First Soloist Tanya Howard Retires After 25 Years With The National Ballet of Canada

Celebration Performance on March 12, 2023
Retires at the End of June 2023

March 6, 2023… Hope Muir, Joan and Jerry Lozinski Artistic Director of The National Ballet of Canada, announced today that First Soloist Tanya Howard will retire after 25 years with The National Ballet of Canada at the end of the 2022/23 season. Howard will be honoured onstage by the company at a celebratory performance as she dances the role of the Stepsister in James Kudelka’s Cinderella on March 12, 2023.  

“I feel so fortunate to have spent my career at The National Ballet of Canada. I have made lifelong friends at this company and shared so many memorable experiences both on stage and in the studio,” said Howard. “I have worked with some of the world’s greatest dance artists and been given so many incredible roles that have allowed me to grow as a dancer and a person. My decision that it is time to retire from performing with the National Ballet is bittersweet but there is much to be grateful for and I look forward to celebrating with my colleagues and our audiences on March 12 with one of my favourite roles, the Stepsister in Cinderella.”   

Howard was born in Uitenhage, South Africa and trained at The National School of the Arts in South Africa and Canada’s National Ballet School. She joined The National Ballet of Canada in 1998 and was promoted to First Soloist in 2007. A charismatic artist with a stunning stage presence, Howard shone equally in contemporary works, experimental new productions as well as legacy ballets. In addition to enchanting audiences in the many roles she has danced, Howard is leaving an indelible mark on such roles as the Lilac Fairy in Rudolf Nureyev’s The Sleeping Beauty and the Snow Queen in James Kudelka’s The Nutcracker.  

In 2016, Howard was awarded the David Tory Award and in 2011, was awarded the William Marrié Award for Dramatic Excellence for her portrayal of the Queen of Hearts in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Howard will perform the role of the Stepsister on March 10, 15, 16, 18 at 7:30 pm and March 12, 14, 18 at 2:00 pm. Her final performances with the National Ballet will take place during the Summer Season in June. Details to be announced.  

Learn More About Tanya Howard > 

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BMO Financial Group presents the 2022/23 season.  

Clarins presents Cinderella.  

Cinderella is a gift from The Volunteer Committee, The National Ballet of Canada.   

The National Ballet of Canada gratefully acknowledges the ongoing support of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Ontario Arts Council; the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council; the Government of Canada – Department of Canadian Heritage, through The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism; and the Government of Ontario through The Honourable Neil Lumsden, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

Tanya Howard. Photo by Aleksandar Antonijevic.

For more information, please contact:

Catherine Chang
Associate Director, Communications and Content Strategy
416 345 9686 x302
Anastasia Kolotova
Public Relations Specialist
416 345 9686 x359

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