2020 Annual Report

2020 Annual Report

Despite the impact of Covid 19 on our activities, support from our community is growing stronger every year and the Ballet Foundation completed 2020 on a high with a letter from Her Majesty the Queen confirming the change of our name to The Royal New Zealand Ballet Foundation Trust.

Royal New Zealand Ballet Foundation

New initiatives:

  • We launched the En Pointe Patrons, raising $67,000 in donations. Half of the income was invested in the Ballet Foundation’s investment fund and half went to projects at the Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB) that would otherwise have been unable to proceed.
  • We announced a new Ballet Foundation Scholarship for a young dancer to join the RNZB.
  • We held an exhibition, CONNECT, of magnificent photographs by Trustee Louise Binns.
  • We changed our name.
Loughlan Prior (left) choreographs Ultra Violet with RNZB Principal Joseph Skelton, Soloist Katherine Minor, Soloist Kirby Selchow and Principal Paul Mathews. Image courtesy of the Royal New Zealand Ballet.

Working with the RNZB:

  • Dame Kerry Prendergast joined the RNZB as Chair in 2020, and the two Boards worked together to successfully sign a renewed Memorandum of Understanding at our joint meeting in October – a much larger task than usual due to the closer alignment of our brands.
  • We welcomed Isaac Hikaka as second RNZB Trustee representative to the Ballet Foundation Board of Trustees.
  • We supported a restricted-audience presentation of RNZB RAW – new works created by dancers from the company, who show strength in choreography, during lockdown (see video below).
  • Grants to the RNZB totalled $73,000 (total grants $82,000).
Shaun James Kelly, Allister Madin, Annaliese Macdonald and Levi Teachout choreographed works for RNZB RAW. Video by Jeremy Brick.

By the numbers:

  • Events in Auckland and Wellington hosted more than 500 guests
  • First event held in the Hawkes Bay, hosted by new Committee Member Lenise Lendrum
  • 18 volunteers supporting our fundraising efforts
  • Nadia Yanowsky announced as recipient of the Harry Haythorne Award 2020, acknowledging her transition from Principal Dancer to choreographer, and given a gift of $3,000
2020 Harry Haythorne Award recipient Nadia Yanowsky choreographed Goldilocks and the Thee Bears for the RNZB’s Te Papa holiday programme. Video by Jeremy Brick.
  • $15,000 grant made to the RNZB for Loughlan Prior’s commission costs for Ultra Violet
  • $7,000 grant made to the RNZB for dance workshops and ‘Relaxed Performances’ at Vodafone Event Centre, Manukau
  • $4,000 grant made to the Mt Eden Ballet Awards
  • $2,000 Barbara Webster Scholarship given to the New Zealand School of Dance
  • $6,000 grant made for the RNZB’s dance workshops at the Auckland Region Women’s Corrections Facility
  • $10,000 grant given for Sarah Foster-Sproull’s new work for the Wanaka Festival of Colour 2021


  • Craig’s Investment Partners continues to manage the Foundation’s funds under a Discretionary Investment Management Service.
  • Conservative investments and granting policy resulted in continued growth of the Foundation’s investments, despite the potential negative impact of Covid-19 on financial reserves.

Other Activities:

  • Total notified bequests remain at 14; our supporters and donors continue to grow.


  • Throughout 2020 Jane Meares (Chairperson), Lady Lilias Bell, Louise Binns, Sarah Cole, Ann-Louise Gower, Melanie Morris, Victoria Muir and Ian Webster remained as Trustees. Isaac Hikaka joined the board as the second RNZB appointee.
  • Trustees are appointed in accordance with clause 7.3 of our Rules and, in addition to the skills outlined, the Board has regard to the need for representation from different regions within New Zealand. We were pleased to continue to have representation from each of New Zealand’s four main centres. The Foundation endeavours to have national reach.
  • Auckland is represented by four trustees, Wellington by three, Christchurch by one and Dunedin by one.

The Foundation could not exist without the unstinting support and indefatigable effort of my fellow trustees and all the subcommittee members. They give voluntarily and generously of their time and other resources and contribute to the Foundation with their enthusiasm and vision.

Jane Meares
Chair of the Ballet Foundation

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Former Soloists Katherine Skelton and Madeleine Graham in The Ryman Healthcare Season of The Sleeping Beauty, 2020. Photo: Stephen A’Court.