12/07/2011 07:37 EST | Updated 02/06/2012 05:12 EST

Rob Ford: Toronto Mayor To Make Stage Debut In National Ballet's Nutcracker


TORONTO - The National Ballet of Canada says Toronto Mayor Rob Ford will make his stage debut in The Nutcracker on Saturday.

Ford will appear in a special cameo appearance as a Cannon Doll in the opening performance on Saturday afternoon.

The Cannon Doll guest roles are colourfully costumed as Russian Petrouchka dolls and it's a non-speaking, non-dancing role.

The Cannon Dolls shoot a cannon into the audience to begin the battle scene in the first act.

Celebrity walk-on roles are a long-held tradition with Nutcrackers all over the world.

Since the premiere of The Nutcracker by James Kudelka in 1995, the National Ballet has hosted a variety of Toronto luminaries, personalities and politicians as Cannon Dolls.

Former Toronto mayors David Miller and Barbara Hall, MP Olivia Chow, and members of the Ontario legislature Greg Sorbara and Aileen Carroll have appeared in the role.

Mats Sundin, Margaret Atwood, Kurt Browning, Doug Gilmore, Rick Mercer also have appeared as Cannon Dolls.

Also making their debuts with the National Ballet in The Nutcracker this season will be Toronto Argonauts Chris Van Zeyl and Joe Eppele, and "Degrassi" stars Luke Bilyk and Melinda Shankar.