By Carolyn Allder

For some, December is synonymous with the Nutcracker in Haliburton County. It’s been the time when dancers from Heritage Ballet, after months of practice, would finally be able to show what they have been working on. But this year there will be no local production of the Nutcracker.

Heritage Ballet owner, Julie Barban, said she made the decision to cancel what would have been the 17th annual production because of rising COVID19 numbers.

In September, Barban was starting to plan holding this year’s production outside in Head Lake Park in Haliburton. She officially made the decision to cancel last month.

Brianne Pocket says Nutcracker is part of her family’s Christmas tradition.


“I miss the whole shebang. The fact that it is something that both my kids and I are fully involved in, the time spent with some of my best friends, watching the heart that Julie (Barban) puts into it, seeing the dedication from every person involved on stage and off and the spirit that it brings to the community,” she said.

Barban said she’s comforted in knowing how special the production is to the community.

“People have told me it’s their Christmas tradition, it starts the holiday season for them.”

Barban added there are two scenes in the ballet which she loves and will miss this year, the Snowflake scene and the Pas a Deux.

“It’s quite magical when you watch it with the costumes and the lighting and music. The last scene is also my favourite. It’s bittersweet because it’s so beautiful but it’s also the end of the show.”

Barban said while she hasn’t started planning next year’s production, she’s optimistic it will be good and welcomed with open arms by the community

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