44. 1913 The First Toronto Fashion Exhibition

1913 FI

A great find, although I am always a little suspicious of the accuracy of an added-later-and-hand-dated piece of information. Who did the dating, where did they find the information, were they accurate, can I put it in the blog  and know it’s right?  This means I need to do a little further sleuthing before I post it.

Information from a variety of dependable sources is always a good double check, and I don’t mean Wiki…

It turns out that the Arena was a smart new spot, having opened in 1912.  Important local critic E.R. Parkhurst found the orchestra-style seats set up on the rink “as comfortable as those in any concert hall.”  It could hold up to  5,000 seated attendees.

Mrs Scott Roff was the school president at the Margaret Eaton School, ca1912.

Dora Mavor was awarded the Harry McGee Scholarship of $50 for Interpretation at the Margaret Eaton School commencement in May of 1923. She would go on to make a name for herself in Toronto theatre. I’ve included her biography below. I am sure she will make interesting fodder for the website at another time.

Her father, Professor James Major, spoke at the commencement.

A certain society page has her listed as being “in town” at the time.

All good so far, and then, AHA, there it is, (looks like an obvious find, but believe me, it was not just sitting there as it seems it have might be!)

“The Fashion Show

… for, on October 20, there opens in the Arena the first Canadian Fashion and Home Exhibition”…

The handbill is correctly dated. My work is done, although it does lodge several other questions in my mind, for later exploration…

Oh, another little find along the way…did anyone present sew up a little something like one 0f these to wear?

*Moore, Dora Mavor

Dora Mavor Moore, actress, teacher (b at Glasgow, Scot 8 Apr 1888; d at Toronto 15 May 1979). After studying elocution at Toronto’s Margaret Eaton School of Expression, she became the first Canadian to graduate from London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. She made her professional debut in 1912 in Ottawa, with the Colonial Stock Co., and then joined Ben Greet’s Pastoral Players in New York, performing Shakespeare on their CHAUTAUQUA tours. She was with Greet again in 1918, playing Viola in Twelfth Night at London’s “Old Vic.” Returning to Toronto to raise 3 sons, she plunged into teaching and directing amateurs. In 1938 she founded the Village Players which toured Shakespeare to schools. It was the prototype for her nonprofit, professional New Play Society which played 10 seasons (1946-56) and produced 72 plays, 47 of which were original. As well as its annual satiric revue Spring Thaw, which delighted audiences for 25 years (1948-73), the NPS ran a theatre school (1950-68) which survived the demise of the producing company. Moore was instrumental in bringing Tyrone GUTHRIE to the STRATFORD FESTIVAL. Toronto’s annual theatre awards have been named in her honour.