Toronto, Ontario, Canada

» January 18, 2003 «
Second annual symposium on Entertaining in the Canadas in the 18th & 19th centuries
» «

A day-long celebration of music, food and dance held on January 18, 2003 beginning with a symposium focusing on entertaining in the Georgian Era and culminating in a lavish period banquet and ball in costume
at Historic Fort York in Toronto

The 2003 Participants:

  • Ian Bell, well-known performer and musicologist will speak on Music in Upper Canada
  • Melanie Garrison, co-ordinator of the dance programme at Fort York will lead the dance workshops and ball
  • Fiona Lucas, Programme Officer at Spadina House and gardens with a special interest in foodways programming and co-founder of Culinary Historians of Ontario, will give an illustrated presentation on Georgian Dining.
  • Ken Purvis, Programme Officer at Fort York and member of Gin Lane, will lead musicians playing authentic period instruments.
  • Bridget Wranich, Programme Officer at Fort York and Co-founder of Culinary Historians of Ontario, will lead the foodways demonstration To Make a Trifle.

The Schedule, January 18, 2003:

12:00 - 1:00 pm Registration and Absolute Beginners Workshop
(if you have never done English Country Dancing before it is strongly recommended that you participate in this workshop)
To Make a Trifle:
Hannah Glasse's extraordinary recipe will be broken down, examined and illustrated step by step in great detail as a Georgian Foodways Workshop. NB Space is limited to the first 25 particiants who register!
1:00 - 1:45 pm Presentation: Fiona Lucas -- Georgian Dining
1:45 - 2:30 pm Presentation: Ian Bell -- Music of Upper Canada
2:30 - 2:45 pm Break with Refreshments
2:45 - 4:45 pm English Country Dance Workshop -- learn authentic 17th and 18th centrury Country dances, no partners required.
4:45 - 6:00 pm Break - Lounge area available for informal discussion
6:00 - 6:30 pm Cash Bar
6:30 - 7:30 pm Supper "A Profusion of Every Delicacy"
7:30 - 10:30 pm "An Elegant Ball" - period costumes are encouraged


The Banquet: "A Profusion of Every Delicacy": Presented by Jessup Food & Heritage. "A profusion of every delicacy" was the term used to describe the midnight supper served at one Queen's Birthday ball in York (Toronto) in January of 1817. In re-creating the supper for Queen Charlotte's Ball, the organizers have specifically chosen foods, their methods of preparation and the manner in which they are served, to reflect the Georgian culinary style. Vegetarian selections will be made available to those who request it when registering. In preparing this menu account was taken of the extent of the British empire at the time -- the sun really didn't set on it -- as well as the season. Expect humble parsnips, potatoes, onions and rutabagas from local larders cheek by jowl with the products of the more exotic colonies -- mullicatawny, coffee, chocolate, vanilla, dates and almonds from the furthest reaches of the empire -- perhaps even a (gasp!) pineapple!

An Elegant Ball: The dances in the workshop and at the ball are taken from original dance manuals of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.  Some are the actual dances mentioned in diary excerpts and newspaper accounts of balls from the period, e.g. Jupon Rouge and Tars of the Victory.

English Country Dance of the late 18th and early 19th century differs from the modern Cecil Sharp - Playford style of dance frequently practiced today.  Originally, only one couple began the dance, and progressed through the figures until there were two active couples, then three, then four and so on until all the couples are involved.  At Fort York, dances will be danced in smaller sets, in this historic style, and not in "take hands four from the top" style. [here are some photos from last year's ball, we will have this year's as soon as they are developed!)]

Registrants received (as usual) a comprehensive package of background material, dance instructions, and recipes from the programme -- want to see what we got?




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