06 April 2010


Being outgoing and going out are not necessarily the same, and while I am doing okay on the former, the latter has indeed been a bit short in supply since my arrival here. No surprise then that I jumped on the opportunity when a friend asked me to join him at the annual Bal du Mont Royal, a festive charity evening organized by the grandly-named Young Leaders Circle.

While my friend's main selling points for the event were the tax-deductible admission fee and the open bar, my interest was much more the feeling of "belonging": Of being part of a locals-only social setting. And expecting a real ball, I got all excited about dusting off the grande garderobe for a glamourous dance night (yes, I am lastingly damaged by Vienna's Opernball). It was almost a bit of a disappointment when the ticket only referred to a tenu de ville, i.e.business casual. No bow tie, then. But the Borsalino hat still had to be - and earned quite a few compliments, most notably from the girl at the coat check, who said that she had waited all night to put something into their fancy hat boxes...

Despite its name, the bal is not a formal dance, which I could have figured by the fact that one wasn't expected to show up as part of a couple. Instead, amidst the futuristically decorated setting of the Montreal Science Center, a stunningly beautiful and sophisticated crowd of up and coming 20-somethings gathered to socialize while flaunting what they've got (not just business cards and degrees, obviously). The open bar certainly did provide the grease to make the proceedings much more fluid! And eventually, in the wee hour, people did start to shake a bit of a leg, to rather uninspiring techno grooves no less.

Still, or maybe because I got away largely without dancing, I very much enjoyed living through this evening of real-live Vanity Fair. Let's just say that I have gained many insights into the latest Montreal fashion trends... ;-)


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