Perhaps the most beloved and famous of Toronto’s cultural icons is the National Ballet of Canada. English ballerina Celia Franca launched the company in Toronto in 1951 and served as director, principal dancer, choreographer, and teacher. Over the years, the company has achieved great renown. The legendary Canadian ballerina Karen Kain became its artistic director in 2005. The company shares the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts with the Canadian Opera Company. Its repertoire includes the classics (you can always count on The Nutcracker every December) and works by luminaries such as George Balanchine, as well as Canadian choreographers.