This year, it’s a choose your own (tea setting) adventure at the annual Winter Victoria Tea. Co-hosted by The Old School House Arts Centre and the Qualicum Beach Museum Society, the tea will have sittings at TOSH on Friday, Nov. 21 and Sat., Nov. 22. with different entertainment on each day. Friday will feature TOSH’s director of music programming Ron Hadley playing some holiday-themed background music on the piano and Saturday will feature a fashion show of vintage clothing.
“The music is for people who want to chat more … it’s hard to chat during a fashion show,” said Corinne James, executive director at the Old School House Arts Centre.
The fashion show will be presented by Merlyn Patten, a Qualicum Beach resident with a passion for vintage clothing. She has been gathering pieces for more than 30 years and regularly uses the collection to put on shows to help charities and non-profits. Patten does not charge a fee and all of her models are volunteers.
“It’s a great way to give back to the community,” she said.
The show at the Winter Victorian Tea this year, “Suit Yourself,” traces the history of ladies’ suits. In honour of the holidays and all the get-togethers that entails, Patten said she wanted to show people how the suit was a smart-looking and “integral part of a woman’s wardrobe” over the last 100 years.
Alongside the entertainment, there will of course be the trappings of a traditional afternoon tea. According to a news release, finger sandwiches, scones, cakes, pastries and teas will be lavishly presented using vintage tableware and served by museum volunteers in authentic Victorian maids outfits. The holiday mood will also be set by artistically decorated trees and wreaths made by the Mid Island Floral Design Club. The wreaths will be part of a silent auction, with the proceeds going to any local charity chosen by the artist.
James also said there will be a winter-themed “Vancouver Island North and South” exhibition of paintings hanging in the art centre’s galleries.
Both Friday and Saturday will include two sittings, one at 12 p.m. and another at 2 p.m., and will include entertainment at both times. Tickets are $15 per person or $50 for a table of four. Proceeds from the tea will help support TOSH and the Qualicum Beach Museum.
To reserve your tickets and for more information, call 250-752-6133.