One Enchanted Evening, is how to describe last weeks Diner en Blanc in Victoria, BC.
An estimated 1500 people gathered, elegantly dressed Head to Toe in pure white to dine and dance at Ships Point at Victoria’s Inner Harbour. It was a spectacular spectacle in our charming city and a demonstration of our Victoria community spirit.
The concept was born 26 years ago and hosted by Francois Pasquier in Paris for a small gathering of friends. He asked them to dress in white so they could find each other easily and every year after the numbers grew. The event was so wildly successful it has become a global phenomenon – Paris now attracts nearly 15,000 people each year. This was Victoria’s 3rd annual event and every year the numbers grow.
The location of the event is always a secret, literally until you arrive. The Rendezvous location(s) is where it all starts, and group leaders get their attendees accounted for, registered and organized. It does take a lot of organizing and you must carry with you; your table, chairs, linens and gourmet picnic and YES, everything has to be white. At a very specific time the groups all start moving to the unknown location.
Imagine seeing this vision suddenly ascending through your town, it was an awesome site of pure white magic. Passers-by are curious and mesmerized and the excitement of the attendees is electric.
As all the groups arrive at the secret location, this year was Ships Point, there is quite a bit of chaos as everyone finds their designated location and “sets up” for their al fresco dining experience. It doesn’t take too long for everyone to then settle in and enjoy the fruits of their labour. With the eclectic and elegant table-scapes blanketing the area it is a vision of sparkling beauty. For those who do not wish to pack their own gourmet picnic Dan Hayes of the The London Chef provided sophisticated dinner options for pre-ordered.
And from the uppermost deck of the Luxury Yacht ‘Triton’, the crowd was serenaded throughout dinner with the alluring francophone music of French trio Takuhi Sedefci and followed by a string quartet from the Victoria Symphony. And no event would be complete without some dancing where DJ Michael Tedham keep the party rolling until the Grande Finales.
The final ceremony is always marked by the traditional lighting of the sparklers to toast this enchanted evening and bid farewell to our friends until next year.
For those who just can’t get enough the Empress Hotel was the host spot for the after party and YES, or course, it’s all WHITE!
Hats off to Local Organizers:
Tyson Villeneuve and Jordan Kallman, The Social Concierge, Western Canadian Dîner en Blanc organizer
Aidan Henry, owner, Brink Events, Victoria organizing committee chair