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Here’s a disturbing fact: human and child sex trafficking is a $32 billion a year business – that’s worth more than Google, Nike and Starbucks’ annual profits combined, according to the folks at Buy Art Not Kids.

In its second year, Buy Art Not Kids raises funds for Ratanak International, a Canadian-based, Christian organization which aims to improve the lives of the people in Cambodia. With a particular focus on ending child sex trafficking, last year’s funds went towards a home for girls who had been rescued from sexual slavery.
Chef Matt Blondin

CHEF MATT BLONDIN

This year, funds will go towards a training program to help educate rural farmers in Cambodia about sex traffickers, who often trick parents into giving up their daughters on promises of great jobs in the city. The idea of the program is to avoid kids getting trapped into sex trafficking in the first place.

The event promises to be a joyfully grown up evening of art, wine, food and performances, hosted by Anne-Marie Mediwake of CBC News Toronto.

With two auctions, one featuring 31 professional Canadian artists, who include the likes of Christopher BoffoliMichael LevinJulie HimelSheila Kernan and Marjolyn van der Hart, and another of 14 senior students from Havergal College, where the event is being held, visual inspiration is all but guaranteed.

Also up for bid Lot # 19, The Perfect Storm, where Toronto chef Matt Blondin (formerly of Momofuku Daishō) has teamed with artist Cesan D’Ornellas Levine to create a catered dinner. The evening will be hosted in the studio home of D’Ornellas Levine, who will also provide the winner with a painting commission. The total value of the Lot is $5000.

Photo of toy soldiers by Burke Paterson, 1997

BURKE PATERSON, SOLDIERS, 1997.  ALL IMAGES: BUY ART NOT KIDS

We told you –  this trully promises to be a joyfully grown up evening. The cause couldn’t be worthier, and maybe, with the right bid, two lucky parents will splurge BIG TIME and get a date of a lifetime out of the deal.

Buy Art Not Kids, Friday, April 4, 6:30 – 11 p.m., Tickets: $75

Havergal College,  1451 Avenue Road  (at Lawrence)

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