Celebrate International Women’s Day with Annandale National Historic Site

Annandale National Historic Site will be celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8 with a virtual tea.

The deadline to sign up for the online ‘Tea Party in a Box’ was set for Tuesday, March 2 at 4 p.m. The $12 (plus tax) cost covers all the supplies for the tea, which includes a craft and a game of online trivia.


“We’ve always done a Women’s Day event,” said Patricia Phelps, Manager of Culture & Heritage/Curator, recalling many luncheons and teas held over the last two decades.

It typically sells out, she said, and its popularity made it an annual event.

“Women’s Day has proven to be very popular in the past, but of course with the current COVID safety restrictions we are not able to have an in-person event this year.”

They are hoping the virtual event will also be successful.

“It’s something people can tap into, they don’t have to miss Women’s Day because of COVID. We’re still doing our annual event, we’re just doing it differently. We’re very exited to do it virtually with this idea of Tea Party in a Box, and so thankful for Sobeys and its donation of individual decadent treats that you can get for your tea party.”

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What you receive in your Tea Party box is a voucher for an individual mini chocolate truffle layer cake or mini cheesecake from Sobeys. The box also includes two tea bags (your choice of Earl Grey, Peppermint or Very Berry); recyclable cup and saucer, dessert plate, fork and napkin; and supplies to make your very own mason jar lid sun catcher.

All you need is a computer and internet (and something to boil your water for tea).

“It’s really quite easy. You get a (tea party) email and you just click the button. It says ‘join the meeting’ and you click that. You’ll see Kathleen (Watkin) and you’ll see everybody else who is in the party as well (if they have web cameras).”

It is important to note, if you do not have a web camera for your computer you can still participate – you will be able to talk and hear everything, and see everyone else, but they won’t see you.

“I’m hoping it goes well and hoping it’s something that will grow. We’ve tested it with museum staff and it worked quite well.”

This will be the museum’s first virtual online program for an event like the tea party. A virtual program for school children in December, featuring the Christmas decorations, was enjoyed by 50 classrooms (more than 700 students).

Tea party boxes can be picked up at the museum by appointment on Thursday, March 4 (1-4 p.m.), Friday March 5 (1-4 p.m.) or Monday, March 8 (8 a.m. – 12 p.m.).

If you’re reading this online March 1 or 2, register by emailing Kathleen at .
To attend the online tea party on Monday, March 8, from 2-3 p.m., participants will click on a link from an email they receive from museum staff, which will log them into the tea party with other local women. As of Monday morning, seven had registered.

In addition to the suncatcher craft, participants will play an online trivia game based on Canadian Women Trailblazers.

The tea party is not a women-only event, Phelps noted. “There are men who have attended in the past, and they can definitely tune in virtually. You can also book two Tea Parties in a Box and enjoy the event in your own household.”


Annandale National Historic Site re-opened March 1, by appointment, with scheduled, guided tours of the first floor (tours available 9-3 p.m., not including 12 p.m. noon).

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