Yvonne Ng Wins the Toronto Arts Foundation’s Muriel Sherrin Award

photo of Yvonne Ng by Sean Howard

DUO would like to congratulate our long-time client, Yvonne Ng  winner of the Toronto Arts Foundation’s 2017 Muriel Sherrin Award.  The awards are presented annually at The Mayor’s Arts Lunch, which took place this past Monday.

The Muriel Sherrin Award is a $10,000 cash prize, presented annually to an artist or creator who has made a contribution to the cultural life of Toronto through outstanding achievement. The recipient has also participated in international initiatives, including touring, studying abroad, and participating in artist exchanges. The award rotates from music to dance in alternating prize years. In 2017, the award was  made in the field of dance.

Yvonne Ng is a choreographer, presenter, arts educator and founder and artistic director of princess productions. Her works have toured internationally for the past fifteen years, her company’s education programs are active in 18 library branches and she also is the driving force behind the dance: made in canada/fait au canada Festival, taking place this August at the Betty Oliphant Theatre.

Congratulations Yvonne!  Well-deserved!

The School of TDT presents the 1st ever Winchester Prize to Jocelyn Mah

Jocelyn Mah © Cylla von Tiedemann.

The School of Toronto Dance Theatre is excited to announce both a new annual choreographic award and a new partnership with the SummerWorks Performance Festival.

Through the generosity of Lindy Green and Sam Chaiton, The School of Toronto Dance Theatre will award The Winchester Prize for the best student dance work presented in the School’s third year Choreographic Workshop. The winning choreographer will receive a cash award and support to further develop and, with the guidance of a mentor, remount their expanded prize-winning work at the SummerWorks Performance Festival. The Winchester Prize acknowledges and celebrates the School’s commitment to creative development, and enhances awareness of the School’s contribution to the success of a generation of accomplished choreographers. The prize also recognizes the importance of mentorship to support emerging talent.

The inaugural Winchester Prize winner was announced at the School’s year end fundraising performance, Gathering Momentum. Jocelyn Mah, a graduating student from Calgary, Alberta, was unanimously selected by the panel as the recipient. Her work August, Augusta, will receive further development working with mentor Susie Burpee, and be presented in a double bill with Ryan Lee at the festival. SummerWorks Performance Festival runs August 3 to 13, 2017 in Toronto.

“As ardent supporters of contemporary dance in the city, we are dazzled by the talent emerging from The School of Toronto Dance Theatre and are thrilled to launch this annual prize to assist the next generation of dance artists in the pursuit of choreographic excellence.” – Lindy Green and Sam Chaiton

“Julia Sasso, Director of Creative Process and the Choreographic Workshop, guides a program at the School that addresses fundamentals of choreography, craft, and the challenging of critical assumptions, and is built to support students’ creative development. Julia and I are grateful to Lindy Green, Sam Chaiton, and SummerWorks for encouraging gifted student choreographers with their investment and support.” – Patricia Fraser, The School of Toronto Dance Theatre

“SummerWorks Performance Festival is thrilled to be involved in this initiative providing a unique opportunity for emerging talent in choreography and dance. We believe supporting new work, nurturing artistic risk, and investing in the next generation of creators are essential for the growth and evolution of arts and culture in our city and beyond. We are inspired by Lindy and Sam’s generosity and vision, by The School of Toronto Dance Theatre’s commitment to nurturing artistic excellence, and by the students of the School who consistently exhibit professionalism, great creativity and skill. We look forward to introducing our audiences to the Winchester Prize winner and their work.” – Laura Nanni, SummerWorks.

Congratulations, Jocelyn!  We all look forward to seeing your new creation at Summerworks later this summer.


Saturday April 29th is International Dance Day!

There are dance performances and activities taking place on April 29th across the country, including many we’ve listed on the DUO blog this week.

In honour of this very special day in the dance community, we would like to share this message from our friends and neighbours at the Canadian Dance Assembly:


Yvonne Ng and The AMY Project Shortlisted for The Toronto Arts Foundation Signature Awards

Congratulations to our client, Yvonne Ng ( tiger princess dance: made in canada/fait au canada Festival) and our office mate, Rachel Penny of  The AMY Project on their inclusion on the list of finalists for the prestigious Toronto Arts Foundation Signature Awards.

The AMY Project is nominated for the Arts for Youth Award. The AMY Project builds the leadership, confidence, and unique voice of young women and non-binary youth in Toronto by providing them with performance training, connections to artistic mentors, experience working in a professional theatre, and support towards the early growth of their careers. Rachel is The AMY Project’s General Manager and Nikki Shaffeeullah is the Artistic Director.

Yvonne Ng is nominated for the Muriel Sherrin Award, which is presented to a creator or artist who has made a contribution to the cultural life in Toronto. This year, it’s being presented in the field of dance.

Ng is a choreographer, presenter, arts educator and founder and artistic director of princess productions. Her works have toured internationally for the past fifteen years, her company’s education programs are active in 18 library branches and she also is the driving force behind the dance: made in canada/fait au canada Festival, taking place in August at the Betty Oliphant Theatre.

Also nominated is for the Muriel Sherrin Award is Karen Kaeja,  an award winning performer, choreographer, educator, community builder and project instigator. She thrives on developing performance platforms provoking collaborative relationships between dancers, everyday people and the body. Commissions and residencies take her around the world from NFLD to Japan. Her Co-Artistic director of Kaeja d’Dance, Allen Kaeja  is a long-serving member of DUO’s board.

The Toronto Arts Foundation Signature Awards celebrate artistic excellence and recognize the contributions of artists and arts supporters, across disciplines, to creative city-building in Toronto. The awards will be presented at the The Mayor’s Arts Lunch later this spring.

Congratulations, everyone!








An Important Message from the Simon Brault, CEO, Canada Council About the New Portal

Dear colleagues in the arts community,

I am writing you today with some important updates on the Canada Council’s portal.

We know many of you are eager to submit your grant applications online. Our intention was to offer that possibility this month. We will, unfortunately, have to delay this launch due to technical issues uncovered in recent testing. We recognize the negative impact of launching a technological solution that would not respond to the needs of the users.

Let me provide you with some context and explain what we are doing to mitigate the impact of this delay for you.

About the portal
The portal is a technology solution that we have been developing to support our New Funding Model. For you as applicants, it will be the entry point to apply for grants, track your results and more. For us here at Canada Council as well as for the hundreds of peer assessors coming from the arts community, it will be the tool to assess applications.

In December 2016, we successfully opened the first phase of the portal and close to 20,000 of you have registered.

Since then, our team has been working with tremendous dedication to develop, test and deploy the functionality to enable submissions online.

Following the latest testing however, we have detected errors that could compromise the online application process. This is a risk we do not wish to take. We will therefore not be opening the portal for submissions this month as planned. The launch date for online applications is now June 5, 2017.

Interim Measures to better support you during this transition
Our team is working to ensure that wherever possible, this delay does not negatively impact those of you working to make and share art with audiences.

Importantly, we are adjusting most deadlines in the new funding model.

I invite you to consult the table with the list of new deadlines and ways to apply before June 5. Our officers are available to answer your questions.

The decision to postpone the launch of phase 2 of the portal has been a difficult one to make. However we ultimately feel it is the most responsible course of action at this time. We remain confident that the New Funding Model will provide more opportunities for artists to make and share art.

I regret any inconvenience this delay may cause and thank you again for your patience and understanding during this transition.

Simon Brault, O.C., O.Q.
CEO, Canada Council for the Arts

Re-imagining Service Organizations : Decolonizing Canadian Dance

A message from our friends, neighbours and colleagues at the Canadian Dance Assembly:

Statement of Intent
The Canadian Dance Assembly has initiated a multi-year investigation to re-imagine service for the dance sector and an organizing structure to deliver on that service. The intention is to transform service for dance to be radically open, inclusive, and more reflective of Canada’s identity.  CDA’s initiative aims to identify areas of duplication, gaps in service while creating new opportunities for underserved communities and evolving with the current social and political landscape in order to truly serve our national sector.


  • We will honour the history of the sector while recognizing that history is only a meaningful context for interpretation for those already included in the professional dance community
  • We will organize around a postcolonial understanding of culture and service that questions and reinvents the way dance is viewed and framed
  • We will honour Indigenous voices and values throughout the process and ¼ of invited participants will be Indigenous
  • We will question demarcations and categories that define who and where to act
  • We will focus less on new efficiencies and more on new opportunities

The aim of the process is to initiate long-term, sustainable learning and renewal processes to make the dance ecology more viable, representative, and successful through the re-imagining and reinterpretation of national service for dance. A six-month process will culminate in a two-day retreat in Toronto, Ontario facilitated by Intervene. The calls of duplication and gaps in service must be addressed – because the status quo is simply not working. A fundamental restructuring of service for dance will be required.
Consolidation is likely.

Many questions will be addressed at the retreat:
1. Should the CDA continue to exist or what does a national service organization for
dance look like?
2. How can we move beyond scarcity to a place of strength?
3. What would partnership look like?
4. How do we best serve the needs of individuals vs. organizations?
We need strong national service for dance that strengthens our community, facilitates collaboration, acts as a cultural connector and embraces tolerance, difference and excellence.

To read the full announcement, click HERE

If you have questions or comments about the process, please contact CDA Executive Director, Kate Cornell at kate@dancecanada.net

Tour de Danse at Toronto Dance Theatre on Saturday April 22nd at the Winchester Street Theatre

Toronto Dance Theatre (TDT) presents its fourth annual Tour de Danse  this Saturday, April 22nd at the Winchester Street Theatre. This signature fundraising event invites dance lovers from all walks of life to join forces with Christopher House and the TDT dancers on stage as guest artists for a fun-filled performance on April 22, 2017 at the Winchester Street Theatre in historic Cabbagetown.

The guest artists learn new choreographies–especially created for the event–by company dancers Peter Kelly and Pulga Muchochoma, and by artistic director Christopher House. The participants collect pledges in support of TDT via Canada Helps, and invite friends to witness their one-night-only performance onstage with the TDT company members.

The top fundraisers will be awarded one of three special prize packages, including the grand prize of two VIA Rail round trip tickets to Montréal and two nights at Le Centre Sheraton Montreal. Runners-up will receive two tickets behind home-plate for a Blue Jays home game, and a night on the town featuring dinner at the House on Parliament plus tickets for two to the upcoming TDT production Emerging Voices: New Works by Alicia Grant & Emily Law (May 24-28).

Included in the performance are two works by Christopher House: the beautiful Four Towers and excerpts from our new production of Chiasmata. Guest artists will be partnered by TDT company members Valerie Calam, Justin de Luna, Alana Elmer, Yuichiro Inoue, Peter Kelly, Megumi Kokuba, Lukas Malkowski, Pulga Muchochoma, Danah Rosales, Jarrett Siddall, Margarita Soria, and Christianne Ullmark. Join TDT and their supporters for  what promises to be a fun night.


Saturday, April 22, 2017
Doors and bar open at 7:30 PM, performance at 8 PM
Winchester Street Theatre, 80 Winchester St, Toronto ON M4X 1B2

BOX OFFICE: 461 967 1365

Tickets are available here


CADA-DUO Rehearsal Space Program on hold until May 15, 2017


NBS has asked DUO and CADA  to advise our members that no further bookings will be taken for rehearsal space at NBS until after May 15th. This includes both paid and free bookings.

Preparations are under way for the Assemble International Festival and Encore Performances. Due to evening rehearsals and other ongoing programs, NBS unfortunately cannot  presently accommodate any further demands on its studio space.

CADA and DUO members who have already booked  rehearsal time at NBS  in the period leading up to May 15th will have their bookings honoured by NBS, as usual.

Tickets for the May performance may be obtained by calling the  NBS Box Office at 416-964-5148 or send an email to boxoffice@nbs-enb.ca



Call for applications for CanAsian Dance Festival

KickStart commissions Canadian choreographers, challenging them to develop and perform a 20-30 minute work the represents a significant new direction or constructive disruption to their approach to choreography. KickStart’s support includes mentorship, dramaturgy, and professionally produced performances in Toronto.

Send your completed application package by April 20, 2017 to:

CanAsian Dance 509 Parliament Street, 2nd Floor Toronto, ON M4X 1P3

For criteria and applications details, visit canasiandance.com 

Jazz & Dance Improvisations

A collaboration of Jazz Piano, Bellydance, African Dance and Vocals with Bob Ruglass, Chemagne, Jay Davis and Lua Shayenne. And a special guest appearance by Roger Williams on Bass.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Heliconian Hall

35 Hazelton Ave. Yorkville, Toronto


Bob Ruglass – Jazz Pianist

Chemagne – Bellydancer

Jay Davis – Vocalist

Lua Shayenne – African Dancer

Roger Williams, special guest – Bass



$35 in advance

$45 at the door

Tickets online at eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/jazz-and-dance-improvisations-tickets-31883552564

Doors Open At 7:30pm Showtime At 9pm

For More Info. Contact Chemagne Dance – 416-803-5552

ER-7 Musik & Chemagne Dance Presentation



There is green P parking available on Yorkville Avenue and Cumberland Street, as well as limited street parking right on Hazelton Avenue.



Take the Cumberland exit at the Bay subway station. Walk north along the pedestrian walkway to Yorkville Avenue. Cross the pedestrian crossing at Yorkville Ave. and continue on Hazelton Avenue, where you will see The Heliconian Hall on your right hand side just after Scollard Street.