The Cannon Dolls

Since the premiere of The Nutcracker by James Kudelka in 1995, the National Ballet has hosted a variety of Toronto luminaries, personalities and politicians as Cannon Dolls.

The Cannon Doll guest roles are colourfully costumed as Russian Petrouchka dolls in Act I who shoot a cannon into the audience to begin the battle scene.

This year’s performances began with Mayor Rob Ford making his debut. Over twenty other Torontonians will be putting on those yellow mop-top wigs and painting their cheeks red this year. This list includes our own Libby Znaimer, who will be making her debut tonight at 7pm.

Here are some pictures of the Cannon Dolls over the years:

Mayor Rob Ford debuted as a Cannon Doll on opening night this year.

Karen Kain and Rex Harrington as Cannon Dolls
Karen Kain and Rex Harrington as Cannon Dolls in 2007. According to the National Ballet’s flickr page they were filling in for guests who got stuck in a snowstorm and could not make it for that evening’s performance.

Steven Page and Margaret Atwood as cannon dolls in 2007. It was planned that after the cannon was shot, Atwood would “faint” and Page would catch her. Atwood held up on her side of the deal but unfortunately, Page negated on his and as one stage hand said she “went [down] like a sack of potatoes.”

Former Maple Leaf’s Steve Thomas and Doug Gilmour in 2004.

Former Leaf’s captain Matt Sundin with ballerina Chan Hon Goh.


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