Quinte Ballet School’s History

1972 … The Quinte Dance Centre (QDC) is established as the Belleville branch of the National Ballet Guild, a fundraising and public awareness arm of the National Ballet of Canada.  Brian Scott is the  school’s founding Artistic Director.

1978 … QDC offers it’s first four-week Summer Dance attended by 123 Canadian and International students.  The teaching faculty includes Celia Franca, founder of the National Ballet of Canada.

1980 … The Quinte Dance Centre establishes itself as one of the best professional ballet Schools in Canada and the only one not attached to a professional dance company.

1983 … QDC establishes an academic training partnership with the Hastings County Board of Education.

1984 … David Scott starts as a guest teacher and later becomes Artistic Advisor to the School.

1987 … Students from the Quinte Dance Centre perform with Martine Lamy, Daniel Nelson, Vanessa Harwood and Luc Amyot, guest artists from the National Ballet of Canada, in Yuri Ng’s debut version of The Nutcracker.

1992 … Quinte Dance Centre becomes Quinte Ballet School.  During this time, founding AD Brian Scott is awarded the Confederation Medal for dedicated service to the community and country.

1997 … Honouring the School’s cultural and economic impact during its 25th anniversary, the City of Belleville declared May 1997, “Quinte Ballet School Month” throughout the city.

2000 … Brian Scott retires as Artistic Director.  Mercedes Bernardez becomes the new Artistic Director and stays with the school until 2003.

2002 … The new 23,000 sq. ft., purpose-built training facility on Palmer Road is officially opened.  QBSC expands its academic training partnership with the Hastings & Prince Edward District School Board.

2002 … Quinte Ballet School is renamed the Quinte Ballet School of Canada to better reflect its contribution to the arts on a national level.

2004 … Gizella Witkowsky, former principal dancer with the National Ballet Canada, becomes Artistic Director.

2009 … John Ottmann becomes Artistic Director.

2012 … Former Assistant to the Artistic Director at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Catherine Taylor is appointed as quinte Ballet School of Canada’s Artistic Director.

2015 … Quinte Ballet School purchases the land that their Palmer Road dance facility sits upon from the Hastings & Prince Edward District School Board, thanks to the John M. & Bernice Parrott Foundation.

2017 … Dancing with Parkinson’s program launched at Quinte Ballet School and continues to be successful each year.

2018 … Elimination of long-term debt from 2002 when the Quinte Ballet School facility was built and repayment of Trenval loan thanks to a grant from the John M. & Bernice Parrott Foundation.

2019 … Under the continuing leadership of Artistic Director Catherine Taylor, the QBSC enjoys a higher level of artistic excellence and financial stability.


For a detailed history of the first 25 years of Quinte Ballet School of Canada, view QBSC 25 Years of Dance by T. Lynn Miller