Looking for a fun, creative opportunity for your kids this summer? SOCACIZE CULTURAL SUMMER CAMP still has a few spots!

A message from our colleagues at Dance Ontario about The 2017 Dance Directory


The 2017 Dance Ontario Directory will be published next month and, in view of some responses from Dance Ontario’s recent survey, we would like to clarify issues that arose regarding printing of our annual catalog. Some respondents indicated that we should consider publishing an online Directory only that members could download if required. In that respect, we would like to clarify that the publication generates  considerable advertising and sponsorship revenues for the organization which would not be the case if the Directory was not mailed.
These incomes would need to be replaced probably through increases in membership fees.
As a compromise, however, members who feel strongly about this concern because of environmental issues, please send an email to contact@danceontario.ca with “DO NOT SEND A HARD COPY OF THE DIRECTORY” in the subject line.

A request to participate in a survey from our colleagues at Canadian Dance Assembly

This is an update to our last blog post, now that we’re midway through our research for “Re-imagining Service Organizations: Decolonizing Canadian Dance.” We’ve spent the past few months filling in our knowledge of the dance sector and its service organizations, interviewing a sample of the service organizations themselves, and preparing to launch a sector-wide survey about how well the service organizations are meeting your needs. More on the survey in a moment. First, let’s review what we’ve learned so far and why we need your input to help us round out the picture.

The Canadian dance service ecosystem has gone through numerous configurations over the years, alternately fracturing due to competing needs within the sector, consolidating as a result of funding cuts, and giving birth to new organizations to serve contemporary needs. This is not the first time that the organizing structure of dance services in Canada has been under review, and it’s important that this project learns important lessons from the past. We’re starting from a good place, given the extensive amount of research that precedes us, not least the Canadian Dance Mapping Study.

Dance is frequently cited as the least resourced of the arts sectors in Canada. This grievance also extends to its service organizations. What’s more, the resources that do exist are rarely equitably distributed across the sector. While dance service organizations have historically provided much-needed support for dancers and dance organizations working in ballet and contemporary dance in the major cities, practices such as Indigenous dance, racialized dance, disability dance, and dance outside the major cities have not received the same level of support. This historical inequality of service within the sector has resulted in the uneven playing field for different dance forms we see today.

Despite many valiant efforts to make the system fairer, some parts of the dance world continue to be better served than others. There is inequity in representation, funding, political power, and resources. Dancers and dance companies in the major cities have a wealth of services at their doorstep; those in rural regions typically need to look farther afield. Marginalized groups tend to be underrepresented on the boards and staff of service organizations, and thus have fewer seats at the table when it comes to decision-making power.

The service organizations also face challenges in adapting themselves to provide a more equitable offer for the sector. With low membership numbers from marginalized groups, it is difficult for dance service organizations to prioritize their needs; however, unless they start recognizing these specific needs, they will have difficulty attracting more of these members. Moreover, a lack of reliable data hampers their efforts to understand and advocate for the whole of the dance sector.

This is what we want to help CDA understand in more detail via the survey that we’re launching today. Our survey asks about how much you value dance service organizations in their current state; how they could change to better serve your needs; and how well they’re doing in being open, inclusive, and reflective of Canada’s identity. An online survey can be a relatively blunt tool, but there’s also plenty of space for comment and feedback.
~ James Doeser and Melissa Wong

Your responses will play an important role in helping us feed back to the service organizations about their relevance to the sector. They will also be a vital component of the discussions as the project progresses. The more people who complete the survey, the more useful it will be. Please tell your colleagues and friends in the sector. We’d love to know what they think.

Complete the Survey

Riley Sims awarded a Dance Ontario Creative Partnership for 2017/18

DUO would like to congratulate our client, Riley Sims of Social Growl Dance  who is one of two choreographers honoured with the Dance Ontario Creative Partnerships for 2017/18.  The recipients are chosen by Dance Ontario’s Commissioning Committee : Jesse Dell, Tina Nicolaidis, Lola Ryan, Ofilio Sinbadinho and Jennifer Watkins.

Riley Sims will present the world premiere of Old New Borrowed Blue, a visceral, eccentric, animalistic, and emotionally-stirring contemporary dance piece for four female dancers at DanceWeekend’s 25th anniversary edition at the Fleck Theatre, Harbourfront January 19 -21, 2018.

Sims is the Artistic Director of Social Growl Dance, established in 2012. The company has presented work at festivals and venues including; the Arts and Letters Club of Toronto, the SummerWorks Performance Festival, Dance Matters, Gallery 1313 and The Alumnae Theatre.

In 2014, Social Growl Dance received two creation residencies supporting Sims’ first full- length work ‘Are You Still Coming Tonight?’. The first residency was at Centre Q in Quebec with Sims’ mentor Tedd Robinson (10 Gates Dancing / National Arts Centre Associate Dance Artist); the second residency was with lemonTree Creations in Toronto. In 2015 Sims was one of four Canadians shortlisted for a Kevin Spacey Foundation ‘Artists of Choice’ Grant. In 2016, Social Growl Dance was selected to be the Dance Matters 2016/2017 commission and residency artist. Currently Sims’ is working with Ottawa’s Tedd Robinson (10 Gates Dancing Inc.), and Quebec choreographer Mélanie Demers (Mayday Danse). He will tour with Mayday Danse to Italy, Sweden and France in 2017/2018.


Congratulations to the DORA winners!

Zhenya Cerneacov, Mairead Filgate and Brodie Stevenson in Ylem/3 Eggs Ago

Last night DUO joined the dance, theatre and opera community to celebrate achievement in the performing arts at the 38th annual Dora Mavor Moore Awards.

DUO sponsored the Outstanding Original Choreography Award which was presented to Lina Cruz for Ylem/3 Eggs Ago, presented by Danceworks/Throwdown Collective/Lina Cruz and Fila 13 productions. Congratulations!

Congratulations also to adelheid and the Theatre Centre for their wins in both the Outstanding Production and Outstanding Performance categories in Dance for what it’s like. Simon Rossiter received the award for Outstanding Lighting Design for the production.

Outstanding performance awards in dance went to Michael Caldwell for his role in Crave for Kaeja d’Dance and to Jennifer Dallas for her role in Kittly Bender for Danceworks/CoWorks Kemi.

Outstanding Sound Design and Composition for Dance went to Benjamin Barrile for JANCINTO for Compania Carmen Romero.

DUO would also like to extend congratulations to our our colleagues and office mates at Musical Stage Company and Jahlen Barnes for his win in the Best Male Performer in a Musical category.  Barnes starred in MSC’s production of Passing Strange, which was nominated for several awards last night.





Dance Equity Launches!


Canadian Actors’ Equity Association is launching a Dance Advocacy Campaign supporting movement artists rights & access to supports in professional practice. This campaign is led by Making Moves member Jon Drops.

Check out the new site: DANCEEQUITY.COM and connect with Equity for more information on dance rights, advocacy, benefits & protections.

CDA Annual General Meeting is Monday June 26 in Toronto

Notice: Annual General Meeting of Members

Please take note that the Annual General Meeting for Members of the Canadian Dance Assembly will take place on Monday June 26, 2017 – 3:00pm. Daniels Spectrum (585 Dundas St. East, meeting room 1) Toronto, ON. Daniels Spectrum is an accessible building with an elevator (note washrooms have accessible stalls but no automatic doors). If a member/non-member requests the help of a qualified personal care attendant, CDA will make arrangements.

AGM business will include:

1. Welcome
2. Adoption of Agenda
3. Adoption of the 2016 AGM Minutes
4. President’s Report
5. Executive Director’s Report
6. Treasurer’s Report
7. Advocacy Committee Report
8. Nomination Report
9. Other Business
10.Open Forum

If unable to attend the meeting, a Member has the right to assign his/her vote to another Member in good standing. A proxy form is included for this purpose. Note that Non-Members are welcome to attend the meeting as observers.

Committees and open call for nominations
National Council nominations – There are currently 2 vacant positions for members to put forward a nomination to sit on our National Council. Members must be in good standing as individuals or represent an organization. Voting will take place at the AGM. If no nominations are presented (either self nomination or a third party nomination), National Council will present a slate for appointment.

Committees – CDA manages various committees that work alongside the National Council and staff to maintain the activities of the organization. The committees for the 2017/18 year are: Advocacy, Pluralism, and Finance.

If a member wishes to join any of these committees or or put forward a nomination for National Council, they should express their interest to the office at 416-515-8444 or email aviva@dancecanada.net.

Please join us following the AGM at 4pm for a Networking social
Light refreshments to be provided

We would appreciate an RSVP for the AGM  in order to estimate catering needs, please specify any food allergies. You may do so by emailing the office at info@dancecanada.net or by phone 416-515-8444.

Today is Sharing Dance Day Canada! Celebrate in Toronto at Yonge-Dundas Square – FREE!

Canada’s National Ballet School and partners invite you to join the nation’s biggest dance party to celebrate Canada’s 150th with … Sharing Dance Canada 2017!

Today 12 PM · Yonge-Dundas Square, Toronto · Toronto

12-2pm: As a field-trip destination, Sharing Dance Day for children and youth will host free, open dance workshops and performances by both professional and student dance groups. It’s a can’t-miss event for schools!

3-4pm: Take part with the young-at-heart as they get their groove on! Join free, open dance workshops for all, and watch performances by some of Toronto’s most active seniors’ groups.

4-6pm: Witness a community come together to perform the Sharing Dance Canada 2017 choreography. The evening wouldn’t be complete without spectacular workshops and performances. Stay tuned for a full list of performers!

This exciting event will include:
• Community performance presentations of the 2017 choreography
– Community participants and partner organizations will perform the choreography in front of a large public crowd multiple times over the course of the event; hundreds of dancers expected at each Signature Official Event
• Free open dance classes reflecting various dance forms
• Professional dance performances
• Partner activity booths
– Activities will engage the whole family
• An MC and other special guests
• Social media activation
• Videographer to capture the event

This year, four Canadian choreographers have collaborated to give voice and movement to a unique work that embodies and celebrates Canada’s diversity and artistic identity. Choreographers include: Kimberley Cooper (Calgary), Eugene Baffoe (Winnipeg), Tracee Smith (Toronto) and Roger Sinha (Montreal).

Bring your friends, family, and neighbours and DANCE!

And the Nominees are…DUO clients nominated for DORA awards!

Congratulations to DUO clients Yvonne Ng ( tiger princess), Bill Coleman, and Throwdown Collective on their nominations in the dance category of the 2017 DORA awards, hosted by the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts.

tiger princess/Danceworks production IN SEARCH of THE HOLY CHOP SUEY was nominated for four awards:  Outstanding Production; Outstanding Lighting Design (Arun Srinivasan), and both Outstanding Original Choreography and Outstanding Performance –  Female for Ng.

Throwdown Collective is nominated for Outstanding Performance – Ensemble for VARIOUS CONCERT.

Bill Coleman‘s DOLLHOUSE is nominated for Best Production, Best Performance (male) and Outstanding Sound Design for Gordon Monahan.

We’d also like to give a shout-out to our long-time colleague, Karen Kaeja who is nominated for outstanding choreography for CRAVE/DEFIANT.

We are also very happy for our neighbours at Musical Stage Company , who garnered five nominations in the Musical Theatre category. Musical Stage Company‘s founding and artistic director, Mitchell Marcus is this year’s recipient of the prestigious Leonard McHardy and John Harvey Award, given to an outstanding administrator with more than 10 years of demonstrated commitment to the performing arts who has made a significant impact on the industry in Toronto.

DUO is sponsoring the award for Outstanding Original Choreography in the Dance Division. The 38th Annual Dora Mavor Moore Awards will take place on Monday, June 26th, 2017 at the Elgin Theatre.


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!