get it in, if it won’t be in stores until a few weeks after that.

Sunrise or sunset?
Sunrise – I’m a morning person.

Hermès’ Un Jardin Sur Le Toit.

Yes, please! Especially if they’re peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.



Shower or bath?

Officially, I say Scent of a Woman. Privately, I confess that it’s Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.

Seth Meyers from Saturday Night Life and John Slattery from Mad Men.

First job?
Selling shoes at Naturalizer. I had never seen so much support hose in my life before that job.


My grandma. She raised six kids on her own after being widowed at a young age, and at 85, she can still touch her toes with ease!

Media, Darling: Edward Keenan

Edward Keenan is a Toronto writer who works as a senior editor of Eye Weekly (shortly to become The Grid), where he writes a weekly column about politics. He is also a contributing editor at Spacing magazine and a contributor to Yonge Street. He also contributed essays to two books in the Toronto Book Award-nominated uTOpia series from Coach House books.

Although he often writes about municipal politics, Keenan’s interests as a writer have been widespread: he has written frequently about the arts, sports, sex and sexuality, and business, and for a time he wrote a blog about manliness for The Walrus. A four-time National Magazine Award nominee, Keenan is a lifelong Toronto resident who has lived in Riverdale, Scarborough, The Annex, Harbord Village, Greektown and Bloorcourt Village. He has now settled down in The Junction, where he lives with his wife Rebecca and their two children.

What was your favourite class in high school? Why?
My favourite class in all of high school was a senior level history course called “Modern Western Civilizations.” I loved it for many reasons: because it was primarily a class about ideas, because it used a university-style seminar format that allowed for small-group discussion and debate, because there was a lot of reading and thinking involved and very little tedious memorization.

But what really made Mod WestCiv the best class I ever took at any level of schooling was the teacher: George Wrobel treated his students as peers, he was funny, a great storyteller, and many of his stories involved how he put himself through grad school in Cold-War Poland by trading US currency on the black market. He encouraged me to be a writer when no other teacher thought that was a good career path, and helped form my analytical approach to big essential questions. Plus, he gave me a grade of 100 per cent on a 22-page term paper once, which made me like him even more.

How did you get your start as an editor/producer/host?
I went to journalism school and had a false start early on as a trade magazine editor, but then wandered away into the restaurant business and fiction writing for a while. I really got the start that led me to my current career by interning at Eye Weekly and treating it as a chance to learn how to do every element of journalism and prove I was capable. I worked harder as an intern than I did for several years after that, and I suppose my efforts paid off: I got hired at the end of my term as a Staff Writer, which a little later led me into editing.

As a side note, I still consider myself primarily a writer, but I got into the editing side for two reasons. The obvious one is that editing tends to pay better. The less obvious one is that in magazines and especially in newspapers, editors are really the driving creative force behind the publication. Good writers provide the stuff a publication is made of, but editors are the ones who compose the way a reader experiences the publication – choosing the subjects, selecting the right writers to pair those subjects up with, arranging the mixture of stories and other items, working with the art department to manage how things feel on the page. Like a director in film, the editor uses the efforts of other talented people to build something greater out of them, crafting an experience for readers. That control-freak aspect appealed to me.

If you weren’t a Media, Darling, what would you be doing right now?
What would I want to be doing, or what would I likely be doing? Either way, I’m not sure. I considered going into law at one point, but I’m not sure I’d have had the passion for contract parsing required to see it through. I also dipped my toe into entrepreneurship, and I may have pursued more small business ideas… I may still.

And then there’s my love-hate relationship with the prospect of going into politics, which comes up now and again. The thing I’ve most enjoyed as a side project is being a DJ – a couple friends and I had a pretty successful dance night at a local bar for a while. I have no turntable skills or anything, I just love composing a party. Pressing play on a song and having a packed dance floor jump up and down cheering is a powerful rush.

Pitching or follow up: Phone or email?
The truth is that you’re unlikely to hear back from me either way unless I’m interested in what you’re pitching (see: 200+ press releases by email PER DAY, in addition to the other 100 or so assorted bits of other business in my inbox). But email, please, unless it’s urgent and you feel lucky about the prospects of finding me at my desk.

We know irrelevant pitches, calling you the wrong name and eight follow-ups are no-no’s; what else should publicists avoid doing?
Sending me three copies of the same release, assuming that a good cause is equal to a good story, feeling upset that I did not call or write back…

Sunrise or sunset?
Sunset. Just because I’m actually awake when it happens most of the time.

Eau du Tobacco (for a few more weeks, at least, until I finally quit).

Why yes, please.

I like them, but I’m afraid I cannot be bothered to plant them or buy them (special occasions excepted) or take notice much of which is which. Orchid-looking interesting, brightly coloured ones are nice.

Not particularly. I think I got all tickled out as a kid.

Shower or bath?
Not sure anybody wants that mental picture conjured up. But: showers for cleaning, waking up, focusing; baths for relaxing and reading.

I have a few, but they’re the same as everyone else’s favourites: The Godfather and The Godfather II, Glengarry Glenn Ross, Eternal Sunshine on the Spotless Mind, Annie Hall, Pulp Fiction – off the beaten track slightly, Down By Law is probably my favourite of all time.

Orange, definitely. But I tend to prefer Root Beer.

First job?
Flyer delivery. The best week was when we delivered chicken soup samples rather than flyers. I wound up with a year’s supply of overstock that I used to make myself snacks after school every day.

I have a surplus of inspiration, and I don’t find it or the sources of it particularly remarkable (I’m inspired by almost everything and everyone – the world is fascinating and the people in it more so). What I have a shortage of is the time to see all my ideas and ambitions through. If anyone with a science background needs inspiration for a new invention: how about the 48-hour day?

Meet Our Client: Jay Klein

Jay M. Klein is the CEO of Action Candy Company, which has developed and brought to market several lines of specialty chewing gum, including the leading brand of naturally-flavoured, aspartame-free gum, PUR.

Klein is also the founder of Drivertise International Inc.,a marketing and advertising firm specializing in the production and installation of large format specialty graphics.

A member of the Board of Governors at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, the UJC Cabinet and a recognized member of the Young Leadership Committee of the Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario (POGO), Klein also spends much of his time volunteering.

He was recently included on the National Post’s Worthy 30, highlighting Canada’s most eligible bachelors.  

 Flo Rida and Jay Klein.

Find PUR Gum on Twitter.

What do you do?
Indirectly, I freshen peoples breath! Well, actually I am the Founder and President of PUR Gum. We make the #1 selling aspartame-free gum in Canada, and now are starting to KICK ASPARTAME in the US Market. 

How long have you worked with rock-it promotions?
I have worked with rock-it for two months so far, and I have a feeling it is just a start of long term relationship. Based on the results, I feel like we have been working together for years. Not only is the whole team at rock-it beautiful, they also have created a great buzz for PUR.
What do you love most about your job?
I love that we have created a product that benefits consumers looking to eliminate aspartame from their diets. I love that we are gluten and nut-free, so people with allergies can enjoy chewing gum, and lastly, I love that at any given time, there are tens of thousands of packs of PUR Gum in people’s purses, cars, and jackets.

What do you like the least about your profession/industry?
I wish we could be in more places at once. We see such great results in the markets we introduce PUR Gum to, we just want to be everywhere instantly. I need to get a conference call with Doc, from Back to the Future, and Willy Wonka, to see if they can combine the Time Machine with the Wonkavator. I think that would help us out.

What’s your next big goal?
We are about to launch our fourth flavour, which is called EXCITEMINT. But our next corporate goal is to open our 5000th account. We are on our way!

Why is PR important to you (and what you do professionally)?
PR is important to us because we get an unfiltered and unbiased response from the journalist. I think consumers like this as opposed to advertising.

A little more from the fourth floor:
Anywhere that sells running shoes.
Harry Potter series.
Celery and Granny Smith Apples with a slight red blemish on them.
Golf Season.
My Mom.
Grey Goose on the rocks with a lime.
Motto in two words:
Idea of perfect happiness:
Sharing what you have with the people you love.
Running Shoes.
Greatest achievement:
I’m still working on it!