The Historical Fancy Dress Ball, Ottawa
February 17, 1896

The Countess of Aberdeen chose Canadian history as the theme of the event, hoping to encourage Ottawa residents to learn more about their past. The ball was held in the Senate Chamber of the Parliament Buildings, which was decorated with banners and coats of arms for the evening. The room was very crowded, with 800 guests in attendance.

Guests were divided into sets, each representing a period of Canadian history. Each guest was expected to research his or her character, and the set had to perform a dance appropriate to its time period. Eight prominent Ottawa women each took charge of a set. After all of the sets had danced, each guest was presented to the Earl and Countess of Aberdeen.