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Toronto Maple Leafs Auston Matthews & Mitchell Marner Debut in The Nutcracker as Cannon Dolls

December 5, 2018

Lineup Includes Members of JUNO Award-Winning Rock Band ARKELLS

Karen Kain, Artistic Director of The National Ballet of Canada today announced the lineup of Cannon Dolls for The Nutcracker. This year’s list of headliners include Maple Leafs players, members of ARKELLS and author Emma Donoghue. The holiday favourite has a long-standing tradition of inviting Canadian luminaries and personalities to appear onstage in the guest roles with nearly 1,100 notable personalities making cameo appearances onstage to date.

Joining the National Ballet onstage as Cannon Dolls this season are Toronto Maple Leafs Auston Matthews and Mitchell Marner, members of JUNO award-winning rock band ARKELLS Max Kerman and Anthony Carone, three-time Olympic medalist pairs figure skater Eric Radford and Olympic medalist figure skater Dylan Moscovitch, Canadian author of the international best seller Room Emma Donoghue, co-writers of the Broadway musical Come From Away Irene Sankoff and David Hein, the Ontario Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Hon. Michael Tibollo, interior designers and television hosts Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan and pastry chef and television host Anna Olson

Celebrity walk-on roles are a long-held tradition with Nutcrackers all over the world. In the National Ballet’s production, the Cannon Dolls are the guest roles which are colourfully costumed Russian Petrouchka dolls who shoot a cannon into the audience to begin the battle scene in Act I. Past Cannon Dolls have included Chris Hadfield, Tessa Virtue, Mats Sundin, Doug Gilmour, Andrea Horwath, Barbara Hall, Brendan Canning, Larry Gowan, Sarah Gadon, Rick Mercer and Mayor John Tory.

Since 1986, thanks to the generosity of donors, nearly 95,000 children and family members in at risk communities have attended a Share the Magic performance for free. On December 7, 2018, the National Ballet invites 1,600 children and family members through various hospitals, social service agencies and schools in high-needs neighbourhoods to a special presentation of The Nutcracker.

This season’s Cannon Dolls:

December 7 at 7:00 pm  
Three-Time Olympic Medalist Pairs Figure Skater Eric Radford and Olympic Medalist Figure Skater Dylan Moscovitch

December 8 at 2:00 pm  
Global's Making a Difference Anchor and Longest Recurring Cannon Doll Susan Hay

December 8 at 7:00 pm  
Members of JUNO Award-Winning Rock Band ARKELLS Max Kerman and Anthony Carone

December 9 at 1:00 pm 
Hosts of CBC Radio's As It Happens Carol Off and Jeff Douglas

December 9 at 5:30 pm  
Host of CBC Fresh Air Nana aba Duncan and Guest Host of CBC Here and Now Reshmi Nair

December 12 at 7:00 pm  
Co-Host on Q107 Morning Show Jennifer Valentyne 

December 13 at 7:00 pm  
Hosts on CBC News Network Heather Hiscox and Michael Serapio

December 14 at 7:00 pm  
CP24 Meteorologist Bill Coulter and News Anchor Gurdeep Ahluwalia

December 15 at 2:00 pm
Canadian Author of International Best Seller Room Emma Donoghue   

December 15 at 7:00 pm 
TSN Sportscasters Darren Dreger and James Duthie

December 16 at 1:00 pm  
CTV Your Morning Co-Host Anne-Marie Mediwake and Meteorologist Kelsey McEwen

December 16 at 5:30 pm 
National Post Society Editor Sabrina Maddeaux 

December 18 at 7:00 pm  
Toronto Star Editor Irene Gentle and Divisional Director, HR David Callum

December 19 at 7:00 pm  
Toronto Maple Leafs Auston Matthews and Mitchell Marner

December 20 at 7:00 pm  
Canadian Press Entertainment Reporter Victoria Ahearn and Pop Culture Reporter David Friend 

December 21 at 7:00 pm  
Co-Writers of the Broadway Musical Come From Away Irene Sankoff and David Hein

December 22 at 2:00 pm  
Host of CBC Out in the Open Piya Chattopadhyay and Host of CBC Cross Country Check Up Duncan McCue

December 22 at 7:00 pm 
Ontario Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Hon. Michael Tibollo

December 23 at 1:00 pm  
City TV’s Breakfast Television Co-Host Roger Petersen

December 23 at 5:30 pm  
Interior Designers and Television Hosts Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan

December 27 at 1:00 pm  
680 News Reporter Geoff Rohoman and Senior Business Editor Mike Eppel 

December 27 at 5:30 pm  
Comedian and Host of CBC’s Laugh Out Loud Ali Hassan and Guest Host of CBC Radio's Because News Ashley Botting

December 28 at 7:00 pm  
Pastry Chef and Television Host Anna Olson

December 29 at 2:00 pm  
Hosts of YTV’s The Zone Meisha Watson and Suki

December 29 at 7:00 pm  
Comedians Nour Hadidi and Natalie Norman

December 30 at 5:30 pm  
Best Health Magazine Editor in Chief Beth Thompson and Art Director Jackie Shipley

The Nutcracker is choreographed by James Kudelka with music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, set and costume design by Santo Loquasto and lighting design by Jennifer Tipton.

Nutcracker Story Time begins 45 minutes prior to every performance in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.

The Nutcracker Availability Show by Show >

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TD Bank Group presents The Nutcracker.

The Nutcracker is made possible by generous financial support from production underwriters Sandra Pitblado & Jim Pitblado, C.M., Lawrence and Ann Heisey and an anonymous friend of the National Ballet.

Nutcracker Story Time is sponsored by TD Bank Group.

Share the Magic is sponsored by Sun Life Financial and generously underwritten by Ada Slaight.

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 Economic Development & Culture Department; 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 Michael Tibollo, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

Contact Information

media@national.ballet.ca