This is the fourth year I’ve compiled a list of the items that make up the Official Academy Awards Gift Bag. That’s the bag given to presenters and performers. The bag that neither the Academy nor their event planner will comment on. The bag that’s spawned a plethora of unofficial siblings presented to the nominees, the losers, the eco-friendly, the invitees to the swanky gifting suites.
That noble lack of PR participation from The Academy leaves Official Bag inclusion publicity in the hands of those who provide the goods. Those who are PR savvy deploy their big guns while those of more modest means call up local papers. This makes for confusing and often intentionally ambiguous press releases and news items. I’ve spotted errors in most articles about the Official Bag and since I’m working from the same sources my list likely also has inaccuracies. Only the lucky recipients will know the truth.
But enough with the chit chat, on to the list:
For the third year in a row, the bag is weighted down with an amazing Canadian travel package:
-stays at the Opus Hotel in Vancouver and the Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino
-dinner at five restaurants: Elixir, West, Coast, Pointe, Shelter
-yoga sessions, spa treatments
-kayaking in Clayoquot Sound, a scenic flight to a remote lake
-and always my personal favorite: two Oxia Oxygen Personal Canisters
Gaiam Gift Certificate ($500)
Signature Days Gift Certificate ($500) “Experiences range from kite-boarding and a ride on an America’s Cup Sailboat to spa treatments, yoga, personal chefs and private dance lessons.”
Krups XP4050 Premium Pump Espresso Machine and illy’s Limited Edition Pistoletto Foundation Espresso Cup Collection (Value: $600)
Vonage, The VTech Expandable Broadband Phone System. (Value: $550)
Two Night Stay in a Suite at The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel in New York (Value: $2,300)
Frette cashmere leather trimmed Voyage travel blanket (Value: $1,495)
Firefly mobile phone for kids
The Cheese Impresario at-home artisanal cheese experience for six. These events celebrate fine American artisanal cheeses and wines. The gift certificates are hand-printed on an antique letterpress from the early 1800’s on fine Italian paper.
Moonstruck Chocolates: Twelve truffles within a custom hand-crafted Thai silk and teak wood box. (Value: $100+) This is the second year in the bag for this Portland, OR chocolatier.
The Loved Dog: Personal Training gift card, 3-night stay at Doggie Daycare, and a Luxury Dog Bed. Tamar Geller, a renowned life-coach for dogs and their people, will introduce dogs and their companions to her innovative methods for creating a better relationship.
Tara & Sons pearl and diamond necklace
Mr. Handyman gift certificate for one day of service
Four-night stay in the Vera Wang Suite at Halekulani Hotel, Waikiki Beach, a signature treatment at the famed SpaHalekulani, dinner for two at La Mer at Halekulani
Cornelia Day Resort “Unlimited Card” (worth $2,500), includes a $500 facial, massages, a whole range of beauty products and an entire day of beauty treatments
Dinner party in Morton’s Private Boardroom at any of their 69 restaurants (Value: $1500) (this item is a constant in the bag)
Kay Unger vintage silk kimono ($500)
year’s supply of Manni olive oil
two nights (plus surfing lessons) at St. Regis Resort in Monarch Beach, CA ($5,700)
two nights (plus wine tasting) at Bernardus Lodge in Carmel Valley, CA ($2,500)
three nights at one of five Fairmont Hotel & Resorts ($2500)
A BRUGO Travel Mug (featuring the Perfect Temperature Zone)
As usual, I suspect that some really nifty stuff remains unpublicized. Now on to a few noteables from other giveaways: Victoria’s Secret’s prize to the best actress nominees this year is a bra and panty set with a removable gold and diamond brooch. Kodak and Kwiat Diamonds have created EasyShare V570 cameras with the best actress nominees’ initials in 75 brilliant-cut diamonds (valued at $20,000). Motorola is handling out a special edition gunmetal PEBL phone in a custom gift box to directing and acting nominees. And M&M;’S Candies is presenting nominees with personalized M&Ms; with their names and words of congratulations printed on each M.
A big thanks to everyone who sent along a press release or article.