Due to the recession and lack of needed funds, the Vancouver, BC, dance company Ballet British Columbia (Ballet BC) has canceled its spring tour of five western Canadian cities — Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon and Thunder Bay. “We just can’t afford it,” Ballet BC President Graeme Barrit told the CBC.

Cash-strapped Ballet BC, however, had raised enough funds in ticket sales to keep the holiday performance of “The Nutcracker” alive for six December shows, with more than 12,000 tickets sold. There are three evening shows from December 28-30 and three matinees from December 29-31 with tickets scaled from $37.25 to $85 plus applicable taxes.

In November, artistic director John Alleyne, the company’s dancers and most of its administrative staff were laid off. In order to rehire Alleyne, the dancers and staff, Ballet BC needs $175,000. A total of $25,000 has already been pledged.

In a public statement, Barrit explained, “We intend to keep Ballet British Columbia in business. …We are accepting gifts and pledges now, to be placed in trust, which will be available to Ballet BC, not to satisfy any current debts, but only for the purpose of building a stronger future starting in January 2009.”

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