Nov 04 2014 | Posted in Press Releases

Canadian Polar Bear characters added to Nutcracker cast

Winnipeg, MB – (November 4, 2014) Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet holiday favourite returns to the Centennial Concert Hall from December 20-28 with thirteen new furry characters. 12 baby polar bears and one adult polar bear enrich the already Canadian edition of Nutcracker that the RWB is well-known for.

The 12 baby polar bears will warm the hearts of audiences and will be played by 12 students from the RWB School Recreational Division. With costume design by Paul Daigle, these characters add delightful choreography to a new Nutcracker scene. The beloved Nutcracker bear Filbert will also get a new friend with the addition of an adult polar bear.

“We are excited to introduce our new furry characters to the stage,” shares RWB Artistic Director André Lewis. “Nutcracker has become a holiday favourite and family tradition to many in our audiences and we hope that our new bears find a place in their hearts.”

With an upcoming Nutcracker tour in Vancouver, Victoria and Nanaimo (December 5-14), the RWB is also looking forward to introducing the new polar bears to the rest of Canada.

“When on tour, we see ourselves as an ambassador for the Province of Manitoba,” said RWB Executive Director Jeff Herd. “With the addition of the new Polar Bears, we can help promote experiences like Assiniboine Park Zoo’s Journey to Churchill to audiences everywhere.”

To assist with the creation of these new holiday characters, the RWB has launched Filbert’s Furry Friends, a fundraising campaign to build these costumes. Suggested donations start at $20 and those who donate $250 or more by December 15 receive an invitation to a Cupcake Holiday Party hosted by Filbert and a few of his furry friends. See below for more information.

Interviews available with
RWB Executive Director, Jeff Herd
RWB School Recreational Division Principal, Kelly Bale
To schedule interviews, please contact RWB Public Relations Coordinator
Jane Puchniak ( 204.957.3456 | )

The Royal Winnipeg Ballet would like express their gratitude to Great West Life (Premier Sponsor), National Leasing (Performance Sponsor) and Perth’s (Partner Sponsor) for their generous support of RWB’s Nutcracker.

About Filbert’s Furry Friends Fundraising Campaign

In connection with the new characters of Nutcracker, the RWB has launched Filbert’s Furry Friends, a fundraising initiative inviting public contributions to bring these characters to life. Suggested donations start at $20. Those who donate $250 or more by December 15 receive an invitation to a Cupcake Holiday Party hosted by Filbert and a few of his furry friends. A $2,000 donation will sponsor the creation of one complete polar bear costume and this level of contribution features exciting holiday surprises. See the RWB website for more information.

About Nutcracker

Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s acclaimed production of Nutcracker is a sheer delight, and features endearing Canadian moments such as a snowy pond hockey game and a scene on Parliament Hill. This year’s production will be even more heart-warming with the addition of twelve white furry friends! Danced to Tchaikovsky’s timeless score, Nutcracker featuring the dancers of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and performed by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra will take you on a wondrous adventure this holiday season.

Calendar Listing
What: Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet presents Nutcracker
Location: Centennial Concert Hall, 555 Main Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Date: Saturday, December 20 to Sunday, December 28, 2014
Time: 7:00pm December 20, 22, 23, 27; matinees at 2:00pm on December 20, 21, 27, 28
Tickets for Nutcracker start as low as $29.00 for adults and $25.00 for children plus taxes and fees and can be purchased online at, in person through the RWB Customer Service Office at 380 Graham Avenue or by calling 204-956-2792 or toll free 1-800-667-4792. Groups of ten or more should contact the RWB Customer Service Office for more information on group discounts.

About Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet (

Founded in 1939, Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet holds the double distinction of being Canada’s premier ballet company and one of the oldest ballet companies in North America. Versatility, technical excellence and a captivating style are the trademarks of Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, qualities that have garnered both critical and audience acclaim. RWB’s superlative standards keep the Company in demand around the globe as it presents more than 150 performances every season across Canada and in the United States, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Russia, Japan, Asia and Mexico. Under the artistic direction of André Lewis for 17 years, the Company is said to have never looked more resplendent, more assured, and more ravishing.


For further media information, please contact
Jane Puchniak I RWB Public Relations Coordinator
T. 204.957.3456 I C. 204.223.4010