Purchase tickets on Eventbrite
Imagine yourself transported to the world of Darcy and Elizabeth, of Napoleon Bonaparte and Jane Austen, walking straight into Netherfield, dancing to live music and sipping a frothy cup of syllabub with a room full of charming people, all as delightful as they are delighted to find themselves in Regency England, without even inventing a time machine.
No partner is necessary and no dance experience required. And many guests come solo. Dance lessons are offered Wednesday evenings in September, so you can arrive at the ball ready to dance, just like you would have done in 1812. (Details in the ticket description)
Regarding costumes for this event, the bare minimum for ladies is a full-length gown in a soft fabric with fully covered shoulders. An empire waist is preferable but not mandatory. Flat shoes only please. For gentlemen, the minimum is a tail coat or frock coat with a vest and a cravat (literally a strip of fabric tied around the neck) and a white shirt. Breeches with long socks are preferable, but regular pants are fine. Any dress shoes will do.
We have a stock of rental costumes that we make available to guests, as well as long white gloves for the ladies, and long white socks for the gentlemen. We will be holding a costume fair on August 13, 12-3 pm at Ritchie Hall ( 98 St and 78 Ave) where we will bring all our costumes for people to try on and rent. We have a wide range of sizes, including plus sizes. There will also be other costume rental companies to rent from, and you can order custom costumes from one of the costumiers who will be there. Gowns usually start at $140 + materials. Most vendors will also have accessories available for purchase. You can also bring things that you think might work, and get some advice about how to turn them into a costume.
We do not have a store front for people to stop by, but you can always visit The Theatre Garage Ltd or Karries Kostumes any time, and they might be able to help you. And for custom orders, you can speak to NutmegSews or Fashion Under Siege.
Some video tutorials on putting together your own costume, and on the dances, will be posted at: https://www.prideandprejudiceball.ca/tutorials/
Here are some answers to FAQ's regarding the ball.
You do NOT need to come with a dance partner, and you may dance with anyone you like. It is not ballroom dance but English Country Dance, which is very different.
Lots of people come solo, or as groups, and couples of all descriptions are welcome.
Dance lessons are not mandatory, but strongly recommended if you have never done this kind of dance before. Register for the dance lessons by purchasing the "Dance Lesson" ticket, which includes all three Wednesday evening lessons. The Dance Workshop ticket is separate and includes the two-hour workshop on the day of the ball. You do not need to have any kind of dance experience. Everyone can learn these dances.
If you are going to costume rental shops, ask for "Regency" or "Napoleonic" or "Colonial" style dress. Military and naval uniforms are also a great option for men, and can sometimes be more readily acquired than civilian dress.
Ladies are welcome to come in gentlemen's dress.
I also have long, white gloves and long socks for sale (both of which can be hard to find). You can purchase these from me at the costume fair, the dance lessons, or at the ball itself.
Flat shoes or shoes with TINY heels only, please. High heels were not worn at this time, and can be dangerous for dancing.
All dietary requirements can be accommodated with adequate notice. Simply email me and I will pass the info on to the hotel.
There is no formal age minimum, but we recommend guests be at least 14 years of age. It is not suitable for younger children, though it is possible that very keen and well-behaved 13 or even 12 year old accompanied by an attentive adult would do very well.
There will be a professional photographer capturing the event, and taking portrait photographs of all guests. You will be able to download these after the event.
Cell phones and cameras ARE NOT PERMITTED in the ballroom itself, but may be used anywhere else in the hotel.
This event is THE MOST FUN you can imagine. It is highly addictive and can make the rest of life seem dull in comparison. You have been warned ;).
If you would like extra lessons, or cannot make it to the Wednesday night clasess, Sabrina's Dance Instruction in St. Albert is also offering a series of 3 clasees on Monday evenings, September 11, 18 and 25, at St Albert United Church, teaching the same dances with the same registration cost. Visit SabrinaDance.ca for details.
If you would like to stay in the lovely Fairmont Hotel MacDonald you can reserve a room here.
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