Your Questions Answered

Why are the Fall Season and The Nutcracker cancelled?

The National Ballet of Canada made the difficult decision to cancel the Fall Season and The Nutcracker due to uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic. The safety of our audiences and artists is our foremost priority and we feel there are too many unknowns to commit to a return to the stage in November. In addition, to mount our fall productions and The Nutcracker full company rehearsals would need to resume in September and social distancing policies would have to be fully lifted. At this time, this is not possible.

What productions are in the updated 2020/21 season?

The Winter Season in March opens with the highly anticipated return of Crystal Pite’s Angels’ Atlas, which recently won two Dora Mavor Moore Awards for Outstanding Original Choreography and Outstanding Achievement in Scenic Design. Angels’ Atlas is presented on a programme with George Balanchine’s Serenade and James Kudelka’s The Four Seasons. The Winter Season continues with Kudelka’s beautiful, art-deco inspired production of Cinderella and John Neumeier’s acclaimed A Streetcar Named Desire. The Summer Season in June features the world premiere of Swan Lake, directed and staged by Karen Kain. See full season here >

What happens with my subscription?

Your subscription will continue for the Winter Season in March 2021 and Summer Season in June 2021. Every subscriber will receive an email outlining their new subscription package with options for your cancelled performances. We understand that flexibility is paramount and as a subscriber, you can receive your choice of a full refund, a voucher valid until June 2022 or a charitable tax receipt for the full value of your cancelled performances. Included in your email is a link to a survey to select which option suits you best. We are here to answer any questions you have. Please contact our Audience and Donor Services Department at 416 345 9595 or by email at info@national.ballet.ca.

The Nutcracker is in December – why cancel now?

It is particularly heartbreaking to have to cancel The Nutcracker. This will be the first year since 1955 that Toronto audiences will not be able to share this holiday tradition together. The Nutcracker brings together 50 dancers, 98 children from Canada’s National Ballet School and high schools all over Toronto, 65 musicians, 20 young singers from VIVA! Youth Singers who join The National Ballet of Canada Orchestra for the famous snow scene, 63 crew and over 50,000 audience members each year. Bringing this glorious production to life requires many hours of rehearsal time that would need to start in September. Sadly, this will not be possible this year. We will return in full force in 2021!

Why is Frame by Frame not being performed in March?

Frame by Frame must be postponed to a future season. The 2021 Toronto performances were to coincide with a European tour in April and a cross-Canada tour that has now been postponed. We look forward to presenting this brilliant work again soon.

Will the National Ballet be providing digital content in the fall?

Yes! We will continue to share the beauty of ballet and showcase the artistry of our dancers in the digital medium until we can return to the theatre. We will present exciting new original work as well as existing work in unique settings while adhering to Public Health guidelines. We will keep you informed by email and on our social media platforms. Stay tuned.

What safety protocols are in place at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts?

Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts will only reopen when Public Health has given clear direction that it is safe to do so. At that time, the theatre will continue to carry out strict cleaning and sanitization procedures in accordance with Public Health guidelines and hand sanitizer stations will be also be available for all patrons upon entering the facility.

When will subscribers be receiving their tickets?

We expect to have subscriber packages in the mail in January, well in time for our March performances.

I have a voucher from the 2019-20 season – what are my options?

Vouchers are valid until June 2022 and they can be easily redeemed for either subscriptions or single tickets. Subscriptions are available now and you can redeem your voucher online here, or by calling our Audience and Donor Services team on 416 345 9595. If you can’t find your voucher, we can resend this to you.

What are the dancers doing right now?

In accordance with Public Health policy and for the safety of our artists and staff, The National Ballet of Canada’s studios and offices have remained closed. Dancers took class from their kitchens and living rooms and are working hard at staying in shape.The company is pleased that as of August 5, the dancers have returned to the studio, with limited access. Following strict protocols for sanitation, physical distancing and traffic flow, the dancers are able to take Company Class in groups of four in classes scheduled during the day. The class will also include one pianist, one instructor, one physical therapist and two stage managers, all maintaining physical distancing. Rehearsals will resume when it is safe to do so.

Even though they are not on stage, the dancers are sharing the joy of dance digitally on our social media platforms. Join us on Facebook and Instagram to stay connected virtually!

Have there been any layoffs because the cancellation of the Fall Season?

From the beginning of this crisis, our Board and executive leadership has been committed to protecting our employees and artists as fully, and for as long as possible. There have been limited furloughs to date, largely part-time and hourly workers, many of whom were working on building our new Swan Lake. We have implemented a wage reduction plan in an effort to protect jobs. The dancers will continue to work, taking classes to continue their training, and preparing curated digital content that will be released later in the fall. They will also resume rehearsals for the March and June 2021 seasons once we are able to have larger groups of dancers working together. With the continued support of donors, subscribers and government, we hope to be able to protect as many jobs as possible and ensure that we emerge from the COVID-19 crisis as the world-class company that we were when we gave our last performance on March 12.