The Event

AIDSbeatOne night a year, the top legal minds in Toronto clash on-stage, not in the courtroom – all in support of the fight against HIV and AIDS.

AIDSbeat is an annual battle of the bands between some of Toronto’s most prominent lawyers. The 2018 AIDSbeat “Goes to the Movies” on Friday, May 4th will be a glamorous, blockbuster event, as bands pay tribute to our favourite stories on the silver screen.
In addition to the fantastic live music, AIDSbeat will feature amazing items in a Silent AuctionAIDSbeat battle of the bands: Many bands enter, but the court will rule in the favour of only one.

The History

In the 1990s the HIV and AIDS epidemic was at its height in Toronto. No treatment was available to fight the disease. For many, a diagnosis equaled certain death. A group of lawyers, tired of watching the epidemic devastate their community, decided to fight back.

AIDSbeat was created over 20 years ago to raise money in support of the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR), and its mission to fund breakthroughs in HIV prevention, treatment, care, and the search for a cure. That research has had a huge impact. People can now access life-saving treatment. However, we can not allow ourselves to become complacent. There is an estimated 75,500 Canadians currently living with HIV. Each year, there is approximately 2,500 new HIV infections transmitted (or, roughly seven new infections every day).

AIDSbeat continues to support CANFAR, as Canada’s only national charitable foundation that raises awareness to generate funds for research into all aspects of HIV and AIDS. 

Over its 30-year history, CANFAR has invested more than $21 million in HIV and AIDS research, and awarded more than 400 grants, to research projects across Canada. In addition, CANFAR annually reaches more than two million youth through its HIV awareness initiatives.

The Night Of

AIDSbeatAIDSbeat “Goes to the Movies” promises to be one of our most glamorous, blockbuster and prolific battle of the bands yet!

This is an incredible opportunity to wear your movie premiere-inspired outfit on the red carpet, and watch your favourite bands hit the stage, vying for the coveted Lexpert Cup. Guests will also have the opportunity to bid on some amazing auction items – and show their support for their favourite bands.

Silent Auction

Get ready to place your bids on fabulous items soon to be available in our online Silent Auction.

People's Choice Awards

At AIDSbeat, guests pay to play: we encourage you to contribute and support your favourite band during the evening. The band with the most votes will take home the People's Choice Award! All funds raised go directly to support CANFAR-funded research.

Lexpert Cup

Only one band will claim their fame at the end of the night by taking home the coveted Lexpert Cup. The Lexpert Cup is the top prize, awarded to the best band of the night by our expert panel of judges.

2018 Event Co-Chairs

Event Founder

Patrica Olasker_crop

Patricia Olasker is a Senior Partner in the Corporate/Commercial, Mergers & Acquisitions, Capital Markets and Mining practices at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP. She advises domestic and foreign acquirers, targets, hedge funds, special committees and investment banks in M&A transactions, proxy contests and shareholder activism. She represents issuers and underwriters in some of Canada’s most complex and innovative financing transactions. She also specializes in public market derivatives, the development of innovative structured debt and equity products, high-yield debt financings and Multijurisdictional Disclosure System (MJDS) offerings. Patricia advises boards of directors and special committees on corporate governance and transaction-specific matters. Ms. Olasker is also Vice Chair and Secretary of CANFAR’s Board of Directors.

Event Co-Chair


David Palumbo is a Partner at Baker McKenzie in Toronto. David practices securities and corporate law, focusing on public and private financings by both private and public issuers in sectors including healthcare and life sciences/biotechs. David is Chair of the Toronto Diversity and Inclusion Committee and a member of the Student Committee. He serves as Vice-Chair of the Executive Board of the You Can Play Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring the inclusion of all in sports, and Co-Chair of the Toronto legal community’s largest annual fundraiser, AIDSbeat, in support of the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR). He also serves as counsel and a member of the Board of the Italian Contemporary Film Festival.

Event Co-Chair

Nicole Sigouin

Nicole Sigouin is a Partner at Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP and practices in all areas of banking and finance. Nicole has extensive experience acting for financial institutions and borrowers in connection with domestic and cross-border debt financing transactions, asset-based lending, project finance, acquisition financing and complex financial restructurings (including the ground-breaking $32 billion restructuring of third-party asset-backed commercial paper in Canada). She is a member of their special situations team, applying her expertise to urgent and critical corporate reorganizations. Nicole has been a long-standing member of the AIDSbeat organizing committee (and lead singer in one of the participating bands).  She joined David Palumbo as Co-Chair of the committee in 2017. 

2017 Judges


Drew Hasselback is a long-time AIDSbeat judge and supporter. Drew became Editor of the Legal Post section in the Financial Post in November, 2010. He joined the Financial Post in April, 1998, and has worked as an investment reporter, Vancouver correspondent, mining reporter, and online editor. He also has his law degree from the University of Western Ontario, and was called to the Ontario bar in 1998. National Post Website.




Dan Dwoskin is a major force behind Toronto’s resident rock band, The Honeyrunners. Dan can often be found sitting at the helm of a piano, stripping songs down to their roots with a smoky voice. Dwoskin’s sound was born of an obsession with Southern folk, blues, rock, and soul. In four years since their inception, The Honeyrunners have released two EPs, a series of live session films, 350+ tour dates, radio play across North America and a string of appearances on national television. They have shared the stage with Philip Sayce, Nick Waterhouse, U.S.S., The Balconies, The Beaches, King Khan and many more. Stay tuned to Honeyrunners for band tour dates and new tracks from The Honeyrunners’ debut album.

Blair-Purdy-01Blair Purdy has worked in countless musical capacities since pledging himself to the art form at the age of 16. He opened the doors of BPM Studios in 2007 and has dedicated the last decade of his life to exploring many musical genres. Blair has self-produced the last 3 full length Gruvoria albums and their most recent EP’s, which have led to thousands of units sold and regular airplay on Radio and Internet Stations worldwide. Blair has developed a remarkably original look at the human condition through his live performances and recorded arrangements. 
Gruvoria’s Website
| Blair Purdy’s Website

2018 Bands

AIDSbeat BandsNotorious Road

2017 Lexpert Cup WinnersNotorious Road
Rockin’ the AIDSbeat stage since 2008, Notorious Road (aka DisORderly Conduct) is pumped to hit the stage to pay tribute to their favourite films.

Band Members
Claudette Bernard | Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP
Paul Carenza | Gowling WLG
Nicole Dinaut | Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
Real Gratton | Cloral Mosaic Productions Inc.
Rennie Ramuite-ali | Dentons Canada LLP
Barry Segal | Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP
Nicole Sigouin | Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP
Ruth Wahl | Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP

Blind Trust

2017 People’s Choice Award WinnersBlindTrust-BandList-1
Playing classic rock cover tunes for fifteen years and still loving it! ‘Nough said.

Band Members
Joe Conneely | Conneely PC
Erin Finlay | The Canadian Media Producers Association
Catherine Murray | Rogers Communications Inc.
Richard Raymer | Dorsey & Whitney LLP
Chris Robertson | Christopher Robertson Law Professional Corporation
Peter Wilcox | Belmore Neidrauer LLP

Contact Us

You can contact Debbie Osske, CANFAR Director of Events, Stewardship and Volunteer Relations through email or by phone at 416-361-6281.

2017 Media Gallery

Buy Tickets

Event Sponsors

2018 Gold Sponsors

2018 Silver Sponsors

2018 Bronze Sponsors

2018 Corporate and Individual Donors

  • Contact us for sponsorship opportunities.

2018 In-Kind Donors

2018 Media Partner

  • Contact us for sponsorship opportunities.

2018 Exclusive Print Partner

2018 Silent Auction Sponsors