Kimberly Glasco vs. National Ballet

On May 9, 10 and 11, 2000, the Ontario Superior Court heard an appeal by the National Ballet against arbitrator Christopher Albertyn’s direction in March, 2000 that dancer Kimberly Glasco be cast in dance roles in future National Ballet productions. A decision by the Court is expected in late May or early June, 2000.

The hearing is part of an ongoing legal saga between the National Ballet, its artistic director James Kudelka, and Ms. Glasco which began in December, 1998 when the Ballet decided not to renew Ms. Glasco’s contract. Ms. Glasco subsequently filed a wrongful dismissal suit, which, when the two sides were unable to reach an agreement in court, was turned over to Mr. Albertyn for arbitration. Mr. Albertyn ordered the Ballet to rehire Ms. Glasco on an interim basis until a final decision in the case could be reached. The Ballet appealed to the Superior Court in April, 2000 requesting a stay of the arbitrators ruling, however, Mr. Justice Dennis O’Leary denied the request. A second arbitration hearing was convened on April 17, 2000, after Kudelka announced he would not cast Glasco in the ballet’s spring season. Albertyn ruled that Kudelka was within his authority to do this because he had already posted his spring cast list prior to the original report granting Glasco reinstatement.

McCarthy Tétrault is representing the National Ballet and James Kudelka, as well as other members of the management and board of the Ballet. Michael Barrack is lead counsel on the related court proceedings, along with William C. McDowell, who is acting with respect to libel issues, Brian P. Smeenk, who is acting with respect to the labour/employment issues, and Linda Shim. Lawyers on the opposing side are Sack, Goldblatt, Mitchell for Kimberly Glasco, with a team that consists of Jeffrey Sack, Q.C., Sean Dewart and James McDonald and Steven Barrett. Acting for the Actors Equity Association of Canada is Caley & Wray with Melissa Kronick acting on the arbitration proceedings and Harold Caley for the court proceeedings. Acting for other dancers of the Ballet who oppose Glasco is Ian Roland of Gowling, Strathy & Henderson.