Ballet takes successful ‘next step’ to future

David Banks, Board Chair of The National Ballet of Canada, announced the successful completion of the $3.5 million Next Stage Campaign led by board member David Tory.  Banks said the board owed an enormous debt of gratitude to David Tory for his vigorous leadership of the fundraising campaign.

Launched in 2003, the campaign was to fund the company’s artistic and administrative growth as it prepared for the move to performing in the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.

With 2000 seats, the intimate Fraser Elliott Hall provides all audience members with an improved experience of ballet.  The smaller capacity requires more performances, from 69 in 2003 to 82 this season.  The increased number of performances also requires more dancers, from 61 in 2003 to 68 this season, and an increased number of orchestra services, from 100 in 2003 to 120 currently. The increases add significantly to operating costs and the company’s operating budget has gone from $16.5 million in 2003 to over $21 million in 2006. The Next Stage Campaign has allowed the company to make the transition into what will be a new era in its 55 year history.

David Tory, a member of the Board of Directors since 2002, led the Next Stage Campaign from its inception.  Bank of Montreal gave the lead corporate gift of $350,000 and over 750 current donors, members, patrons and members of the Board of Directors increased their annual gifts to achieve the $3.5 million. Walter Carsen, the company’s greatest friend, used his gift to help challenge and inspire additional gifts and board member Nancy Pencer initiated the highly successful Tribute to Karen Kain upon Ms. Kain’s appointment as Artistic Director.

The National Ballet of Canada opens its inaugural season in the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts on November 9 with The Sleeping Beauty.