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After the 1949 Canadian Ballet Festival, critics and members of the Canadian Ballet Festival Association noted the vast range of artistic and technical skill among the dancers. It was decided that an adjudicator would be appointed to travel the country observing and assessing the groups interested in participating in the next festival. Guy Glover, a National Film Board producer as well as a dance critic, was selected to make adjudications for the 1950 and 1952 festivals. In 1953 Margaret Lloyd, a writer for the Boston-based Christian Science Monitor and author of The Borzoi Book of Modern Dance, made adjudications, and the New York-based Dance News critic, P.W. Manchester, did the same job in 1954. An adjudication form for the New Dance Theatre's Heroes of Our Time (originally titled Dreams of Glory and then Heroes, 1952) reveals the elements to be assessed by adjudicators. In order to eliminate less-serious groups immediately, presentations for the adjudicator had to be performed in a theatre with music and lighting; if sets and costumes had not been completed, then designs had to be shown.

When judging new choreography, adjudicators looked at the ballet's theme ("effectiveness and suitability for dancing"); music ("suitability for theme and suitability for dance-style used"); choreography ("form, style and its appropriateness", "projection of theme including characterization", "appropriateness of choreography to abilities of the company"); dancing ("technique", "style", "attack", "rhythm", "phrasing", "ensemble" and "interpretation"); and general production elements such as design of décor and suitability for professional stage presentation.