NBA stars at gala event at Exhibition Place

Shaquille O’Neal
Shaquille O’Neal

While thousands of fans descend on Toronto this weekend for the first NBA All-Star Game held outside the U.S., Exhibition Place will be rocking to We Da Norf comedy show and the Champions Gala with Shaquille O’Neal.
The game is Sunday at 8 p.m. at the Air Canada Centre with other NBA events starting tomorrow (Feb. 12).
Rodney Davis, curator of the S8 team which is producing the Max All-Star Weekend events at the Queen Elizabeth Building at the CNE grounds, said the comedy show and gala will satisfy fans who have had their daily fill of basketball-oriented fun and promises some stars and athletes will be on hand.

We Da Norf comedy show happens tomorrow (Feb. 12) at 7 p.m. when some of Canada’s funniest comedians hit the stage, including Jean Paul, Jay Martin, Trixx and Patrick Hayes.
At 10 p.m., the We Da Norf after party begins with DJ Starting from Scratch back in Toronto on the turntables. This will be a good time to brush shoulders (if you are tall) or at least see four-time NBA champion Shaq who will be the host along with other VIP celebrities and basketball heroes.
On Saturday, Champions Gala starts at 10 p.m. with room for 4,500 guests. Davis says guests will be “showered with luxury and an unprecedented AV experience.
“There will be enough celebrities and athletes to fill your Instagram, Twitter, Facebook selfie feed for the next few months,” Davis said.
Shaq will host, joined by star of Black-ish, Law & Order actor-producer Anthony Anderson and American Heist actor-singer and producer Akon, plus Super Bowl Champion Marshawn Lynch and Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls.
Davis has a long history with Toronto Carnival and Caribana and is credited with giving the event a much- needed facelift in 1995. He was responsible for the move of Caribana to the lakeshore when it grew too large for its downtown venue.
He has continued to work in the Caribbean and headed the team that put together last year’s Cannes Film Festival Gala.