From a media release:
Smiley Guy Studios is decking the halls withÂ THE CURSE OF CLARA: A HOLIDAY TALE,Â a new original animated special airing on CBC-TV as part of its holiday programming lineup.Â A young dancerâ€™s dreams come true whenÂ ballet, hockey and the holidays converge. InspiredÂ by the autobiographical short story â€œThe Curse of Clara or My Big Fat Disappointmentâ€ byÂ Vickie Fagan,Â the 30-minute special is set against the backdrop of The NationalÂ Ballet of Canadaâ€™sÂ The NutcrackerÂ and the 1972 Summit Series, a Canada-USSR showdown that shaped hockey history.Â THE CURSE OF CLARA: A HOLIDAY TALEÂ stars Hockey Hall of Fame inducteesÂ Phil EspositoÂ andÂ Bob ColeÂ (Hockey Night in Canada)Â and National Ballet of Canada Prima BallerinaÂ Karen KainÂ as themselves withÂ Sheila McCarthyÂ (Little Mosque on the Prairie, Emily of New Moon)Â as the narrator,Â Sara BotsfordÂ (E.N.G.,Â Legal Eagles, Still of the Night)Â as the ballet mistress andÂ Saara ChaudryÂ (Max and Shred, Degrassi)Â in the roles of Vickie and Clara.Â THE CURSE OF CLARA: A HOLIDAY TALEÂ premieresÂ December 14 at 7 p.m. ET/PT (7:30 p.m. NT)Â and rebroadcasts December 25 at 5:30 p.m. ET/PT (6 p.m. NT) onÂ CBC-TV.
In this delightfully heartwarming holiday tale, Vickie, a small-town girl, is accepted into the prestigious National Ballet School in Toronto, andÂ lands the coveted role of Clara in the Companyâ€™s annualÂ production ofÂ The Nutcracker.Â ThingsÂ look like they couldnâ€™t get any better. And they canâ€™t, because thatâ€™s when Vickie finds out about the mysterious â€œCurseÂ of Claraâ€. According to local legend, the young girls that star in the production almost never go on to become professional ballet dancers. Thankfully, she has a good friend, the 1972 Summit Series, and imaginary mentor Phil Esposito toÂ keep her â€œon pointeâ€.
THE CURSE OF CLARA: A HOLIDAY TALEÂ is produced by Smiley Guy Studios in association withÂ CBC, and with the participation of the Canada Media Fund. Executive Producer is Jonas DiamondÂ (Odd Job Jack, Guidestones).Â Producers are Veronica TennantÂ (Vida Y Danza CubaÂ â€“Â Life & Dance, Celia Franca: Tour de Force),Â Vickie FaganÂ (Toronto Biographies, Adventures in Breathing),Â Jeremy DiamondÂ (Pillars of Freedom, Odd Job Jack)Â and Denny SilverthorneÂ (Warren United, Wussywat).Â THE CURSE OF CLARA: A HOLIDAY TALEÂ is written by Jeremy Diamond and Vickie Fagan and directed by M.R. HorhagerÂ (Chirp, I Hate You Red Light)Â and Mike ValiquetteÂ (Captain Canuck, Chirp).