PROJECT GRAND JETé
Following Betty Oliphant’s retirement in 1989, Mavis Staines, the new Artistic Director, and Robert Sirman, the Administrative Director, ushered in a new vision for the long-term growth of the School. Appropriately titled “Project Grand Jeté,” their ambitious two-phase plan was to construct new premises on Jarvis Street for the School’s dance, academic and administrative needs, and to redevelop 111 Maitland Street as a residence with dining facilities.
Phase I: Named the Celia Franca Centre after the School’s co-founder, the new facilities at 400 Jarvis Street gracefully integrated modern buildings with historic architecture. Completed in 2005, the buildings are an oft-photographed landmark in the Toronto community.
Phase II: The redevelopment at 111 Maitland Street was completed in 2007. It succeeded in providing ample residence and dining facilities while retaining evocative elements of its historic past as a studio.
Though faced with more than a decade of real estate and funding challenges, the School’s new campus fulfilled Staines’ and Sirman’s vision. Today, NBS is the only ballet training institution in North America that provides studio, academic and residence facilities on one campus.