Thousands of free ballet tickets for underserved Albertans

Sep 25, 2015

Sun Life Financial and the Alberta Ballet launch Share the Excitement


CALGARY & TORONTO, Sept. 24, 2015 /CNW/ - Thousands of children, youth and adults who have been affected by poverty and other socio-economic challenges are getting the opportunity to experience live ballet, free of charge. Sun Life Financial is donating $35,000 to Alberta Ballet, helping to launch the Sun Life Financial Share the Excitement program - a new initiative that will see over 2,000 complimentary ballet tickets shared with various agencies and schools representing Calgary and Edmonton's at-risk and underserved neighbourhoods.

"We are honoured that Sun Life has chosen Alberta Ballet to make the performing arts accessible to these deserving people throughout our province," said Jean Grand-Maître, Alberta Ballet Artistic Director. "What a wonderful way to bring people together."

This exciting program will launch in Calgary at the opening night of Balletlujah! on September 24th. Approximately 300 tickets will be shared per production throughout Alberta Ballet's 2015-2016 Season. Sun Life Financial Share the Excitement program participants will experience one of seven performances this season, including classics  Romeo & Juliet, The Nutcracker and Alberta Ballet's signature pop ballets Balletlujah! and Love Lies Bleeding.

"We believe that Canadians should be able to enjoy arts and culture regardless of their means," said Paul Joliat, Assistant Vice-President, Philanthropy and Sponsorships, Sun Life Financial. "Share the Excitement is more than just helping individuals and families of Alberta experience the magic of dance; it's about cultivating strong and supportive communities."

Share the Excitement is part of Sun Life's award-winning Making the Arts More Accessible™ program - the focus of their support of arts and culture, created to provide increased access to a wide range of cultural events, performances, concerts and visual attractions that might otherwise have been out of reach financially.

About Alberta Ballet
Alberta Ballet, Canada's second-largest ballet company, is currently celebrating its 49th Season. Under the artistic leadership of Jean Grand-Maître, the company is at the forefront of the national and international arts scene. This season Alberta Ballet will present the world premiere of brand new choreography from Vancouver based Wen Wei Wang and the company's own Yukichi Hattori alongside Jean Grand-Maître's critically acclaimed Romeo and Juliet, Balletlujah! and Love Lies Bleeding. The season will also feature work by Alberta's Aszure Barton, and Edmund Stripe's holiday classic The Nutcracker. Guest companies will include dance legend Paul Taylor's extraordinary ensemble and Shaping Sound, starring the finalist and champions of the immensely popular television show So You Think You Can Dance.

About Sun Life Financial
Celebrating 150 years in 2015, Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth products and services to individuals and corporate customers. Sun Life Financial and its partners have operations in a number of markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda. As of June 30, 2015, the Sun Life Financial group of companies had total assets under management of $808 billion. For more information please visit

Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.

Note to Editors: All figures in Canadian dollars. 

SOURCE Sun Life Financial Canada

<!-- Start: CNW Asset References -->

Image with caption: "Sun Life Financial, Alberta Ballet and local high school students launch the Sun Life Financial Share the Excitement program in Calgary, Alberta. (CNW Group/Sun Life Financial Canada)". Image available at:

<!-- End: CNW Asset References -->

For further information:

Media Relations Contacts

Alberta Ballet:      
Danielle Bartha
Publicist and Promotions Officer
T. 403.245.4222 ext. 549
C. 403.606.4669

Sun Life Financial: 
Gannon Loftus 
Manager, Media & PR
T. 416.979.6345
C. 647.228.8244