The Event

The 2019 AIDSbeat “Back to the Movies” is on Friday, June 7th, and will be a glamorous, blockbuster sequel, as bands pay tribute to their favourite stories from the silver screen. In addition to the fantastic live music, AIDSbeat will feature amazing items in the Silent Auction.

One night a year, the top legal minds in Toronto clash on-stage, not in the courtroom – in support of ending HIV in Canada. AIDSbeat is an annual battle of the bands between some of Toronto’s most prominent lawyers and law firms.

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 all aspects of HIV research – from increased prevention efforts, increased opportunities for testing, improved health outcomes for people living with HIV in Canada, and reduced stigma. That research has had a huge impact. People can now access life-saving treatment. However, we can not allow ourselves to become complacent. There are over 63,000 people in Canada living with HIV and it is estimated that six people in Canada become newly infected with HIV each day, or nearly one person infected every four hours.

AIDSbeat continues to support CANFAR, through funding innovative research, national awareness programs, and strengthened advocacy efforts, CANFAR remains a trailblazer in its mission to end HIV in Canada.


The Night Of

AIDSbeat “Back 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.

People's Choice Award

The Silent Auction

Lexpert Cup

Guests pay to play!
We encourage you to contribute and support your favourite band by voting during the evening. The band with the most votes will take home the People’s Choice Award!

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

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


2019 Event Co-Chairs

Event Founder, Patricia Olasker

Patrica Olasker

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


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

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.

2019 Judges

Billy Newton-Davis

Billy Newton-Davis is a 4-time Juno Award Winning Vocalist. Originally from Shaker Heights, Ohio, (a suburb of Cleveland), Billy moved to Toronto in 1980, after time spent in New York. Billy contracted HIV in 1986; however, he did not let the virus prevent him from pursuing his dream of becoming a recording artist. His debut album, Love Is a Contact Sport, won the Juno Award for best R&B/soul recording in 1986 and included the hits “Deeper”, “Right Beside You” and “Find My Way Back”. His 1989 follow up, Spellbound, included his biggest Canadian chart hit, “I Can’t Take It”, as well as the Celine Dion duet “Can’t Live With You, Can’t Live Without You”, and again won the Juno for best R&B/soul recording. Newton-Davis subsequently joined The Nylons in 1991. Since leaving the Nylons, he has primarily concentrated on songwriting and live jazz and gospel performances. He also collaborated and performed vocals on a number of deadmau5 tracks, including “I Like Your Music”, and “All U Ever Want”.

Blair Purdy


Blair 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.

Nicole MacAdam

Nicole MacAdam

Nicole MacAdam is an award-winning journalist and executive producer of the Financial Post, part of the Postmedia network of publications. She has worked as an editor and visual journalist at publications including the Globe and Mail’s Report on Business, the Seattle Times, the Toronto Star and Canadian Press. During her nearly 20 years as a journalist, she’s lead teams of writers, editors and visual journalists report stories on topics ranging from the financial crisis, income inequality, how the education system fails boys, private health care and women in power. She is an alumnus of the University of Western Ontario and Ryerson University, and is an MBA candidate at the University of Illinois. She’s married, a mother of two, and plays the trumpet in Toronto’s Metropolitan Winds in her spare time.

2019 Bands

2018 People's Choice Winners, Notorious Road

Notorious 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

Screaming Legals

The Torkin Manes Screaming Legals will be playing vintage 60’s and 70’s rock & roll for this year’s AIDSbeat in support of CANFAR!

Band Members
Valeria Matzner | Vocals | Torkin Manes LLP
Chris Patheiger | Drums | Uncle Smoke Cookhouse
Dan Pugen | Guitar | Torkin Manes LLP
Jen Siemon | Keyboards | Torkin Manes LLP
Chris Valente | Bass | Torkin Manes LLP

2018 Lexpert Cup Winners, Blind Trust


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

Call to the Bar

Call to the Bar, band

Call to the Bar was formed in 2018, and is very excited to take part in the legal industry’s biggest music night of the year. Our members’ musical interests range from jazz to classical to rock, and we hope to bring that variety to this year’s AIDSBeat theme. We are very proud to support CANFAR and to be associated with this special event.

Band Members
Michael Hyatt | Lead Vocals | BlueCat Networks
Jeff Cogliati | Lead Guitar | Jeff Cogliati Architect
Scott Crocco | Keyboard | Byld Barristers
Jordan Kirkness | Bass Guitar | Baker McKenzie
Pete Richardson | Drums | Baker McKenzie
Natalie Prange | Backing Vocals |  Baker McKenzie
Ian Attema | Backing Vocals |  Baker McKenzie


Media Gallery

2018 AIDSbeat "Goes to the Movies"

2017 AIDSbeat

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Event Sponsors

2019 Silver Sponsors

2019 Bronze Sponsors

2019 In-Kind Donors