The red carpet is rolled out and we are ready for this year’s Centre Stage: “Lights. Camera. Opera!” As production kicks into high gear, the COC is delighted to introduce our event co-chairs, Kristy Balkwill and Lily Li!
The pair brings a wealth of experience to planning the annual fundraiser in support of emerging Canadian artists and is looking forward to taking the company’s signature gala to the next level with this year’s Hollywood-inspired theme.
Kristy knows all about the challenges of performing in the limelight from her experience as an international competitive ice dancer. Following a successful athletic career, Kristy now serves as Vice President Tax at Aon, while remaining actively connected to her community through continued work with organizations like Skate Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee.
“I am thrilled to be co-hosting this year’s Centre Stage Gala with Lily!” says Kristy. “Canada is rich with extraordinary talent and it is so exciting to be part of this spectacular event in support of its most promising new voices. I love how opera marries a world that is traditional and familiar with newfound talent, striking visual displays, and brilliant innovation. But what I love most is that the Canadian Opera Company is making the art form accessible and enticing to everyone. The future is bright!”
Lily’s longtime passion for arts and culture brings balance to her busy career as an Investment Counsellor and Portfolio Manager with RBC PH&N Investment Counsel. Lily is also passionate about mentoring youth and advising her clients in charitable giving and philanthropic endeavours. In her spare time, she enjoys fashion, design, charity work, wine tasting, and attending performing arts such as opera.
“I am very excited to work with my co-chair Kristy, and the entire Centre Stage committee, on making this year’s event fun, wondrous, and memorable!” says Lily. “As the Confucius saying goes, ‘choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life’ – whether that job is in investments or in opera. Choose your passion!”
Centre Stage takes place on Thursday, October 26, 2023
at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Expect plenty of star power, familiar faces, and live entertainment throughout the evening, including the annual Ensemble Studio Competition showcasing Canada’s best young operatic talent.Tickets for Centre Stage go on sale August 28, 2023
. Full details will follow at a later date with more information to be shared at coc.ca/CentreStage