Ken_McCarter_2.jpgSilveredge Images.

In 2017, a new award was created to honour distinguished NBS alumni, to be presented annually at the Professional Ballet Academic Grade 12 graduation ceremony.
 
It is named for W. Kenneth McCarter an NBS board director for 8 years. During that time, he held the positions of Vice-Chair and Chair of Nominating and Board Governance and also served on the Finance & Audit and Human Resources Committees. He was also the board representative at the 2016 Global Alumni Symposium. Sadly, Ken  passed away in April, 2017, so this award has been created to honour his memory and his commitment to NBS.
 
In what turned out to be his final year, Ken was the guiding force behind an important initiative that will serve the school into the future: the establishment of the position of chancellor, which was announced at the June, 2017 graduation.
 
The board decided to establish the Ken McCarter Award for Distinguished NBS Alumni to honour Ken and connect his name to his abiding interest in the alumni of the School. 
 
Ken attended the 2016 Global Alumni Symposium, after which he gave a compelling address to the Board stating that it, “should be proud of the extremely accomplished alumni of the School … Many have accomplished amazing things and they all have potential to play a role as terrific ambassadors for the School.”
 
With this in mind, the award in Ken’s name is designed to acknowledge the important contributions to public service made by NBS alumni through a broad range of professional activities.
 
In future, we would like to receive nominations for this award from NBS alumni and ask that nominations be submitted by January 31, each year to nbsalumni@nbs-enb.ca
 
In the inaugural year, the award was presented to two outstanding individuals, both of whom have had outstanding careers in their respective professions and through their work continue to make important contributions to the welfare and cultural life of Canadians.
 
James Kudelka is an internationally recognized choreographer who needs no introduction to anyone interested in dance in Canada. In selecting Kudelka, what the Committee took into consideration besides his distinguished and internationally recognized career as a choreographer of both ballet and contemporary dance, is the fact that he received his ballet training at NBS and began exploring his interests in choreography at the School at a very young age. In addition, the Committee noted that James had a successful career as a dancer before devoting himself to choreography, was the artistic director of the National Ballet of Canada for many years, and has recently applied his fertile creative imagination to theatre direction. Since 2015, he has been regularly guest teaching at NBS so his success not only reflects well on NBS but he has also been contributing directly to the future success of current NBS students.
 
Dr. Kalia is a graduate of NBS and had a brief career as a dancer. On retiring from dance, she pursued her interests in movement through serious academic study. She is currently a clinician scientist and assistant professor in the Division of Neurology, University of Toronto with appointments at the Krembil Research Institute, Tanz Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases, and Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology. She is also a movement disorders neurologist at the Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network. Her clinical work and research program focus on improving the understanding and treatment of Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. In selecting Kalia, the Committee was particularly moved by the fact that her interests have come full circle as she now has a major interest in exploring the benefits of dance for people with Parkinson’s.