Every Child Deserves Joy
December 3, 2019
Last December, 12-year-old Deja experienced the magic, wonder and joy of her first ballet. Deja’s always had a passion for music and dance from participating in her school’s annual musical, but formal classes and performance tickets were out of her reach. Armed with an invitation from Equal Opportunity
and with her Mom and sister in tow, Deja was able to attend The Nutcracker
for free through The National Ballet of Canada’s Share the Magic
Before coming to the theatre, Deja wrote a letter to the Sugar Plum Fairy to express her gratitude for the opportunity and share her excitement. And, since she’d be seeing a fellow performer onstage, she even asked for some advice from a professional dancer.
Last December, Second Soloist Calley Skalnik
was preparing for her debut as the Sugar Plum Fairy. A dancer with the National Ballet since 2014, Calley had performed in countless Nutcrackers but was about to take on its most challenging role. After emerging from a golden Fabergé egg and completing a magical pas de deux in the Land of Sweets, Calley’s night was truly complete when she received a heartfelt note from a young fan.
Calley passed on some kind words to Deja, offering some pearls of wisdom and thanking her in return. Deja and Calley never met but were able to connect through the power of live performance, sharing the magic of The Nutcracker
Since 1986, Share the Magic has brought joy into the lives of 94,361 children and youth who would not otherwise have access to the ballet. Through free performances of The Nutcracker
and other family classics, individuals and families affected by illness, poverty and other socio-economic challenges have been able to experience the magic of dance at absolutely no cost. Each year the National Ballet partners with high-needs schools and social service and support agencies to make spectacular productions like The Nutcracker
available to those who otherwise would not have access to a live performance. Tickets are distributed to children and families through our partner schools and various agencies representing Toronto's underserviced neighbourhoods, which include the Costi Immigrant Services
and St Stephens Community House
, among many others.
At the National Ballet, we look forward to Share the Magic every year because it is our chance to introduce children like Deja to the beauty, wonder and creativity of dance. There is always so much joy in the audience as these children discover The Nutcracker, witness a live theatrical event and share the experience with loved ones. Share the Magic performances reflect a deep understanding that ballet should be accessible to all children and families, especially ones who are experiencing challenging circumstances. We recognize the value that art can bring to their lives and the need to share what we do with as many members of our community as possible.
We can make ballet accessible to more families in our community and, with your help, we will have the honour of welcoming 1,600 new ballet fans from 50 organizations to the Four Seasons Centre on December 11. By making a gift this holiday season, your generosity will help connect children to the power of live performance and share the magic with more children like Deja.
The Nutcracker is onstage December 12, 2019 – January 4, 2020.
Help us Share the Magic by sending a child to their first ballet