Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet


2021-12-03 19:00 2021-12-05 21:00 60 Canada/Eastern 🎟 NAC: Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet

In-person event

Featuring the NAC Orchestra Tradition continues as NAC Dance proudly brings back a family favourite this holiday season! Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet is descending upon the National Arts Centre to perform their much-loved, all-Canadian version of the timeless story of Nutcracker. Join Clara in her fairy-tale reverie — along with her Prince, the Mouse King, Sugar Plum Fairy, majestic Mounties and Filbert the Bear — for this delightful frolic through a winter wonderland. Set...

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Southam Hall,1 Elgin Street,Ottawa,Canada
December 3 - 5, 2021

≈ 2 hours and 4 minutes · With intermission

Our programs have gone digital.

Scan the QR code at the venue's entrance to read the program notes before the show begins.

It is certainly a joyous occasion to be hosting Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet this week, with its magnificent production of Nutcracker —a wonderful launch to the holiday season! The RWB’s Canadian-themed production of this famous ballet is a fitting way to bring us all together in the nation’s capital. Programming and presenting for our patrons is the raison d’être of NAC Dance, and we can’t thank you enough for sticking with us during these difficult months.  At the heart of the Nutcracker are stories of dreams and hopes, and of family and home. Welcome back, and welcome home! 


Last updated: December 2, 2021

We would like to recognize the Algonquin Nation, on whose traditional unceded territory the National Arts Centre is located. We gratefully acknowledge them as the past, present and future stewards of this land.

We stand with the Indigenous community and commit to build an ongoing process of reconciliation and collaboration. 

Fun facts!

Yosuke Mino performed in the first production.

Brian Perchaluk, the scenic designer, was a Gemini Award winner before designing The Nutcracker, his first RWB production.

We have almost 250 costumes for 39 dancers – each dancer has three to eight costumes.

RWB’s Wardrobe Department make each costume in-house, sewing precious details by hand.

Nutcracker has about 35 tutus in the show alone, and it can take up to 50 hours to create just one snowflake tutu.

To transform the Nutcracker stage into a winter wonderland is no small feat. To make Nutcracker happen, 34 stagehands are needed for setup while 26 stagehands are staffed for the duration of the production.

To give an idea of the organized clamor behind the curtain, there are 18 fly cues that move 32 pieces of scenery. With the final minutes of Nutcracker requiring three major scene changes, it is no wonder Nutcracker planning begins in March!


Run time is 2 hours and 4 minutes including intermission.


Christmas 1913, in a large Canadian home. It’s a prosperous time in a prosperous city whose population has swollen with new arrivals. The First World War is still half a year away.


‘Tis the night before Christmas and all through Clara’s house, everything and everyone is stirring – even the mice! The people inside are getting ready for the big Christmas party – cooking and wrapping and dressing and fussing. Outside, neighbourhood boys play hockey on the street while friends and family start to arrive, carrying armloads of presents and anticipating a marvelous event.


Scene I – Clara’s Bedroom

Twelve-year-old Clara is oblivious to all the noise and confusion. She’s dreaming in front of the mirror in her bedroom, practicing her ballet steps. She wants to be perfect when she dances for her glamourous Aunt Josephine, a singer who has traveled all the way from Montreal on the train. Mama interrupts. “Where is the bow that I made for your hair?” she demands. “And where is Dieter?”

Clara’s younger brother leaps out of a large armoire, brandishing a toy sword. Grandmother Marguerite finds her way to the bedroom and manages to calm everyone down. Things aren’t turning out the way Mama has planned; not even the Christmas tree has been delivered. “But Mr. Drosselmeier promised to bring a tree!” She runs off to check on things downstairs while Grandmother shows the children some favourite photographs of Christmas past.

Scene II – The Christmas Party

Mama, Papa and the butler are looking at the empty space in the big living room where the tree should be. What kind of a Christmas party is this going to be? Among the guests filling the room is Aunt Josephine. Resplendent in furs, she makes a grand entrance with her fiance, Edouard, dashing in his military uniform.

At last! Mr. Drosselmeier carries in a tree. Clara suddenly feels shy when he introduces her to his grandnephew, Julien. In no time at all, the tree is decorated and Clara has the honour of putting the star on the very top. Suddenly, the first-ever electric Christmas lights illuminate the tree!

Mr. Drosselmeier hands out his presents, all enchanting. Dieter’s army of toy soldiers has now been augmented by Mounted Police. Mr. Drosselmeier’s masterpiece goes to Clara – a beautifully hand-crafted Nutcracker. During Christmas dinner, Clara slips away to admire her Nutcracker and imagines that he comes alive to dance with her. The doorbell rings and a bear scurries in, admires the tree and dances happily with the Christmas toys. The party breaks up in a flurry of dancing and silliness and romance. “Good night Everyone! Merry Christmas!”

Scene III – Bedtime

Clara falls asleep but is soon awakened by the terrifying Mouse King who is about to steal her beloved Nutcracker. The clock strikes midnight.

Scene IV – The Living Room

Moonlight shimmers through the window and the room starts to change into something strange and new. Clara finds Mr. Drosselmeier who tries to convince her that she has nothing to fear. Suddenly, before her very eyes, the room and the Christmas tree begin to grow. Clara is attacked by scurrying mice while trying to save her Nutcracker.

The Nutcracker comes alive and chases the mice away. Dieter’s squadron of toy soldiers and Mounted Police are now a living regiment and battle fiercely against the menacing mice with cannons, swords and every ounce of cleverness they can muster. The battle takes a turn for the worse when Fritz is wounded and the Nutcracker is shot by the Mouse King while attempting to help Dieter.

Scene V – A Magical Forest

Finally, Clara defeats the Mouse King and begs Mr. Drosselmeier to help her wounded Nutcracker. It’s only after Clara professes her love for Nutcracker that Mr. Drosselmeier can bring him to life again. The Nutcracker was Julien all along and he is now a handsome prince. They walk hand in hand into a magical pine forest, dancing under a sky filled with stars and the Northern Lights.

Snow begins to fall. As the snow falls, polar bear cubs and one big bear playfully wander into the forest. The polar bears are happy to find Clara and the Nutcracker Prince there, and bid them farewell as the Nutcracker Prince and Clara depart to the Sugar Plum Fairy’s kingdom.


Scene I – The Kingdom

The Nutcracker Prince and Clara travel to the Sugar Plum Fairy’s kingdom, where adorable little angels along with Mr. Drosselmeier help with the preparations for their arrival. The Sugar Plum Fairy gives Clara and Prince Julien a very warm welcome and an elaborate ceremony ensues to honour them. Wonderful dances from many different lands and many more delights are performed, reminding Clara of all the people arriving every day to their country.

In a beautiful pas de deux, the prince has the great honour of dancing with Clara. She simply floats in time to the music. In a grand farewell gesture, all the inhabitants of the magical land gather to bid Clara a happy journey home.

Scene II – Early Morning

When Clara wakes up, she is happy to be in her own bedroom. The Nutcracker stands proudly next to her. Remembering her dream, she’s relived to see her big brother Fritz striding into the room, alive and well, and announcing, “It’s snowing!” They bundle up, go outside and watch the snow fluttering down. It was the best Christmas ever!

About Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet

Founded in 1939, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet holds the double distinction of being Canada’s premier ballet company and one of the oldest ballet companies in North America. Under the artistic direction of André Lewis, versatility, technical excellence and a captivating style are the trademarks of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, qualities that have garnered both critical and audience acclaim. The RWB’s superlative standards keep the Company in demand across North America. In addition to the Company, the RWB is home to the RWB School, consisting of both a Professional Division which trains young artists for a professional career in dance, and a Recreational Division which provides classes to over 1,500 students each week.

❄ The RWB Holiday Store! ❄

Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet is thrilled to offer limited edition Nutcracker merchandise for the ballet enthusiast in your life, and we’ve got a garment style for everyone.  In addition, we are excited to share our theme for the season as we Reignite the Stage designed to let the world know how happy we are to be back performing for you. 

Store is open until midnight CST, December 5, 2021. Products will be delivered by Canada Post.

Shop now!

Cast and Characters


Elizabeth Lamont (3 eve, 5 mat)
Chenxin Liu (4 mat,  5 eve)
Alanna McAdie (4 eve)
Victoria Noisette* 

Clara’s parents
Elena Dobrowna (3 eve, 5 mat)
Jami Deleau (4 mat, 5 eve) 
Katie Bonnell (4 eve)
Stephan Azulay (3 eve, 4 eve, 5 mat)
Liam Caines (4 mat, 5 eve) 

Clara's grandmother
Chenxin Liu (3 eve, 5 mat)
Alanna McAdie (4 mat, 5 eve)
Elizabeth Lamont (4 eve)

Emily Davis*

Liam Saito (3 eve, 4 eve, 5 mat)
Parker Long (4 mat, 5 eve) 

Josephine, Clara’s Aunt
Jaimi Deleau (3 eve, 5 mat)
Katie Bonnell (4 mat, 5 eve) 
Elena Dowbrowna (4 eve)

Edouard, Josephine’s fiancé
Michel Lavoie (3 eve, 5 mat)
Joshua Hindson (4 mat, 5 eve) 
Logan Savard (4 eve)

Drosselmeier, Clara’s Godfather
Liam Caines (3 eve, 4 eve, 5 mat)
Stephan Azulay (4 mat, 5 eve)

Julien, Drosselmeier’s Grandnephew
Findlay Davies* 

The Nutcracker Prince
Yue Shi (3 eve, 5 mat)

Michel Lavoie (4 mat, 5 eve) 
Peter Lancksweerdt (4 eve)

Clara’s Friends
Emilie Lewis (3 eve, 4 eve,  5 mat)
Elizabeth Lamont (4 mat, 5 eve)
Alanna McAdie (3 eve,  5 mat)
Jenna Burns (4 mat, 5 eve)
Chenxin Liu (4 eve)
Amanda Solheim (3 eve, 4 eve,  5 mat)
Brooke Thomas (4 mat, 5 eve)
Parker Long (3 eve, 4 eve,  5 mat)
Liam Saito (4 mat, 5 eve) 
Joshua Hindson (3 eve,  5 mat)
Logan Savard (4 mat, 5 eve)
Michel Lavoie (4 eve)

Their Parents
Kyra Soo (3 eve, 5 mat)
Katie Simpson (4, 5 eve)
Katie Bonnell (3 eve, 5 mat)
Elena Dowbrowna (4 mat, 5 eve)
Jaimi Deleau (4 eve)
Priscilla Gubiotti 
Julianne Chartier
Myles Mackesy 
Tymin Keown
Logan Savard (3 eve, 5 mat)
Yue Shi (4 mat, 5 eve)
Joshua Hindson (4 eve)
William Hrivnak 

* Young dancer from the Ottawa-Gatineau region featured in this production

Katie Simpson (3 eve, 5 mat)
Kyra Soo (4, 5 eve)

Cleighden Butler-Racine 

Maggie Weatherdon
Julianna Generoux 

Fairy Tale Characters
Clara, the Prince

Evil sorcerer 
Parker Long (3 eve, 4 eve, 5 mat)
Liam Saito (4 mat, 5 eve)

Emma Curtis
Emma Duncan
Sarah Zaugg
Tess Pepetone 

Clara, Dieter, The Nutcracker Prince and

The Mouse King
Parker Long (3 eve, 5 mat)
Liam Saito (4 mat, 5 eve) 
Tymin Keown (4 eve)

His army of Mice
Kyra Soo, Emilie Lewis, Brooke Thomas, Priscilla Gubiotti, Julianna Generoux, Maggie Weatherdon, Emma Duncan, Julianne Chartier

Soldiers & Mounted Police
Michel Lavoie (3 eve, 4 eve, 5 mat)
Peter Lancksweerdt (4 mat, 5 eve)  
Stephan Azulay (3 eve, 4 eve, 5 mat)
Liam Caines (4 mat, 5 eve)  
Joshua Hindson 
Tymin Keown (3 eve, 4 mat, 5)
Parker Long (4 eve)
Logan Savard
Myles Mackesy
Cleighden Butler-Racine
William Hrivnak

Clara, The Nutcracker Prince and

Alanna McAdie (3 eve, 5 mat)
Elizabeth Lamont (4, 5 eve)
Jaimi Deleau (3 eve, 4 eve, 5 mat)
Katie Bonnell (4 mat, 5 eve)
Elena Dobrowna, Emilie Lewis, Amanda Solheim, Jenna Burns, Katie Simpson,  Brooke Thomas, Kyra Soo, Julianne Chartier, Emma Curtis, Emma Duncan, Julianna Generoux, Priscilla Gubiotti, Sarah Zaugg, Maggie Weatherdon, Tess Pepetone 

Clara, The Nutcracker Prince, Drosselmeier with

Sugar Plum Fairy
Jaimi Deleau (3 eve, 5 mat)
Elena Dobrowna (4 mat, 5 eve)
Amanda Solheim (4 eve)

Katie Simpson (3 eve, 5 mat)
Emilie Lewis (4, 5 eve)
Michel Lavoie (3 eve, 5 mat)
Parker Long (4 mat, 5 eve)
Liam Saito (4 eve)
Jenna Burns
Peter Lancksweerdt (3 eve, 4 mat, 5)
Yue Shi (4 eve)
Elena Dobrowna (3 eve, 5 mat)
Brooke Thomas (4 mat, 5 eve)
Katie Bonnell (4 eve)
Joshua Hindson
Kyra Soo
Logan Savard (3 eve, 4 eve, 5 mat)
Tymin Keown (4 mat, 5 eve)
Julianne Chartier, Emma Curtis, Emma Duncan, Julianna Generoux, Priscilla Gubiotti, Sarah Zaugg, Maggie Weatherdon, Tess Pepetone

Drosselmeier with
Amanda Solheim (3 eve, 5 mat)
Jami Deleau (4 mat, 5 eve)
Elena Dobrowna (4 eve)
Brooke Thomas (3 eve, 5 mat)
Katie Bonnell (4 mat, 5 eve)
Katie Simpson (4 eve)

Katie Bonnell (3 eve, 5 mat)
Katie Simpson (4 mat, 5 eve)
Brooke Thomas (4 eve)
Stephan Azulay (3 eve, 5 mat)
Liam Caines (4 mat, 5 eve)
Tymin Keown (4 eve)

Drosselmeier with
Alanna McAdie (3 eve, 5 mat)
Elizabeth Lamont (4 mat, 5 eve)
Chenxin Liu (4 eve)

Emilie Lewis (3 eve, 5 mat)
Amanda Solheim (4 mat, 5 eve)
Jaimi Deleau (4 eve)
Parker Long (3 eve, 4 eve, 5 mat)
Logan Savard (4 mat, 5 eve)
Liam Saito (3 eve, 4 mat, 5)
Michel Lavoie (4 eve)

Drosselmeier with Sugar Plum Fairy

Clara & The Nutcracker Prince


Founders: Gweneth Lloyd & Betty Farrally
Artistic Director Emeritus: Arnold Spohr, C.C., O.M.
Founding Director, School Recreational Division: Jean Mackenzie
Founding Director, School Professional Division: David Moroni, C.M., O.M., D.Litt, (h.c.)
Artistic Director & CEO: André Lewis

Chenxin Liu, Alanna McAdie
Yue Shi
Yayoi Ban, Elizabeth Lamont
Yosuke Mino
Katie Bonnell, Jaimi Deleau
Stephan Azulay, Liam Caines, Peter Lancksweerdt
Jenna Burns, Elena Dobrowna, Emilie Lewis, Katie Simpson, Amanda Solheim, Brooke Thomas
Joshua Hidson, Tymin Keown, Michel Lavoie, Parker Long, Liam Saito
Kyra Soo
Logan Savard

Associate Artistic Director: Tara Birtwhistle
Senior Ballet Master: Johnny W. Chang
Ballet Masters: Caroline Gruber, Jaime Vargas
School Director: Stéphane Léonard
Recreational Division Principal: Nicole Kepp
Professional Division Principal: Suzanne André
Teacher Training Program Director: Johanne Gingras
Stage Manager: Candace Maxwell
Assistant Stage Manager: Paige Lewis

Executive Producer: Cathy Levy
Associate Producer: Tina Legari
Special Projects Coordinator and Assistant to the Executive Producer: Mireille Nicholas
Company Manager: Sophie Anka

Education Associate and Teaching Artist: Siôned Watkins
Technical Director: Brian Britton
Communications Strategist: Livia Belcea 
Marketing Strategist: Chatelaine Rindorindo


  • André Lewis ©Ian McCausland
    Artistic director & CEO - Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet André Lewis, O.M.
  • Galina Yordanova ©
    Choreographer Galina Yordanova
  • Nina Menon ©
    Choreographer Nina Menon
  • Paul Daigle ©
    Costume designer Paul Daigle
  • Brian Perchaluk ©
    Set designer Brian Perchaluk
  • Michael J. Whitfield ©
    Lighting designer Michael J. Whitfield
  • Royal Winnipeg Ballet ©
    Featuring Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet
  •  ©
    Featuring NAC Orchestra