White night at Diner en Blanc

Calgary Herald - - YOU - BILL BROOKS

What started in Paris in 1988 by Fran­cois Pasquier as a chic “friends and word-of-mouthonly” event has taken the world by storm. Diner en Blanc-Paris, now at­tracts more than 10,000 peo­ple each year. The posh pic­nic is hosted in over 70 cities and more than 25 coun­tries. Canada caught the Diner bug in 2012 when the event was launched in Mon­treal. Cal­gary soon fol­lowed suit.

While the event has seen some changes over the years, the prin­ci­ples be­hind Diner en Blanc have not. Guests gather at a se­cret lo­ca­tion — an­nounced mere hours prior — to share a gourmet meal in a beau­ti­ful pub­lic space.

The re­quire­ments to at­tend Diner could be con­sid­ered daunt­ing to some. Dress code: head-to­toe in el­e­gant, white-only at­tire. Orig­i­nal­ity is en­cour­aged as long as it is stylish and taste­ful. Ta­ble set­ting: all white and guests must bring a ta­ble, two white chairs, white table­cloth and a pic­nic bas­ket com­pris­ing fine food and proper stemware and white din­ner­ware. Guests can­not bring their own al­co­hol but can re­serve online through the Diner en Blanc e-store.

Such re­stric­tions cer­tainly didn’t dampen the en­thu­si­asm, nor at­ten­dance, of the 5th an­nual Diner en Blanc, Cal­gary, held Aug. 31 at Shaw Mil­len­nium Park. Nearly 1,500 guests donned their coolest whites to sip, sup, see and be seen. From re-pur­posed wed­ding gowns and hats to designer tees and lin­gerie, guests pulled out all the stops for the fab fete.

Hosts with the most Cory Ed­wards and Tyler Ry­gus are to be com­mended for pulling off an­other great Diner that seems to get big­ger and bet­ter each year.

One of the cooler el­e­ments at this year’s soiree was the pop-up art in­stal­la­tion Love Nest cre­ated by the hus­band and wife team Bart Haber­miller and Emily Bar­nett.

Oth­ers in at­ten­dance this night in­cluded: Judy Hep­ner and Frank Michiels; Mar­ion Hill; Bon­nie Bar­ber; Oc­tavia Mali­nowski; Lisa Varner; Elena Lees­zle; Cody Par­rish; Reese Nguyen; Chantel West­guard; Cindy Slee­man; Brai­dyn and Sid­ney Lapp; Der­rick and Cobi Dion; Brad Mooney; Michelle Ned­elec; Har­ley and Shelly Read; Laird and Lisa Hill; and Joanne Dafoe and her daugh­ter Grace Dafoe.

PHOTOS: BILL BROOKS

Diner en Blanc, Cal­gary hosts Cory Ed­wards, left, and Tyler Ry­gus. Nearly 1,500 guests gath­ered at Shaw Mil­len­nium Park for fab­u­lous food and en­ter­tain­ment.

From left: Shel­ley Read, Lisa Hill, Laird Hill and Har­ley Read.

One of the cooler el­e­ments at this year’s soiree was the art in­stal­la­tion Love Nest from hus­band and wife team Bart Haber­miller and Emily Bar­nett.

Cody Par­rish is joined by Elena Lees­zle, left, and Reese Nguyen.

From left: Mar­ion Hill, Bon­nie Bar­ber, Oc­tavia Mali­nowski and Lisa Varner.

Brai­dyn and Sid­ney Lapp donned their el­e­gant whites.

Brad Mooney and Michelle Ned­elec.

Moet was the cham­pagne of choice at the 5th an­nual Diner en Blanc, Cal­gary. Moet sup­port­ers Chantel West­guard, left, and Cindy Slee­man were at the event.

Frank Michiels and Judy Hep­ner at the 5th an­nual Diner en Blanc, Cal­gary. Diner en Blanc has its roots in Paris where it has become the lead­ing sum­mer fete for the past 30 years.

Der­rick and Cobi Dion.

Gar­den­ing guru and co-co-host of Let’s Talk Gar­den­ing, Joanne Dafoe and her daugh­ter Grace.

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