Puppies at The GATE’s TIFF Interview Lounge!

The Toronto International Film Festival Got A Whole Lot Fluffier

By Si Si Penaloza

Photo: The Gate

File this one under, we simply love it. Imagine a destination for Toronto International Film Festival talent in need of pup therapy. Partnering with some of Toronto’s top organizations, The GATE’s Interview Lounge presented by Hamilton Watch offers guests a variety of ways to take a load off, whether they want to play with puppies from #SaveOurScruff, test out cutting edge #VirtualReality guided #meditation from House of #VR, have a healthy and tasty #glutenfree, #paleo treat from King St. East’s Impact Kitchen, or simply crack a cold one from local brew company Woodhouse Brewing. Entering it’s 17th year of covering TIFF, The GATE hosted filmmakers in the Iounge for portraits and interviews at the InterContinental Toronto Centre.

This year in a festival-first, The GATE’s lounge invited celebs, filmmaker and influencer guests in appointment-based visits to meet, cuddle and play with some of the adoptable pups of dog rescue Save Our Scruff. Save Our Scruff is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to ending the cycle of dog homelessness, overpopulation, abandonment, neglect & abuse. They rescue dogs internationally and here in Canada, first finding them comfortable and loving foster homes and eventually a “furever home” environment.

Photo: The Gate

Over the course of The GATE’s Interview Lounge, the Save Our Scruff pups, accompanied by their team’s trained handlers, will be available for appointment-only cuddles, to ensure the dogs and their special guests get the one on one time that they’ll both love.

Photo: The Gate

Guests fell in love with Eclipse. Eclipse is a two month old stray from El Salvador – the only puppy from her litter to survive after they were born on the street. She recently arrived in Canada and is looking for her forever home.

Alaska was another hit, she is such a sweetie. She was born a stray. She was found and taken to a shelter in South Carolina. There was flooding there last year and unfortunately the shelter was not able to keep all the dogs safe. Save Our Scruff brought a big truck load of pups back and Alaska is one of the friskiest!
Another appointment-based experience at The GATE’s Interview Lounge will be a virtual reality guided meditation experience provided by Toronto’s House of VR. Donning the most cutting edge technology from Gear VR and Muse Headbands, the guests will completely escape the festival stress travelling to a sun soaked beach, a snowy mountain top, or a grassy field, for a personalized meditation experience. This will be enhanced by Muse’s brain-sensing headband that uses real-time neurofeedback technology to guide the mind into a deeper focus, using virtual weather sounds that change in response to your brain state. A few minutes can be a whole vacation when these busy festival guests need it the most!

Photo: The Gate

Beyond these unique experiences, The GATE’s Interview Lounge will also feed its guests’ relaxation cravings. For those who would like to indulge in something sweet while still feeling they’re prioritizing their health, gluten-free, health-focused eatery Impact Kitchen will have provided protein bars including the tasty Almond Protein Brownie, and the MCT Bar featuring chia seeds, coconut flakes, coffee, honey, and dairy free chocolate. If a crisp, cold beer sounds like a better way to relax, popular local craft beer company Woodhouse Brewing will be to the rescue, with a range of their products available in the lounge including an IPA, a light beer and a lager.