West Australian Ballet launched a new endowment fund at Government House last night, with two separate donations from Jack Bendat and Alexandra Burt's foundations totalling $4.1 million.
Ms Burt, who is a patron for the ballet and was present on the night, announced the Wright-Burt Foundation would donate $500,000 to the ballet, as well as a further $2 million in matching funds until the end of the financial year.
A spokesperson for WA Ballet said this was the largest philanthropic gift ever given to the company.
The Burt family has contributed to the ballet in the past, with Ms Burt's father Michael Wright given naming rights to a studio and her aunt Angela Bennett awarded naming rights for a greenroom in 2012.
Announcing her foundation's donation, Ms Burt complimented the ballet in saying it had been a powerful force in the community for nearly 70 years.
“In each and every performance, engagement, tutorial and outreach, people feel a deep and emotional connection that transcends the everyday and unites us as West Australians,” she said.
“Our gift, combined with those already received from so many generous patrons, will enable the company to look forward to the future with confidence.
“What they give to us is extraordinary and they have earned every penny.”
The Bendat Family Foundation, which in 2009 helped establish the young artist scholarship, announced a $1.6 million donation on the night.
A spokesperson for WA Ballet said this donation would continue to fund that scholarship for the foreseeable future.