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on the scene

Ballet BC presents MOMENTUM

Vancouver’s Rocky Mountaineer Station was the backdrop for Ballet BC’s recent gala, their first one, not since the pandemic, but rather, in more than 25 years. The beloved collaborative and creation-based dance company was keen to mark their 35th anniversary in a big way – an evening dubbed MOMENTUM, which took the best bits of so many galas, and pulled them together. Out was a formal dinner, in was roving nosh and drink for the 300 in attendance. In place of speeches and staid presentations, were performances of new works that popped up throughout the evening. These fleeting moments of beauty by Ballet BC company artists were all under the direction of artistic director Medhi Walerski. Since 2009, Ballet BC has developed a repertoire of 45 new works by Canadian and international choreographers and new for the organization, is its first official home: later this year Ballet BC is set to decamp from downtown to Granville Island to occupy the former Arts Umbrella building. Among them out at the fete, which raised north of $325,000 in support of expanded programming: event co-chairs Samantha Cunliffe and Julian Scott; Ballet BC board chair Linda Brown, a partner of the law firm McCarthy Tétrault, which served as presenting sponsor; founding president of Ballet BC Jean Orr; sculptor Marie Khouri; and of course, the company’s executive director John Clark.

Ballet BC dancer Sidney Chuckas at MOMENTUM in Vancouver.Jon McRae/Four Eyes Portraits

The Classics' Alex Merrell, left, and event co-chair Julian Scott.Jon McRae/Four Eyes Portraits

John Clark, left, with Ballet BC Board member Elise Girardin and Eric Girardin.Jon McRae/Four Eyes Portraits

Le Dîner en Blanc

The concept for Le Dîner en Blanc is rather simple: guests, dressed in all white, gather at a secret local, usually a public space, for a meal with friends under the stars. The first Le Dîner en Blanc was held in Paris in the late 1980′s with just a few people in attendance. By 2018, when the event celebrated its 30th anniversary, a record 17,000 guests filled the esplanade of the Hôtel des Invalides. In the years since its inception, the posh picnic has become a global phenomenon with more than 120 cities in 40 countries participating. Le Dîner en Blanc Toronto returned recently after a two year hiatus. Guests gathered as they always have, dressed in white, this year at Ontario Place West Commons with white tables and chairs and baskets in tow. For those who didn’t want to pack their own picnic was a culinary offering from Chef Patrick Kriss of famed restaurant Alo who joined the event’s long-time catering partner, Chef Adrian Niman, founder of Food Dudes. Among the sea of 1500 guests: Jessica Tan and Jordan Fogle, co-hosts of Le Dîner en Blanc in Toronto; interior designer Brenda Danso; artists Andrea Bolley and Kyra Kendall; and fashion stylist Sebastian Styless.

Fashion stylist Sebastian Styless, left, at Diner en blanc in Toronto.Ryan Emberley

Artist Andrea Bolley.Ryan Emberley

Chefs Patrick Kriss and Nick Bentley.Ryan Emberley

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