National Ballet of Canada | Jillian Vanstone, Aleksandar Antonijevic and Robert Stephen Win Rolex Dancers First Award

November 29, 2011

Press Releases

National Ballet of Canada | Jillian Vanstone, Aleksandar Antonijevic and Robert Stephen Win Rolex Dancers First Award

The National Ballet of Canada announced that Principal Dancers Jillian Vanstone and Aleksandar Antonijevic and First Soloist Robert Stephen are the recipients of the Rolex Dancers First Award. Artistic Director Karen Kain and Victor Royce, President and CEO of Rolex Canada Ltd. presented the award at a ceremony in Toronto.

The Rolex Dancers First Award recognizes outstanding performances by a male dancer and a female dancer in the previous season and is juried by a committee of members of the National Ballet’s Artistic Staff. Ms. Vanstone, Mr. Antonijevic and Mr. Stephen are recognized for their extraordinary performances as Alice, the White Rabbit and Mad Hatter in the North American premiere of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Each received an award of $2,500 and a work by glass artist Robert Buick.

“It is a pleasure to sponsor the Dancers First programme, as it not only recognizes a dancer’s dedication to their pursuit of an outstanding performance it helps to support them in their career,” said Mr. Royce.

The award is an essential part of the Dancers First programme. The programme supports all the dancers of the National Ballet with funds for artistic development and health and wellness resources. Currently, there are 14 donors who sponsor dancers through the Dancers First programme.

This is the second year that the award has been sponsored by Rolex Canada. Since its inception, Rolex has always encouraged individual excellence and the pursuit of perfection. In keeping with this long tradition, Rolex continues to contribute to the arts world through its various sponsorship activities.

The Rolex Dancers First Award is presented by Rolex Canada Ltd.

Robert Stephen is sponsored through Dancers First by Mr. Thor Eaton & The Honourable Nicole Eaton, Senator.

The 2011/12 Season is presented by CTV and The Globe and Mail.

Celebrating 60 Years of Partnership with The Volunteer Committee, The National Ballet of Canada.

Thomson Reuters presented Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Lead philanthropic support provided by an anonymous friend of the National Ballet with additional support generously provided by The Catherine & Maxwell Meighen Foundation, Richard M. Ivey, C.C., Rosamond Ivey, Robert & Judith Lawrie and Wallace & Margaret McCain. Generously supported by The Monument Trust in memory of Simon Sainsbury.

Generous philanthropic support from Sir Simon and Lady Robertson, Sarah and Lloyd Dorfman, Robert and Kathleen Wallace, Celia Blakey, Sue Butcher, Marina Hobson MBE, Peter Lloyd, Kristina Rogge and Richard and Victoria Sharp.

The National Ballet of Canada gratefully acknowledges the ongoing support of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Ontario Arts Council; the City of Toronto through the Economic Development & Culture Department; the Government of Canada through the Honourable James Moore, Minister, the Department of Canadian Heritage; the Government of Ontario; the Ontario Arts Foundation; the Ontario Trillium Foundation; and the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund.

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