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Ukrainian national ballet to launch Canadian fundraising tour in Quebec City

With the second anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine months away, the country's national ballet is announcing a tour of 30 shows in 10 Canadian cities.

The tour is a fundraiser for humanitarian aid and a showcase of Ukrainian culture.

Dance is emotional any time, but even more so for the National Opera and Ballet of Ukraine.

Liudmyla Movlenko, the head of personnel and foreign affairs of the National Opera and Ballet of Ukraine, explained Tuesday how their troop is diminished.

"Before the war, we had 150 dancers in our company. Now, we have less," she said, referring to dancers like Oleksander Shapoval, who volunteered to fight.

"He was killed, blown by a mortar shell. It tore through his heart and through our community of artists," said his colleague, Prima Ballerina Natalia Matsak, the artistic director for the tour, in a pre-recorded video. 

The artists are earnest in their efforts to keep Ukraine on the top-of-mind in other countries and raise money for the people back home affected by the Russian invasion. 

Even the Quebecois producer of the tour, Paul Dupont-Hebert, feels the importance of the fundraiser for humanitarian aid.

"For myself, it is the first time I am involved in such a big cause to represent -- not a hospital, not a foundation for kids -- but a fundraiser for a country," he said.

The troop received special consent from the Ukrainian government to perform across Canada and showcase its culture.

"To Ukrainians, music, dance, and art is a deep part of our culture. These are traditions and heritage that unite our people like language and history," said Nikita Sukhorukov, a lead dancer.

In January 2024, the tour begins in Quebec City before travelling to Montreal and stopping in major cities, including Vancouver.

Ticket proceeds fund the tour and the effort in Ukraine, said Marc McMurrin, executive liaison for the National Opera and Ballet of Ukraine.

David Meffe, the head of development at, explained that the funds will support non-profits operating in Ukraine, working directly with families to provide everything from crisis relief and refugee aid, "and just making sure that people have basic access to the things they need to survive."

Tickets start at $75 on The goal is to raise $5 million in humanitarian aid. Top Stories

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