Celia Franca Society
The Celia Franca Society recognizes and thanks generous donors who have arranged legacy gifts that will extend beyond their lifetimes to support great dance.
Donors who arrange legacy gifts, such as bequests through their wills or gifts of life insurance, are invited to join the Celia Franca Society. In appreciation, the National Ballet invites members to special events and offer public recognition during the donors’ lifetimes.
The Celia Franca Society is named in honour of the National Ballet’s illustrious founder to pay tribute to her vision, tenacity and passion. The members of the Celia Franca Society likewise are recognized for their vision, dedication and generosity.
Celia Franca Society Events
See the 2014/15 calendar of events >
See photos from events celebrating Celia Franca Society members.
For information about the Celia Franca Society, please contact:
Development Manager, Major Gifts & Gift Planning
416 345 9686 x347 email@example.com
Celia Franca, (1921 - 2007) Founder, The National Ballet of Canada
Celia Franca is the founder of The National Ballet of Canada and was its Artistic Director for 24 years.
Born in London, England in 1921, she began to study dance at the age of 4 and was a scholarship student at the Guildhall School of Music and the Royal Academy of Dancing.
As an exceptional dancer, Miss Franca performed with such prominent companies as Ballet Rambert, Sadler’s Wells Ballet and Metropolitan Ballet. In 1950, she was invited to Canada by a group of ballet enthusiasts to create a classical company based in Toronto. Miss Franca recruited and trained dancers, assembled a talented artistic staff and on November 12, 1951, the company opened with its first performance.
Throughout her tenure as Artistic Director, Miss Franca stressed the importance of developing Canadian choreography, bringing more than 30 Canadian ballets into the repertoire and starting the National Ballet's Choreographic Workshops. She also created a strong international reputation by taking the company on national and international tours. On top of all this, she maintained artistic standards in the face of countless financial crises.
Miss Franca has been recognized at home and abroad for her many achievements and contributions to the arts in Canada. She has received many awards and decorations but her greatest legacy, a legacy of dance, continues to live on with the National Ballet.