A luxe Bridgerton-style Gála is coming to Calgary and here’s how to get tickets

Jan 31 2023, 5:09 pm

If you’ve recently binge-watched the phenomenon that is Bridgerton, chances are you’re itching to get dressed up and head out for an evening of fine dining, dancing, and celebration — regal style.

If that sounds like you, then you’re in luck because, after a two-year hiatus, the ultra-elegant Magyar Gála is returning to Calgary’s Downtown Westin Hotel – and it looks bigger and better than ever.

The one-of-a-kind event, organized by the Hungarian Veterans’ Association, is currently celebrating its 65th anniversary and is set to bring a little piece of Hungarian tradition to Western Canada with an evening that will undoubtedly sweep you off your feet.

Robert Portrait Photography/Hungarian Veterans’ Association

The Gála began as a modest dinner and dance back in 1956 and has grown over the years into a lavish evening full of timeless entertainment that honours Hungary’s history and traditions. What’s great though, is that anyone can attend this inclusive event and have fun celebrating in their most sophisticated formal looks.

Along with fantastic food and delightful dance, guests will enjoy a night of socializing with local Calgarians and Hungarians while learning about Hungarian culture and how it’s evolving in the modern world.

This is an annual event, and members of the public are welcome to attend year after year. What’s more, anyone over the age of 16 is invited to participate as a dancer or debutante — no dance experience or Hungarian affiliation is required, just an enthusiasm for learning about traditional Hungarian dance and a commitment to having a great time. 

Robert Portrait Photography/Hungarian Veterans’ Association

Each year, the main highlights of the night are the Hungarian dance performances, beginning with the Palotás, a noble dance that brings the time of royal courts and aristocracy back to life, where ladies wear ornate, colourful dresses, some of which have been passed down through many generations, and gentlemen wear Hungarian hussar tunics.

There is also the breathtaking Debutante Waltz, a graceful piece of choreography performed by female dancers (the debutantes) dressed in customary white ballgowns and their escorts, who’ll be looking dapper in their tuxedos.

In addition, the Vadrózsa Hungarian Folk Dancers of Calgary often make an appearance at the Gála, delighting guests with even more entertainment and glimpses of Hungary’s traditional folk dances from various regions and villages. Dressed in authentic costumes, these dancers capture the spirit of a cherished piece of history that is still widely embraced by Hungarians in Canada, Hungary, and beyond.

Naturally, watching such fantastic dance performances usually gets guests pumped up and ready to hit the dance floor too, so after the ball has officially been opened, live music will be supplied by the Hippocratic Oath Big Band.

Robert Portrait Photography/Hungarian Veterans’ Association

Upon arrival, guests will be treated to an elegant champagne reception before enjoying a Hungarian-inspired three-course dinner with a modern twist, prepared by the Westin’s wonderful chef and catering team. This year’s flavours are focused around mild Hungarian paprika and sour cream, two of the country’s most common and traditional flavour profiles.  Any dietary restrictions or allergies can be easily noted on the ticket order form.

Dinner with Hungarians would not be complete without a selection of wine offerings and a group toast with Hungarian Pálinka, a Hungarian brandy that is usually plum or apricot flavoured. (Buckle up; it’s strong.)

Robert Portrait Photography/Hungarian Veterans’ Association

With the night being a formal, black-tie event, it goes without saying that there are some small rules in place. Ladies and gentlemen are asked to wear either a floor length gown, tuxedo, or uniform. Traditional Hungarian dress is also welcome.

So, whip out your best formal wear and get ready for what promises to be an unforgettable night. Tickets are on sale now.

The 65th Magyar Gála

When: Saturday, March 11, 2023 
Where: The Westin Calgary — 320 4th Avenue SW

  • Champagne reception at 5 pm
  • Guest seating at 5:45 pm
  • Programming starts at 6 pm

Cost: Tickets are priced at $175 and are available here. No digital or physical tickets will be issued, simply check in at reception.

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