Select Page


Cultural Philanthropy

Cape Town City Ballet
& Cultural Philanthropy

Herodes Atticus did it in 143, Andrew Carnegie did it in the 1890s and Bill Gates and Warren Buffet do it in our times; the giving of money for the greater good, the funding of cultural projects for the sake of a vision of a better world. Cultural Philanthropy.

So why is Cultural Philanthropy necessary? Why can’t arts and culture be funded by ticket sales? Surely, if the production is good enough, people will flock to it and the money will flow? No need for donors, no need for funding.

Sadly, this is not the case. Arts and culture funding has always been a challenge.

From the Bolshoi to the Paris Opera to the Royal Ballet, the world’s greatest cultural institutions have throughout history been funded by the personal funds of wealthy and visionary individuals. It’s simple really. Without their vision and generosity, culture would have died. Now, Cape Town City Ballet needs you. Without your generosity it won’t have the funds to grow or become a great and sustainable cultural institution.


Picture: Kirstel Paterson and Conrad Nusser, Pat Bromilow-Downing Photography


Cape Town City Ballet, established in 1934, is the southern hemisphere’s oldest ballet company and one of the oldest in the world. We are determined to stay on point.

Determined to provide a liveable wage to our classically trained dancers, who increasingly need to leave Cape Town to further their careers.
Determined to provide the quality tuition and resources, including top local and international teachers and choreographers, to grow our dancers into world class performers.
Determined to nurture great talent from our underprivileged communities; to take ballet out of the realms of the privileged and, as in Russia in the 1940’s, give everyone with the capacity for excellence the opportunity to dance.
Determined to put on new productions – classical, neo-classical and contemporary – that dazzle, inspire and delight our local and international audiences.
Determined to provide outreach, transport and tickets to introduce new local audiences, children and adults alike, to the beauty and joy of this historical dance form.
Simply Determined to be exceptional, world class; proud of ourselves and of Cape Town.


Picture: Hannah Ward, ©George Balanchine’s ‘Serenade’, Pat Bromilow-Downing Photography

Why do we need a BALLET CULTURE?

A country’s artistic heritage is a resource for cultural renewal as well as historical identity. Since prehistory our ancestors have used dance to bond and communicate, especially during troubled times. Dance makes us feel better about ourselves; it is an ancient way for communities to connect.

Through the stories and imagery of dance our classically trained dancers provide insight and pleasure, enrichment and reflection on the human experience. As a society – when we share beauty and joy – we connect with each other on a different plain.

And as we leave the theatre together, in the afterglow of a beautiful performance, we feel a little bit better about ourselves; a little bit better about each other. And a small bridge of trust and respect has been built, something bigger and greater than the stressed societies in which we live.

Picture: Mbulelo Jonas and Olivia Parfitt performing Polarity choreographed by award-winning Kenneth Tindall, Paul Seaby Photography

As a DONOR, you would want to know

1. A short history of Cape Town City Ballet
The Southern Hemisphere’s oldest ballet company – one of the oldest in the world – was established in 1934 as the University of Cape Town Ballet Company. Then in 1964 as CAPAB Ballet Company, and in 1997 as Cape Town City Ballet. Dr Dulcie Howes, the founding Artistic Director, was adamant that this classical dance company would give opportunity to talent, irrespective of race or colour, despite the ruling law of the time. Professor David Poole, her successor, continued this tradition and the UCT training programme was one of the few in the country that graduated students from across all communities in the country.

2. What are your short and long term goals?
To delight anew our loyal supporters • To provide world class tuition and support to nurture and grow our young talent • To inspire new local audiences to love ballet and dance • To create international demand for each performance as a Cape Town tourist destination event.

3. How is the Cape Town City Ballet Endowment Fund managed?
The CTCBEF is an established Endowment Fund with a professional Board of Trustees, sound governance and a proven investment philosophy. Donations are prudently invested and deployed for the long-term benefit of CTCB. Donors are acknowledged and communicated with on a regular basis.

4. How can I donate?
Donors can donate to the long-term Endowment Fund. Or directly to Cape Town City Ballet where funds could be used, for example, to fund new productions, costumes
or ballet shoes, international choreographers and teachers or for operational expenses. Please contact: Suzette Raymond, Chairperson, Cape Town City Ballet • 083 460 4607 • or David Leslie, Trustee, Cape Town City Ballet Endowment Fund • 083 265 2155 •

Picture: Hannah Ward, Claire Spector and Kristin Wilson, Pat Bromilow-Downing Photography

A look into the FUTURE

A new CEO and management team with a fresh vision is now poised to take Cape Town City Ballet into the future.

Together with our team, our vision is:

To ensure the financial security of CTCB in order to achieve the vision of a sustainable, world class classical, neo-classical and contemporary ballet company • To expand the audience base to include a wider and younger demographic while retaining the traditional base • To stage both traditional classical and innovative, contemporary productions of a world class standard • To establish sound dancer development programmes and networks to source quality dancers from within and outside South Africa • To have the financial resources to competitively remunerate management, dancers and teachers.

So, will you help us to get from here to there?


Picture: Dancers of Enemy Behind The Gates, choreographed by Christopher L. Huggins, Pat Bromilow-Downing Photography

A classical ballet company also incorporating neo-classical and CONTEMPORARY REPERTOIRES

Suzette Raymond, Chairperson, Cape Town City Ballet
083 460 4607 •
David Leslie, Trustee, Cape Town City Ballet Endowment Fund
083 265 2155 •

Banking details
Cape Town City Ballet
Nedbank, St George’s Street
Account number: 115 157 1482
Branch Code: 198 765
Payment reference: your initials and surname
Please e-mail us proof of payment so we can acknowledge receipt to or

Non-Profit Company incorporated under the Companies Act 71 of 2008
Registration number 05114/08/97 • VAT number 485 018 1118


Picture: Oscar O’Ryan Photography


Your membership funding is invaluable to us in achieving our goals:
To delight anew our loyal supporters To inspire new audiences to love ballet To nurture and grow our young talent

Cape Town City Ballet