Svetlana Lunkina. Photo by Karolina Kuras.

The National Ballet of Canada

Arts & Culture

About The National Ballet of Canada

One of the most prestigious ballet companies in the world, The National Ballet of Canada continues to build on a 70-year legacy of inspiring audiences with the best of dance. 

In 1951, Sydney Mulqueen, Pearl Whitehead and Aileen Woods had a vision to create Canada’s very own ballet company. Together, they galvanized a community of likeminded individuals across the country and raised funds to bring our Founder, Celia Franca, from England to Toronto. With this act, The National Ballet of Canada was established and solidified its place in Canadian history with its inaugural performance at The Eaton Auditorium on November 12, 1951. 

The National Ballet is now home to 65 dancers, 12 apprentices and a dedicated symphony orchestra, giving over 75 performances each year in Toronto. The company has toured extensively to international destinations such as Paris, London, Moscow, St. Petersburg, New York City, Washington D.C. and San Francisco., and supports both Canadian and international choreographers with a repertoire that reflects the tradition and future of ballet.  

I feel so fortunate to have had The National Ballet of Canada as my artistic home for over 50 years. I’ve always been grateful for the generous support and friendship of our donors and patrons who are instrumental to this great company that we love so dearly. With our artists performing at the highest international calibre and the company at the height of its creative powers, I am excited about The National Ballet of Canada’s bright future and what we’ll accomplish together.” 

 Karen Kain, Artistic Director Emerita  

Our Impact

Leaving a gift in your Will to the National Ballet is about creating special moments that will last a lifetime. Moments like when a young dancer steps onto the stage for the first time as a member of the Corps de Ballet, a Principal dancer taking their final bow in front of an adoring audience, the Conductor raising their baton to bring a beloved score to life, or inspiring a child to dance. 

Your gift is important For 70 years, our donor community has helped us to: 

  • Develop critically acclaimed dancers such as Lois Smith, Veronica Tennant, Karen Kain, Frank Augustyn, Rex Harrington, Sonia Rodriguez and Guillaume Côté
  • Create and acquire a vast and varied repertoire of 300+ productions 
  • Preserve the rich tradition of live music for rehearsals and performances
  • Showcase our artists in the most iconic international performing arts venues
  • Inspire over 100,000+ young people and their families across Canada with free dance programming and performances

We thank you for the chance to see a ballerina and for her to come to our classroom. We were able to learn ballet from a professional! Your generosity will not be forgotten in our classroom.” 

– Education Programming participants Omar, Vincent, Karrie, Barmaan, Gwen, Kathy and Arafat 

How your gift will be used

We reach a stage in life when we think about what it has all meant. Most of us want to be remembered for our best qualities. We want to be remembered for our generosity, our integrity and our life passions. 

By including The National Ballet of Canada as part of your estate plan, you will be remembered and celebrated as a passionate supporter of Canada’s leading ballet company. 

Every legacy gift we receive supports our work, both on stage and behind the scenes. Every gift, no matter the amount, makes it possible for us to create and stage new works, support and nurture our dancers, finance our tours, fund our celebrated orchestra, and engage thousands of children annually through educational programming. 

We are grateful for every act of generosity from people like you, who make the decision to share ballet with future generations; a gift that will ensure your passion for The National Ballet of Canada lives on forever. 

“I’m inspired by the dancers who have dedicated their lives to their craft. I want to contribute to the National Ballet’s continued growth and success. Leaving a legacy gift is my way to express my appreciation.”  – Ishrani Jaikaran, Legacy Donor 

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The National Ballet of Canada

Charity Number

11905 1449 RR0001

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