New name for the Ballet Foundation

Royal Name for the Ballet Foundation

February 2021

By Royal New Zealand Ballet Foundation Trustee Lady Lilias Bell.

“What’s in a name? That which we call a Royal by any other name would smell as sweet;” Wildly misquoting Shakespeare, that which is called Royal is definitely far sweeter.

On the 1st September 2020 the Trustees of the Ballet Foundation of New Zealand received a letter from the Governor General informing us that Her Majesty the Queen had approved the use of the word “Royal” in our title and that we may henceforth be known as The Royal New Zealand Ballet Foundation Trust. This was the culmination of a year’s work reaching through the Ministry of Culture and Heritage all the way to Buckingham Palace.

RNZB Foundation

We discovered that becoming “Royal” is not something to be taken lightly even with our association with The Royal New Zealand Ballet. Changing our name to include the word “Royal” was not simple and certainly not speedy. There are rules and regulations around this with booklets from the Lord Chamberlain’s Office emphasising the significance of using the word “Royal,” outlining the trademarks that protect it and dire consequences for its abuse. We were ably guided through this morass by the Ministry of Culture and Heritage who saw our application go through the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Governor-General, the Lord Chamberlain’s Office and ultimately, Her Majesty the Queen.

The name change is important to us as it gives sponsors and donors greater clarity and better reflects the close relationship between The Royal New Zealand Ballet company (The RNZB) and the Foundation Trust (the Foundation). We are delighted that this is now formally reflected in the Foundation’s new name and logo, its revised Rules and a new Memorandum of Understanding, recently signed by the Chairs of both Boards of Trustees.

We are what we have always been but our purpose – to support ballet in New Zealand through our support of its foremost proponent, The RNZB – is now obvious to all. The revised rules clearly outline our purposes and our prime focus on The RNZB but also describe how financial or other support may be given to persons or entities other than The RNZB provided that the support is not in conflict with the aims of The RNZB so we continue to support, promote and advance ballet as a form of creative and artistic endeavour in New Zealand and encourage those involved with the art form to pursue their careers here in New Zealand.

The Foundation seeks bequests, donations, endowments, grants, gifts and legacies and is building a fund which can be used sustainably to support The Royal New Zealand Ballet in new initiatives. The Foundation is not solely about fundraising, however, and also focuses on raising the company’s profile and helping to take the benefits of dance to a wider audience. We want to be a natural stepping stone for everyone to become more closely involved with ballet.

Make a Donation to the Royal New Zealand Ballet Foundation

We are grateful for your donation to help us create a sustainable fund for ballet in New Zealand.

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