Royal Winnipeg Ballet School gets $1.55M from federal arts fund

The Royal Winnipeg Ballet School will get $1.55 million over two years from the federal Canada Arts and Training Fund.

The funding will be officially announced at a news conference on Wednesday morning.

The school includes a professional division that attracts dancers from around the world, training dance stars such as Evelyne Hart and André Lewis, who is now the Royal Winnipeg Ballet artistic director and CEO.

Graduates of the program dance with world-renowned companies including Ballet Zurich, Pina Bausch Company and Birmingham Royal Ballet, says Stéphane Léonard, the school’s director.

“These Canadian-trained artists share the gift of their talent and remind the world of Canada’s exceptional contribution to the arts,” Leonard said.

Similar funding was announced in 2014 by what was then the Conservative government, which also provided $1.55 million over two years through the Canada Arts Training Fund.

The Royal Winnipeg Ballet, founded as the Winnipeg Ballet Club in 1939, is among the world’s premier dance companies. It is Canada’s oldest ballet company and the longest continuously operating ballet company in North America.