National Treasure #33: Royal Winnipeg Ballet

I don’t much care for ballet. I never took classes as a kid; I don’t attend live performances or watch televised ones.

And even I know about the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, which sorta indicates that it is a bona fide treasure. Besides, I figure that a centre of excellence — even in something I don’t much care about — is pretty much a treasure by definition. I mean, do we have so much excellence that we can afford to be cavalier about it?

Here’s what I learned in looking into it:

  • Founded in 1939, it’s Canada’s first ballet company and North America’s longest running company.
  • It got its Royal designation from Queen Elizabeth II, apparently the first one she made/gave/designated.
  • Last season, there were 15 Canadians and 17 internationals as principal dancers.
  • They have their own Facebook page.
  • They have their own YouTube channel.

This is one of a series on Canadian national treasures – my sesquicentennial project. They reflect people (living and dead), places and things that I think are worth celebrating about our country, and are done in no order of precedence.


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