Monday, 21 July 2014

Dîner en Blanc... Kelowna

Driving out to the airport a week or so ago to collect my husband, I drove by the Pandosy Mission, passing a school bus and a long line of white-clad individuals.  Returning from said airport with said husband an hour later, the grounds of the Mission had turned into a sea of white. These two observations added together in my head, and I reached the obvious conclusion – it was that ‘Dîner en Blanc’ time of year.

Dîner en Blanc is described as a ‘secret supper club picnic’ where all of the guests - and table accoutrements - must be in, well any colour as long as it is W.H.I.T.E. You need to sign up in advance to buy tickets to the event (and these are so in demand it is really helpful if you are ‘sponsored’ or ‘invited’ by someone who has attended previously), and the location is a secret until the last minute, with attendees joining buses at various assigned locations to take them to the event.  In some respects, it is kind of like a rave, only with picnic baskets.

According to various internet blogs, Dîner en  Blanc was started in 1988 in Paris by a man named François Pasquier, who invited a few friends to the Bois de Boulogne one day in June. To find each other in the park, they all wore white. The dinner was such a success that they decided the next year, each person would invite some other friends. The result?  The event grew organically into the 10000+ dinner it is today, occupying some of Paris’ most beautiful heritage sites.

Not to be outdone, other cities joined in and soon Dîner en Blanc became a global phenomenon, with the event taking place in cities as diverse as Kigali, Singapore, Montreal and Mexico City. How cool is it, that it also takes place in Kelowna? I think next year, I am going to have to try and get in on the secret.

In the meantime, I will leave you with words from two Kelownians who were in on this year's event...
"We had a wonderful time... much more fun than one should have on a Thursday night! Who would have thought attending an event with so many rules would be so much fun?!" - Laura Draycott, Owner, Wink i Wear

Top 'Dîner en Blanc' Tip: "You have to do a bit of walking and often on grass so choose your shoes wisely." - Constance Bachmann, Artist.  (Sounds like stilettos are best left at home!)