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Friday, June 26, 2009

Canada Council welcomes $25 million funding renewal

>> from Canada Council for the Arts press release
Canada Council for the Arts welcomes today’s announcement that the Government of Canada has renewed for five more years the $25 million in annual funding scheduled to sunset at the end of the current fiscal year. This represents total funding of $125 million over the next five years. Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages James Moore made the announcement in Vancouver, and Canada Council Director and CEO Robert Sirman was there to hear the good news.

“This funding confirmation couldn’t come at a better time,” said Mr. Sirman. “It gives the Council a solid base for planning the implementation of the third year of its Strategic Plan 2008-11, and helps stabilize the arts sector during a particularly challenging economic period.”

Today’s announcement recognizes the important role of the arts in Canada and the value which the Council’s support of professional arts practice brings to all Canadians. According to Statistics Canada, there are approximately 600,000 cultural workers in Canada of whom over 140,000 are practising artists. Further, a study by the Conference Board of Canada reported that the economic impact of the culture sector was $46 billion.

Canada Council for the Arts is a federal Crown corporation created by an Act of Parliament in 1957. The role of the Council is to foster and promote the study and enjoyment of, and the production of works in, the arts. To fulfill this mandate, the Council offers a broad range of grants and services to professional Canadian artists and arts organizations in dance, integrated art, media arts, music, theatre, visual arts, and writing and publishing. It also promotes public awareness of the arts through its communications, research and arts promotion activities.

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Friday, June 5, 2009

Dora Award Nominees in Dance announced

>> by Megan Andrews
On June 3rd, the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts announced this year's nominees for the Dora Mavor Moore Awards acknowledging excellence in performing arts in Toronto. There are four awards given in the dance division, as well as an award for best choreography in a play or musical in the general theatre production division. Nominees in dance include:

Radiant (evanescence:made in canada) – princess productions
Innovation: Emergence – The National Ballet of Canada
La Pornographie des âmes (Bare naked souls) – Harbourfront Centre's World Stage
Lost Action (Kidd Pivot) – Harbourfront Centre's World Stage
Rankfod (Kitt Johnson X-act) – Harbourfront Centre's World Stage/DanceWorks

Kathleen Rea – Long Live
Crystal Pite – Innovation: Emergence
William Yong – Frames (Zata Omm)
Holly Small – Radiant (evanescence:made in canada)
Esmeralda Enrique, Juan Ogalla – Cantos de la Tierra

Sasha Ivanochko – The future memory heartbreak junction
Karen Kaeja – Long Live
The Ensemble – Innovation: Emergence
Louis Laberge-Côté – Radiant (evanescence:made in canada)
Juan Ogalla – Cantos de la Tierra

Snowblink-Daniela Gesundheit and Dan Goldman – Long Live
Owen Belton – Innovation: Emergence
John Oswald – Radiant (evanescence:made in canada)
Philip Strong – Dis/(sol/ve)r
Nicolas Hernandez, Jose Valle, Encarna Anillo – Cantos de la Tierra

Nominees for Outstanding Choreography in a Play or Musical include:

Joanna De Souza/Anita Majumdar – The Misfit
Laura Krewski – The Forbidden Phoenix
Hari Krishnan – Shakuntala
Denise Clarke/Peggy Baker – Radio Play
Sergio Trujillo – Jersey Boys

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Monday, June 1, 2009

TDT hosts German artists

>> By Megan Andrews
From May 21st through 30th, Toronto Dance Theatre (TDT) hosted a number of events and discussions around presentations of new works for TDT by guest choreographers from Germany, Christoph Winkler and Felix Marchand. German dramaturge and dance scholar Susanne Foellmer gave several lectures throughout the week and the choreographers also offered workshops. On Monday May 18th, Foellmer facilitated a discussion on dramaturgy-of-the-body including Winkler, Marchand, TDT Artistic Director Christopher House, Toronto choreographer and Artistic Director of Public Recordings Ame Henderson, Dancemakers Artistic Director Michael Trent, Dancemakers dramaturge and theatre director Jacob Zimmer and Montréal-based dramaturge Guy Cools. The discussion considered the use of the term “dramaturgy” and the role of a dramaturge in a dance context. From the panellists' comments, it was apparent that the dance dramaturge's role is variable and usually very specific to the choreographer and his or her working process. Questions of power, leadership, listening and bodily engagement in the work were addressed. There was a sense of consensus about the dramaturge functioning as a kind of facilitator for the artwork. The week of ancillary events was supported in part by the Goethe-Institut Toronto and the Canadian Embassy in Berlin.

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Canadian presenters await funding announcements

>>By Kate Stashko
Several dance presenters across Canada continue to wait for Arts Presentation Canada funding annoucements from the Department of Canadian Heritage. Presenters including Live Art Dance Productions in Halifax, Tangente in Montréal, DanceWorks in Toronto, Brian Webb Dance Company in Edmonton and New Works in Vancouver, applied for funding in September 2008 and still await news on the results of their applications. Mimi Beck, dance curator of DanceWorks, notes that part of the issue lies in the differences between the government’s fiscal year (April 1 to March 31) and the typical presenter’s season (September to June). As such, presenters applied in April 2008 for funding of their 2009/10 seasons, expecting to find out in the spring of 2009. Compounding this discrepancy in time periods is the fact that there is no specific date given by the Department of Canadian Heritage as to when presenters can expect the funding announcement; Beck has noted dates ranging from March to June in previous years. The delay in funding announcements has slowed planning and booking of tours and performances and has some presenters considering alternative arrangements for their 2009/10 seasons.

Spring Forward! connects emerging arts professionals

>> by Marie Claire Forté
In March, Elizabeth Chitty, Executive Director of the Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists’ Ontario Chapter (CADA-ON), presented the organization’s recent Professional Standards for Dance at Spring Forward!, a resource fair for emerging arts professionals in Toronto. Rossyln Jacob Edwards from Dance Ontario also gave a talk on current issues with the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN). Spring Forward! was presented by The Emerging Arts Professional Network, the Ontario Association of Art Galleries (OAAG) and the Provincial Arts Service Organizations Coalition (PASO). The fair was an opportunity for emerging arts professionals from all disciplines to network and meet representatives from arts councils and professionals from the fields of music, design, visual arts, architecture and dance. Noting that CADA-ON has recently joined PASO, Chitty remarked that, “the conference was considered a great success."

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Reports on Canadian artists’ earnings and funding

>> by Marie Claire Forté
“Artists’ earnings are well below the overall labour force average in every province.” Though this may come as no surprise, this statement is quantified in the Artists in Canada’s Provinces and Territories Based on the 2006 Census report published by Hill Strategies Research, funded by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council. The report documents the average yearly earnings of the overall labour workforce ($36,301), of artists ($22,731) and of dancers ($13,167). The report also notes that, “among the 10 provinces, British Columbia has the largest percentage of its labour force in arts occupations (1.08%), the only province above 1% and a figure that is well above the Canadian average of 0.77%.”
In Vancouver, the managing director of the city’s Cultural Services submitted a report entitled Models for Arts Councils – Research from Other Municipalities to the City of Vancouver. This report, published in February, includes a Comparative Arts Council Review of a few cities in Canada and the United States. It seems that Vancouver faired well in the comparison, with funding per capita at $18 from a grants budget of $10.4 million, compared to Toronto, with $4.16 per capita from a grants budget of $9.7 million and Montréal, with $5.22 per capita from a grants budget of $9.5 million. The report highlights that, “Each jurisdiction surveyed has evolved its own unique and organic approach to the delivery and creative scope of arts funding.”

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