Pirouette began its fairytale evening with a romantic performance from Sleeping Beauty, and ended happily-ever- after with the fulfillment of a longtime dream for Ballet Kelowna and its Artistic Director David LaHay.
This signature fundraising event, Pirouette brings together several art forms in a unique evening that sees the culinary leaders of the Okanagan paired with award-winning wines and the artistry of dance to raise funds for Ballet Kelowna.
Master chefs Rod Butters, Bernard Casavant, Mark Filatow, Stuart Klassen, Sandrine Raffault-Martin, and Roger Sleiman prepared and generously donated an eye-popping, specially designed five course culinary feast. Each course was paired with wines provided from ACES Okanagan, Le Vieux Pin, Noble Ridge, Okanagan Spirits, Quails’ Gate, Summerhill Pyramid Organic Winery, Okanagan Spirits and Tree Brewing. Liquid Chef Gerry Jobe created a specialty cocktail topped with ‘hibiscus air’, made with local spirits from Urban Distilleries and honey wine from Meadow Vista.
Borrowing from Winston Churchill, Ballet Kelowna president Jamie Maw said, “Never in the field of culinary endeavour has so much been owed by so many to so few.”
The dancers of Ballet Kelowna gave an amuse bouche of their upcoming performance ‘A Grand Passion’, featuring a tango, the sultry dance of love and passion. And for the hopeless romantic, two of the greatest love stories of all time: star-crossed Romeo and Juliet and the legendary Sleeping Beauty.
“The culinary arts and dance arts have proven to be a winning combination. Guests who travel to events around the globe, rate Pirouette as a world class event. The chefs, the wineries and Ballet Kelowna pulled out all the stops to give an award- winning performance worthy of repeated standing ovations” enthused event organizer, Debbie MacMillan.
A spirited live auction followed the memorable dinner, raising funds to keep the company on their toes throughout the year. It has long been a dream of Artistic Director David LaHay to develop an apprenticeship program to provide training and performing opportunities for emerging professional dancers. But this expansion of the troupe, from six to eight dancers, doesn’t come cheap. Upon hearing the request from auctioneer Mike Ritchie, generous guests quickly rallied to raise another $36,000 granting the dream for LaHay.
Thanks to title sponsor, Thomas Alan Budd Foundation, and the generosity of the community, Pirouette raised an amazing $126,000 for Ballet Kelowna. Love was definitely in the air for dance and for Kelowna’s professional ballet company.
One of Canada's ten professional ballet companies, Ballet Kelowna is a dedicated community partner committed to inspire, educate and entertain through the energy and artistry of ballet.