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Evelyn Hart, C.C.

Photo of Evelyn HartAward-winning ballerina, the mesmeric Evelyn Hart is an internationally renowned dancer and one of Canada's most treasured artists. Evelyn began her dance training at the Dorothy Carter School of Dance in London when she was fourteen. She briefly attended the National Ballet School before going to Winnipeg to study at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, Professional Division in 1973. She joined RWB's corps de ballet in 1976, was promoted to soloist in 1978 and principal dancer in 1979.

In 1980, Evelyn won a bronze medal at the World Ballet Concours in Japan. Later that year, Ms Hart came to international attention when she became the first Canadian to be awarded a gold medal at the International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria, as well as the rarely awarded Certificate of Exceptional Artistic Achievement.

Since her achievements at Varna, Ms Hart has received numerous other awards and honours, including Officer of the Order of Canada in 1983 and promotion in 1994 to Companion, the highest rank; Manitoba's Woman of the Year in 1987; the Jean A. Chalmers Award for her contribution to dance in Canada in 2000; inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame in 2000; and honorary doctorates from the University of Manitoba and McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario in 1989. She has two 'Best Variety Show' ACTRA Awards for her television performances of Belong and 'Juliet' in Romeo and Juliet.

Evelyn has been hailed for her interpretation of many of the classic ballerina roles, especially ‘Giselle’ in Giselle, ‘Juliet’ in Romeo and Juliet, ‘Odette/Odile’ in Swan Lake and ‘Tatiana’ in Onegin. In addition to her classical repertoire, Ms Hart has received worldwide acclaim for her performances of contemporary ballets, most notably Jirí Kylián’s Nuages, Norbert Vesak’s Belong pas de deux, Sir Frederick Ashton’s Thaïs pas de deux and Derek Deane’s Impromptu.

In 2001, Ms Hart received the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award in Ottawa for her outstanding life-time achievements and contribution to the art of dance. Capping her illustrious 29-year association with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Evelyn danced a series of unforgettable performances in March 2005. Since then, Evelyn has relocated to Toronto, where she continues her career as a guest artist with various dance companies and independent artists, including ProArte Danza and Le Gala des Étoiles in Montreal.

Rex Harrington, O.C.

Photo of Rex Harrington

One of the world's finest male dancers, Rex Harrington is renowned for his magnetic charisma and originality. He has received critical praise for creating roles in several of James Kudelka's most acclaimed works including Peter in The Nutcracker, the Man in The Four Seasons and Rothbart in Swan Lake. Other roles include the title role in Onegin, Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew, Albrecht in Giselle, Siegfried in Kudelka's Swan Lake and the title role in Apollo. Constantly in demand as a guest artist, Harrington has performed around the world and partnered some of the greatest ballerinas of our time including Karen Kain, Evelyn Hart, Carla Fracci and Alessandra Ferri.

Since 1988, Mr. Harrington has made many guest appearances partnering Evelyn Hart, Resident Guest Artist with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Their partnership has brought them international acclaim; dancing in Japan, and throughout Europe and including Les Dons des Etoiles in Montreal in 1988, 1992 and 1997 and the annual Dancers for Life AIDS Benefit in Toronto and Vancouver.

Mr. Harrington's film credits include the film adaptation of the role created for him in The Four Seasons, for which he was awarded a Gemini Award for Best Performance in a Performing Arts Program, produced by Rhombus Media and Veronica Tennant Productions, directed by Barbara Willis Sweete; Norman Jewison's The January Man; the CBC/Primedia Productions of Alice and La Ronde, both of which were directed by Norman Campbell; Dancers for Life for CBC TV produced by Veronica Tennant; and Making Ballet for TVO.

On February 14, 2001 Mr. Harrington was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada. The 2003/04 season at The National Ballet of Canada was dedicated to him. The CBC telecast of The LIFE & TIMES of Rex Harrington: Last Dance, in the spring of 2005 received glowing reviews and won a Golden Sheaf Award for Best Documentary at the Yorkton Film Festival. He was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame in June, 2005.

Rex Harrington is now expanding his stage and screen talents to include acting and singing. He took the starring role as a singing waiter in Veronica Tennant's latest short film Rhymes with RED, singing a ballad specially composed for him by the renowned songwriter, Ron Sexsmith. Rex rekindled his National Ballet School Flamenco training in a brilliant reading of Don Jose opposite the Carmen of Jean Stilwell in a mixed discipline production of Carmen La Gitana in August, 2005. He is currently starring in Vancouver's Ford Theatre in Alley Cats the Musical, choreographed by Jeff Hyslop.

Brent Carver

Photo of Brent CarverBrent Carver is an internationally recognized performer having starred in numerous roles throughout Canada, the United States and England in theatre, film, and television. In 1979 at Los Angeles' Mark Taper Forum, Brent played Ariel opposite Anthony Hopkins in Shakespeare's The Tempest. Displaying versatility and dedication, Brent has performed major roles in Richard III, Cyrano de Bergerac, Tartuffe, Jacques Brel, Cabaret, Much Ado About Nothing, Mother Courage, and Kiss of the Spider Woman for which he won the prestigious Tony Award on Broadway. His solo show Brent Carver in Concert played to sold out venues in both Toronto and Vancouver. In 2001 Brent was awarded the Capital Critics Theatre Award for Best Actor for his performance in Larry's Party.

He has also taken part in television movies and series such as The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Da Vinci: Dream of Flight, Millennium, The Wars, Due South, The Song Spinner, Street Legal, Love and Hate, and The Twilight Zone. He was critically acclaimed for his role as the Countess in the feature film Lilies, and for his title role in Whiskers he received an Emmy nomination. Most recently Brent has performed in the film Deeply for director Sheri Elwood as well as Atom Egoyan's award-winning film Ararat. In 2004, Brent won a Gemini Award (Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Program) for his work in Elizabeth Rex. Brent will premiere the leading role of Gandalf in the new theatrical production of The Lord of the Rings in Toronto in 2006.

Shauna Rolston

Photo of Shauna RolstonHailed by the press as one of the leading cellists of this generation, Shauna Rolston's reputation for captivating audiences is international in scope, and has been steadily rising since she first began to display her gifts at the age of two. Following her formative studies at the renowned Banff Centre for the Arts, Shauna earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from Yale University and a Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music. Since making a spectacular Town Hall, New York debut at the age of 16, Shauna has performed regularly on four continents, appearing in recital and concerto engagements in Tokyo, Seoul, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Sao Paulo, Montreal, Toronto, New York, San Diego, Washington, St. Louis, Denver, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Budapest and Rome.

In 1999, she united with dancer/choreographer Peggy Baker and producer/director Veronica Tennant in the creation of "Words Fail", a work for solo cello and solo dancer with music by Chan Ka Nin. The videos of "Words Fail" and "The smokin' f holes" featuring Shauna with the ensemble Squeezplay were launched at the "International Moving Pictures Festival" in Toronto.

Gifted prodigy turned masterful innovator, Shauna is an enthusiastic advocate and performer of contemporary music. Shauna has given the world premieres of an astounding number of works written for her. Her CD "This is the Colour of My Dreams", is dedicated to concerti and concert pieces for cello and orchestra written for her by Heather Schmidt, Christos Hatzis, Chan Ka Nin, and Kelly-Marie Murphy. Her forthcoming CD "Shauna and Friends," features arrangements of popular favorites by Claude Kenneson for solo cello and an ensemble of 12 cellists.

Amanda Forsyth

Photo of Amanda ForsythCanadian Juno award-winning Amanda Forsyth, an adventurous and energetic artist, is considered one of North America's finest cellists. The intense richness of her tone, her remarkable technique and her exceptional musicality combine to enthrall her audiences and critics alike. Born in South Africa, Amanda came to Canada as a child and began playing the cello at age three. She began her musical education in Canada and later became a protégé of William Pleeth in London, England. She also studied with the renowned pedagogue Harvey Shapiro at the Juilliard School in New York. In 1999 she was appointed principal cello with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa.

A versatile performer, she is popular as a recitalist, soloist and chamber musician and has appeared with many leading orchestras in Canada, the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia. As a soloist and passionate chamber musician she has collaborated with such illustrious artists as Yo-Yo Ma, Yefim Bronfman, Michael Tree, and Pinchas Zukerman.

As a recording artist she appears on the Fanfare, Marquis, Pro Arte and CBC labels and performs frequently for CBC radio national broadcasts. Her most recent CD release is Mozart Flute Quartets for CBC Records with NACO Principal Flute Joanna G'froerer, violinist Martin Beaver and Pinchas Zukerman on viola. She also performs in two Juno-nominated chamber quintets on the NAC Orchestra's double Mozart CD released in October 2003. Her collaboration with flutist Susan Hoeppner in a recording for Marquis Classics was released in October, 2004.

Judy Loman

Photo of Judy LomanConsidered by numerous music critics to be one of the world's best harpists, Judy Loman can look back on an impressive career. After studies with Carlos Salzedo at the Curtis Institute (Philadelphia, U.S.A.), Judy Loman was awarded the position of principal harpist of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in 1960, a position she occupied until 2002. She teaches harp at The University of Toronto, the Royal Conservatory of Music, and the Curtis Institute. Her discography comprises some twenty recordings that are available throughout the world. Many of these recordings have received international prizes and awards, including the Juno Award and the Grand Prix du Disque. Judy Loman has commissioned, performed and taped many new works for harp. As a soloist, she has performed with the world's leading orchestras in North America, Europe, Israel and Japan, as well as at the World Harp Congress and the American Harp Society. In The Swan Sees His Reflection, Malcolm Forsyth re-wrote the part originally composed for piano, tailoring it to her prodigious talents.