Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet

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Alumni Association

Alumni Association

The Alumni Association, housed in the Royal Winnipeg Ballet building, was a project conceived as Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in 1989.

At the celebration of this anniversary, generations of artists and employees discussed the contributions of the RWB to Canada's cultural history, Winnipeg's local community and the dance community at large. Thus the decision was made in 1989 to capture and solidify the memorable contributions of many to the organization.

The Alumni Association, which was formalized in 91/92, now does the important work of supporting communication among alumni and current dancers. It has nurtured activities within the School and the Company to ensure that past, present and future members and friends are able to enjoy the legacy created for years to come.


The aims of the Association include preservation of the art form, documentation of past works and maintaining connections built across generations of employees.


With the Alumni initiative, Project Vintage, began the production and assembly of display cases throughout the RWB building that made our proud dance heritage and legacy visible. The framing and hanging of posters throughout the building is ongoing, with current poster inventory showcasing more than 450 images. It has served to educate staff, dancers, students and visitors about the company’s enduring history.

Also, in 1991, discussions began to preserve the Royal Winnipeg Ballet heritage through the development of the Company’s Archives. In 1994, the Association connected with AMA (Association for Manitoba Archives) by individual membership, and became an Association Member in 2004.

In 1998, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Board authorized that “the Archives be established as an official project of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Alumni Association with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet being recognized as the parent organization” by the amendment of Bylaw 1B, May 25,1998.

On February 1, 2009 a motion was approved by the Board of Directors to accept the mandate and acquisition policies regarding the RWB Archives.

With our membership directory being updated annually, the Association currently has 128 active members.

The Association's past and current activities include:

  • Successful organization of the 60th, 65th and 70th reunions and a special luncheon for the retirement of Arnold Spohr in 1988
  • Preparation and release of the newsletter UPDATE three times per year
  • Sponsorship of a Company dinner prior to the opening performance at the beginning of the season
  • Support of our students through the provision of two scholarship annually to recipients within the Professional Division School
  • Support of the history and legacy of Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet through memberships and fundraising
  • Since 2009 the RWB have received grants from the Winnipeg Foundation for the Archive Project


Our Current Challenge:

The archival focus has been primarily paper and photos; however, the video library is of special concern. The Royal Winnipeg Ballet currently houses a wealth of historic dance videos. As these materials age, their quality is compromised. As such, an initiative has begun to preserve the integrity of this footage by transferring the video to a digital format.


If you have an interest in contributing to this cultural collective, new members are always welcome. We look forward to hearing from all past employees of the RWB.

Annual dues are $25.00 Canadian.


Please contact the Alumni Association at alumni@rwb.org or write to us at;
RWB Alumni Association 380 Graham Avenue Winnipeg, MB. Canada R3C 4K2

 

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