Les Grands Ballets’ commitment and unique, ground-breaking approach to giving back to the community where it has such strong roots have given rise to a number of initiatives. Reflecting the company’s values of inclusion, solidarity and mutual assistance, that commitment takes several forms: sharing the art of dance with children who are sick or hail from disadvantaged communities, working to enhance the well-being of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable members of society, including differently abled young adults in Grands Ballets work experiences and, finally, making the arts—and ballet in particular—as widely accessible as possible.
The Nutcracker Fund is a perfect example. This educational program has shared the magic of the famous ballet with less-fortunate children for 24 years.
This program aims to offer human contact to clienteles who have been particularly affected by the pandemic by exposing them to beauty and gentleness. People living in a situation of economic precariousness, social exclusion, emotional distress and marginalization are top of mind for this initiative.
Les Grands Ballets invites these clienteles to experience exceptional outings. A series of performances, free of charge, will provide a moment to enjoy entertainment, happiness and healing.
In an effort to make cultural events more accessible, and to raise young people’s awareness of the performing arts and dance in particular, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens launched in 2010 the Aisenstadt Youth Fund.
This annual program allows public CEGEP students from the Montreal area to attend, free of charge, performances by Les Grands Ballets.
Since April 2019 and in cooperation with the Les Petits Rois Foundation, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens has been proud to host seven young adults from Centre Champagnat with an intellectual disability or autism spectrum disorder. They no longer qualify for services from the public school system and come to us for on-site work experiences. Two days a week, these young men and women perform a variety of tasks commensurate with their skills and abilities (watering plants, shredding documents, dusting furniture, helping out with costume workshop and merchandise operations, setting up the patio, assisting with recreation centre activities, and so on).
Each as unique and endearing as the next, they are true rays of sunshine in our team!
These temporary work placements are a wonderful way for participants to gain valuable work experience, build their autonomy and self-esteem, and learn new skills!
And for the members of the Grands Ballets team, it’s a great way to learn more about our differences and what we share in common.