The Board of Directors of The National Ballet of Canada announced on October 25, 2019, that Karen Kain will retire as Artistic Director in January 2021 and will be named Artistic Director Emeritus.
Kain is one of Canada’s most renowned and committed arts leaders. She is the longest serving Artistic Director of the National Ballet since Founder Celia Franca and has led the organization with great success. She has had an invaluable impact, as both an artist and a leader, on the National Ballet as well as the arts in Canada and around the globe. Included among many awards she received throughout her career is ISPA's Distinguished Artist Award honored in 2011. Kain said:
“I am so proud of The National Ballet of Canada and feel so fortunate to have had this wonderful company as my artistic home for 50 years. The role of Artistic Director is the most challenging, and the most rewarding, of my career,”
“The goals I set when I assumed this position required a huge commitment from our dancers, staff, board and donor community. The unwavering support I received allowed my dreams to become a reality and I am so grateful. A new generation of National Ballet dancers have taken international stages by storm and thrilled even the most discerning ballet audiences. The world’s most in demand choreographers have come to our studios to work with our artists and shared exciting new work with our audiences. We have fostered Canadian talent through CreativAction, the appointment of Choreographic Associates and Innovation, our all-Canadian programmes. I look forward to celebrating my 50th anniversary during the 2019/20 season and unveiling programming for 2020/21 in February. Being Artistic Director of this organization has been the greatest honour of my life. When I step down in January 2021, I know I leave a financially stable company with the very best dancers in the world, one of the most diverse and coveted repertoires and an international reputation for the highest level of excellence.”