Marc Garneau’s first-ever Winter Wonderland was held on 5 December 2019 at the Jam Factory T.O. Organized by Social Events Convenor Taira Mehta, the year’s first school dance gave students a chance to have fun and let loose with their friends.

The event was advertised through posters, announcements, and the Student Activity Council (SAC) social media platforms. Ticket sales began on 20 November and continued until 3 December. “Early bird” sales took place from 20-22 November, although no actual discount was offered on the price of the tickets. Instead of receiving a discount, students who bought tickets during the early bird time frame were given a free MGCI Seasons Pass. The new Seasons Pass gives students spirit points and allows them to use a separate line when purchasing tickets in the future. Tickets were sold for $25 in front of the SAC office during lunchtime and one hundred and twenty tickets were sold in total. When asked about this number, Taira commented, “I’m happy with the number of people who bought tickets. We broke even, but I’m still aiming for more next time.”

The dance started at 6:30 pm and most students were in the venue at 7:30 pm. Doors remained open for the entire event and the dance ended at 10:30 pm. Appetizers were available for the entire night as well, with samosas, poutine, and salad available for students to grab when they felt hungry. Students had access to unlimited drinks including pop and water.

Winter Wonderland was the first school dance to be held at the Jam Factory T.O. Taira said she made this change because “previous venues which didn’t match the atmosphere of this dance.” The new venue was located further downtown than previous venues and although the location may have been further for some people, many of the students who went to the dance were pleased. The venue was decorated with Christmas lights and had games like foosball and air hockey, as well as a photo booth. The DJ for the night was DJ Trevor and students were able to make song requests through Instagram. One student, Hamid Hadi, said that the dance had an “old-school vibe.” He continued to say, “It has a cozy feeling to it. We’re still young but it still makes you feel younger.” 

A photo booth was set up for students who attended the dance. Photo: Evan Woo.

The dance was well received by students, and most people spent the night on the dance floor. When asked why she decided to go to her first school dance, Grade 12 student Maha Tanveer said, “It’s our last year so my friends and I wanted to go.” When asked about what she would change about the event she wished that the DJ was able to play a wider range of songs. This critique seemed to resonate with other students as well as some wished to hear more “Toronto music.” In general, students seemed satisfied with the songs as they spent the night dancing and jumping to the music. When asked for his thoughts on the event, Vice-Principal Mr. Haid said, “It’s wonderful. Young people dance very differently from how I did at that age; I’m glad the floors are strong. And also, Justin Bieber [is]no more.”

Overall, Taira was very pleased with how the dance went. “I’m really proud of all the hard work I put into this with my committee and the rest of SAC. I really want to thank the teachers and administrators who took time out of their busy schedules to come. Without them, the event never could have happened.” Spirits were high and students danced through the night.