TIFF red carpet gets revamped

Before the stars get to strut down the red carpet outside Roy ThomsonHall, the roll of crimson nylon had to make it through customs.

Before the stars get to strut down the red carpet outside Roy Thomson Hall, the roll of crimson nylon had to make it through customs.

The runner, sponsored by Holt Renfrew, is manufactured in the town of Dalton, Ga. — also known as the Carpet Capital of the World.

There, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the carpet was cut, dyed and stamped with Holt’s logo before being loaded into a cargo truck and transported to Toronto.

The need for a new red rug came after Toronto International Film Festival planners reconfigured the event designs at Roy Thomson Hall. Rather than enter on Simcoe St., the carpet will snake around the back of the building.

“It’s going to be wider and longer. Just think like Cannes or the Oscars,” said Gwen Gibson, the national director of special events at Holt Renfrew.

“It’s going to be more expansive so there will be more opportunity to see the stars.”

The new carpet will be 45 metres 50 yards long, nearly half the length of a Canadian football field. But that much material isn’t easy to move.

Appel ÖLtd., the company storing the carpet, will use two or three men to deliver the roll to Roy Thomson, said owner Tony Cooper.

“It has to be handled carefully. You can’t get a crease or a wrinkle, especially on a carpet this important,” he said.

The runner will then be affixed on the ground using tape, ensuring the material doesn’t bubble or move while celebrities are walking on it.

Once the festival has ended, the carpet will be cleaned and put into storage. Gibson expects the runner to last about three years of being stomped by stilettos.

 
 
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