Sugar plum pirouettes fill stage

NANAIMO – Kirwood Academy presents the Nutcracker at the Port Theatre Friday (Nov. 30) and Saturday (Dec. 1).



A Christmas gift given to a young girl named Clara takes her on a magical journey in the classic tale of The Nutcracker.

Her adventure begins at a Christmas Eve party with her family. A mysterious figure appears who Clara recognizes as her godfather. He gives Clara a wooden nutcracker doll. Her brother Fitz purposely breaks her gift.

In the middle of the night when others have fallen asleep Clara ventures out to check on her doll, which comes to life.

The Nutcracker’s transformation leads Clara on an adventure where she meets sugar plum fairies, the Mouse King, gingerbread men, soldiers and other creatures, and ventures through snow forests, the Land of Sweets and other fantastical lands.

“What I love is the creativity and the imagination that is put in the play,” said Emma Dewar, 13, who performs as Clara. “I love the music.”

Mikaela Kos, 12, also plays the role of Clara. The two split playing the role in performances at the Port Theatre and local schools. The role of Clara is one they have aspired to perform for a long time. The two young dancers said former Kirkwood student Jillian Vanstone, who is now a dancer in the National Ballet of Canada and is the Sugar Plum Fairy in Toronto’s The Nutcracker performance, was an inspiration for them.

It was the first time the two performed with a male dancer. Yuta Kawakami, from the Coastal City Ballet in Vancouver, plays the Nutcracker.

“He is so amazing and so helpful and he has me speechless at times,” said Dewar. “He is so good.”

The role also allows them to use their acting skills, something they don’t always get to do in other parts.

“You get to express yourself and use facial expressions,” said Kos, adding that having that additional performance aspect is fun.

Both dancers said it wasn’t difficult to connect with the character of Clara because they are around her age. During the party scene it wasn’t hard to pretend to have fun because the other dancers are their friends, said the dancers.

Kirkwood Academy’s production of The Nutcracker involves 179 dancers who perform the various roles.

Carolé Martyn, director of Kirkwood Academy, said the performance is suited for all ages even young children. The stage is draped in Christmas colours and features large props.

“There is always something to look at visually,” she said. “All the costumes are nice and bright.”

The 18th production of Kirkwood Academy’s Nutcracker shows at the Port Theatre Friday (Nov. 30) at 7 p.m. and Saturday (Dec. 1) 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Tickets are $25/$20 students and groups and $12 for children under 12. Tickets are available by calling 250-754-8550, at the Port Theatre box office or

Just Posted

Emergency crews on scene of a two-car crash at the intersection of Cranberry Avenue and the Trans-Canada Highway on Sunday, June 13. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Crash blocks Cranberry intersection in Nanaimo, no one injured

Incident blocks both southbound lanes of Trans-Canada Highway

Nanaimo Fire Rescue firefighters at the scene of a single-vehicle crash on Tenth Street near Southside Drive on Sunday, June 13. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Driver OK after crashing vehicle off the side of Nanaimo’s Tenth Street

Crews say wet roads a factor a crash Sunday, June 13

(PQB News file photo)
Fireworks report highlights enforcement challenges for Regional District of Nanaimo

Director: ‘I just think it’s wasting everybody’s time’

Nanaimo is the first city in Canada to subscribe to the Chonolog environment photo-monitoring system, which allow residents to contribute photos of habitat restoration projects that are converted to time lapse sequences showing environmental changes. (Chris Bush/ News Bulletin)
Nanaimo residents invited to be citizen scientists by sharing habitat restoration photos

Nanaimo first city in Canada to sign up for Chronolog environment photo monitoring service

An event on the lawn of the B.C. legislature in Victoria on Tuesday to remember the 215 children whose remains were confirmed buried in unmarked graves outside a Kamloops residential school. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Canada’s racist systems cannot ever be forgiven

Teen letter writer from Nunavut calls for truth and reconciliation

Nanaimo Fire Rescue firefighters at the scene of a single-vehicle crash on Tenth Street near Southside Drive on Sunday, June 13. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Driver OK after crashing vehicle off the side of Nanaimo’s Tenth Street

Crews say wet roads a factor a crash Sunday, June 13

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps near Nanaimo

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

A section of proposed Harbourfront Walkway between White Eagle Terrace and Battersea Road. (City of Nanaimo image)
Nanaimo’s proposed walkway extension project estimated at $25-30 million

City asking for feedback on concepts to connect Departure Bay Beach and ferry terminal

City of Nanaimo council has approved amendments for an animal control bylaw requested by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. The bylaw includes language related to quail. (Wikipedia Commons photo)
Province asks for tweaks to Nanaimo’s animal responsibility bylaw

Ministry concerned bylaw wording could create municipal and provincial jurisdictional overlaps

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo hospital district seeks help from other districts for $1-billion project

Funding for Nanaimo Regional General Hospital patient tower discussed by committee

Stuffed toys, many with donations pinned to them, are piled in the Lions Pavilion at Maffeo Sutton Park at a vigil May 31 honouring the 215 Indigenous children whose remains were discovered outside a residential school in Kamloops. (News Bulletin file photo)
Thousands donated to child and family service agency following Nanaimo vigil

Toys and money donated to Kw’umut Lelum child and family services

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Most Read