On November 12, 2019, Hart House officially marked its 100th birthday with a grand dinner experience we called, in all humility, the Hart House Gala of the Century.
The Gala was a special night where esteemed guests including the Honorable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Chief Stacey Laforme of the Mississaugas of the Credit, Chief Ava Hill of the Six Nations of the Grand River, University of Toronto Chancellor, Dr. Rose Patten and University of Toronto President, Professor Meric Gertler joined by students, alumni, faculty and U of T colleagues, community partners, donors and sponsors, as well as supporters and friends, gathered to recognize the official 100th Anniversary of Hart House. The evening provided an important opportunity to reflect on Hart House’s past and help set the course of the vision for the next 100 years.
We revealed the Hart House Centennial Art Commission by acclaimed artists Rebecca Belmore and Osvaldo Yero. The landmark commission, entitled Waabidiziiyan doopwining (To see oneself at the table), serves as a poignant reminder of the long-overdue act of Indigenous-non-Indigenous reconciliation. Through this dramatically transformative wall sculpture, which finds a permanent home in the Great Hall, the artists ask us to consider who was at the table in the past, who is currently at the table, and who is welcome at the table in the future. The answer is everyone.
Dinner was then served in four Dining Rooms across the House. Each room was hosted by a former Hart House Warden and young alumnus or alumna, while Hart House musicians performed. A beautiful meal was prepared by Hart House Executive Chefs Marco Tucci (Hart House Events) and Suzanne Baby (Gallery Grill).
The energy continued with a Dessert and Jazz Reception in the Great Hall featuring the Hart House Jazz Ensemble. Guests stayed long into the evening to share their memories of Hart House and toast to the second century of Hart House as a unique centre for the arts, dialogue and wellness at the University of Toronto.