M991X.5.1047 | The Grand Ball given by the Mayor and Citizens of Montreal, in Honor of the Prince of Wales, Monday, August 27, 1860

 
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The Grand Ball given by the Mayor and Citizens of Montreal, in Honor of the Prince of Wales, Monday, August 27, 1860
S. Holcomb-Davis
1860, 19th century
Ink on paper - Wood engraving
56 x 83.1 cm
M991X.5.1047
© McCord Museum
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Keywords:  Genre (188) , Print (10661)
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Keys to History

The completion of the bridge was only part of a larger celebration of British achievement during the Prince's visit. During his visit to Montreal in 1860, the Prince of Wales also opened the Crystal Palace, which housed the Provincial Exhibition. Modelled on London's Great Exhibition of 1851, Montreal's Crystal Palace featured industrial, art and agricultural exhibitions. The celebrations surrounding the inauguration of the bridge closed with lacrosse games and a citizens' ball.

Source : Confederation: The Creation of Canada [Web tour], by Brian J. Young, McGill University (see Links)

  • What

    The temporary building constructed for the ball, along with a special panelled box for the Prince, featured a large domed roof lit with 200 lights and painted with the twelve signs of the zodiac.

  • Where

    The ball was held in a temporary building designed by architects and erected on St. Catherine Street between Drummond and Peel. Tickets were expensive: ten dollars for men and six dollars for women.

  • When

    The day began with a lacrosse game and included supper. Few Montrealers of the period were vegetarians and the meal included veal, chicken, roasts, game, tongue sandwiches and pickles. The Prince arrived late but danced till 4:00 a.m..

  • Who

    The ball attracted some 6 000 people. These public events were organized to draw crowds, including women, to see the Prince and to witness parades, openings, games and dances. Uniforms and music also contributed to the festive atmosphere.