Donor Spotlight - March 2018

Mar 27 2018 | Posted in

RWB Company Dancers Sophia Lee and Yayoi Ban in costumes from The Wizard of Oz


Our 79th Season includes the Canadian Premier of The Wizard of Oz!

In our 2018/19 season females take the lead in a repertoire of time-honored classics and a stunning new creation. The RWB’s season of mainstage performances ends in The Emerald City as audiences journey alongside the iconic, headstrong Dorothy and her friends in the Canadian Premiere of The Wizard of Oz from May 1-5, 2019. In this collaboration between the RWB, Kansas City Ballet and Colorado Ballet, L. Frank Baum’s tale of family, friendship, and courage is vividly brought to life by choreographer Septime Webre, choreographer of the hit Alice (in Wonderland).

Experience The Wizard of OZ before anyone else at RWB’s Ballet Ball 2018, The Emerald City!

RWB Company Dancer Sophia Lee in Costume

Ballet Ball 2018 welcomes you to The Emerald City, an evening of glamour, opulence and enchantment on April 28, 2018 at the Fairmont Winnipeg.

Mingle with our Company dancers and let the experience of live ballet sweep you down the yellow brick road to the magical land of OZ.

Included in the entertainment for the evening is a special performance featuring a segment of the upcoming performance The Wizard of Oz. Guests will be the the first to see a segment of this new creation before its premiere in Kansas City!

Tickets are moving quickly! Get yours today by contacting Nicki Kirton at 204.957.3457 or

Join a community that recognizes the value of art and believes in giving back.

Image of Leonard Offrowich

The Gift of Giving Back

When Gweneth Lloyd and Betty Hay Farrally founded the Winnipeg Ballet Club in 1939, they brought to life a daring vision for the future of dance. With the creation of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, they made an indelible mark in Winnipeg’s cultural landscape, and on the dance world abroad.

In honour of their founders, the RWB created The Lloyd and Farrally Society to recognize donors who have included the RWB in their will or who have made a gift of life insurance to the RWB. One member of the Lloyd & Farrally Society is Leonard Offrowich, a long-time subscriber.

“Having enjoyed viewing or participating in many arts programmes through the years, I came to realize the initiating fact in our lives is movement,” says Leonard.

“What child does not respond to music by dancing? As teens, we dance. Life indeed, encapsulates elements of dance and ballet. The music of the symphonies support the ballet. Great artworks such as Degas’ Dancers portray ballet. One of my favourite novels is entitled A Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell. We are surrounded by dance our entire lives. The RWB is a fresh and progressive ballet company that speaks to the pioneering spirit of Canada.”

Great dance stays with us and has the power to bring us back to some of life’s most memorable and cherished moments. “(I loved) Brian Macdonald’s Les Whoops De Doo as it harkened back to my own square dancing that, as elementary students, we enjoyed so much.”

As a member of the Lloyd and Farrally Society, Leonard is invited to events and activities, such as viewing rehearsals, that bring him closer to the RWB community and allow him to “appreciate the intensity of the creative process by the dancers and choreographers.” Leonard notes that “performances take on a new and very special meaning once one has viewed a rehearsal.”

For Leonard, leaving a gift to the RWB in his estate plans is a thoughtful tribute to a company that has, for almost 80 years, created joy and memories for him and countless others.

“It is simply a way to give back and ensure the continued existence of ballet in our community,” he says.

“I encourage everyone who enjoys the RWB to consider this type of donation. It is the essence of the theory of paying forward.”

Contact Katherine Suplevé at 204.957.3471 or email at for more information about making a gift to the RWB in your will and becoming a member of our Lloyd and Farrally Society. If you have included us in your estate plans, we would be delighted to know so we can thank you for your generosity and ensure your gift is designated to an area that means most to you.


During the filming of our 2018-19 season launch video, we had the wonderful opportunity to feature RWB Company dancers Jo-Ann Sundermeier and Josh Reynolds’ dog Georgia! She was a joy to have on set and we were so glad to get to work with her. Now that the filming is finished, we asked Jo-Ann if she could tell us a bit more about her lovely little star.

Royal Winnipeg Ballet: How did you end up choosing Georgia?

Jo-Ann Sundermeier: Last summer we started to talk about the possibility of getting a puppy so we decided to randomly check some ads on Kijiji. There was a family in St. Vital whose dog had a litter of 6 puppies…we just couldn’t resist. We contacted the owners to see if we could go see the pups. The minute we held her she snuggled up, and we fell in love!

RWB: How did you pick her name?

JS: We chose the name Georgia as Josh is originally from Atlanta. She’s a mix between miniature schnauzer and pug.

RWB: Does she have any funny habits or tricks?

JS: Georgia loves to eat vegetables! Her favorite are carrots. She also loves to play—chasing her tail is her favorite pastime!

RWB: Can you tell us a bit about her on set as Toto?

JS: Georgia has recently become a star at the RWB. She was used for a promotional photo shoot for the 2018/19 season. Ballet Master Tara Birtwhistle asked if we would be ok with the idea of Georgia playing the role of Toto. As the proud parents of this adorable pup, we couldn’t pass up this opportunity. Also, we think she’s perfect for the role! Georgia is very shy when she meets new people, or when she is in new surroundings. On set, she was shy with the crew, but she was great with taking direction and showing off her performing skills in front of the camera!

To have a look at Georgia’s wonderful performance, she is featured starting at 2:01 in our Season video!

RWB: Is there anything else you’d like to share about Georgia?

JS: Georgia will be celebrating her first birthday on May 4th, and as of June 15th, she will be a big sister- Josh and I are expecting our first baby in the summer! Stay tuned for more on the next chapter of our story.


RWB Building at 380 Graham Avenue

Friday April 27, 2018 | 11:00 AM

We want to open our doors and bring you into the world of the RWB! A special donors-only building tour will be taking place on Friday, April 27th at 11am. Spots are limited so email to secure yours!