Get Ready to Dîner en Blanc

Diner en Blanc, 2014. Photo by Annie Shreeve Diner en Blanc, 2014. Photo by Annie Shreeve

In mid-august, there is a day where a group of people dressed in white gather around to a secret location. The people carry their material and set them up before seating down and enjoying their homemade or catered meal. This social event known as Le Dîner en Blanc de Montréal celebrates its 9th edition on Thursday August 17, 2017.

The concept was born in Paris, France when François Pasquier wanted to reunite with friends after being abroad for a few years by organizing a picnic in his garden. The idea was to bring a friend and a meal. Since too many people wanted to come, the location moved to a park where they brought chairs and tables, and chose to wear and chose to wear white to recognize one another.

This was the birth of Le Dîner en Blanc (DEB), which as now extended to 80 cities in 35 countries.

Diner en Blanc 2015. Photo Y.M. Ruzilo.

Diner en Blanc 2015. Photo Y.M. Ruzilo.

For Aymeric Pasquier, organizer of DEB Montreal and founder of Dîner en Blanc International, le DEB is a gathering of friends. “It’s a social event with a gastronomic side that attracts a lot of people,” he says about the concept of sharing meals amongst friends.

After setting tables and chairs, guests decorate their tables in white and set their plates. Dinner starts at a signal so everyone eats together after everyone is done their set-up. Everyone is handed Bengal fireworks to mark the end of dinner and the beginning of the dance party.

Diner en Blanc 2015. Photo Y.M. Ruzilo.

Diner en Blanc 2015. Photo Y.M. Ruzilo.

What makes the DEB different from other events? The strong participation and energy. “The kind of energy we get the night of the DEB is different, everybody has been working so much and there’s a feeling of achievement when they arrive at the event,” explains Aymeric.

Many guests tend to come back every year and they can invite a new participant. If not, people can sign up on the waiting list and get invited to the following edition.

Diner en Blanc 2015. Photo Y.M. Ruzilo.

Diner en Blanc 2015. Photo Y.M. Ruzilo.

According to Aymeric, the place chosen this year might not have happened if it wasn’t the 375th anniversary of Montreal, it’s an iconic place. The question now is, which of Montreal’s iconic places can it be? Find out on Thursday August 17 around 7 pm!

Diner en Blanc 2015. Photo Y.M. Ruzilo.

Diner en Blanc 2015. Photo Y.M. Ruzilo.

Recommendations for your first DEB:

  • Charge your phone (pack extra charger)
  • Be well-equipped (trolley or cart with picnic basket)
  • Avoid red wine, which stains easily
  • Be surrounded by friends (register in same bus or squad)
  • Don’t be shy to overdress up
  • Be creative with your outfits
  • Bring 2 pair of shoes (flats for walking & heels for the night)

 

Prices:

Membership fees: $9

Bus transportation: $33

Metro transportation: $27 (buy your tickets in advance)

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