If there’s one thing Hollywood A-listers know, it’s that the Oscars aren’t limited to the actual award show – the celebration involves far more than just one red-carpet appearance. In the lead up to the 87th Academy Awards, actors, actresses, singers and producers line up to fête each other and their craft at a variety of swanky parties, many raising funds for charity.
Without a doubt, the hottest ticket of the week belongs to the annual celebration thrown by Vanity Fair on the evening of the Oscars. Last year, bold-faced names like Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Lupita Nyong’o and Ben Affleck partied until the wee hours of the morning while sipping on champagne and eating In-N-Out burgers. The icing on the cake? The tony affair often entices an outfit change from some of our favourite style stars.
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Many a celebrity even played dutiful party host in 2014. Naomi Watts threw a Bulgari bash at the Soho House, Chris Evans brought together Hollywood’s hottest under-30 faces at a Vanity Fair and Fiat-sponsored party, and Jared Leto and Olivia Wilde teamed up to bring celebs together to benefit Artists for Peace and Justice.
Past beneficiaries of Oscars events have included the nonprofit education organization Concord Youth Theatre, the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, the U.S.-Ireland Alliance, Ghetto Film School and Muse School in Calabasas, California.
Gifting lounges are also a staple of the week-long circuit, with famous faces receiving high-end swag from companies like Lancôme and Clarisonic, DWS shoes and Bang & Olufsen. A-listers even receive travel vouchers to Cancun and Bali from luxury vacation companies.
Which fêtes are celebrities keen to get an invitation to this year? We’ve rounded up the top five below:
Women in Film Pre-Oscar Party
Where: Hyde Kitchen + Cocktails, 8117 Sunset Blvd.
When: Friday. Feb. 20
Now in its 8th year, this party celebrates all that the ladies bring to film and cinema. This year’s bash is co-hosted by Jennifer Hudson, and includes sponsors like MaxMara, BMW, Tiffany & Co., MAC Cosmetics and Perrier-Jouët.
30th Annual Independent Spirit Awards
Where: Santa Monica Beach, 2030 Ocean Ave.
When: Saturday, Feb. 21
With Fred Armisen and Kristen Bell as hosts, this party is sure to be a rousing time. Presenters will include Julianne Moore, Cate Blanchett, Oprah Winfrey and Kerry Washington.
Sony Pictures Classics
Where: The Supper Suite by STK, 755 N. La Cienega Blvd.
When: Saturday, Feb. 21
This Ketel One-sponsored party will host all of this year’s Oscar hopefuls under one roof, including Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo and Julianne Moore.
Vanity Fair’s Oscar Party
Where: 9390 North Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills
When: Sunday, Feb. 22
The 2015 bash will be held in a luxurious custom-designed space and will see stars like Julianne Moore, Emma Stone and Michael Keaton walk the red carpet. Any profits generated will support Oxfam.
Canadians 2nd Annual Pre-Oscar Party
Where: Four Seasons Los Angeles
When: Thursday, Feb. 19
You know there are a lot of Canadians working in Hollywood when they get their own party at the Academy Awards. This year’s event will be hosted by Eric McCormack and will see Jason Priestley, Norman Jewison and Rachel Lefevre rub shoulders.
Sarah Kelsey is a gal in the know who regularly appears on television and writes for a variety of outlets. Check out her work at sarahkelsey.ca, on Twitter @sarahkelsey, Instagram @sakelsey and Pinterest @sakelsey.