Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s talented Ballet Mistress
and former Principal dancer Tara Birtwhistle was honoured by Premier Greg
Selinger with The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal on opening night of
Moulin Rouge® - The Ballet! The lovely Tara Birtwhistle has been an integral
part of Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet for more than 20 years; first as a
student, then as Principal dancer and finally as a member of the RWB’s Artistic
team. This award is a highlight for Birtwhistle, who has enjoyed an immensely
rich career in the arts.
The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal was created in 2012 to mark the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the Throne as Queen of Canada and to honour Her Majesty for her service to this country. The medal recognizes and honours those Canadians who have made significant contributions to their profession, their community and their province.
Upon receiving the medal from Premier Selinger, who thanked her warmly for her contribution to the arts over the last few decades, a visibly moved Birtwhistle expressed her absolute delight in front of the large opening night crowd. “Thank you. It is such an incredible honour to receive this prestigious award.” Birtwhistle went on to express her commitment to sharing her knowledge and love of dance with the next generation of talent at the RWB.
In her years as a Principal dancer with the RWB, Birtwhistle danced every leading role in the RWB’s repertoire. Among her favourites are Lucy in Mark Godden’s Dracula, Rita Joe in Vesak’s The Ecstasy of Rita Joe, The Cowgirl in Agnes de Mille’s Rodeo, Myrtha in Giselle and Juliet in Rudi van Dantzig’s Romeo & Juliet. She has been lauded for her soloist performances in Mauricio Wainrot’s smash sensation Carmina Burana. Birtwhistle also left her mark as the evil yet charismatic Stepmother in Val Caniparoli’s A Cinderella Story and the delightfully terrible Red Queen in Wonderland.