“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person,” says a masked guest receiving his drink ticket. “Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth. That’s Oscar Wilde, by the way; I didn’t think of that,” he said, heading back in to join his three friends on the dance floor at Hillel’s Purim Masquerade.

The party was held at the Fort Garry Hotel, and was publicly advertised as being a black tie event, where wearing a mask was highly encouraged. “We wanted this to be a high profile kind of event,” noted Erin Minuk, beautifully dressed in a black dress and gold-rimmed white mask, who was taking tickets at the door with Hillel Director Ian Brojges. “When people think of the story of Purim, I think the image of a ball comes to a lot of people. I think this kind of event is very true to the spirit of the original story.”
“Purim is often celebrated as a Halloween type holiday. We wanted to add a kind of elegance and respectability, to attract an older crowd, and university students. People don’t often get the occasion to dress up!”, added Minuk, as people dressed to the nines enter the hall.
Minuk’s theory seems on point. “I was actually looking for a reason to wear this dress,” explained Rachel Rubin, a University of Manitoba student, while gesturing to the dress she is wearing. “This seemed like the perfect place for it.”
Music at the party was provided by DJ Kaps, who wore a mask himself in traditional masquerade fashion and kept the rotating groups of people on the dance floor moving throughout the evening. There was also a photo booth with accompanying themed props that proved very popular, to the point that a large line had formed outside it by the later stages of the night.
“This is a night of Jews, brews, and fancy shoes.” said Jordan Shapera, smiling widely at her rhyme with her arms around her friends. “Couldn’t have asked for a better Purim.”