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January 5, 2006
Queen Charlotte’s Birthday Ball returns to Fort York
Entertaining in Upper and Lower Canada in the late 18th and early 19th centuries always included a ball in January to celebrate the Queen’s birthday. In this spirit, Fort York presents the 5th annual symposium on Georgian entertaining - Queen Charlotte’s Birthday Ball. This day-long event focuses on the music, food and dances of that period, and will take place on Saturday, January 14 from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. This year’s theme is Garrison Theatre.

To make the event more accessible and flexible for attendees, guests are invited to register either just for segments that are of special interest to them, or for the entire program. Participants are invited to choose from a roster that includes an illustrated talk on Garrison Theatre by Dr. Leslie O’Dell, associate professor at Wilfred Laurier University, followed by an English Country dance workshop ($25), a Port Tasting ($20), and/or the Georgian-style buffet supper and ball ($65). A ticket for the entire day is $95. Pre-registration and payment are required.

The music and dances performed throughout the day are taken from original source publications of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Participants will learn dances that have leapt from the society pages of period newspapers and private diaries.

The port tasting segment, to be held from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., will be lead by an L.C.B.O. consultant.

The early evening supper will include a carefully researched and tested selection of early 19th century English recipes. During the meal, the Garrison Theatre theme will continue with a brief performance by Fort York’s Garrison Amateurs of four scenes from George Colman’s comedy, ‘The Poor Gentleman,’ once performed by British and Canadian Officers in Montreal in 1815.

After supper, the elegant ball begins. Participants will use what they learned in the afternoon’s workshop to dance the night away accompanied by live music played on authentic period instruments. Wearing costumes is encouraged, as they add to the evening’s fun and historic atmosphere.

Historic Fort York is located at the end of Garrison Road, which runs north off Fleet Street,
between Bathurst Street and Strachan Avenue. Fleet Street can also be accessed off Bathurst Street or Lake Shore Boulevard via Fort York Boulevard. Parking is free. The site is also accessible by TTC. For further details visit, e-mail or call 416-392-6907.

Media contact:

David O’Hara
Historic Fort York
416-392-6907 ext. 222



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