The Inaugural Friendship Ball

The new Four Seasons Hotel opened in Toronto yesterday; and weirdly, that got me feeling nostalgic for the old ballroom that hosted many of the city’s greatest parties in it’s 30-odd years of existence. One of those parties was a couple of years ago — I never blogged about it, but it was one of those Great Ones, mostly because of it’s purpose to celebrate friends & family and the journey that you take with these people over the course of a lifetime.

Our hostess, aka The Queen, was thinking about her friends and realizing that, as most of them were in their late seventies and early eighties, it was high time to throw a big bash to honour them and what they’ve meant to each other. In fact, many of the guests had been their friends for more than sixty years…

and if that isn’t something to recognize and commemorate, then what is?

So The Queen starting thinking about her theme and came up with The Inaugural Friendship Ball. She then set to making it as big and grand as she possibly could, with a decidedly English-take on Royalty. This included the Royal Crest she had designed for all the stationery, shown here on the menu. “Vive, Ride, Ana… or Live, Laugh, Love.”

We had such fun thinking up ridiculously over-the-top clichéed takes on all-things-British. We had Bobbys (policemen) greeting the cars in valet, Beefeaters in the hotel lobby, Palace Guards at the top of the escalator, butlers in tails announcing each couple to their Royal Highnesses as they sat on their thrones. Here are a few of those details:

To interject a bit of Canada in there, we had to have Mounties, of course, and even had a Parade of Nations! The Mounties carried in each of the 12 different flags that represented the various nationalities of the guests in attendance.

The room was decorated with chandeliers and gold and crystal at every turn. Not exactly what we would do at a wedding, but it suited the theme and the purpose perfectly.

Did I mention that all the guests were told to wear their tiaras, tails and and ballgowns? It was wonderful to see everyone get into the spirit of things. 160 people in full and formal regalia was a great sight to see.

Some of the entertainment included Minuet lessons (swear-to-God) and a tango demonstration. We also had an Elton John impersonator…

Even the SpectacularSpectacular girls got into the theme! Sarah and I both dressed in maids uniforms and diligently carried our feather dusters everywhere with us that night! Here I am with The Queen: our Master and Servant Moment, if you will…

Lastly, a shot of the Royal couple with their kids and grandchildren, pretty much summing up the warm and fuzzy feeling that everyone had all night long.

Here’s a list of the people that helped pull the night together:

Photography: Hudson Taylor

Decor: FIORI Floral Designs

Venue: The (old) Four Seasons Hotel

Invitations etc: Terri Kirshenbaum at Invitation House

Band: Anita Rossi

A/V: Visual FX

Staffing: Everyone is an Artist

Costumes for Staff: Malabar

Backdrops: Emerson Design