A benefit for Ballet Kelowna

Following up on the extraordinary response to Ballet Kelowna’s final showing last month, a group of dedicated volunteers are attempting to extend the dance troupe’s life by staging a benefit concert fundraiser tomorrow night (Friday).

“There was much concern about the possible dissolution of Ballet Kelowna, with the resignation of the past board and a strong grassroots movement mostly among various artists in town and also the Ballet Kelowna audiences that came out in full force for their final performance of the season,” explains Denise Griswald, chairperson of the fundraising committee.

“There was a great impedes to keep the company going and keep it alive. It was kind of interesting how various artists banded together to volunteer their time and send messages of support.”

The variety type show will feature a wide range of performances from well-known artists in a fast paced setting. A silent auction will also take place with prizes donated by local businesses in the form of services and products.

“In 10 years, this company has come such a long way; to creating a name for itself throughout the entire province because they do tour a lot of smaller centres,” says Griswald.

That is why she is confident Ballet Kelowna can still be salvaged, and referenced the final sold out performance -- noting that membership in the society has since tripled.

“All of the arts organizations recognize that the strength of one is interdependent and they all need each other to build a momentum in Kelowna,” stresses Griswald.

“It’s also well known in arts administration circles that you’ve got to keep building on what you have and its very difficult to get government funding started again once you’ve lost something.”

Along with a new board of directors comes a new direction and a new level of optimism that this benefit – which replaces the annual Pirouette fundraiser – will lead to more fundraising initiatives in the future, such as Flower Power, a garden show scheduled for June.

Friday nights benefit entitled “Dancing with Friends” will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Kelowna Community Theatre. Tickets can be purchased online or by phone at 250-862-2867 or in person at the Kelowna Actors Studio Box Office, 1379 Ellis Street.

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