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Grands Ballets Gala 2023 Shined Bright Like A Diamond and Raised $475K

Grands Ballets Gala 2023 Shined Bright Like A Diamond and Raised $475K

Grands Ballets

On Saturday, May 13th, 300 guests from the Montreal business and cultural communities gathered, in the private theater of the Wilder Building, for the prestigious Annual Gala of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens.

Grands Ballets
Photo Karine Kalfon

During this must-attend event for the city’s movers and shakers, $475 000 were raised for the creative fund allowing Les Grands Ballets to continue to enrich and renew their repertoire with ever more daring creations.

Grands Ballets
The dancers of Cinderella | Photo Sasha Onyshchenko

The black-tie soirée – co-chaired by Jean-Yves Bourgeois (Desjardins Group) and Sylvain Corbeil (Scotiabank) – included notable guests, such as the Mayor of Montreal, Valérie Plante, and producer and host Julie Snyder.

Grands Ballets
Jean-Yves Bourgeois, Senior Vice-President, Business Services, Desjardins Group; Julie Snyder, Host and President of Productions J; Elise Charbonneau, Director of Development, Financing and Events, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens; and Sylvain Corbeil, Senior Vice-President, National Accounts and Business Banking, Scotiabank Quebec | Photo Karine Kalfon

Participants first enjoyed a delightful champagne cocktail reception in the Atrium.

Grands Ballets
Éric Phaneuf; Jennifer Gabrielle; Constance G. Leith; and Maxime Lemieux | Photo Karine Kalfon

And, as the evening progressed, they were invited to enter the Studio-Théâtre, which was transformed into an intimate candle-lit dining hall for the occasion.

Grands Ballets
Photo Karine Kalfon

While eating their gourmet meal, guests were able to admire the dancers’ performances just a few steps away from them between each service.

Grands Ballets
Table of Honour (from top to bottom, left to right): Marc Lalonde; Nadine Renaud-Tinker; Danielle Roberge; Ivan Cavallari; Jayne Smeulders; Keith Tinker; Chantal Durivage; Valérie Plante (Mayor of the City of Montreal); Maurice Côté; Louis Arseneault; and Nathalie Maillé | Photo Karine Kalfon

Les Grands Ballets dancers presented a preview of several exclusive excerpts from their upcoming creation Cinderella, which premieres on May 31, along with two contemporary pieces.

Grands Ballets
The dancers of Cinderella: Anna Ishii, first soloist; and Roddy Dobble, first dancer at Les Grands Ballets | Photo Karine LaRocque
Grands Ballets
The dancers in Hélène Blackburn’s Fête sauvage: Maude Sabourin and Raphaël Bouchard, principal dancers with Les Grands Ballets | Photo Sasha Onyshchenko
Grands Ballets
The performers of Symphonie Imaginaire by Etienne Béchard and Sidoni Fossé: André Santos and Célestin Boutin at Les Grands Ballets | Photo Karine LaRocque

Participants also had the chance to take home one of the 500 prizes available at the gift bar, including three grand prizes: two round-trip business class tickets to Europe courtesy of Air Canada, a Baume & Mercier Clifton men’s timepiece offered by Château d’Ivoire, and a set of six Loop chairs donated by Roche Bobois.

Grands Ballets
Photo Karine LaRocque

High-end jeweler Édéenne surprised everyone by hiding a diamond worth $10,000 among the glasses of champagne, which quickly became one of the highlights of the evening.

Grands Ballets
Each guest had to weigh their stone to find out if they were the lucky winner! | Photo Karine Kalfon

To end the night on a high note, a DJ kept guests dancing alongside the company’s dancers.

Grands Ballets
GBC dancer Vanesa Montoya burning the dance floor with her partner | Photo Karine Kalfon

As Elise Charbonneau, Director of Development, Financing and Events of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, was happy to tell us: “The success of this event is a testament to the importance of connecting the arts and corporate sectors to support cultural institutions. All proceeds from the evening went to our creation fund, allowing the company to continue its pursuit of excellence, creativity, and audacity.”

Grands Ballets
(from left to right) Steve Coutereel, Artistic Coordinator of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens; Jayne Smeulders, choreographer of Cinderella; Graeme Fuhrman and Emma Garau, dancers with GBC; Valérie Plante, Mayor of the City of Montreal; Elise Charbonneau, Director of Development, Fundraising and Events with GBC; Vanesa Montoya, dancer with GBC; and Corinne Jozsef, Director of Touring with GBC | Photo Karine Kalfon

Here is what you need to about Les Grands Ballets

Les Grands Ballets Canadiens was founded in Montréal in 1957 by Ludmilla Chiriaeff, who dreamed of creating Québec’s first professional ballet company to show everyone the beauty of dance. It has since evolved into a creation and production company whose mission is to infuse the spirit of classical ballet into all types of dance.

Today, the ballet company includes some fifty Canadian and international dancers, and just as many musicians in the Orchestre des Grands Ballets. A cornerstone of the Québec dance scene, Les Grands Ballets is located in the heart of Montréal’s Quartier des Spectacles, in Édifice Wilder – Espace Danse, which contains creative spaces, administrative offices and a costume studio.

Ivan Cavallari has served as artistic director of Les Grands Ballets since 2017. With Ivan at the helm, the company’s repertoire is ever-expanding to both showcase the great ballet classics and explore uncharted territory in dance, alongside leading and emerging contemporary creators.

Instagram: @grandsballets
Facebook: @lesgrandsballets
Website: grandsballets.com/en

Grands Ballets
Photo Karine Kalfon & Neda Farboud

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