Ballet BC Announces Landmark $2 Million Donation

The largest gift in company history will support Ballet BC’s Dancer Investment Fund

Artists of Ballet BC in rehearsal. Photo by Michael Slobodian.

Vancouver, BC — Ballet BC announces today that longtime supporter and Founders’ Council member Jane McLennan has donated an extraordinary $2 million to the company. The largest gift in Ballet BC’s 37-year history contributed through the Ballet BC Capital Campaign will provide unparalleled support for the company’s dancers over a 10-year period, including an increase in compensation through cornerstone funding for Ballet BC’s Dancer Investment Fund, and year-round employment contracts for all full-time company artists.

“Ballet BC’s world-renowned artistry rests on the commitment of its dancers and their willingness to push themselves for the sake of their art,” says Laura Cundari, Chair of the Ballet BC Board of Directors. “This incredible gift puts Ballet BC in a unique position of being able to offer our dancers full 52-week annual contracts and an increase in salary, a long-held ambition of the organization and rarity in our industry. We are extremely proud to be able to set this precedent in the hopes that it will galvanize other companies and philanthropists to provide greater support for dancers.”

Preceding this gift, Ms. McLennan has been one of the most generous contributors across company history, and a beloved member of the Ballet BC family. Her passion for the art form and deep appreciation for the dancers has been a source of inspiration and gratitude for many who have been connected to the organization over the years. Each summer, McLennan hosts an annual pool party in honour of Ballet BC’s dancers—a longstanding and always memorable celebration for the entire company.

“With this remarkable gift, Jane has allowed Ballet BC to reimagine a new future for its dancers, the heart of our company and some of the most inspiring and dedicated artists I have had the privilege to work with,” says Medhi Walerski, Artistic Director of Ballet BC. “Since joining the organization, it has been a personal goal of mine to generate this type of support for our dancers and bring stability to their careers. I am deeply grateful to Jane for making that dream a reality. This gift provides sustainable employment for our dancers and ensures that their health, livelihood, and vibrancy reflects the value and respect they deserve. Because of her generosity, Ballet BC can continue to be a global leader for our art form.”

Ballet BC Artistic Director Medhi Walerski. Photo by Marcus Eriksson.

Based in Vancouver, Ballet BC’s 2024/25 season launches in September 2024 with the dancer-led initiative Take Form, followed by mainstage programs at Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre in November, March, and May. The company also tours extensively throughout the year, and will visit Eastern Canada in fall 2024, including two highly anticipated performances at the National Arts Centre featuring the NAC Orchestra.

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Claire Mohun |