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Born: Oct 29, 1926

Date of Passing: Apr 29, 2017

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VIOLA BUSDAY ROBERTSON October 29, 1926 - April 29, 2017 Peacefully, at the age of 90½ years old to the day, Viola passed away at the Grace Hospital. She was predeceased by her beloved husband, David in 2004. She will be lovingly remembered by her son Mark of Vancouver, her close friends from Blackberry Bay, and her many friends and former students of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Viola had a long and distinguished career in ballet. She was with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet for over 50 years, first as a student, then as a dancer, and then for many years as a teacher. She received her excellent training from Betty Farrally and Gweneth Lloyd and shared the stage with such notable dancers as Arnold Spohr, David Adams, Lillian Lewis, Jean McKenzie and Daphne Korol. Vi loved teaching dance. She was so pleased to watch her students develop - coming into the program and then going on to positions in theatre, dance, teaching, and the stage. In the summer months of the late 1950s and early 1960s she and Dave worked together at Rainbow Stage - Dave as manager, director and producer - Vi as a dancer. They were a true team and Vi has missed Dave every day since his sudden passing 13 years ago. Upon leaving the RWB she continued to teach into her 70s for the Royal Dance Conservatory at the Forks and the Contemporary Dancers. More recently Vi volunteered with her friends and colleagues at the RWB Alumni working on the archives. On January 18, 2014 Dance Manitoba honoured Vi with a Lifetime Achievement Award for her lifetime of performing and teaching dance. Of her career she said, "Dance is a beautiful art and I have had the privilege of contributing to this art and this life of beauty." Vi was always well-liked and appreciated and will not be forgotten. She struggled courageously with dementia over the past several years, but her friendly disposition and sense of fun always shone. Many thanks to the 8th floor supportive housing staff at Lions Manor who have so professionally and kindly cared for Vi over the past three years. A celebration of her life will be held at 2:00 p.m., Friday, May 5, 2017 at Green Acres Funeral Home, Hwy. #1 East at Navin Road. If friends so desire, memorial contributions may be made to the RWB Alumni Scholarship Fund or the Winnipeg Humane Society. GREEN ACRES Funeral Home and Cemetery (204) 222-3241 Condolences may be sent to

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on May 03, 2017

Condolences & Memories (4 entries)

  • I just found out about her passing. I took classes from her for many years at RWB then at various other studios in Wpg. She was a tough teacher who demanded the best you could give. She had a very endearing & kind manner coupled with a lovely disposition. Even her mature students became quite good dancers. My condolences to her family..her lifelong contribution to the art of dance carries on. Sincerely, Karen Skinner - Posted by: Karen skinner (Former student) on: Jun 03, 2017

  • Mrs. Robertson was my very first ballet teacher. A beautiful lady, inside and out. Dance with the angels, Mrs. Robertson. - Posted by: Heather Gray (Former student) on: May 05, 2017

  • I will always have a special place for Vi in my heart. She was my ballet teacher at the Royal Winnipeg in the full time program. Vi truly believed in me as a dancer and was both inspiring and encouraging . She made me believe with hard work, determination and passion I could have a career in dance. Vi chose me as one of the dancers for a TV series her husband, David was producing. She was a wonderful teacher, so bubbly and positive throughout our training. She also was an inspiring role model and such a beautiful petite dance, herself. I can remember spending lots of time in class working on beats and petite allegro. She said she was well known for her quick footwork and beats in the Blue Bird Pas de Deu. She also gave me one of my first teaching jobs with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School. A vert special woman with heart, always a twinkle in her eye and a love dance. It was pretty special to have her teach in our Dace School, the School of Contemporary Dancers and see her pass on her knowledge to the next generation of young artists. I will miss her dearly. - Posted by: Gaile Petursson-Hiley (former student of viola's at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet) on: May 04, 2017

  • When I first came to Winnipeg, I took ballet classes from Vi at RWB. And I have many fond memories working with her on the Dance Manitoba Board of Directors. What a most lovely lady; I always admired her for her grace, tact and generous nature. Her contributions to the Winnipeg dance community is so many. May she rest in peace. I send my sincere condolences to her family. - Posted by: Darlene Williams (Colleague) on: May 03, 2017

Green Acres Funeral Home and Cemetery

Green Acres Funeral Home and Cemetery

No. 1 Hwy. E. & Navin Rd. (Map)
Ph: 2042223241 | Visit Website

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