Earlier this month I was invited to attend the exclusive Benefit Gala 2016 of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, the prestigious cultural event held every year that is so highly anticipated by some of this city’s most influential patrons (and who are willing to fork over $800.00 per person for). On the brink of Les Grands Ballets’ 60th anniversary, this year’s version was held at the Stade Uniprix and featured a sumptuous pre-dinner cocktail where the Moët & Chandon champagne was [literally] flowing, beauty touch-up stations were provided by CHANEL, and plenty of photo ops abounded.
Upon entering the ballroom, we were greeted with lavish gold accents on the dinner tables with a thoughtfully placed gift bag from Holt Renfrew/Ogilvy at each place setting (which included a fab Diptyque candle). The simple yet elegant menu featured 3 courses, each paired by its own wine duo. There were two stages set up at either end of the room; one featured the live band 1945 by Paul Chacra Entertainment who played a diverse range of music and literally had everyone on the dance floor from the second the dinner was over (my pounding feet at the end of the evening were testament to how amazing the band was), and on the other stage we were were treated to a live performance of excerpts of La Lueur de l’Aube by Ken Ossola — created in 2016 and featuring music by Sergei Rachmaninoff. As if all this wasn’t enough there was also the most amazing grand prize worth over $20,000 up for grabs, but which I sadly didn’t win: a trip to Paris (Business Class) with Air France in March 2017, which included the opportunity to attend the CHANEL fashion show during Fashion Week, a private tour of Coco Chanel’s apartment and the Fine Jewelry Shop at 18 Place Vendôme… and more. Yes, I’m still in mourning over not winning ∗sigh∗. I did buy a raffle ticket for which I won a lovely Aquascutum business card holder, however #consolationprize
While breathtaking to be a part of, it’s also important to note that the funds raised by this yearly event play a crucial role in maintaining the level of excellence that Les Grands Ballets has become known for. This troupe may be renown world-wide and acknowledged as one of the best there is, but what’s not as readily known is their altruistic side and how much they give back to society, from opening up their doors during the holiday season to give young children from Montréal’s disadvantaged neighbourhoods a chance to take part in educational workshops and to attend personalized performances of The Nutcracker, to their creation of the National Centre for Dance Therapy that works with several health and social services to promote the healing benefits of dance, amongst other goals.
All I can say is that this was certainly a night to remember and having met several of the dancers, I am in awe of all that they do and the dedication they bring to their craft. If you happen to be in Montréal, I highly recommend you catch one of Les Grands Ballets many wonderful performances – you will definitely be left emotionally moved.
Gown: Ralph Lauren ♦ Shoes: Prada ♦ Purse: Gucci ♦ Jewelry: Tiffany & Co
With my amazing husband (don’t we clean up well?!)
Entrée: Seafood Gratin with Black Périgord truffles accompanied by a Printanière salad of fiddleheads, green asparagus, crab and lobster meat with a white asparagus cream & raspberry vinaigrette
Wines: Chardonnay Rita’s Crown 2011 (California), Sauvignon Quartz Kellerei, Cantina Terlan 2013 (Italy)
Main Course: Osso Bucco on the half bone with stuffed marrow, purée of Saffron Yukon Gold potatoes, fresh seasonal vegetables
Wines: Pinot Noir Hayley 2011 (California), Lolita Ranch Zinfandel 2012 (California)
Dessert: Feuilleté tout Chocolat over Madagascar vanilla Crème Anglaise and pistachio cream
Dessert Wine & Northern Harvest Rye Whisky, Crown Royal (Canada)
La Lueur de L’Aube (excerpt), performed by Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal
1945 by Paul Chacra Entertainment
With the gorgeous Camille (Le Cahier), a Montréal powerhouse
My fab table mates, twins Carolane & Josiane Stratis of Ton Petit Look
….and that’s a wrap!
Many thanks to the fundraising committee of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal for this wonderful invitation