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Developments at Ballet BC

By Christa Lochead

Ballet BC’s board of directors has named long-time company dancer and choreographer Emily Molnar as interim artistic director of the Vancouver company. The announcement was made July 6th, one month after John Alleyne, artistic director for sixteen years, announced his departure. Molnar takes the helm during a rough year for the company. Last fall, Ballet BC came close to folding after insufficient ticket sales and approximately $600,000 of debt forced the organization to put itself into receivership and temporarily lay off all thirty-eight dancers and staff. While a combination of donor aid and credit restructuring saved the company, Molnar will be faced with the challenge of producing the upcoming season with fewer dancers and significantly less resources. In addition, Executive Director Andrew Wilhelm-Boyles has confirmed he will be leaving the company but will remain until his successor is identified. Wilhelm-Boyles’s exit is not unexpected as he had joined temporarily last February to guide the company through its financial crisis, yet it makes the second high-profile departure from the company in two months. Alleyne’s departure was marred by a disagreement with bankruptcy trustee E. Sands and Associates, who handled the company’s restructuring process. Alleyne argued that, based on the terms of his employment contract, the company’s list of debts should include nearly $143,000 compensation owed to him as a result of his termination the previous fall, despite the fact that he was eventually rehired. In June, Madam Justice Carol Ross of the Supreme Court of British Columbia ruled in favour of Alleyne.
Emily Molnar / Photo by Michael Slobodian

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