Canada’s National Ballet School hosted their annual fundraiser gala with this year’s theme of “Monte Carlo Meets Gatsby” pairing roaring 20’s Great Gatsby attire and Monte Carlo styled casino. I spotted Margaret Atwood and asked her why she didn’t attend the Book Lover’s Ball just the night before. She replied that she wasn’t invited this year. Was she joking? Anyway, luckily for guests of the NBS gala, this most-honoured Canadian author was kind enough to provide photo opportunities for adoring guests.

Other notable guests included Canada’s own World Champion figure skater, Kurt Browning. It was great to see all the well-attired guests come out to support Canada’s National Ballet School, a crucial foundation to Canada’s art scene.

“Because talent is the sole criterion for entry into NBS’ Professional Ballet Program, our annual fundraiser is crucial in generating awareness and securing support for our extraordinary students—of which almost 8 out of every 10 require funding.”, says Mavis Staines, NBS’ Artistic Director . “The annual gala performance highlights the determination and the artistry of our emerging young talent. Our patrons are part of a thrilling process–what better way to demonstrate appreciation than through the beauty of dance”.

Middle: Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood


Guest, Karen Kain, Kurt Browning, Sonia Rodriguez, Veronica Tennant



Stephen Voisin, Joan Lozinski


Kurt Browning, Sonia Rodriguez. Doesn’t Kurt Browning looks like a younger Steve Buscemi in Boardwalk Empire?

For over 20 years the annual gala has helped NBS ensure that the most talented youth find a place at the School regardless of families’ financial circumstances. Established in 1959, Canada’s National Ballet School is a global leader with an international profile for producing the finest and most gifted dancers, both from home-grown talent and from youth recruited abroad. For more information visit

More photos by Tom Sandler

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