On February 14, the Royal Ontario Museum hosted the sold-out event, ROM After Dark: Desires. The event is an after-hours specialty program that immersed those 19+ into a night of music and art. The ROM hosts this program monthly, each with a different theme.

Bars were set up in almost every room in the museum. Guests were invited to purchase food and beverages, including a special cocktail catered to the nights theme. The admission ticket for ROM After Dark: Desires came with one complimentary food or beverage voucher. Additional vouchers costed $8. The museum sold a variety of food, including strawberry nitrogen ice cream and strawberry-flavoured doughnuts.

Throughout the night, DJ Sara Simms was vibing on stage as she played upbeat music to the crowd. She shared the spotlight with Desiire, a Toronto-based R&B and hip-hop artist, who performed his newest single “One In A Million.” The entertainers also performed their single “Fading” for the first time. There was dim lighting, with strobes of red moving around the atrium, creating an atmosphere that resembled a club.

Other entertainers included: Opera Atelier, a theatre company’s ballet performance inspired by the Baroque era, Queen Pepper, a musical artist with a soul and R&B sound, and Alison Young, a jazz artist who stunned the crowd with her amazing saxophone talent.

To keep up with the nights theme of Desire, there was a Peep Show featuring a burlesque performance by Pastel Supernova. There was also an act of drag queens, including Toronto’s-own Farra N. Hyte.

Select galleries were open during the night. Participants had the freedom to roam around the museum, at their own pace, and learn about the artifacts and exhibits on display.

The ROM-original exhibit Bloodsuckers: Legends to Leeches was open during the night. The exhibition featured facts and archives of living organisms that feed on blood. From mosquitoes and bed bugs to stories about cinematic vampires, Legends to Leeches showcased the most interesting and uncanny information about these creatures. The exhibit also included microscopes for people to get a closer view at the minuscule insects.

Teck Suite of Galleries: Earth Treasures was also open. The gallery included rocks, minerals, gems, and crystals in glass cabinets. There was also an interactive wall and a giant gold coin with Queen Elizabeth II’s face, on display. Pyrite, most-commonly known as fool’s gold, was in various display cases. The mineral very much proved itself to resemble real gold.

The gallery also featured facts about various groups of minerals, such as: phosphates, arsenates, sulphates, and more. There was lots of quartz around the gallery, which appeared aesthetically pleasing in all its colours and shapes.

Life in Crisis: Schad Gallery of Biodiversity was also open during ROM After Dark: Desires. The gallery served as a reminder of all the living organisms that are endangered and close to extinction on Earth. Life size squids, sharks, and dolphins hung from the ceiling while other mammals, amphibians, and insects were on display in units. The gallery included information and figures of different life forms from all over the planet.

If you’re interested in visiting the Royal Ontario Museum for one of their specialty programs, the next ROM After Dark event is Sisterhood, on March 6. Tickets begin at $27 for post-secondary students.

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