The Kingston and Frontenac Public Library presented a lecture about traditional English tea customs in the Wilson Room of the main branch on March 1st, 2014. Winnie, Eva and Maxine welcomed guests wearing recreated attire from the period 1900 to 1914. The largest women’s tea hats in fashion history were worn about 1910. Library volunteers presented a delicious traditional repast in the style of Downton Abbey receptions.
The Arthur Child Museum of Gananoque invited the Heritage Ambassadors to create an exhibit, and stage a fashion show with lecture, about the Edwardians in England, tying the theme into events and characters from the popular PBS-TV miniseries Downton Abbey. The museum presented a sold-out afternoon tea. This was a fundraiser for the museum during Heritage Week, on February 19th.
A boutique wine, a blend of Vidal and Riesling grapes from Prince Edward County, was launched on January 18th, 2014 at Macpherson House. The wine label was dedicated to Sir John A. Macdonald’s 200th birthday in 2015. The HAOK provided historical visual enhancement, and a poetry reading in the upstairs parlour, where John A. Macdonald performed in a play with his cousins as a lad of just seventeen.
Brian and Renee Porter were honourary head table guests as Sir John A. Macdonald and Lady Agnes Macdonald. The Society presents an annual fine dining experience featuring a special historical dinner speaker and visiting dignitaries from Ottawa. The elegant banquet is held at the Royal Military College senior officers’ mess to celebrate our first Prime Minister’s birthday, which was on January 11th, 1815.
Salon Theatre Productions of Kingston toured schools in the Maritimes, with a new high energy musical about our first Prime Minister. The acting company left on a frigid winter day, soon after the traditional celebratory January 11th ceremony at Sir John A.’s statue in City Park. Winter tour attire was provided for some of the cast via the HAOK. “Isabella Macdonald” pumped gas wearing a cozy winter capelet and warm bonnet.
Mrs. Santa Claus made a surprise appearance at Children’s Storytime at the main downtown Johnson Street branch of the Kingston and Frontenac Public Library on December 14th, 2013. She brought a basket of favourite stories about Christmas, and read from a classic picture-book version of Twas the Night Before Christmas for the room full of excited little ones and their parents.
Stewart and Rose greeted visitors to Macpherson House and Park on December 7th. The museum was decorated with splendid 1830s style Christmas decorations, including evergreen boughs, ribbons, fresh fruits and a glorious “kissing ball” in the centre hall. Chestnuts were roasted over an open fire. Pioneer toys were on display. Caroling and music created a festive evening.
The Kingston and Frontenac Public Library presented Austentation, an autumn celebration of English author Jane Austen. Classic film screenings, a professor’s lecture, and a popular Regency dance class were followed by an evening dress ball at historic City Hall. Eighty tickets were reserved within just a few days. Many who attended went to great lengths to recreate the fashions of the era. Six HAOK ambassadors were present.
Barbara has developed a new interest in historical WWI
re-enactments as a Canadian Bluebird nurse. Her nursing uniform was researched at the Museum of Health Care in Kingston and recreated with attention paid to every detail, even down to the authentic buttons. Since 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the start of the Great War, special commemorations will be planned around November Remembrance Day ceremonies.
Our historically attired HAOK hostess served English style tea for City Hall staff to mark the conclusion of their annual United Way fundraising drive at the end of October. A table of sweet delights and traditional teas welcomed afternoon drop-in guests to the historic Macdonald Room. Kingston City Hall is a national historic site, as well as a working civic building, and a fine example of Tuscan Revival architecture, dating back to 1843.