Our office is currently busy with preparations for the Montreal Highland Games which will take place on August 4, 2019. https://www.montrealhighlandgames.com/
Another annual event hosted by the St. Andrew’s Society is the Montreal St. Andrew’s Ball. A yearly reason to get dressed up since the mid-18oos, this ball is a chance to dine and dance with your friends and loved ones while celebrating Scottish culture and history. https://www.standrewsball.com/
As per another suggestion by Dr. Gillian Leitch, our archivist and historian, I learned about a giant, 19th-century photograph of the St. Andrew’s Ball at Le Windsor Hotel on Peel Street.
This photograph is impressive not only in its quality but in its physical size. I am 5’1” and this photograph is almost my size in its current landscape orientation. The history of this photograph is also noteworthy.
The photographer, William Notman (1826–1891), was an important figure in the history of Montreal’s Golden Square Mile, the district of the city wherein one finds the St. Andrew’s Society today.
Notman was the first Canadian photographer with an international reputation during the 1880’s. Hundreds of his photographs are housed at the McCord museum, only a 5-minute walk from the St. Andrew’s Society. https://www.musee-mccord.qc.ca/en/exhibitions/notman/
A recent colloquium entitled Crossing Boundaries and Constructing Linkages: The History of Montreal's Golden Square Mile in National and International Context (19-20 June, McGill University) featured a presentation on the illustrious Redpath family and its depictions in Notman’s photographs. This paper was discussed by Elizabeth Kirkland (Dawson College) and Mary Anne Poutanen (Concordia), and was called Searching for Intimacies Beyond the Notman Photographs: A Case Study of Amy Redpath. One of the two conveners of the conference was the The St. Andrew’s Society of Montreal and The McEuen Scholarship Foundation Chair in Canadian-Scottish Studies at McGill University, Dr. Don Nerbas.
The Notman photograph of the St. Andrew’s Ball is a clear representation of the importance of this event to the society and a window into understanding the historical importance of the Golden Square Mile and the Scottish presence in Montreal.
Our president, Mme. Marilyn Meikle wrote in her message on our website, “You’re more Scottish than you think”. I would like to add that the “history of Montreal is more Scottish than you think”
Shameless event promotion:
Tickets for the St. Andrew’s Ball are now on sale online:
I’ll be there!
Olivia Kurajian is an alumna of McGill University with an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree. She has specialization in Canadian Studies and Quebec Studies. Last summer she worked under the supervision of Dr. Don Nerbas, the St. Andrew’s Society of Montreal and The McEuen Scholarship Foundation Chair in Canadian-Scottish Studies, as an archival intern at McGill's Rare Books and Special Collections. It was there that she became interested in the Scottish-Canadian history of Montreal. Next year she will return to McGill to pursue her Master of Arts degree in History.