Anik Bissonnette, OC, CQ, ballerina, arts administrator (born at Montréal 9 Feb 1962). Québec's best-known ballerina, Anik Bissonnette is renowned for her exceptional musicality, purity of line and extraordinary balances, and for using her technical assurance to plumb exciting emotional depths. After garnering wide acclaim in many performances with Louis Robitaille, she was a principal dancer at Les Grands Ballets Canadiens (LGBC) from 1989 to 2007 and made annual appearances at Montréal's Gala des Étoiles from 1983 until 2006. She was artistic director of the Festival des Arts de Saint-Sauveur from 2004 to 2014, and has been artistic director of the École supérière de ballet contemporain de Montréal since 2010. An Officer of the Order of Canada and a Chevalière of the National Order of Québec, she has received the Prix Denis Pelletier and the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement.
In an era when most contemporary ballet companies presented mixed programs, Gradimir Pankov added a new dimension to Les Grands' programs by commissioning evening-length story ballets. reshaped Les Grands into a starless troupe of young and versatile dancers chosen for their personalities as much as their technique.
Boris Vladimirovich Volkoff, dancer, choreographer, ballet master and director (b Boris Vladimirovich Baskakoff at Schepotievo, Russia 24 Apr 1900; d at Toronto 11 Mar 1974). Although he often felt under-appreciated, Volkoff is now considered by many to be the godfather of Canadian ballet.
The Dancers of Damelahamid are a First Nations dance collective from the Northwest coast of British Columbia, traditional territories of the Gitksan nation. Damelahamid refers to the origins of the first ancestor, Hagbegwatku, and the land granted the Gitksan when their ancestors were placed on earth. It is a geographic location near Hazelton, BC, where the 'Ksan Historical Village and Museum is found.
Berta Lynn Seymour, née Springbett, dancer, choreographer (b at Wainwright, Alta 8 Mar 1939). One of the greatest dramatic ballerinas of the century, Seymour studied at the Rosemary Deveson School and with Nicolai Svetlanoff in Vancouver before entering the Sadler's Wells School in England (1954).
In 1973 av Paul moved to Montréal, joining Les Grands Ballets Canadiens as principal dancer. Her beauty, artistic maturity and versatility won her a wide-ranging repertoire in both purely classical and neo-classical works and she created many roles in new ballets including several by Macdonald.