The Toronto Garrison Officers’ Ball
In support of The Vimy Foundation
What You May Like To Know
Saturday, April 2nd, 2016
Allstream Centre, Exhibition Place, Toronto
Princes’ Boulevard and Canada Boulevard
The use of the underground parking is available for guests of the Garrison Ball at a preferred rate at the Enercare Centre, Exhibition Place, Toronto. The entrance to the underground parking is located on Canada Boulevard and Manitoba Drive. Enjoy the climate controlled path to walk between the Enercare Centre parking area and the Allstream Centre, entering into the great hall and the registration area for the Ball.
About The Garrison Ball
The premier evening in the Toronto Garrison’s social calendar, the Toronto Garrison Officers’ Ball is an evening of elegant dining, fellowship and military pageantry. The 2016 edition of this celebrated evening is hosted by 32 Signal Regiment, Royal Canadian Corps of Signals, and is in support of The Vimy Foundation whose mission is to preserve and promote Canada’s First World War legacy and the building of the Vimy Visitor Education Centre at the Vimy Memorial in France.
With guests from both the Canadian Armed Forces and supporters of the Vimy Foundation communities, we anticipate some 900 military Officers and their guests, and another 500 from the “who’s who” of Canadian business and society.
The tradition of an annual Garrison Officers’ Ball can be traced back to 1817, when the then Garrison at York (Fort York) held an Officers’ Ball to celebrate “Queen Charlotte’s Birthday Ball” on January 23rd, 1817. Since this early 19th century social gathering, the Officers of the Garrison have held an annual Ball to celebrate the special relationship that military life brings to its members’ and their families.
In 2016, we will continue to celebrate the fellowship of arms amongst those who serve and their families who support them. We will also welcome civic leaders from the community who also support those who serve, especially the military Reservist – the citizen soldier.
The Toronto Garrison Officers’ Ball is a ‘gala’ event where gentlemen wear black tie and the ladies are in their finest gowns. For those in the military, the black tie equivalent is known as a ‘mess kit’, worn by both female and male members. Military Officer or civilian guest, the suggested dress is “elegant and tasteful”.
Part of the pageantry of any military ball are “The Marches“, where each Regiment and Unit of the military family present will promenade to their Regimental March – the historical musical fanfare which specifically has identifies who they are.
Starting with the senior Service or Regiment present, The Marches will see the Officers and their guests gaily promenade around the dance floor to the call of their fanfare, and progressing through the order of precedence and ending with the host, 32 Signal Regiment.
This year, we invite all guests of the Garrison Ball to join in The Marches! Civilian guests are encouraged to join the military Officers at your table in their specific March.
This year, we will remember and honour those who fought in the name of freedom and Canada. Those who paid the ultimate sacrifice and those who had the fortune to return home.
We remember the “Great War” as we enter the 100th anniversary of 1916 where so many significant battles were fought, such as the Battle of Verdun, the Battle of Jutland, the Battle of Beaumont-Hamel (Royal Newfoundland Regiment from the Dominion of Newfoundland) and the Battle of the Somme to name a few. Of course, these famous battles followed so many others, most of which are rarely spoken of, but have the blood and tears of so many brave Canadians since Canada entered the war on August 4th, 1914. More battles would follow, including Canada’s remarkable victory at Vimy Ridge in 1917, which our nation will commemorate on April 9th, 2017 for its 100th anniversary.
Our observance is not limited to the First World War. In fact, there will be a variety of displays that will introduce you of all who have served Canada from the earliest days until today, with a special view through the eyes of a Canadian Signaller.