Our 2015 Events for our 150th Anniversary Year!
December 30, 2014

Below is a complete listing of all the events that the Ross Bay Villa Society put on in 2015 —— our 150th Anniversary Year!

Not only did the Society celebrate 150 years since the construction of the house, but we raised enough money to pay off the outstanding mortgage, and take on the ownership of the Villa. All around, a good celebration!

Ross Bay Villa FINAL FINAL Fundraising Brochure PHOTOSHOPPED

Archive of 150th Anniversary Events that were presented in 2015:


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January lecture by Stuart

 

Saturday Tours at 2pm:
This month’s Tour Topic:

Homes of the 1860’s and 1870’s

Lecture: January 29, 2015 7:30pm at Ross Bay Villa 
Early Victoria Homes’
by Stuart Stark, Heritage Consultant.

Archival photographs of some of the earliest homes that graced Victoria’s streets were shown – many that have been demolished. Both construction techniques and social changes were discussed.

The Ross Bay Villa Dining Room was packed for this lecture.


February

 

 

 

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Saturday Tours at 2pm: $5 each. Meet at the Villa
This month’s Tour Topic:
‘Early Downtown Victoria Merchants’
No reservations needed.

Special Exhibit: Included with Entry to the Villa
Photographs of early Victoria businesses in the long hallway.

Lecture: February 19, 7:30pm 2015 at Ross Bay Villa
‘Early Victoria Businesses’ Local historian and author John Adams presented an illustrated talk about the merchants and businesses of Victoria from 1858 to 1875. Well illustrated with maps and archival photographs, John led the audience through the owners and businesses that supplied early Victoria with all the requirements that a growing town needed.

The Ross Bay Villa Dining Room was full to bursting with an appreciative audience.


Ross Bay Cemetery Tour by Old Cemeteries Society: Sunday February 15, 2pm
‘Reminiscences of Main Street’. A walking tour at Ross Bay Cemetery (the first of the season in the Old Cemeteries Society’s weekly tour program). Sylvia Van Kirk and John Adams will take the parts of pioneers Mrs. Macdonald and Edgar Fawcett to bring to life impressions of Government Street and other main thoroughfares during the 1860s. They will visit the graves of merchants mentioned by Edgar Fawcett in his 1907 classic Some Reminiscences of Old Victoria and expand on the stories he told.

March

Saturday Tours at 2pm: $5 each. Meet at the Villa
This month’s Tour Topic:
‘Lives of Victorian Women’: Anna Letitia Roscoe and Her Contemporaries.
A look at other Victoria women who rose to prominence in early Victoria.
No reservations needed.


Ross Bay Cemetery Tour by Old Cemeteries Society
Sunday March 22 at 2:00 pm.
‘The People of Ross Bay Villa’. Walking tour at Ross Bay Cemetery as part of the OCS’s Sunday tour program. John Adams will visits the graves of people who lived at Ross Bay Villa: Francis Roscoe, George Winter and John Mortimer and also graves of others closely associated with the neighbourhood or who had connections with the people of Ross Bay Villa.
Meet outside Oregano’s, Fairfield Plaza at 1:45 pm. Cost $5.
No reservations needed.
Proceeds from this tour will be donated to the Ross Bay Villa Society.

This Cemetery Tour finished with a tea in the Dining Room of Ross Bay Villa.

April

Saturday Tours at 2pm: $5 each. Meet at the Villa
This month’s Tour Topic:
‘ Clothing in the 1860’s and 1870’s’
No reservations needed.


Special Exhibit: Included with Entry to the Villa
From Our Collection: Three Victorian Dresses


1860's dressLecture: April 23, 7:30pm 2015 at Ross Bay Villa. $10 each.
‘More than Corsets and Crinolines’: Mid 19th century dress in detail.
A fascinating look at the trends, fashions, fabrics and construction of early clothing. High style or home-sewn? Come and explore how fashions have changed.
by Colleen Wilson, Textile Conservator


 

SPECIAL OVERFLOW LECTURE!

Since this popular lecture was sold out last Thursday, it will be repeated on TUESDAY April 28 at 7:30pm.
Spaces are already filling up fast!

Please Reserve. Lecture Reservations: Email: info@rossbayvilla.org


Macdonald Special Event

 

A Visit from Sir John A. Macdonald!

was held on Sunday afternoon, May 3, 2 to 3pm

2015 is Sir John A. Macdonald’s Bicentennial!

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2015 is the 150th Anniversary of the construction of Ross Bay Villa – and –
2015 is the 200th Anniversary of Sir John A. Macdonald’s birth!
It is a great year to celebrate!

HISTORY:
Francis Roscoe of Ross Bay Villa, was a Member of Parliament for Victoria from 1874-1878. An ardent supporter of B.C. joining Confederation, he resigned his seat in August of 1878. This vacancy made way for Sir John A. Macdonald to be elected for Victoria in October of 1878.

He also worked with Sir John A Macdonald on the Committee for the Parliamentary Library through 1878.

THE EVENT:
An hour-long, musical-theatrical presentation in Ross Bay Villa’s garden, under the apple trees, by the Salon Acting Company of Kingston, Ontario, as part of their cross-country road trip celebrating our first Prime Minister, in 2015 – on the 200th anniversary of his birth.

Sunday, May 3, 2015, from 2pm – 3pm

We had a spectacular “Visit with Sir John A. Macdonald” at Ross Bay Villa on a wonderful, sunny, warm afternoon under the apple trees in the garden. The afternoon started with a brief historical overview, setting the stage for the afternoon’s entertainment. After that, ‘Francis Roscoe’ welcomed ‘Sir John A. Macdonald’ to Ross Bay Villa, verbally sparring for a few minutes with his Parliamentary colleague and political opponent. Around 80 people attended and enjoyed the musical theatrical presentation by the Salon Theatre Company of Kingston Ontario, which outlined Sir John A. Macdonald’s life and career (both good and bad points) in an entertaining, enjoyable, and educational way. Everyone would have learned aspects of the politics and policies of the 1860’s and 1870’s that are rarely taught in school today.

After ‘Part 1’ of the afternoon’s events, some people decided to stay at the Villa for a tour of the house.

Others left for City Hall, where ‘Part 2’ of the afternoon’s events took place.  At the Pandora Street Avenue entrance of City Hall, beside the statue of Sir John A. Macdonald, the Salon Theatre Company performed two additional songs.

Two invited guests spoke as well.

Councillor Pam Madoff spoke eloquently about the sculpture of Sir John A. Macdonald, and the sculptor who made it.

Chris Considine, Victoria lawyer, and Member of the Sir John A. Macdonald Society (who sponsored the statue several years ago) also spoke to the audience at City Hall. Mr. Considine is also the Great-grandson of Sir Joseph Pope, Macdonald’s private secretary from 1882 to 1891. He was able to bring a personal viewpoint to Sir John A. Macdonald’s history, especially with Mr. Pope and Sir John riding on the cowcatcher of the CPR engine as it came through the Rockies in 1886.

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May

Saturday Tours at 2pm: $5 each. Meet at the Villa
This month’s Tour Topic:
‘ Gardens in 1860’s and 1870’s Victoria’
The influence of flowers in Victorian life, and the importance of vegetable gardens will be highlighted. Two members of the Roscoe family were botanists, and their contributions will be discussed.
No reservations needed.


City of Lost Gardens lectureLecture:

Victoria: City of (Lost) Gardens

was presented on May 28, 2015 at Ross Bay Villa.
It was sold out, and a Repeat Lecture will be held on Thursday, July 9, at 7:30 pm

This illustrated lecture covered the nurseries and seedsmen that supplied the gardens of early Victoria. The gardens of historic homes were explored, and how gardens changed and how they were used was shown. Long-lost gardens, public and private, were revealed through maps, photographs and illustrations.
Stuart Stark, Heritage Consultant.


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Special Exhibit: Included with Entry to the Villa
A recreated ‘Auricula Theatre’. A fashionable garden conceit from the mid Victorian period.

 

 

 

 


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Saturday Tours at 2pm: $5 each. Meet at the Villa
This month’s Tour Topic was:‘ The Roscoe Diary’: Excursions; Home and Parties
Tours were held each Saturday at 2pm


Simone's lecture photo by MaggieLecture: June 4, 2015 7:30pm $10 each

‘Our Happy Home’: The Roscoe Diary

The discovery of the Roscoe Diary – still in family hands – has been a revelation in researching the lives of the Roscoe family at Ross Bay Villa.

On June 4, an enchanted audience heard a well-researched lecture by Simone Vogel-Horridge about the many connections that have been revealed through the Roscoe Diary. Relatives, friends, events and parties, and every-day family life were all revealed through readings and images. The Roscoe family history came to life on this enjoyable evening.


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Lecture: June 18, 2015 7:30pm at Ross Bay Villa. $10 each.

‘The Tangled Web: Using the Internet to Find Family’

Dave Obee, Editor of the Times/Colonist, and an enthusiastic historian, conducted a lecture/workshop on “How do you research your ancestors?”
 This absorbing topic was discussed, and timely tips were discussed.


Special Exhibit: Included with Tour Entry to the Villa:
Quotes from the Roscoe Diary in the Period Rooms graced the retired rooms, adding historical information relating to the Roscoes, and events that happened in Ross Bay Villa.


July

 

 

 

Saturday Tours at 2pm: $5 each. Meet at the Villa
This month’s Tour Topic:

‘Roscoe and Confederation’: How British Columbia joined Canada on July 20, 1871.
No reservations needed.


Japanese tea garden colour Gorge parkLecture: Thursday July 9, 7:30 pm $10 each

“Victoria: City of (Lost) Gardens”

This was a Repeat Lecture. It sold out on May 28, and again on July 9.

 Another lecture is scheduled for Thursday August 20, 2015 at 7:30pm

This illustrated lecture will talk about the nurseries and seedsmen that supplied the gardens of early Victoria. We will explore gardens of historic homes, and look at how gardens have changed and how they were used. Long-lost gardens, public and private, will be revealed, through maps, photographs and illustrations.
Stuart Stark, Heritage Consultant

Lecture space is limited.
Please Reserve. Lecture Reservations: Email: info@rossbayvilla.org


Special 150th Event!

Ross Bay Garden Party 2015 tentsRoss Bay Villa’s

Grand 150th Garden Party

was held on
Sunday Afternoon
July 19th 1 – 5pm

Under splendid blue skies, hundreds of visitors were welcomed to the Villa and its gardens.

Teas were served under tents and the historic apple trees, which were decorated with airy Chinese lanterns. Guests were entertained with delightful music, as they ate tea, inspected displays or chose choice plants for their gardens.
Tours were conducted through the house by knowledgeable volunteer guides, and special displays inside the house of historic costumes and the Dining Room set for an 1860’s dinner were shown to our guests.
A special exhibit of a Penny-farthing bicycle – like the one used at the Villa in 1889 – was on display. Victorian ring toss and bean-bag games were offered, and guests visited booths from the Old Cemeteries Society; the Victoria Heritage Foundation; and The Victoria Historical Society.
Visitors also enjoyed our vegetable garden, planted with heritage plants matching a Victoria garden catalogue from 1878. Live chickens were also present for visitors to enjoy as they lined up for their tours.

Cutting the 150th Cake - Councillors Pam Madoff, Charlayne Thorton-Joe; and Geoff Young and Simone Vogel-HorridgeAt 2:30 pm, City Councillors Pam Madoff; Charlayne Thorton-Joe (at back; not visible in photo); and Geoff Young assisted Ross Bay Villa Society president Simone Vogel-Horridge (at left) in cutting a special cake in honour of the 150 years since Ross Bay Villa was built in 1865.

A very welcome announcement of a further $2,000 donation was made, kicking our fundraising efforts for the Ross Bay Villa Ownership Campaign over the necessary $130,000 to pay off the outstanding mortgage, and allow the Society to assume ownership from the Land Conservancy. Fund raising for an Endowment Fund will continue, to ensure the financial future of the house and grounds.

Ross Bay Dining Room

A Special Exhibit was on display during the Garden Party: ‘A Victorian Dining Room’: The dining table was laid for a formal dinner with an 1860’s dinner set of ‘Tea Leaf” china; glassware, silver, snowy linen and flowers. (This exhibit will continue through July and August, and is included with Tour Entry to the Villa)

Thank you! to all of our wonderful volunteers who had worked very hard to prepare the Villa for its guests, and to welcome them so successfully on our special Sesquicentennial day!

Thank you to Thrifty Foods for once again supplying the delicious scones for our teas.

Thank you to Russ Hay’s Bicycle Shop for the loan of the Penny-farthing bicycle.

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Ross Bay Garden Party 2015 Penny Farthing on display from Russ Hay's Bicycle Shop
Stuart Stark Leading tour Ross Bay Garden Party 2015
Ross Bay Garden Party 2015

 

 Dining Room Ross Bay Villa Summer 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

August

 

 

 

Saturday Tours at 2pm: $5 each. Meet at the Villa
This month’s Tour Topic:

‘ Childrens Lives in Early Victoria’: Excursions; Home and Parties.
Four of the Roscoe children were born in August, so this month is appropriate to see how children lived in early Victoria.
No reservations needed.


Special Childrens’ Event: was held on Sunday afternoon, August 16, 2pm

I Spy with My Little Eye‘:

‘Out-of-Place’ objects need to be gently found in this hunt for 25 objects hidden in plain sight in the historic house. Prizes and refreshments will be available. Includes  opportunity to play Victorian Games. $10 for child and one parent.
Please: one child per parent. Supervision is required. Suitable for ages 5 to 12.


Special Exhibit: August: ‘Photographs of Victorian Children’


Special Exhibit: July and August. Included with Tour Entry to the Villa:
A Victorian Dining Room’: The dining table laid for a formal dinner with an 1860’s dinner set of “Tea Leaf” china; glassware, silver, snowy linen and flowers.


Japanese tea garden colour Gorge parkRepeat Lecture: August 20, 7:30 pm:

Victoria, City of (Lost) Gardens

This lecture explored the many lost gardens – public and private – that no longer exist. The beginnings of gardening and the people who were responsible for it, along with early nurseries and greenhouses, and plant introductions, were all discussed.

Stuart Stark
– Heritage Consultant
This Lecture is now SOLD OUT. Thank you for your interest!


September

Saturday Tours at 2pm: $5 each. Meet at the Villa

This month’s Tour Topic:
‘Authors, Editors and Illustrators’:The Prolific Roscoe Family

No reservations needed.


Ross Bay Cemetery Tour by Old Cemeteries Society.
Sunday,  September 27, 2015 at 2:00 pm

‘The Members of Parliament Tour’

including Francis Roscoe of Ross Bay Villa. Walking tour at Ross Bay Cemetery as part of the OCS’s Sunday tour program.
In honour of the forthcoming federal election, John Adams will visit the graves of many former Members of Parliament who are buried at Ross Bay Cemetery, including  Francis Roscoe, John Hamilton Gray, Amor de Cosmos, and others both famous and obscure.
Meet outside Oregano’s, Fairfield Plaza at 1:45 pm. Cost $5.
No reservations needed.


Old-booksLecture: September 17, 2015 at 7:30pm at Ross Bay Villa. $10 each.

‘The Arts in a Time of Turmoil’:

Nick Russell provided a fascinating overview of the talented Roscoe and Le Breton families as writers, editors and illustrators. The audience was presented with a context of a Britain still mired in slavery, public hangings, and emerging industrialization, putting the scholarly contributions of the greater Roscoe family into great contrast.


Screen shot 2015-04-01 at 11.25.04 AMSpecial Event:
Thursday, September 24, 2015 at 7:30pm. $10 each.

‘An Evening At Home with the Roscoes’

Jennifer Ferris of the Victoria Storytellers Guild, assisted by Kathryn McAllister, presented “An Evening At Home with the Roscoe Family” –
a captivating evening of stories, adapted from published works of the extended Roscoe clan. The evening was held in the restored Dining Room of Ross Bay Villa, and was attended by a crowd of appreciative guests.


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Saturday Tours at 2pm: $5 each. Meet at the Villa

This month’s Tour Topic:
‘ Death and Mourning in Early Victoria’ A look at Victorian customs and traditions. The history of the Roscoe family and Ross Bay Villa will also be discussed.
No reservations needed.


jaysLecture:

“Called Away: Death and Mourning in Colonial Victoria”

On Thursday October 15, 2015 at 7:30 pm, a lecture was presented by Vanessa Winn. She is the author of “The Chief Factor’s Daughter”. The book chronicles the life of Margaret Work, daughter of HBCo Chief Factor John Work.

In her lecture for Ross Bay Villa, Vanessa Winn looked at how people in Colonial Victoria were affected by death, and the customs and traditions that came into play when a death ocurred.

The audience enjoyed learning about the much-changed social customs of early Victoria, the hardships encountered by some of the pioneers, and the dress codes that prevailed when death occurred in a family.

After the lecture Ms. Winn answered a number of questions on the topic, ending an enjoyable evening.


Special Exhibit: ‘A Victorian House in Mourning’ Mirrors are draped with black cloth, and pictures are turned around. Photographs and small artifacts illustrating Victorian Mourning traditions.


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Saturday Tours at 2pm: $5 each. Meet at the Villa

This month’s Tour Topic:
‘The Roscoes Travel’: To Ottawa and England in the 1870s. The history of the Roscoe family and Ross Bay Villa will also be discussed.
No reservations needed.


Mrs Roscoe and DiaryRepeat Lecture:
Was held on Thursday, November 5, 2015  7:30pm $10 each

“Our Happy Home”: The Roscoe Diary

Simone Vogel-Horridge, President, Ross Bay Villa Society, led an appreciative audience through the enchanting history of the Roscoe family when they were living at Ross Bay Villa. The social life of early Victoria; Relations; Excursions; Home; Parties and More!

(By popular request! This lecture was a repeat of one that sold out previously).


Travel with the Roscoes

New Lecture:
Thursday, November 19 and 26, 2015  7:30pm $10 each.

‘Travel with the Roscoes: Amazing Journeys’

People in early Victoria thought little about travelling back and forth to San Francisco, New York, Ottawa and England in the 1860s and 1870s. Travelling across Panama before the canal was constructed avoided the trials of a voyage around Cape Horn.

What routes did they use, and what transport was available? What hotels did they stay in? What did they see en route, and when they arrived at their destinations? As a Member of Parliament in the 1870s, Frank Roscoe spent time in Ottawa, and socializing at Government House.

The family travelled on the first trans-continental railroad, stayed in amazingly splendid hotels, and were snowed in, high in the mountains. The hardships, voyages, and unexpected grandeur of travelling with the Roscoe family will all be discussed.

Stuart Stark, Heritage Consultant, presented this lecture on November 19 to a Sold Out audience, and repeated it on November 26.


December

 

Saturday Tours at 2pm: $5 each. Meet at the Villa
This month’s Tour Topic:
Christmas in Early Victoria!
How Christmas was celebrated in the early days of the City. Decorations, present buying, and meals!
When did Christmas trees arrive in the Colony?
No reservations needed.


IMG_0196Special Activity:
Sunday December 6, 2-4pm – $15 each

Victorian Christmas Ornament Workshop

Learn how to make some traditional Christmas tree ornaments! Materials are supplied. You take home the ornaments that you make.

Please Reserve. Workshop Reservations: Email: info@rossbayvilla.org


Mirror Drawing Room Ross Bay Christmas 2015Special Exhibit: Included with Entry to Villa:

Ross Bay Villa in its Christmas Finery

Ross Bay Villa is decorated in historic 1860s fashion, with a table-top tree, and fir boughs tucked behind picture frames.

Garlands encircle the porch pillars, and a warm welcome awaits you. A simpler, historic home decorated for Christmas – as it might have been, 150 years ago.


Ross Bay Villa ChristmasMembers’ Christmas Party:

Date will be emailed to members.

Seasonal refreshments in the Dining Room, lit by the Christmas tree, and ‘kerosene’ lamps is a gentle way to celebrate the Christmas season with friends and fellow members of the Ross Bay Villa Society.

Please see the Membership information on our website, or email membership@RossBayVilla.org