Moscow Ballet performance will benefit Swan Lake sanctuary

Nov. 12 performance of Swan Lake will raise money for Saanich nature sanctuary

Olena Nalyvalko with the Moscow Ballet strikes a graceful pose at the Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary. The Moscow Ballet will perform Swan Lake Nov. 12 at 2 p.m. at Victoria’s Royal Theatre.

Tickets are going fast for this week’s performance of Swan Lake by the Moscow Ballet. Saturday’s performance by the world-famous Moscow Ballet will raise funds for the Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary here in Saanich.

There are still tickets left for Friday night’s welcome reception where guests will have a chance to mingle with the Moscow dancers, with 100 per cent from each of the proceeds from the $35 tickets going towards phase two of the sanctuary’s floating boardwalk project.

The Moscow Ballet’s performance of Swan Lake takes the stage of Victoria’s Royal Theatre at 2 p.m. Saturday. Since its premiere in Moscow in 1877, Swan Lake has remained one of the most perpetually captivating, cherished and iconic ballets.

“Victoria is a typically a last minute town,” said Kathleen Burton, executive director with the sanctuary. “If you don’t want to be disappointed you best not wait any longer to buy tickets or you might miss the chance to see what has become a tradition for Moscow Ballet, since the first North American tour in 1993, a performance of Swan Lake.”

She said there are less than 100 tickets left for the performance, with only 10 VIP tickets left that provide an opportunity to attend  the ballet company’s welcome cocktail reception at the sanctuary and other perks, such as the chance for one lucky ticket holder to be part of the show. Moscow Ballet has committed $75 from each $150 ticket purchase to support the sanctuary.

The money raised will go towards Swan Lake’s Bridges to Nature campaign. Phase one of the project to replace the aging boardwalk was completed last year at a cost of $350,000. Another $800,000 is needed for phase two to replace another 755 feet of the floating boardwalk.

“Partnering with the world-renowned Moscow Ballet is an exciting opportunity for not only the sanctuary but for the whole community,” said Burton. “I was thrilled when they said they were interested in performing Swan Lake for Swan Lake, but that they flew one of their incredible ballerinas to Victoria in October –  on their dime  – to the delight so many children in order to help us fundraise is remarkable.”

Friday night’s reception will also include a silent auction on items such as two pairs of toe shoes worn in countless Moscow Ballet performances and other ballet memorabilia donated by the ballet company, a limousine wine tour, and a lunch and afternoon day sail.

“If only these ballet slippers could speak, imagine the stories they would tell. They are something very special, something every aspiring ballerina would love to have hanging on their wall,” said Burton.

To purchase tickets for Friday night’s reception, contact the sanctuary at 250-479-0211. Tickets for Saturday’s performance of Swan Lake by the Moscow Ballet start at $37 and can be purchased online at or by calling 250-386-6121. Use the code ’SWAN’ to have a portion of the purchase benefit the Swan Lake sanctuary.


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