Client Spotlight: Alberta Ballet Flashback

Alberta Ballet trying to recover from financial misstep

Cancelled Joni Mitchell show led to cycle of spending millions in next year’s sales to pay down current debt

CBC News | July 25, 2016

Alberta Ballet is struggling to recover from a financial stumble that started three years ago with a cancelled Joni Mitchell ballet.

Since then the company has slid into a substantial deficit, been forced to borrow to cover shortfalls and is now pre-spending a rising proportion of money raised against future productions before it ever mounts those performances.

It’s a problem that has led to staff cuts, fewer dancers on shorter contracts and a big fundraising campaign.

The ballet ran an accumulated deficit in 2014-15 of close to half a million dollars on a budget of about $14 million.

The larger worry though is the so-called pre-spend, in which a portion of the coming year’s subscriptions are used to cover the current year’s spending. In 2014-2015, the pre-spend hit $2.9-million…

Last October as it became clear that escalating costs would find no counterbalance in rising revenue Alberta Ballet hired turnaround consultants Finley & Associates. They are the same group that helped revive the bankrupt Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra more than a decade ago.

Read the full CBC Article