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50th anniversary events


Canada's National Ballet School celebrated its 50th anniversary from September, 2009 to June 2010, with a year full of exciting events. From visual displays to conferences, dance performances and festivals, it was an unforgettable year. 

In addition to turning 50 with style, NBS continued to offer its regular programs: National Audition Tour, Professional Programs and Community Programs. For further information on these programs, please visit our website at

Historic Assembly

Date: Monday September 28, 2009
"Quaker Meeting House" / Currie Hall

Details: On September 28, 1959, Canada's National Ballet School opened on Maitland Street. To commemorate this date and the beginning of the School's 50th anniversary, a ceremony was held in Currie Hall, the building that first housed the School's students. Beginning with the School's opening in 1959 through until 1963, all our ballet and academic classes were taught in this one facility with the exception of sciences classes, which were taken at the nearby Jarvis Collegiate.

Following the ceremony, guests were invited to walk through the Celia Franca Centre on Jarvis Street, and observe archived materials: photographs, artwork and ephemera displayed on five levels with each level showcasing a decade's worth of memories.

Learn more about Currie Hall.

Assemblée Internationale 2009

Collaboration. Choreography. Conference. A Student Centred-Dance Celebration.

Date: Sunday November 15 – Sunday November 22, 2009
Betty Oliphant Theatre, 404 Jarvis Street, Toronto ON

Details: For one week in November, Canada's National Ballet School played host to an international choreographic festival. Students from 12 participating schools participated in the first-ever Assemblée Internationale, 2009: Collaboration. Choreography. Conference. A Student-Centred Dance Celebration (AI09), celebrating student choreography and the art of dance.

Each school performed two works: one, a traditional dance piece of their choosing; the second work created by a student, performed by a group composed of students from each of the partner schools. A forum was also held for the Artistic Directors of the partner schools and other invited guests to discuss the evolution of ballet education, and methods of strengthening its relevance and ensuring the vibrancy of its community. Following the festival, students, teachers and invited guests participated in a one day-long Ideas Exchange/Student Forum, spotlighting ways in which current and emerging practitioners would like to see the art form and professional practices evolve.

Read more on our AI09 pages.

Fête d'Or Gala

Date: Saturday February 6, 2010
The Fairmont Royal York, 100 Front Street West, Toronto ON

Details: On Saturday, February 6, 2010, Canada's National Ballet School hosted its annual signature fundraising gala. This year, we celebrated with a theme of Fête d'Or or "gold celebration" in keeping with this momentous occasion. As the traditional gift on a 50th anniversary is gold, we created a golden evening of festivities to mark this milestone in NBS' history.

Our 800+ guest list consisted of Toronto's most influential taste-leaders who, in keeping with the theme of the celebration, gathered to honour Joan and Jerry Lozinski, two dedicated philanthropists who play a vital role in helping to ensure the future of many leading arts institutions including Canada's National Ballet School. We also honoured the leadership, work and vision of our Artistic Director and Co-CEO, Mavis Staines.

Patrons of Fête d'Or joined the glamour of a party experience that was textured, original and fun set against the elegant backdrop of The Fairmont Royal York. We listened to favourite songs mixed with a contemporary beat, sipped on signature martinis, enjoyed an exquisite culinary experience, and witnessed an inspiring repertoire of dance performances that showcased the exceptional talent of NBS students. After dinner, we raised paddles high to bid on some exciting Live Auction items and experiences, and danced the night away! All this, wrapped into one amazing night!

Check out our Fête d'Or webpage

Check out our 2009 Gala archives

Turn Out for the 50th! NBS Alumni Reunion Weekend

Date: Friday April 23 – Sunday April 25, 2010
Canada's National Ballet School, 400 Jarvis Street, Toronto ON

Details: The Alumni of Canada's National Ballet School reunited to celebrate the School's past and toast its future. Travelling from across Canada, the United States, Europe and points further afield alumni came together on the weekend of April 23-25, 2010, to share memories, catch up with old friends and mark the School's 50th Anniversary.

More information

Schedule of Events

Frequently Asked Questions

List of registrants

In memory of Beverley Miller – Contributions made during the Alumni Reunion were matched by an anonymous Alumni!

Toula's menu

Check out our Alumni page

International Dance Day

Date: Thursday April 29, 2010
Toronto Eaton Centre

Details:April 29 was International Dance Day, and NBS’ community members participated in a dance flash mob at the Toronto Eaton Centre. Over 300 participants from the Adult Ballet and Associates Programs, as well as staff, Teacher Training students, donors and friends rocked the Eaton Centre to a remix of Feist’s I Feel it All with choreography by NBS grad Matjash Mrozewski.

We're thrilled that the production team of Hightop has worked with us on this project. They filmed the dance sequence onsite at the Eaton Centre.

Thanks to everyone for being part of our International Dance Day event!

Watch the official HighTop video on YouTube

Check out our International Dance Day page

Spring Showcase

Date: Thursday May 27 – Saturday May 29, 2010
Betty Oliphant Theatre, 404 Jarvis Street, Toronto ON

Details: At our 50th anniversary Spring Showcase from May 27 – 29, NBS students performed works that spanned the gamut from classical to contemporary. They performed excerpts from Paquita (Petipa) and John Neumeier's Yondering as well as excerpts from Sabrina Matthews' Sequentia and Matjash Mrozewski's 30-Minute Beauty Makeover, both works seen at NBS' Spring Showcase 2009. Also on the program was Peggy Baker's 5 Views of the Temple Garden.

In addition to these performances, current NBS students shared the stage with some of our illustrious alumni, who traveled back from their careers with international ballet companies to perform on stage at the Betty Oliphant Theatre one more time.

Check out our Spring Showcase 2010 webpage.

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