Toronto, Ontario, Canada

» Saturday, January 20, 2007«

The sixth 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 20, 2007 beginning with a symposium
focusing on His Majesty's Senior Service -- The Royal Navy and the Provincial Marine in Canada
and culminating in a lavish period banquet and ball in costume
at Historic Fort York in Toronto. Registration information.

Sixth annual -- Saturday, January 20, 2007 -- "Rule Britannia, Brittania rule the waves!" Captain Victor Suthren told us what really went on on board the ships of the Royal Navy and the Provincial Marine in the Canadas. We learned how many men it took to sail a ship, about sailor's 'wives', found out what shake a leg meant and, in keeping with the naval theme, we tasted rum. Did you know that a good part of it's world-wide market depended on the peculiar circumstance that it is not made from either grape or grain, the fermented products of which are forbidden in many cultures. It's made from sugar-cane! And of course, we danced the night away. Here is a bit of Royal Navy admiration from Youtube.com to whet your appetite, and a rousing Rule Britannia -- no video, but very stirring!! Don't like the wobbly soprano? Here's a sing-a-long from Last Night at the Proms. Still too high-falutin'? 'Ere's football fans. Huzzah!

  • Dance Workshop and Lecture (12:30pm to 3:30pm) -- $25.00 per person
  • Rum Tasting only (3:30pm to 4:30pm) -- $20.00 per person
  • Dinner and Ball -- costumes admired but not required -- $65.00 per person
  • OR Purchase the whole day $95.00 per person -- that's a saving of $15.00!
  • Ways to register -- call (416) 392 6907 x 100 or fax (416) 392-6917, e-mail fortyork@toronto.ca , snail-mail us or stop in at Historic Fort York, 100 Garrison Road, Toronto, ON M5V 3K9.

Payment can be made in any of the following ways:

  • by cheque,VISA, MasterCard or AMEX
  • by Interac (in person at the Fort only)
  • if paying by cheque make payable to "Treasurer, City of Toronto" and mail to Historic Fort York, 100 Garrison Road, Toronto ON M5V 3K9

Payment must be received in order to confirm your reservation.


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]


Registrants will receive a comprehensive package of background material, dance instructions, and recipes from the programme.



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