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THE SCOOP | Karen Kain To Retire From The National Ballet of Canada

By Michael Vincent on October 25, 2019

Karen Kain, National Ballet of Canada
National Ballet of Canada artistic director Karen Kain with, from left, corps de ballet member Spencer Hack, second soloist Tiffany Mosher, corps de ballet member Miyoko Koyasu and first soloist Francesco Gabriele Frola. (Photo: Karolina Kuras)

Announced today, ballet phenomenon Karen Kain will retire as Artistic Director of the National Ballet of Canada in January 2021. Following her retirement, Kain will be named Artistic Director Emeritus.

The date will mark a half-century with the National Ballet, and the end of an era not only for Kain, but for Canada’s namesake ballet company. Kain had taken on the role of Artistic Director in 2005 after retiring from dancing following a farewell tour in 1997.

“When Karen agreed to take on the role of Artistic Director, she identified three distinct goals: to return the company to the international stage, to attract the world’s greatest choreographers and dancers and to cultivate Canadian talent,” said Cornell C.V. Wright, Board Chair of The National Ballet of Canada. “To say she achieved these goals is an understatement. Karen surpassed expectations of all three.”

“Being Artistic Director of this organization has been the greatest honour of my life.” said Kain in a press release statement. “When I step down in January 2021, I know I leave a financially stable company with the very best dancers in the world, one of the most diverse and coveted repertoires and an international reputation for the highest level of excellence.”

Under Kain’s vision, the National Ballet has completed 23 international tours, commissioned 24 new works, and achieved 10 years of operating surpluses.

“…While her tenure as Artistic Director has established The National Ballet of Canada as one of the world’s best ballet companies, her legacy will also include leaving the company in the strongest financial condition in its history,” said Executive Director Barry Hughson. “This has been driven by her vision, understanding of the financial implications of every artistic decision and the trust she has engendered among the generous donors who have fuelled her dreams. I look forward to sharing many more highlights with Karen throughout 2020 and I’m thrilled that she will be named Artistic Director Emeritus, staying close to the company that she has led as a world-class ballerina and Artistic Director over half a century,” said Mr. Hughson.

Capping off a distinguished career, Kain was honoured earlier this year as the first Canadian to win the prestigious Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Award — the highest honour from the prestigious Royal Academy of Dance.

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Michael Vincent

Michael Vincent is the Editor-in-chief Ludwig Van and CEO of Museland Media. He publishes regularly and writes occasionally. A specialist in digital media for over 15 years, he has worked as a senior editor and is a former freelance classical music critic for the Toronto Star. Michael holds a Doctorate in Music from the University of Toronto.
Michael Vincent
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Follow me

Michael Vincent

Michael Vincent is the Editor-in-chief Ludwig Van and CEO of Museland Media. He publishes regularly and writes occasionally. A specialist in digital media for over 15 years, he has worked as a senior editor and is a former freelance classical music critic for the Toronto Star. Michael holds a Doctorate in Music from the University of Toronto.
Michael Vincent
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