AGM: The National Ballet Of Canada Posts Surplus For 10th Consecutive Season

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AGM: The National Ballet Of Canada Posts Surplus For 10th Consecutive Season

Karen Kain, Artistic Director of The National Ballet of Canada and Barry Hughson, Executive Director today announced the great artistic and financial success of the 2018/19 season, which resulted in an operating surplus for the 10th consecutive year. The Annual General Meeting was held today at 6:30 pm at The Walter Carsen Centre for The National Ballet of Canada in Toronto.

Cornell C. V. Wright, Board Chair of The National Ballet of Canada, reported that the company revenues were $37.58 million with expenses at $36.17 million resulting in a surplus of $1.41 million.

"The 2018/19 season was artistically and institutionally ambitious and we couldn't be more delighted with the results. Karen Kain and Barry Hughson, with the support and partnership of our Board of Directors, led The National Ballet of Canada through a year that brought exciting new works, international acclaim and financial strength," said Mr. Wright. "The completion of the Soaring Campaign, with $104 million raised in support of Karen's vision over the past decade, was a powerful highlight and will continue to positively impact the company and its artistic trajectory for years to come."

"I'm so proud of the entire National Ballet team who, in partnership with our loyal and generous patrons and critical government funders, have delivered exceptional results last season," said Mr. Hughson. "In a year that produced landmark international tours, the launch of important new community-building initiatives and several exciting company premieres that included John Neumeier's epic Anna Karenina and a full evening of works by William Forsythe, we were also successful in delivering a 4% operating surplus. As the National Ballet continues to represent our country as one of the world's finest ballet companies, we are also focused on building a level of financial resilience that will help to ensure our future and our 2018/19 financial result is an important achievement in that effort."

The 2018/19 season saw the culmination of the highly successful Soaring Campaign for The National Ballet of Canada. The transformational campaign began in the 2009/10 season with a public launch in November 2016. Soaring exceeded expectations, with 890 donors who contributed a total of $104 million, surpassing the $100 million goal, ensuring the National Ballet's financial stability and continued artistic excellence into the future.

The National Ballet presented 3,103 performances and community events, plus many digital initiatives, with a total overall reach of 4,131,946.

There were 78 performances at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts with 144,527 in attendance. The company held 2,994 community events reaching 96,544 people. The National Ballet's digital initiatives including video, social media, email campaigns had a total reach of 3,871,631.

On tour, the National Ballet performed at The Hamburg Ballet's Großes Haus in Germany, Fall for Dance North at Meridian Hall (formerly Sony Centre for the Performing Arts) in Toronto, the Stanislavsky Theatre in Moscow and the Mariinsky Theatre II in St. Petersburg, Russia, the National Arts Centre in Ottawa and the Royal Opera House's Linbury Theatre in London, England for a total of 12 performances and 17,906 audience members.

"The 2018/19 season was filled with exceptional moments for The National Ballet of Canada, particularly with respect to our international touring schedule. We toured for the first time in the company's history to Moscow and St. Petersburg with a mixed programme that showed the vibrancy and versatility of the National Ballet: Guillaume Côté's Being and Nothingness, Justin Peck's Paz de la Jolla and Crystal Pite's Emergence. The company also toured to Hamburg, Germany for the first time since 1994 with an all-Canadian programme of The Dreamers Ever Leave You by Robert Binet, The Man in Black by James Kudelka and Emergence by Crystal Pite. Highlights of our season at home in Toronto included the North American premiere of Anna Karenina by John Neumeier, a ballet that took our artists to new heights of artistry, the company premiere of Night by Julia Adam, a former dancer with the National Ballet whom I was so pleased to welcome back as an accomplished choreographer, Physical Thinking, an all-William Forsythe programme and finally, the luminous Xiao Nan Yu who brought her extraordinary career to a close with a breathtaking performance as Hannah Glawari in The Merry Widow. For this season and all its successes, I extend my thanks to everyone in The National Ballet of Canada family - our dancers and musicians, the artistic staff and production team, our administrative staff, donors, volunteers, and board members," said Ms. Kain.

YOU dance, the company's flagship community engagement programme, reached 10,896 students in the Greater Toronto Area through workshops and performances. The company returned for a fourth residency in Regent Park that included 5 performances and 45 workshops. A performance of YOU dance was live streamed, reaching 24,000 viewers across Canada, including all provinces and the Yukon, Nunavut and Northwest Territories. In addition to introducing the world of dance to young people, YOU dance gives Apprentices invaluable performance training. Currently, the National Ballet employs 27 dancers who began their careers as RBC Apprentices, making up 40% of the company. Dance About, the National Ballet's in school programme, reached 3,000 students through 10 performances, making classical ballet more accessible to young people.

The National Ballet's Share the Magic programme continued to provide free access to youth and families who could not otherwise attend a ballet performance. Last season, Share the Magic brought the joy of dance to 3,200 audience members at no cost.

CreativAction, a new initiative to share The National Ballet of Canada's resources, aims to develop Canadian choreographic talent and support the dance community in Toronto. There was 1 micro-commission presentation during the 2018/19 season with 550 attendees. Through Open Space, the National Ballet provided 778 hours in the company's studios for free to 18 independent choreographers.

In Studio, the National Ballet's dance and fitness programme for adults and teens, provided 2,670 classes, workshops, dance intensives and master classes to 27,594 participants.

The National Ballet celebrates charitable giving at every level and is grateful for the 4,069 community members who generously donated in 2018/19. In total, donors and volunteers raised $12.76 million to support the company's priorities. Donors are recognized through special programmes including The Producers' Circle, Dancers First, Patrons' Council and Friends' Corps, as well as our international affiliates American Friends of The National Ballet of Canada and the UK Friends of The National Ballet of Canada.

The National Ballet of Canada acknowledged The Volunteer Committee, The National Ballet of Canada for its continued dedication and support. Last season, the committee helped fund the North American premiere of Anna Karenina and has supported 54 new works to date through their vital Build-a-Ballet Fund.

The National Ballet of Canada, Endowment Foundation saw another strong year in 2018/19 with growth of $4.42 million to a new all-time record of $79 million in fund balances at June 30, 2019. The Endowment Foundation made a grant of $3.17 million to the National Ballet in 2018/19.

Mr. Wright welcomed new board members Rags Davloor, Strategic Advisor to the Board of the Tridel Group of Companies, Flora Do, VP, Strategy & Client Insights, RBC Wealth Management, Kevin Garland, former Executive Director of The National Ballet of Canada, and Lisa Pearson, Principal, Navigator Ltd. Board members who are continuing their terms for an additional three years are Gail Appel, Marlene DelZotto, Nancy Holland, Linda O'Leary, Noreen Taylor, Chair, Charles Taylor Foundation, and Cornell C.V. Wright, Partner, Torys LLP.

Mr. Wright thanked retiring board members Stephen Delaney, Director, Investment Banking, Beacon Securities Limited, and Janet Lewell, US CFO, Deloitte LLP. Mr. Wright also recognized the passing of Sandra Faire. A member of the Board from 2004 to 2019, Ms. Faire was a passionate leader in many areas of the company and the creator of The Producers' Circle. A fund in the Endowment Foundation has been named in her honour and will continue her important work supporting new productions.

Gold service pins are awarded yearly to employees of The National Ballet of Canada who have been with the company for 20 years. Ms. Kain awarded long service pins to Principal Dancers Guillaume Côté, Heather Ogden and Piotr Stanczyk, Principal Character Artist Alejandra Perez-Gomez, First Soloist Tanya Howard, Corps de Ballet member Andreea Olteanu, who retired from the stage in June 2019 and joined the company's artistic administration, Interim Director of Communications Belinda Bale, Manager, Education and Community Engagement Lisa Robinson and Senior Ballet Mistress Mandy-Jayne Richardson. Ms. Richardson left the company at the end of the 2018/19 season and will continue as a guest ballet mistress.

Percussionist Mark Mazur was recognized for 25 years.

Paul Langley, Bass and Jerry Robinson, Bassoon were honoured for 30 years with the National Ballet.

Violists Valerie Kuinka and Beverley Spotton, Violinist Paul Zevenhuizen and Wardrobe Coordinator Barbara de Kat marked 35 years of service.

Sarita Dotan, Associate, Artistic Administration was recognized for 40 years with the company.

Principal Character Artist Tomas Schramek was celebrated for 50 years and will be honoured during the 2019/20 season.

The 2018/19 season marked the retirement of Principal Dancer Xiao Nan Yu after 22 years with the National Ballet, First Soloist Rui Huang after 7 years, Director of Communications Julia Drake after 29 years and Receptionist Seta Nigoghossian after 40 years with the company.

After 7 years with the National Ballet, Second Soloist Félix Paquet departed to join The Hamburg Ballet. Corps de Ballet member Mallory Mehaffey, who joined the company in 2017, departed to dance with Boston Ballet. Wardrobe Supervisor Marjory Fielding stepped down from the company after 24 years and will consult as design associate on Swan Lake and Wardrobe Coordinator Grant Heaps has stepped down after 24 years and will lead the IATSE Wardrobe Head position in the 2019/20 season.

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