Toronto, Ontario, Canada

» January 15, 2005 «

The fourth annual symposium on Entertaining in the Canadas in the 18th & 19th centuries
» «

A day-long celebration of music, food and dance to be held on January 15, 2005 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

Fourth annual -- Saturday, January 15, 2005 -- Well, if you missed the third annual Queen Charlotte's Birthday Ball, make a note so you don't miss the fourth annual! This year we will once again have illustrated lectures about Canadian society in the Regency and Georgian eras, dance workshops lead by Dancing Mistress Melanie Garrison with the assistance of the Fort York Volunteer Historic Dancers and of course, the Banquet and costume Ball. Of course dancing will be to live music of the period, properly played on proper period instruments, and lead by the slightly improper Ken Purvis.

The Schedule, January 15, 2005:

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)
1:00 - 1:45 pm Presentation: speaker TBA
1:45 - 2:30 pm Presentation: speaker TBA
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" 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 previous balls -- third annual, second annual, first annual]

Limited accommodation is available for Out of Town Registrants:
Overnight accomodation is available to a limited number of guests in the North Soldiers' Barracks in a first come first served basis. Please let us know when you register if you would like to reserve a bunk -- don't forget to bring your sleeping bag!
Registrants will receive a comprehensive package of background material, dance instructions, and recipes from the programme.

Registration: $80.00 per person, pre-registration is required. You can pre-register in any of the following ways:

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