45 Degrees & The Fairmont Queen E Turn Food into Art

The theme of the 2016 MAC Ball benefiting the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art couldn’t have been more evocative: Discover your inner artist!

Orchestrated by Debbie Zakaib, Chair of the MAC Ball organizing committee, produced by the agency 45 DEGREES, Cirque du Soleil’s events and special projects company and catered by Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth hotel, the  Mac Ball is one of the year’s most anticipated and sought-after events and is well known for its high style, discerning taste and glamour. This event was no exception.


The invite suggested silver attire and guests complied by arriving dressed in their most original outfits as they stepped into an artists’ factory inspired by the glam aesthetic of Andy Warhol’s Silver Factory. Their entrance was lined with foil costumed performers guiding their way into the museum.

Once inside, the reception dazzled guests with spectacular food, decor and entertainment.

Throughout the evening, they would have the opportunity to taste the world of the artist by feeling the movements, seeing the music and hearing the colours.

The unexpected appeared over the course of the event as 700 guests were treated to one of a kind, uber imaginative entertainment and experiences. Paint brushes and tools were offered for guests to create their own art on living statue canvases and more factoryesque costumed servers appeared with decadent, theme specific canapes. The room was completely enveloped in hues of silver, music and movement including a performance by members of L’École supérieure de ballet du Québec.


The multi-course meal was served impeccably at long buffet-style tables, adorned with towers of mouth-wateringly good crustaceans and a thematic menu including melt-in-your-mouth lamb chops and cleverly presented delicacies.

According to Armando Arruda, Director of Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth’s outside catering, “We really wanted to reflect the factory theme and did not hesitate to use unexpected accessories – in fact 5,600 of them – such as paint brushes, paint cans and tubes to awake the artist in every guest. We put in hours of research and trials to create the best culinary experience. We are always up for new challenges and the Ball provides us with innovative themes to explore”.

Debbie Zakaib, Chair of the MAC Ball commented:

“The gourmet menu was stunning; not to mention how inviting, generous, delicious, original, colorful and full of surprises. It was perfectly in line with the theme. We were truly impressed by the attention to details, the creativity and delivery. Our guests were astonished”,


“We are very proud to have been chosen to design and produce the 2016 edition of the MAC Ball. Even though we have had a chance to stage prestigious events all over the world, this particular one offers a real challenge for us. We will be presenting our project at home, in the heart of our city, in front of distinguished guests. The MAC is  where artists, their work and the public come together, and this is the setting in which we now have the opportunity to work on one of Montréal’s most eagerly anticipated events. Our team could not be more aware of this, and we are aiming for a result that lives up to the mission we have been entrusted with,” says Yasmine Khalil, President, 45 DEGREES.

Honorary co-chairs of this unique event were Manon Brouillette, President and CEO of Vidéotron, Éric Bujold, President of National Bank Private Banking 1859, and Alexandre L’Heureux, President and Chief Executive Officer of WSP Global Inc. The evening’s hosts were François Dufresne, President of the Musée Foundation, Alexandre Taillefer, Chair of the Musée Board of Trustees, Debbie Zakaib, Chair of the Ball Organizing Committee, and John Zeppetelli, Director and Chief Curator of the MAC.


The organizing committee was made up of Sophie Banford, Anne-Marie Barnard, Ruby Brown,  Violette Cohen, Naila Del Cid, Anna Goodson, Nathalie Goyette, Danièle Patenaude, Josée Noiseux, Katerine Rocheleau, Jean-Philippe Shoiry, Marie-Josée Simard, Nicolas Urli and Debbie Zakaib.

The Ball raised over $600,000 which will go toward enriching the museum’s educational activities, building the museum’s collection, extending the reach of contemporary Quebec artists and bringing some of today’s leading international artists to Montreal.

Story contributed by Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Montreal – Catering Services