Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The seventh annual Queen Charlotte's Birthday Ball and Symposium on Entertaining in the Canadas in the 18th & 19th centuries
at Fort York National Historic Site, Toronto, Canada

» «
» Saturday, January 19, 2008 «

» Queen Charlotte Honours Portugal «

The Battle of Vimiero © britishbattles.com 2007. Email : info@britishbattles.com

A day-long celebration of the music, food and dance of the Georgian and Regency periods.
On the bicentennary of the commencement of the Peninsular War, Queen Charlotte commemorates the partnership between Britain and that other great sea-faring nation, Portugal. There will be interesting guests and entertaining events including an illustrated presentation, a port-tasting, and of course,
the traditional lavish period banquet and costume ball,
all held at Fort York National Historic Site in Toronto. Registration information here.


The seventh annual Queen Charlotte's Birthday Ball and Symposium on Entertaining in the Canadas in the 18th & 19th centuries
at Fort York National Historic Site, Toronto, Canada

» «
» Saturday, January 19, 2008 «

The Schedule of Events:

  • 12:30 to 1:00pm - Arrival and Check-in
  • 1:00 to 2:00pm -- Presentation by Professor Manuela Marujo, Associate Chair, The Department of Spain and Portugal at the University of Toronto: Wellington’s Victory Invigorates the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance
  • 2:00 to 2:15pm -- Break, with refreshments
  • 2:15 to 3:30pm -- English Country Dance Workshop – learn authentic 18th & 19th Century dances with Dancingmistress Melanie Garrison.
  • 3:30 – 4:30 pm -- Port Tasting with Chef Tonia Wilson
  • 4:30 – 5:30 pm -- Break (Changing Rooms will be provided for those wishing to dress up for the evening).
  • 5:30 – 7:00 pm -- Georgian Buffet Supper - “A Profusion of Every Delicacy” including examples of early 19th century English recipes with Portuguese influences.
  • 7:00 – 10:00 pm -- “An Elegant Ball” - Period costumes are encouraged, period music under the direction of Ken Purvis.

About Queen Charlotte's Guests:

  • Manuela Marujo is a faculty member of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, since 1985, and presently its Associate Chair. She graduated from the Universidade Clássica de Lisboa and has a PhD from the University of Toronto. She has taught Portuguese Language and Culture in several countries and has given numerous lectures all over the world. She has been involved as a volunteer in the Portuguese community in various capacities and she is committed to improving the access of educational and cultural programs for children at risk. Manuela has organized many conferences and published in the fields of education, language and immigration, particularly in issues related to women. One of her recent research topics is: Grandparents’ roles and influence in the lives of their grandchildren.
  • Tonia Wilson Recently returned from Italy where for four years she held the position of Head Chef at the Canadian Embassy in Rome. Amongst her most memorable highlights was her preparation of a gala dinner for the Queen of England and the Italian President Ciampi.
  • Ken Purvis, is a Programme Officer at Fort York and member of the musical group Gin Lane. He will lead a group of talented musicians playing authentic period instruments.
  • Melanie Garrison, Program Assistant at Fort York will lead the dance workshop and evening ball.

The Food

“A profusion of every delicacy” was the phrase used to describe the midnight supper served at one Queen’s Birthday ball in York (Toronto) in January of 1817. In creating the supper for Queen Charlotte’s Birthday Ball, Programme Officer Bridget Wranich and Fort York’s Volunteer Historic Cooks have specifically chosen and tested foods, their methods of preparation and the manner in which they are served, to reflect the Georgian culinary style. Vegetarian selections will be available, please inform us when registering.

The Music and the Dances

We will end our day with an elegant ball. The music and the dances are all taken from original source publications of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Some of the featured dances have been chosen because they are mentioned by name in diaries and newspaper accounts from the time. Others are chosen for their simplicity and ease in execution. As usual, some of the dances will reflect this year’s theme of Portugal and the Peninsular War in their titles. Registrants are reminded that at Fort York, dances will be danced in longways sets in the early nineteenth century style, and not in the modern “take hands four from the top” style. [here are some photos from previous balls -- third annual, second annual, first annual]

Prices and registration information:

  • Price per person $100.00 for the day (= $95.23 + 4.77 gst) Includes Lecture, Dance Workshop, Port Tasting Dinner and Ball (12:30pm to 10:00pm)
  • Can't stay all day? We can accommodate!
    • $25.00 for Lecture &Workshop only (= $23.80 + $1.80 gst)
    • $20.00 for Port Tasting only (= $19.04 + $2.16 gst )
    • $65.00 for Dinner and Ball only (= $61.90 + $3.10 gst)
You may register by mail (cheque payable to: “TREASURER, CITY OF TORONTO”, please) or by fax using VISA, MASTERCARD or AMEX.

Download a registration form for mailing and/or faxing here. Oh, and you might want a schedule or one of our spiffy posters, too, especially if this is a gift. (They're .pdf so they may be kind of slow; we thank you for your patience.)

Please note: Space is limited! We urge you to reserve in advance, and we remind you that payment must be received in order to confirm your reservation! For more information, contact HISTORIC FORT YORK 100 Garrison Road, Toronto, Ont. M5V 3K9 416-392-6907 Ext. 100 or email: fortyork@toronto.ca

Other useful information:

We urge you to visit our Queen Charlotte Birthday Ball Main Page for an overview of the six previous Queen Charlotte's Birthday Balls held at Fort York National Historic Site (with photos! and recipes!) as well as resources and links to sites of interest and utility to the aspiring Queen Charlotte's Birthday Ball-goer, including information on contra-dancing, Regency food, drink and clothing, the history of the period and a biography of Her Majesty Queen Charlotte.

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