The organization’s roots were planted in the early 1950s by the late Dr. Ruth Carse before taking its official name of Alberta Ballet in 1966 in Edmonton, Canada. In 1990, Alberta Ballet and Calgary City Ballet merged into the company it is today.
The organization’s main administration headquarters are located in the Nat Christie Centre – a renovated train station – in Calgary, Canada. Alberta Ballet has numerous other operating locations, including a box office on 17th Avenue in Calgary, an administrative and box office on Whyte Avenue in Edmonton, and a 10,000 square foot warehouse in Southeast Calgary that contains existing sets and is used to build new ones. The official training centre of Alberta Ballet, the School of Alberta Ballet, attracts students from around the world every year and has amassed a reputation as Western Canada’s preeminent ballet institution.
In 2013-2014, Alberta Ballet performs its 47th season and boasts a company of 30 classically trained professional dancers from as far away as Japan and as close to its home-base of Alberta.
Jean Grand-Maître, the company’s Artistic Director, joined Alberta Ballet in 2002 and has elevated the profile of the organization to a global position. Recently, the company has caught the world’s attention for its ‘portrait ballets’ – collaborations with popular music icons including Joni Mitchell, Sir Elton John, Sarah McLachlan, and k.d. lang. Excerpts from Joni Mitchell’s The Fiddle and The Drum were performed during the Opening Ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, where Grand-Maître also acted as Director of Choreography.