By Andrea Rentel
Trinity’s 140th Conversazione, Bondversat, was held on Friday, February 17th, 2023. The event welcomed the Trinity College community, including students, professors, and faculty, as well as invited guests. The gala took place at the Liberty Grand Entertainment Complex in Liberty Village, a grand entertainment venue facing Lake Ontario. Tickets were $80 for Trinity Students and $90 for non-Trinity guests. The dress code was black tie formal, and many prepared for the event by going shopping for formal clothing and shoes, as well as getting ready with their friends before arriving.
Doors opened at 7:00 p.m., and the event lasted until midnight with live music and a DJ. Staff also ran a $3 coat check and a cash bar and served a delicious three-course meal with hors d’oeuvres. Upon entering, guests were asked for their names and IDs to confirm their ticket and were given wristbands for alcohol. Guests were also given place cards with their name and dietary restrictions they may have.
After making their way through the door, guests were ushered into the main event hall, a grand ballroom lit up beautifully in purple and blue and set up with white round tables for dinner, each seating eight. The room featured ornate crystal chandeliers, floor-to-ceiling windows, and thirty-foot ceilings, which gave an aura of luxury and elegance perfect for Bondversat. The ballroom also had a mezzanine, a dance floor, and a stage for the live band, which played during cocktail hour and dinner.
After finding their seats, guests were greeted with a cocktail hour from 7-8:30 p.m. Starting at 7:30 p.m., hors d’oeuvres such as prosciutto wrapped asparagus with vincotto, caprese salad skewers (tomato, bocconcini, and basil), vegetable gyoza with ponzu dipping sauce, and sundried tomato and mozzarella arancini were served on the upper mezzanine. The photo booth was set up at this time and ran throughout the night. There were unlimited free photo printouts, customized with the words “Conversat 2023” around the border. The printouts acted as the perfect souvenir to cherish this night. Raffle ticket sales began at 8 p.m., with each ticket priced at $5 for a chance to win a pair of Airpods. The cash bar also opened at this time, and guests could order cocktails, wine, beer, or coolers if they so pleased. A student shared that they enjoyed the bar but felt that “the alcoholic drinks could cost less seeing as we paid $80 already.”
The three course meal, which accommodated various dietary restrictions such as vegetarian and halal, began at 8:30 p.m. with opening remarks from the 140th Conversazione Planning Committee chairs. Live jazz music accompanied dinner as guests took their seats. The first course was then served: Baby Lola Rosa salad with raspberry, toasted walnut, and sherry maple vinaigrette, a favorite among many guests. “The salad was really good, much better than Strachan food,” one student remarked. At 9 p.m., the main course was served: a choice between thyme lemon chicken supreme or mustard cream or chili garlic tofu, bok choy, and edamame fried rice. For dessert, guests enjoyed vanilla panna cotta, fresh blueberries, and gold leaf in a chocolate tulip cup. Dessert was also accompanied by coffee and tea service at 9:30 p.m.
The event transitioned into a night of dancing at 10 p.m., when the DJ took over from the live jazz band. Guests made their way to the dance floor to have a good time and show off their moves with their loved ones, peers, and colleagues. For those needing a break from the energetic dance floor, the Conversazione Planning Committee also had a lounge area on the upper mezzanine. It was designed to provide a peaceful place of rest and relief for attendees who needed to relieve stress or receive assistance. Trinity’s faculty, dons, and community assistants were available to offer personalized support to individual attendees, if needed.
Trinity College’s 140th Conversazione was a wonderfully elegant night of dinner and dancing for our college’s hardworking students. We sincerely appreciate the efforts of everyone who contributed to the success of the event. The gala was a night to remember.