Principal Character Artist Rebekah Rimsay Retires After 33 Years in June 2023

Celebratory Performance During Cinderella on March 19, 2023


February 27, 2023… Hope Muir, Joan and Jerry Lozinski Artistic Director of The National Ballet of Canada, announced today that Principal Character Artist Rebekah Rimsay will retire after 33 years with the National Ballet at the end of the 2022/23 season. Rimsay will be celebrated onstage by the entire company as she performs one of her signature roles, the Stepmother in James Kudelka’s Cinderella on March 19, 2023. 

“The National Ballet of Canada has been my home for over three decades. I feel so fortunate to have worked with many gifted and generous collaborators in many different disciplines over these years,” said Rimsay. “I have so many wonderful memories to cherish and look forward to celebrating with my colleagues, coaches and audiences during my final performances as the Stepmother in Cinderella, a ballet close to my heart.” 

Rimsay trained at Canada’s National Ballet School. She joined The National Ballet of Canada in 1990 and was promoted to Second Soloist in 1995, First Soloist in 1998 and Principal Character Artist in 2012. Over her tenure, she excelled in a wide range of repertoire, from the technical purity of the Russian Girl in George Balanchine’s Serenade to fearsome Carabosse in Rudolf Nureyev’s The Sleeping Beauty. She has been a particular standout in ballets by James Kudelka, who created roles for her in Cinderella, The Contract (The Pied Piper), An Italian Straw Hat and The Four Seasons.  

In 2014, Rimsay was awarded the Rolex Dancers First Award for her portrayal of the Stepmother and Stepsister in Cinderella. She was also the recipient of the William Marrié Award for Dramatic Achievement for Carabosse in The Sleeping Beauty in 2010 and she won the same award for her role as Her Other Stepsister in Cinderella in 2004. Rimsay was honored with the David Tory Award in 2008. 

Rimsay’s final performances with the National Ballet will take place in June 2023. Details to be announced.  

Rebekah Rimsay Biography >

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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 Rolex Dancers First Award is generously sponsored by Rolex Canada Ltd. 
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.

Rebekah Rimsay. Photo by Karolina Kuras.

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