Mavis Staines to Receive Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal

February 6, 2013

Press Releases

Mavis Staines to Receive Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal

balleet school

TORONTO, ON (February 6, 2013) – Canada’s National Ballet School (NBS) Artistic Director, Mavis Staines, C.M., DHumL, will receive the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal today at a ceremony taking place at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto.  Staines will be honoured in recognition of her commitment to the education and well-being of individuals in the field of dance, especially in the Province of Ontario.


The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal was created to mark the 2012 celebrations of the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the Throne as Queen of Canada.  The commemorative medal also serves to celebrate great achievements and contributions made by Canadians from across the country and various walks of life, who have dedicated their time and efforts to improving the lives of those in their community.


Staines will be presented the medal alongside other members of the Order of Canada and Order of Ontario.  The Diamond Jubilee Gala will be hosted by The Honourable David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and will include musical performances by Canadian artists Tom Cochrane, Bruce Cockburn, Liona Boyd and Michael Burgess, among others.


“I’m delighted that commitment to evolving dance education, through the work NBS does on a daily basis, is being recognized through the awarding of this medal,” said Mavis Staines.  “NBS is an international leader in this field, and I am deeply honoured to accept this award on the School’s behalf.”


Mavis Staines was born in Quebec’s Eastern Townships and received her ballet training at NBS.  Upon graduating 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 accident 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, and has been sharing her leadership with the School and the larger community ever since.


Staines has devoted her life to evolving ballet education by building on the best of traditional schooling while ensuring future professional dancers develop the self-awareness, independence and creativity essential to leading dynamic and innovative careers and lives.  She is equally committed to bringing dance to the broader community, from aspiring future professionals to those involved in the School’s myriad community programs and beyond.  Thanks to these values and the tireless efforts of Staines in partnership with her colleagues, NBS has strengthened its role as a world leader in the training of professional dancers and teachers.  This can be seen through NBS’ Assemblée Internationale festival, first initiated in 2009 to mark the School’s 50th anniversary, and which will take place again in Spring 2013.  This ground-breaking-festival, spearheaded by Staines, is a unique opportunity for ballet students and artistic faculty from around the world to come together to learn, collaborate and share their creativity in an international forum.


Staines has an Honorary Doctorate in Humanities from Mount Saint Vincent University, and was named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women by the Women’s Executive Network in 2006.  In 2010, Staines became a Member of the Order of Canada in recognition of her commitment to dance education.

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