Donor Profile // Melanie Ferrandi

As a non-profit organization, Ballet BC relies on the ongoing support of donors to continue our work. Our 2013-14 campaign goal is to raise $500,000 by June 30th, 2014 and to date – we’ve already raised more than $280,000! Each milestone we reach is made possible by the support we receive from patrons and partners in our community.

Today, we’d like to introduce you to one of our patrons. Meet Melanie Ferrandi –  a dance enthusiast and generous donor. Melanie shares her memories of Ballet BC and the impact dance has had on her life.

What interests you most about Ballet BC? 

Dance has been an important part of my life – my mother was a dancer and I danced until I was about 15. When I moved to Vancouver in the early ‘90s, I wanted to restore this creative and artistic interest to my life (professionally, I am a financial advisor). Since then, I started to attend Ballet BC performances and don’t think I have missed a season since.

Why does art and culture matter to you? 

For me, all art forms provoke emotion and emotions are what make people interesting. For people who don’t work in the world of art and culture, I think that being exposed to it helps us to think in a different way than we usually might. I am also someone who loves to learn and so exploring new art forms or cultures is very fulfilling. I think it is important to nurture the arts because a love of the arts connects people and creates special interesting communities.

What is your favourite memory of Ballet BC? 

I have many – but my most recent favourite moment was the summer of 2013, when I took my 14 year old daughter (who is also a Ballet BC fan) to Jacob’s Pillow, North America’s longest-running dance festival. We loved everything about it. The Berkshires are beautiful. Jacob’s Pillow itself is an amazing place with a great sense of dance history. It was inspiring to be surrounded on a daily basis by avid dance fans. The Ballet BC dancers were as excellent as always and it was quite moving to be in the audience for a standing ovation in such a prestigious environment.

If you were to talk to somebody who knew nothing about Ballet BC, what would you tell them?

I try to explain that this is a contemporary ballet company – not ballet with white tutus and princes; but also not “modern” out on the other end of the spectrum. I love Artistic Director Emily Molnar’s description that the dancers need to combine the skills and athleticism of elite soccer players with the artistry of talented jazz musicians. I also tell people that they should not expect to love every piece. Much of the pleasure in watching Ballet BC comes from the contrasting pieces and the different emotions which audience members experience.

What about Ballet BC inspires you?

I feel that being part of Ballet BC takes me away from my “usual” world and lets me see and experience a different world. It’s like a creative escape and I never fail to be in awe of something I see – whether watching a studio rehearsal or the final polished production on stage. I also am always inspired by how hard the all the artists work. They live their passion and commitment every day.

What made you donate to Ballet BC for the first time?

After one performance many years ago I recall thinking to myself “I have to have this in my life”. So I thought I would do as much as I could to help. As a financial advisor I also understand that the tax treatment of charitable donations in Canada is actually very generous which helps when it comes to writing the cheque!

We’d like to extend a big thank you to Melanie Ferrandi and her family for their generous support of Ballet BC.

Funds raised help us continue to cultivate our vision of excellence and collaboration in dance by funding programs through which dancers, choreographers, composers and designers can shape their creative potential, resulting in the innovative art for which our company strives. Make your secure online donation now or download our donation form to mail in your gift.


Photo of Melanie Ferrandi, Connor Gnam and Emma Leard by Iulia Agnew