After taking in what could have been the final Kelowna performance of Ballet Kelowna last week, the city’s mayor says he now feels encouraged the dance troupe may be back for an 11th year after all.
Walter Gray said his sense was that many people there who may not have attended the ballet in the past want to see Ballet Kelowna continue and are now willing to support it.
“I came away believing this was not the last time we would see Ballet Kelowna here,” said Gray following the council meeting. “I’m more encouraged than ever,”
Last month, the then-board of Ballet Kelowna announced it was pulling the plug on the well-regarded dance troupe prior to the end of its season because of a lack of money.
Ballet Kelowna has since appointed a new board at a meeting held last Wednesday and an anonymous donor came forward and offered to help fund the dance troupe through to the end of its current season.
Gray said while the Kelowna show was the last local performance of the season, Ballet Kelowna will now travel to other communities, such as Golden, Revelstoke, Chilliwack and towns in Alberta before wrapping up next month.
Referring to what he thought was a sell-out crowd on Friday night, Gray said if it can continue to get that kind of support here “maybe it can be saved.”
“It does send a message, in a subtle way I think, that Kelowna does support the arts,” Gray said.