As per my 30 Things to Do Before I Turn 30 Post, attending the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Barre After Hours event has been on my to-do list for a while! The event premiered last summer, but I wasn’t here for it. When I saw that tickets were available, I purchased mine ASAP and started making plans for it!
One of my best friends, Carolina, and I decided to make a night of it! I find that there aren’t a lot of semi-formal events in Winnipeg; it’s either a regular club/bar type thing, or a gala (with a price-tag I usually can’t afford). Upon hearing that there was a roof-top cocktail party to support one of my favourite organisations, I was very excited. I know that to a lot of people who attended, the event was just another party in the summer, but to me, I loved that it was for a purpose, a wonderful purpose. I would argue that the Royal Winnipeg Ballet is the bastion of culture in Winnipeg. They are a world-renowned organisation that walks an incredibly difficult line of upholding the classic ballets that draw in most everyone while still pushing the boundaries with new and exciting works. They also do a fabulous job of hosting events that bring out the community, like Barre After Hours!
There were a few things that threw me off a tad. I thought that the event description and info email were fairly clear on the dress code, cocktail chic! However, there were quite a few guys in skinny jeans and sneakers who looked out of place. The women looked spot on, but the men were not. If M had been here for it, I probably would have told him to wear dress pants and a dress shirt, for reference. I also felt like the event was a little confused, the swing band and the dj made sense for the evening, but the local rock band didn’t feel like they fit. And finally, I thought that there was going to be a performance of some sort- that may have been a big leap on my part, but all of the promo shots had the dancers in pointe shoes and tutus. Still, there were so many wonderful aspects to the evening.
We got our nails done before (I got my beautiful light pink, as usual), and I also got my hair done! I don’t get dressed up very often anymore, so I thought I should do it right. We also had dinner at Boston Pizza, never a bad thing. Getting ready was just fun! The only downfall of the day was that the event was supposed to be outdoors, and it was pouring rain. Pouring. Only half of the RWB parkade is open roof, but unfortunately it meant that there wasn’t a lot of decor. (I can’t say that I would want to put anything up to have it poured on…) It did stop raining by about 915, so it certainly didn’t rain all night or anything!
The food was great, at least what I tried! I personally didn’t go with the cajun shrimp/caesar shot, but Carolina enjoyed it. (I like neither shrimp nor Caesars [a Canadian speciality].) However, the chocolate mouse with raspberry was delicious, and the fresh fruit tart was possibly the highlight of my night. One weekend afternoon, I will have to take a few hours and make my own tarts! ALso, the signature cocktails were amazing, or at least Dracula’s Bite was- whiskey, black tea, AND lemon?? Literally all three of my favourite beverages/tastes. That’s another recipe I will be trying soon.
We also caught up with another Alpha Gam who works for the RWB! She is one of the kindest people I have the fortune of knowing; she is always ready and willing to give back in any way that she can, and I always feel like she is genuinely listening to you, she remembers what you say, and even though she was jet lagged and exhausted, she was so much fun to talk with! I’m also super jealous that she works for the RWB… She has done such a fantastic job with all of their events, they are incredibly lucky to have her!
There was a contest for tickets to a performance that I thought was fantastic- to enter you had to write down the first words that come to your mind when you think of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and which ballet is your favourite and why. I really enjoyed thinking about it, and I think that it is a million times more interesting than “fill out this ballot” to win whatever random prize there happens to be. Short form of my answer- The Nutcracker– the RWB does a wonderful job of using The Nutcracker to expose a whole new group of people, integrating gorgeous classical technique, and showcasing Winnipeg. Once completed, you were to tie your ballot to the fence!
We didn’t head to the after party, we were getting tired and neither of us were hungry. It looked like probably half of the guests were left when we headed out around 1145, and I’m sure that the party continued for quite some time! I’m so glad that I was able to attend this, and that I was able to support the RWB.
What kind of events do you prefer attend- casual, cocktail or formal?