Events and Projects

The Official Dinner

(Added 10 September 2007)

The Official Dinner
Featuring photographs courtesy of the Archives of Ontario, video courtesy the National Film Board of Canada, with special thanks to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police & Toronto Bagpiper Doug Swann

Dinner Event: Wednesday October 3rd, 2007. 7:30pm
Exhibition: September 29-October 31,2007.
Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen Street W, Toronto, Ontario

*Dinner tickets $69.00, Cocktail reception $20.00
R.S.V.P. to the Drake Hotel 416.531.5042 X113

The Official Dinner is a contemporary art event and exhibition investigating the historical atmosphere of entertaining. Presented as part of the Alphabet City “FOOD” issue, The Official Dinner is a collaboration between Leisure Projects, the Drake Hotel, and the Drake’s chef Anthony Rose.

Taking the form of a curated dinner party and exhibition, the project recreates the atmosphere of official Canadian entertaining, presenting the local to the international. By focusing this event on the Royal tours of the 1950’s, including Princess Elizabeth’s autumn 1951 whistle-stop tour of Canada, the visit of Princess Margaret, as well as Queen Elizabeth’s return visit in 1959, Leisure Projects investigates the history of official dinner culture in Toronto and the important role of hotels in hosting international guests.

The event and exhibition will include a sumptuous dinner, surprise guests, live entertainment, works by contemporary artists, archival imagery, and artist produced decoration.

The menu for the event, designed by Drake executive chef, Anthony Rose is inspired by official meals of the past such as, the Queen Elizabeth’s Lunch aboard the Britannia and her official dinner in the Canadian Room at the Royal York Hotel. Taking inspiration from the imaginative combinations of the local and exotic in official dinner cuisine, Anthony Rose has invented contemporary dishes along the lines of some of our favourite dishes from the past including, Bûche Algonquin, Jubilée, Bombe Surprise, Glacéd Breast of Saskatchewan Pheasant, and Filet of Lake Erie Pickerel a la Reine.

By placing relevant works of contemporary art within the context of hotel ambiance and fine dining, Leisure Projects queries the role of official dinners, deconstructing national tropes, international goals, and the social formalities and intricacies of such events.

For more information see:

Images: (clockwise from the left) Canadian Mounted Police and bagpiper at the Official Dinner event; Still from the NFB film Gastronomie; Archival imagery courtesy of the Ontario Archives; Mixed Bouquet (detail) Jo-Anne Balcaen.

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