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Memorable Manitobans: Viola Anna Busday Robertson (1926-2017)

Ballet dancer, educator.

Born at Winnipeg on 29 October 1926, daughter of Emma Viola Busday (?-1964) and Michael Busday (1901-1990), she married David S. Robertson and they had a child. She spent 50 years with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, first as a student training under Betty Farrally and Gweneth Lloyd, then as a dancer and for many years as a teacher. She shared the stage with notable dancers such as Arnold Theodore Spohr, David Adams, Lillian Lewis, Jean McKenzie and Daphne Margaret Stanley-Harris Korol. During the summer months of the 1950s and early 1960s, she and her husband worked together at Rainbow Stage. Upon retiring from the ballet, she continued to teach into her 70s for the Royal Dance Conservatory and Contemporary Dancers and she volunteered as an archivist for the RWB Alumni. In 2014, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Dance Manitoba. She died at Winnipeg on 29 April 2017 and was buried in the Green Acres Memorial Gardens.

Sources:

Obituary [Emma Viola Busday], Winnipeg Free Press, 3 November 1964, page 25.

Obituary [Michael Busday], Winnipeg Free Press, 28 December 1990, page 22.

Obituary [David S. Robertson], Winnipeg Free Press, 22 September 2004.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 3 May 2017.

This page was prepared by Melanie Geraghty, Lois Braun, and Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 11 January 2021

Memorable Manitobans

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