Canadian Dancer Passes in Rockaway


Charles Grant Chalmers, aged 85, died in Rockaway Park, NY on Sunday, November 4, 2018. His demise followed a lengthy illness.

Mr. Chalmers was one of the Queens-based, Once Upon a Time Inc.’s (OUAT) original performers, serving as a narrator/dancer of “Images of Dance” during the 1970s. A native of Ontario, he was a star of the Ottawa Ballet, and in the early days of television, was a featured performer on such CBC shows as Denny Vaughn, Cross Canada Hit Parade and Country Hoedown, among many. His summers were spent in Shakespearean pursuits at the Stratford Festival.

Mr. Chalmers came to the United States to study American Ballet Theater and was often hired as a partner by fellow Canadian, Guy Lombardo, who utilized his considerable adagio abilities with ballerina, Mia Slavenka. He exercised his vocal and dance abilities starring opposite Ginger Rogers in “Calamity Jane.” He followed this success with a series of musicals starring Gale Storm, Julia Newmar, et al. Returning to TV, he was a recurring character on “Ryan’s Hope,” “All My Children,” etc.

He enjoyed a parallel career as a designer and builder, and was in these capacities that he served OUAT during the 1990s. Charles created and fabricated the décor for more than a dozen ballets and musicals during that time.

The new century found him in a more administrative role at OUAT. He has served as a substitute ballet teacher, interim director of the after-school program and full-time secretary/treasurer of the corporation.

Charles has a bachelor of science degree in geology from Carleton University in Ottawa, and greatly enjoyed bicycling about Rockaway, his adopted hometown.

In lieu of flowers, it was Mr. Chalmers’ wish that donations be made to the 501c3 corp.: Once Upon a Time Inc., 87-61 111th Street, Richmond Hill, NY 11418.

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