“A beautiful company, full of young talent and old wisdom… The future of The National Ballet of Canada is in wonderful hands.”
—Dancing Times (UK), 2010
It all began with the love of dance. Three Toronto volunteer organizers – Sydney Mulqueen, Pearl Whitehead and Aileen Woods – dreamed of a national ballet company. They sought the advice of Ninette de Valois, the pioneering founder of Britain’s Sadler’s Wells Ballet and she recommended a dramatic dancer, budding choreographer and firebrand named Celia Franca “–if you can get her.” They could and did get her. “I think you need me here” was her tactful judgment. The National Ballet of Canada was founded and, with Miss Franca as Artistic Director, made its debut on November 12, 1951 at the Eaton Auditorium in Toronto. The National Ballet of Canada now ranks as one of the world’s top dance companies with 70 dancers and its own orchestra.
Great Moments in a Remarkable 60-year History
Learn More About the National Ballet of Canada's Impressive History
Where Are They Now?
Find out what some of our great artists of the past are doing now.
Your Story Is Our History
We are collecting stories and memories about the company from alumni, audience members and supporters both past and present. We are proud of our extraordinary history and by telling us your story you will be helping preserve the heritage of the company.