Ste Catherine is the patron saint of single women, and her day was celebrated often in Montreal by French Canadians.  This ball was an event that invited both French and English among the elite.

Montreal Transcript

26 November 1846


The ball in honour of St. Catherine, which took place in Donegani’s on Tuesday evening, went off, as it was to be expected it would do, with great éclat.  The numbers of persons present reached within a few of three hundred, amongst whom were most of the principal resident families of both races, and the officers of the garrison.  The ladies patronesses exerted themselves with the greatest success to render the visitors happy, and the supper which followed, and which was one of Donegani’s chef d’oeuvres, gave general satisfaction.  On all hands we hear the affair spoken of with delight, and we trust, now that a commencement has been made, that frequent opportunities will be afforded to the English and French populations to mingle together, as on this occasion, on a pleasant social footing.

We should observe that amongst the company were Lady Elizabeth and Major Douglas, and Col Bruce, the latter the brother of Lord Elgin, and who only arrived in Montreal the same day.