It was announced late last week that after 10 years, Ballet Kelowna can no longer hold their collective heads above water and the company will fold in March.
Artistic Director David LaHay will soon be retiring; that coupled with declining audiences and lack of support have spelled the death knell, even though the company has maintained balanced budgets with the assistance of grants, fundraising events and support from both the government and private donors.
"Ten years celebrates a significant achievement," says Ballet Kelowna Board President Jamie Maw.
"Sustaining a ballet company in a smaller market is an ongoing struggle, one we've willingly embraced knowing how fortunate we are to bring David's extraordinarily high standard of dance to our community, and to many others."
The Kelowna Ballet Society will still continue to exist, but it will be a scaled down version of its previous self with the hope that a new group of dance enthusiasts with renewed energy and vision will build a new legacy.
With the help of financial assistance from the Thomas Alan Budd Foundation and a group of local business people, Ballet Kelowna will continue with their free outreach performance at Orchard Park shopping centre on Feb. 23, and take part in a modified spring tour in March, before their grand finales in Kelowna and Summerland on March 15 and 16. They will also go ahead with their Flower Power performance on June 15, with the hopes of winding up the company with a clean slate. Other events expected to take place include Hot Holiday Homes in November and The Nutcracker Making Memories confirmed for Dec. 8.
Program and ticket information can be found at the groups website.