After a 3-year hiatus, the legendary all-white Diner en Blanc pop-up picnic event is returning to Vancouver. As per tradition, the location is held secret until the day of but in the past, gorgeous outdoor venues have included the beautiful VanDusen Botanical Gardens, Yaletown’s George Wainborn Park, David Lam Park, Jack Pool Plaza, and the bustling Canada Place. Makes one wonder which downtown location remains to be overwhelmed with a wave of white for a joyous dinner party?
Already the city’s movers and shakers, fashionistas, and influencers are sharing their outfits on social media—excited about the opportunity to exhibit their fashion sense. Diner en Blanc has been an annual showcase of their classy taste for design and elegance and sharing their culinary delights. World-renown for its photogenic moments, this year’s event will be no exception. If this year follows in the established footsteps of soirees past, guests will be treated to local artists and musicians, creative dance, pop-up art galleries, and more.
#ICYMI: The Origins of DEB
In 1988, on a warm summer night halfway around the world, a group of friends decided to meet underneath the Eiffel Tower for a reunion picnic. The chicest way to distinguish themselves from throngs of tourists and native Parisians, they thought, was to wear all-white. This led to a memorable evening that has grown to become an annual epicurean gathering enjoyed around the world with over 70 cities participating in such far-flung locations as Auckland, Copenhagen, Dakar, Haiti, Puerto Rico, and São Paolo.
DEB arrived in Vancouver in 2012, thanks to the vision of event producers Tyson Villeneuve and Jordan Kallman of The Social Concierge. The event’s founder François Pasquier and his wife, along with members of the Dîner en Blanc organization attended the 2018 event at the VanDusen Botanical Gardens in 2018.
The Pre-Pandemic Diner en Blanc
The last time DEB was held in Vancouver was in 2019, on a gorgeously sunny day in August in False Creek’s George Wainburn Park.
The 2.5 hectares of greenery between a tranquil harbour and the glass cityscape called over 3,500 revellers from all over the Lower Mainland. But it was the 2018 event held at VanDusen that holds a special place in our hearts. Images in our story today were taken at that event by local photographer Kuna Lu of Kuna Photography.
The Official Napkin Wave
Once all guests are settled in and have captured memories at various photo activation sites furnished by corporate sponsors, host and co-founder Tyson Villeneuve graciously welcomes all and prompts the ceremonial napkin wave to signal the official beginning of the evening.
As the sun begans to set over the event, the production team will distribute giant sparklers and table candles to all the guests. Soon the night will be filled with a sea of glittering lights against the starry sky. At 10 pm, the hosts will bid all adieu, and guests will begin the process of clearing and packing their tables and chairs for departure.
Create Your Own Diner en Blanc Experience
While many decry the event as one for the elite, others are drawn to be part of the larger-than-life spectacle believing that not everything in life should be easy. DEB welcomes all, no matter your income, age, or geography, by following a three-stage process that involves seating preference to guests who attended the previous year, those referred by said guests, and then finally those who enjoy the luck of the draw from the lengthy guest list.
Many guests enjoy planning their wardrobe, the perfect meal, and all the accoutrements that go into this evening of wonder. For those who wanted to simplify the process, there is usually the option of choosing pre-ordered meals for an additional fee and picked up upon arrival. Previous year’s menus have been created by award-winning renowned Chef David Hawksworth with wines by Mark Anthony, bubbles by J.P. Chenet, and florals furnished by Flower Factory.
EcoLuxLifestyle will be giving away two tickets to Diner en Blanc Vancouver this year, set to be held on August 18th. Watch our social media for details!
- Helen Siwak is the founder of EcoLuxLuv Marketing & Communications Inc and publisher of Folio.YVR Luxury Lifestyle Magazine and digital women's lifestyle magazine EcoLuxLifestyle.co. She is a prolific content creator, consultant, and marketing and media strategist within the ecoluxury lifestyle niche. Post-pandemic, she has worked with many small to mid-sized plant-based/vegan brands to build their digital foundations and strategize content creation and business development. Helen is the west coast correspondent to Canada’s top-read industry magazine Retail-Insider, holds a vast freelance portfolio, and consults with many of the world’s luxury heritage brands. Always seeking new opportunities and challenges, you can email her at [email protected].
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