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No matter how big or small, the donations Alberta Ballet receives help bring life to our artistic team’s vision of our productions year after year.


Through the Production Fund, the sets and costumes of crowd favourites like Edmund Stripe’s The Nutcracker and Jean Grand-Maître’s Love Lies Bleeding will be maintained so that new audiences can enjoy the same great show the artistic team envisioned.

Maintaining these ballets requires a lot of support from our production and wardrobe teams, and a lot of capital! Ten years ago when the holiday classic The Nutcracker was revitalized, $1.2M was raised to bring to life Edmund Stripe’s choreography and Emmy Award winner Zack Brown’s set and costume designs. There was a large community of people who understood the importance of The Nutcracker that came together to introduce a new generation to this masterpiece. The support of donations allows us to keep adding to that vision every season since. If we were to recreate The Nutcracker today, it would cost more than $2M!

But why? Here’s a peek behind the curtain of The Nutcracker:

  • There are 329 handmade performance costumes in The Nutcracker

  • A single tutu takes 60-90 hours of labour, has 100 yards of tulle/ruffle and costs about $3,500 each.

  • Every season, about $500 is spent on rhinestones to replace the ones that fall off during performances. There are 6,000 Swarovski crystal rhinestones on the costumes and all of them are glued on by hand.

  • A ballerina can complete 32 fouetté turns while staying in the exact same spot on the floor. Afterwards, the pointe shoe is hot to the touch and is so worn out, it is only used for rehearsals.

  • Each pair of pointe shoes can last between three to seven days and cost about $100 each. The annual budget for point shoes alone is about $100,000.

  • It takes up to 1400 hours to maintain, repair, rebuild and fit the costumes every year.

  • If you have enjoyed performances like The Nutcracker or Love Lies Bleeding, we invite you to make a donation to the Production Fund today.


To donate to the
contact Samantha Uhlich
Manager of Donor Relations
403.245.4222 ext. 555 donate@albertaballet.com