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Celebrities don tuxedos, gowns to attend glitzy state dinner

Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds and his wife, actress Blake Lively, arrived for the State Dinner for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Andrew Harnik/AP

On Thursday evening, the state dinner was held for Canada, the first for the country in nearly 20 years. The event brought out many Canadian celebrities famous in the United States, such as Michael J. Fox and Mike Myers.

More than 170 guests sporting tuxedos and designer gowns attended the glitzy state dinner. The White House East Room was transformed by the addition of cascading arrangements of blooming orchids, hydrangeas and amaranth in shades of green and white intended to evoke the coming of spring — much like Trudeau’s election in October has ushered in a new season in Canadian politics.


The guest list featured a hefty dose of Canadian star power from actors Fox, Myers, Sandra Oh, and Ryan Reynolds, along with ‘‘Saturday Night Live’’ creator Lorne Michaels. Professional sports were represented by the U.S. hockey and basketball commissioners, along with retired NBA player Grant Hill and his wife, Tamia, a Canadian singer. A small group of Democratic U.S. senators attended, joined by Republicans Susan Collins of Maine and Orrin Hatch of Utah.

Sara Bareilles, a favorite of first lady Michelle Obama who’s known for her hit, ‘‘Love Song,’’ headlined the after-dinner entertainment.

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Sophie Grégoire Trudeau at the North Portico of the White House.Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press
Canadian actor Michael J. Fox and his wife, Tracy Pollan.Andrew Harnik/Associated Press
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and her husband. Andrew Harnik/Associated Press
Canadian actor Mike Myers and his wife, Kelly. With white hair, Myers showed off a new look. Andrew Harnik/Associated Press/Andrew Harnik/AP/file
Canadian actress Sandra Oh.Andrew Harnik/Associated Press
Retired NBA player Grant Hill and his wife, Tamia.Andrew Harnik/Associated Press
Michelle Obama (second from right) with Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau.Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images
From left: Trudeau and Obama.Stephen Crowley/The New York Times
Malia Obama (left) sat next to Lorne Michaels, executive producer of “Saturday Night Live.”Stephen Crowley/The New York Times
Sasha Obama.Joshua Roberts/REUTERS
Obama and the first lady hugged as the Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau made a toast. Joshua Roberts/REUTERS
Margaret Trudeau, mother of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP
Sara Bareilles (seated at the piano) performed her song "Brave" with the Washington Performing Arts Children of the Gospel Choir.Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press
Trudeau watched Bareilles and the children’s choir perform.Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images