After 10 years of dance, Ballet Kelowna will take its final curtain call on March 16.
Throughout that time, the company has managed to maintain balanced budgets with the assistance of grants, three major fundraising events and government and donor support.
Across the board, however, non-profits, and especially arts organizations, have been experiencing dwindling audiences, sponsorship and fundraising event attendance, the ballet company said on its website Friday afternoon.
"Ten years celebrates a significant achievement," says Ballet Kelowna board president Jamie Maw. "Sustaining a ballet company in a smaller market is an ongoing struggle. . . . The continuing downward economic trends are more than we can adjust for.
"As much as we would love tocontinue supporting dance in Kelowna, we owe it to the city and to our funders to act with fiduciary responsibility."
The dance group will wrap up operations in tandem with the retirement of artistic director David LaHay.
"I am very proud of the precious gift I and my devoted, talented dancers have given to the City of Kelowna and the province of British Columbia this past decade," said LaHay.
In Kelowna since 2002, LaHay was previously principal dancer of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens and ballet master at Les Grands, The Ottawa Ballet and Alberta Ballet.
With the financial assistance of the Thomas Alan Budd Foundation and a group of community business people, it will continue performances in March, culminating in "Grand Finales" in Kelowna and Summerland March 15 and 16.
The Kelowna Ballet Society will continue to exist in shell form, in hopes that a new group of dance enthusiasts will revive it at some point.