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Winnipeg 150 Mayor’s Ball to benefit local performing arts organizations

Winnipeggers are invited to a ball alongside the city’s mayor in support of four local performing arts organizations.

Scott Gillingham announced he will host the Winnipeg 150 Mayor’s Ball at the RBC Convention Centre on Oct. 5.

The event is one of many to celebrate the city’s 150th anniversary, and will raise funds for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Manitoba Opera, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.

“This event will be an evening to remember, highlighting the incredible talent and creativity of our performing arts community,” Gillingham said at a news conference announcing the event on Friday.

All four groups are set to perform at the event.

The mayor added these groups struggled during the pandemic as they navigated waves of lockdowns and public health restrictions.

The financial impact is still felt today.

“It was a major challenge and financially, when you put people six feet apart, even at the Concert Hall, it means way fewer people are able to be present to see the shows, so it had a huge impact on all of the performing arts organizations,” said André Lewis, Royal Winnipeg Ballet artistic director and CEO.

Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra executive director Angela says nearly four years removed from the pandemic, ticket sales are about 30 to 35 per cent down, as is philanthropic support.

Still, there is hope, with steady increases in audience numbers year-over-year.

“We’re still not out of the water yet, but this is a very hopeful sign that we’re gradually recovering,” she said.

“I think the celebratory aspect of this ball and this event is going to be really important for the city and the province to really appreciate what we have.”

Tickets and sponsorship are available for purchase on the city’s website.

Everyone who purchases a ticket will get a tax receipt through the Winnipeg Foundation

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