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Posted: August 02, 2011

Former Principal Dancer, Tara Birtwhistle & Mrs. Asper

The Royal Winnipeg Ballet is deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Mrs. Babs Asper, a dear friend to us and a champion of the Winnipeg arts community.

A longtime member of RWB’s Patrons’ Circle, Mrs. Asper was a true supporter of our efforts to create and perform new works to audiences at home and abroad. Mrs. Asper made a significant personal donation to RWB’s Creations Endowment Fund which supports the creation of new ballets, and she was instrumental in The Asper Foundation’s tremendous support as Production Benefactor of A Cinderella Story, a full-length ballet with prominent jazz elements created to launch the RWB’s 65th anniversary in 2004.

In 2010, The Asper Foundation was the lead sponsor of the RWB’s 70th anniversary tour to Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa. Mrs. Asper had planned to attend the tour’s opening night performance in Tel Aviv, but was held back by an injury a few weeks prior.

The generous and dedicated support of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet over the years by Mrs. Asper, the Asper family and The Asper Foundation has helped ensure the RWB will continue to create and perform outstanding ballet for audiences throughout the world for decades to come. For all of us at the RWB, this will be Babs Asper’s valuable legacy.


Posted: July 29, 2011


Thank you to the huge crowds (and all the sweet little dancers in the crowd!) that showed up at Ballet in the Park Wednesday and Thursday evenings! We hope you enjoy the three nights of beautiful ballet and beautiful weather! One more show begins this evening at 7:30 pm. See you there!


Posted: July 29, 2011

RWB Corps de Ballet member Yayoi Ezawa just got engaged. Here is Yayoi’s account of how it happened. Congratulations Yayoi!

I was recently in Japan for almost two months visiting my family during my summer break. My boyfriend, Toshiyuki stayed in Winnipeg and we were Skyping and emailing each other while I was gone.

On June 22, Toshiyuki called me in the morning and asked me if I was up and if we could talk. We started Skyping and during the conversation he asked me to marry him! He tried to show me the ring on the web camera. I was so surprised. We had talked about marriage but I wasn’t expecting him to buy a ring and propose now, especially while I was in Japan.  And our parents haven’t even met each other yet.

When I came back on July 11, he was waiting for me at the airport. In the new airport parking lot, he went on one knee and said “Will you marry me?” with the ring in his hand. And I said “Yes.” We don’t have a date set yet but we plan to get married next year. We are both very happy.

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