My hair appointment was at 3:15pm, with the impeccable hair stylist Mona Leung from Markus J Hair & Wellness in Kitsilano. As I walked in, I saw another beautiful lady getting her hair braided into a rose with a big white rose stuck next to it! Diner en Blanc had 3,500 guests, and I saw them all over town in their sharpest whites.
My hair took about 30 minutes since my hair is clean, and it was so fun to let Mona put sexy big fake lashes on me. I felt myself transformed right before my eyes. The final result:
I did my own makeup, and at 5pm sharp was informed of the secret location at David Lam Park with the following schedule.
- 5:30 – 5:45 PM
- Departure of buses and Sky Train groups from their respective meeting points to the event location.
- Media begin to arrive at event location.
- 6:00 PM
- Buses arrive at DAVID LAM PARK
- 6:15 PM
- Buses park on adjacent streets so that guests will flood the streets leading to the event location creating a “sea of white” effect.
- 6:30 PM
- Guests set-up their tables.
- Live music on the central stage.
- 6:45 PM (Strong visual)
- Once all seated, guests wave their white napkins in the air to signal the beginning of the dinner festivities.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Participants must remain seated at their tables until 8:30 PM.
- 8:30 PM (Best photo moment of the evening)
- Guests light sparklers and the dance floor officially opens at 9:30 PM.
- Guests can now circulate freely and visit other tables and shake a leg on the dance floor.
- 9 :30 PM
- Diner en Blanc official after party, Le Disco, opens its doors at Harbour Events Centre in the Plaza of Nations (750 Pacific Blvd).
- 9:45 PM
- A trumpet call sounds the end of the evening and guests begin packing up.
- A collective clean-up effort begins and continues until the site is as neat as it originally was prior to the event starting.
- 10:00 PM: Guests leave the site together the same way they arrived, be it by bus, boat, or public transit. All buses will make a stop at the Plaza of Nations (750 Pacific Blvd) for guests with tickets to Le Disco before returning to their previous meeting points.
I drove close to there hoping to find parking and did indeed find free street parking only 3 blocks away. I checked into the event right at 5:30pm, and was warmly welcomed and told not to take any photos or do any social media posting til 6:15pm, as the event was still being set up. There was already a small line up of people with their food, drinks, and tables eagerly waiting to set up as well.
I entered the media tent and ran into Ariane Colenbrander, the famed blogger of @vancouverscape. She introduced me to a tall handsome blonde young man name Brian Webb, who’s a famous Gay blogger / marathon winner @br_webb. Then I met more bloggers of various stripes, the @foodgays , @The_Fat_Pigs, and of course Benjamin Yong @b_yong, Ricky Shetty of Daddy Blogger @tokyoricky and James Chung of Hello VanCity @jlchung. There were also a lot of the traditional media present, Michelle de Silva @michdas from Georgia Straight, Catherine Barr @catherinebarr with her husband Craig, Vancouver Sun, Global TV, etc.
Unlike other dinner guests, we get trays and trays of finger food provided by Hawksworth Restaurant. There was free booze/water all night, while everyone else has to bring everything.
Royal Bank of Canada had a long table, and had their own catering cooking up their food right there. I walked around once on my own and took photos as people are setting up, then again with a bunch of bloggers as guests are eating. We picked out the most unusual looking tables, food, and guests and asked them to pose for photos, and they’re proud and happy to!
Annie Hsu in a beautiful white gown and gorgeous hair in front of her lobster dinner, photo provided by her.
Annie Hsu and her stunning hair
We were stunned by the luxurious food spread, wine and centre pieces. Fresh flowers, Curious George balloons, and gorgeous fashion! Some people looked like they’re from a strange Parisan cirques, some look like they’re getting married. I loved the girls with a ring of fresh flowers on their head. I could not believe the extent people went to go all white, from watch, nail, purse, hair, accessories, jewelry, shoes to even eye lashes in WHITE! Bravo I say. Even the French MC said this is the most fashionable Diner En Blanc crowd he’s ever seen.
The diners were centred in the middle of the grassy park, with a stage on the corner starting with a three-piece band and human statue dancers from Arts Umbrella. Many guests got cheeky and would sneak into the human statues and do a weird pose themselves. It was that kind of mood, fun and silly. The French MC, along with Co-organizers Tyson Villeneuve and Jordan Kallman of The Social Concierge, welcomed all the guests. They directed our attention to the beautiful lady who is a Vancouver Opera singer of the show “Carmen.” She sang for us while aerial silk artists performed above her, accompanied by a pianist from Tom Lee Music playing on a white Steinway piano. She came on several times on the centre stage with different white dresses.
Our blogger group went to our travel blogger friend’s condo nearby to get a top view shot and shared stories about the guests and activities below. They told us about the funky water show the firefighter boat did earlier by the shore, and that they also enjoyed the music.
When we returned,the evening has started getting dark. At 10pm sharp, everyone began waving around their white dinner napkins, and within 5 minutes they made a toast and lit their sparklers.
I found this to be the most romantic and enchanting part of the evening, with sparkles everywhere and four lanterns flying above our heads off to the distant sky. Then the DJ took over the corner stage and LED lights came on and it was party time. Some dinner guests began packing away stuff and getting ready to leave while others danced in front of the stage.
I had taken over 150 photos at this point and my only pair of white summer sandals were really pinching my feet so I decided to call it a night. It was memorable, fun and great networking. I can’t wait to plan what I will wear for next year.