MONTREAL – One of the city’s longest running premiere social events on the calendar took place Friday night.
The annual St. Patrick’s Society ball kicked off Irish celebrations in Montreal.
“This event is about celebrating Irish culture, kicks off what we call the holy Irish month,” said Ken Quinn, the vice-president of the St. Patrick’s Society of Montreal.
It’s a month of good partying like only the Irish know how to, with traditional dancing from the Bernadette Short School of Irish Dancing and of course, bagpipes.
Irish Montrealers were all decked out and showing off their fiery colours for the annual charity ball.
For this year’s queen it’s all about boasting the pride of being Irish.
“Getting to do this and getting to represent the United Irish Societies today is just a dream,” said Samantha Cambridge. “I get to tell everybody in Montreal how much it means to be Irish.”
The night was also for those who just want to enjoy a night of good fun.
“A lot of people I’m here with aren’t necessarily Irish, so it’s a good time, you know,” said Sarah Benciscs, a Hungarian Montrealer.
“I’ve been coming here for five years, just to enjoy myself,” said the kilt-clad Jake Sutherland, who is of Scottish descent.
The ball is not only about the glitz and glam, but also about supporting the community.
“We do support the Canadian Irish studies program in Concordia University, a lecture series, as well help with scholarships,” said Quinn.
The money is raised through a silent auction with all sorts of items, from luxury watches to a replica of an old Montreal Forum chair signed by the beloved former Canadien, Jean Beliveau.
This year’s special guest is Quebec’s Minister of Native affairs Geoff Kelley.
“It’s a great honour because it’s a chance to think all of what the Irish community has done for Montreal, has done for Quebec, has done for Canada,” said Kelley.
“To receive this recognition is something that’s very dear to my heart.”
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