December 30, 2010…Canada’s National Ballet School is thrilled to announce that NBS Artistic Director and Co-CEO Mavis Staines was today made a Member of the Order of Canada.
The Order of Canada is the centrepiece of Canada’s honours system, and was established in 1967 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Members of the Order of Canada are bestowed with their title in recognition of a lifetime of distinguished service in or to a particular community, group or field of activity. Recipients of the Order of Canada are announced twice per year by the Governor General, the Queen’s representative in Canada, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston.
Mavis Staines received the Member of the Order of Canada honour in recognition of her leadership in amateur sport in Canada and abroad, and for her advocacy of athletes and women in sport.
Mavis Staines was born in Quebec’s Eastern Townships and received her ballet training at Canada’s National Ballet School (NBS). Upon graduation From NBS in 1972 Staines became a First Soloist with The National Ballet of Canada and then danced with The Dutch National Ballet until an injury cut short her performance career. She subsequently returned to Canada and enrolled in NBS’ Teacher Training Program, joining NBS’ Artistic Faculty in 1982. She was appointed Artistic Director in 1989.
Staines is now devoted to evolving ballet education by building on the best of traditional schooling while ensuring future professional dancers develop the self-awareness and creativity essential to leading dynamic and innovative careers and lives. She also is devoted to NBS’ commitment to bring dance to all members of the community, from aspiring future professionals to those involved in the School’s myriad community programs and beyond.
Thanks to these values and the efforts of Staines in partnership with her colleagues, over the past two decades Canada’s National Ballet School has strengthened its role as a world leader in the training of professional dancers and teachers. Dedicated to advancing the art of ballet, NBS is now renowned for educating dance professionals in a student-centred environment by weaving innovation and evolving practice with the finest teaching traditions. NBS graduates can be found as dancers, choreographers, artistic directors, teachers, and administrators in over 65 dance companies world wide, and in even more schools around the globe. NBS celebrated its 50th anniversary from September, 2009 – August, 2010; special events throughout the year spotlighted NBS’ international role as a leader in education.
In addition to her accomplishments at NBS, Staines served as juror for the Prix de Lausanne, widely regarded as the world’s premiere ballet competition, from 1993 to 1995, and headed the jury as President in 1998 and 1999. In February 2001, Staines accepted the volunteer position of Artistic President Designate for the Prix de Lausanne and in February 2002, assumed the full responsibilities of Artistic President which she held until February 2008.
In 1998 Staines was a workshop presenter at the IOTPD Conference in The Hague, Holland. In 1999 NBS along with partners in The Hague hosted the first satellite linked dance symposium, with Staines an impassioned advocate for the project. She has since presented regularly at International conferences, most recently in October 2009 in Helsinki.
Over the years Staines also has served in various capacities with a number of dance-related organizations, including: DANCE/USA, Philadelphia, 1994; Dance Advisory Committee, The Canada Council for the Arts; The Dance Community of Educators, Toronto; and Kala Nidhi Fine Arts of Canada, Toronto. In 1998 Staines won the Toronto Arts Award for the Performing Arts. In November 2006, she was named by the Women’s Executive Network as one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100, and in 2008 she was presented an Honourary Doctorate in Humanities from Mount Saint Vincent University.
“I’m so pleased and proud that Mavis has received this distinction. She is a tireless campaigner for the field of dance training, and has devoted her life to the belief that dance can make the world a better place. She is an internationally-regarded figure in the ballet world, and thanks to her devotion to Canada’s National Ballet School, NBS continues to rank as an international leader in the field of ballet training. It is my pleasure to work with such a dedicated and compassionate colleague, and I am thrilled that she has received this recognition.” Stated Jeff Melanson, NBS’ Executive Director and Co-CEO.
Canada’s National Ballet School is grateful for the generosity of the following major supporters: The Government of Canada through the Honourable James Moore, Minister, the Department of Canadian Heritage, The Ontario Arts Council, the Government of Ontario, Active 2010, the City of Toronto, the British Columbia Arts Council, Human Resources and Development Canada.