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Duchess of Cornwall visits RWB

By Megan Kimmerer
  • Akanbi Babatunde and Saeka Shirai performing a Pas de Deux from La Fille Mal Gardée / Photo by Vince Pahkala
  • ExplorAbility students with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall / Photo courtesy of Clarence House
  • 75th Anniversary of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet coin / Photo courtesy of the Royal Canadian Mint

Celebrating its seventy-fifth anniversary this season, Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet (RWB) welcomed Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall on May 21.

This visit marked the Duchess’s first time in Winnipeg, and her third visit to Canada. While at the RWB, she met with children from the company’s Community Outreach Program and watched performances by the school’s Professional Division and ExplorAbility program, which allows adults with mixed abilities to explore motion through dance.

The Duchess also unveiled a special silver coin from the Royal Canadian Mint, commemorating the RWB’s seventy-five years of artistry in Canada. Engraved in the colourful coin is an overhead photograph, originally taken by David Cooper, featuring six dancers from the RWB’s production of The Sleeping Beauty.

The collectable coin is unique in many ways. For the first time ever, the Royal Canadian Mint has placed the coin in its own music box that plays Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty when opened. The coin is also the first to use the Mint’s “Sheer Effect” colourization technique that brings a shimmer to the ballerinas’ costumes.

The Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage gifted the Duchess with one of the coins following the unveiling. Titled 75th Anniversary of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the new coin, valued at $114.95, can be ordered through the Mint’s online store

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