Supporting families to pursue their dreams
“Donors gave me a career. It’s so incredibly valuable that we never deny kids their talent because of their financial situation. It’s really such an incredible gift to help kids discover their excellence.”
~ Martine Lamy
NBS Alumna, Class of 1982
Principal Dancer, National Ballet of Canada
Canada’s National Ballet School (NBS) graduate Martine Lamy remembers a time when she thought she couldn’t pursue a dance career because of family finances. But thanks to NBS donors, she could. After twenty-two years with the National Ballet of Canada, she joined NBS’s artistic faculty teaching the next generation of dancers in the Professional Ballet Program. As a donor, your support not only helps talented young dancers, it uplifts entire families for generations.
Meet the Greyeyes
Michael Greyeyes remembers the photo from his application to NBS.
“My stomach was hanging out and my leg was all wrong – it was pretty sad,” he laughs. Now, nearly forty years later, he grins proudly at his daughter Lilia Greyeyes, a Grade 7 student in NBS’ Professional Ballet Program, “Her picture is a lot better.”
Michael is Plains Cree from the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation in Saskatchewan. His parents – both survivors of Indian residential schools – didn’t want to send him to NBS alone. They left their jobs, his sister left her school, and they moved as a family to Toronto. But Michael also found a family at NBS.
“When I was at the School, I experienced a different kind of culture. It wasn’t defined by race – it was actually defined by practice. It was, ‘this is a family and what we do in this family is ballet.’ And there were lots of people with different cultural backgrounds, different religious backgrounds. It was an inter-cultural meeting place in which we practiced the shared culture of ballet.”
As with his parents, Michael and his wife Nancy – an accomplished dancer, choreographer and teacher – moved from Aurora to Toronto to be with Lilia. And like her father, Lilia finds joy in her NBS family.
“One of my favourite things about NBS is how detailed the training is and how much better I’ve gotten in a short amount of time," says Lilia, who is also a current student of Martine Lamy. "It’s great to be here because I feel like I belong.”
“Lilia thrives in this environment,” says Nancy. “Michael and I know that NBS is one of the best schools in the world. We know that she’s getting the absolute best training she can – and she is so happy to be here.”
Lilia hopes to dance professionally and explore interior design. Michael knows that NBS will set her up for success in any career. After graduating from NBS in 1984, he danced with the National Ballet of Canada and Eliot Feld (New York) before pursuing a celebrated career in film, television, theatre and teaching.
The Greyeyes’ NBS story spans generations – and it’s an example of the extraordinary impact you have when you support the School.
Support the School
Your contribution will echo long into the future by uplifting generations of talent to pursue impactful careers. Donate to our operating fund to ensure that NBS can hold true to our core value - that talent is the sole criterion for entry into the Professional Ballet program.
Donate to Annual Fundraising
Donate by Phone
We are pleased to assist you with the process and answer any questions you may have about your contribution. Please call Lily Jackson, Coordinator, Strategic Initiatives & Development, at 416-964-3780 x2150 or 1-800-387-0785.
Donate by Mail or Fax
Download our printable donation form and fax to 416-964-5145 or mail to:
Canada's National Ballet School
400 Jarvis Street
Toronto ON, M4Y 2G6