Moscow Ballerina touches down at Swan Lake

Ballerina with Moscow Ballet leads course at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Sanctuary – Photo Gallery

  • Oct. 8, 2016 5:00 p.m.
Ballerina Olena Nalyvaiko with the Moscow Ballet visited Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary Saturday to lead a pair of classes. The Moscow Ballet will visit Victoria Nov. 12.

Ballerina Olena Nalyvaiko with the Moscow Ballet visited Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary Saturday to lead a pair of classes. The Moscow Ballet will visit Victoria Nov. 12.


Some young ballerinas came face to face (and toe to toe) with a dancer from one of the world’s most famous ballet companies.

Olena Nalyvalko with the Moscow Ballet was in Saanich Saturday to lead a pair of courses at the Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary. The Moscow Ballet has teamed up with Swan Lake to raise money for the Saanich sanctuary.

Nalyvaiko, a ballerina and audition director with Moscow Ballet, was scheduled for a photo shoot before the courses on the sanctuary’s iconic boardwalk over Swan Lake, but heavy rain forced the shoot to be moved to a covered teaching shelter with Swan Lake as a backdrop.

“Olena was terrific about the whole thing,” said Kathleen Burton, executive director with the sanctuary. “She was grateful to be bundled up in a house coat on loan to the sanctuary by the Hotel Grand Pacific. She remained poised and just kept pointing her toes and posing for the camera shot after shot, smiling the whole time.”

Nalyvalko then led a pair of children’s programs, the first for those aged five to nine, followed by an intermediate class for those aged nine and over.

“The generosity of Moscow Ballet, to fly in a highly trained world-class Russian dancer like Olena, that provided the children this opportunity is truly amazing,” said Burton. “The smiles on the children’s faces, not to mention their parents and grandparents faces, as they watched the little ballerinas participate in a fun workshop of cultural immersion and personal role modeling while at the same time raising awareness and much needed funds for the Bridges to Nature Campaign was just delightful. As much as it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for them it was for me too.”

The ballerina’s visit to Swan Lake was the first of two events the sanctuary has planned in partnership with the Moscow Ballet. A performance of Swan Lake by the Moscow Ballet has been scheduled for 2 p.m. Nov. 12 at the Royal Theatre. If the theatre is 65 per cent sold out by Oct. 17, the ballet company will donate an additional $3,000 to the sanctuary in support of the Bridges to Nature project. When ticket buyers use the code ‘SWAN’ a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the sanctuary.

A special VIP block of tickets has been released to the public on Swan Lake’s promotion page All tickets purchased directly from this promotional page will support the sanctuary’s Bridges to Nature campaign.

“The society is thrilled Moscow Ballet has opened up this new block of tickets to the community in support of the campaign,” said Stephen Chang, Bridges to Nature campaign chair. “$75 from each $150 Gold Circle ticket will directly support phase two of the sanctuary’s atmospheric and dramatic boardwalk replacement. The VIP tickets offer some really exciting once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to purchasers including the chance to be part of the show.”

Purchasers of the Gold Circle tickets will also receive an invitation to a Nov. 11 VIP cocktails and appetizers reception being held at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary to welcome the Moscow Ballet to Vancouver Island. They will also get to be part of an after show meet and greet photo opportunity with the dancers. One lucky VIP ticket holder will also have the chance to be part of the show, arriving on stage in the Christmas sleigh at the end of Act One.

All ticket buyers are asked to use the code SWAN when purchasing their tickets in order for the sanctuary to benefit from a portion of the proceeds.

“It is important the public be aware they need to mention the code SWAN when purchasing their tickets over the phone or in person and to be sure to enter the code SWAN when purchasing tickets to the ballet online if the sanctuary is to benefit from the ballet performance,” said Burton.

Phase one of the campaign was completed in 2015 at a cost of $350,000. Another $800,000 is needed for phase two which will see the replacement of 755 feet of floating boardwalk.

Just Posted

Processed sewage is still being deposited at the Hartland landfill rather than sent as biosolids to a Richmond cement plant. (Black Press Media file photo)
Biosolids at Hartland still being placed on landfill in Saanich

Richmond cement plant up and running, but CRD end product not suitable for purpose

An SUV sits where it crashed through the front window of the 2:18 Run store in Fairfield Plaza, after the driver appeared to lose control on Monday afternoon. (Photo by Phil Nicholls)
Driver crashes through front window of Victoria running store in Fairfield

Phil Nicholls of 2:18 Run said crash sounded like an earthquake at first

Elk Lake Drive area resident Michael Blayney protests a proposed multi-building development for his Royal Oak neighbourhood, outside Saanich municipal hall on Monday (June 14). (Photo by Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Demonstrators protest 11-storey development on Elk Lake Drive in Saanich

Saanich locals gather at municipal hall to protest development, public hearing goes Tuesday

Seismic upgrading and expansion work at Victoria High School is about a year behind due to pandemic-related factors, the Greater Victoria School District announced. (Photo by Cole Descoteau)
Victoria High School seismic work, expansion a year behind schedule

Greater Victoria School District now targeting September 2023 for reopening of historic school

The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority is calling on Transport Canada to rescind its ban to Feb. 28, 2022 on cruise ship stops in Canada, to allow planning to begin in advance of a reopening of the cruise industry next year.
Greater Victoria Harbour Authority seeks end to federal ban on cruise ship stops in Canada

Greater Victoria Harbour Authority CEO hopes cruises will resume by 2022

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Neighbours on edge of Nanaimo city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Darren Campbell’s truck (pictured) was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
Vancouver Island Good Samaritan’s truck stolen in nasty trick

‘Try to be a Good Samaritan and my $20,000 truck gets stolen right under my nose’

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Creative handmade signs abound at the June 13 Tofino rally for old growth trees. (Nora O’Malley photo)
VIDEO: Tofino stands in solidarity for Fairy Creek Blockades

Over 150 supporters attend rally hosted by Friends of Clayoquot Sound

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

Most Read