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Headlines and details published by The Dance Current.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Government cuts close the doors on the CCA

>> by Brittany Duggan
After sixty-seven years of service, the Canadian Conference of the Arts (CCA) announced the end of its operations on October 30th, 2012. The decision comes a year and a half after news broke that the government was not intending to continue its funding to the nation’s largest member-based arts advocacy agency. National Director Alain Pineau commented in a press release, “This was not the way I was hoping to end my time with the CCA, but I leave knowing that all of us at the Secretariat have given everything we had to make this transition a success. I can only hope that someone else will pick up the challenge. The Canadian cultural sector needs and deserves a CCA if it is to be effective and thrive.” The advocacy group recently put together a five-year business plan and requested two years of transitional funding from the government. Denied this funding in the spring of 2012, the CCA continued with support from Canadian Heritage and from its membership. However, it was not enough to re-invent the CCA under a new business model and the group is now left in a state of suspension, maintaining charitable status so as not to lose the accumulation of advocacy throughout the years and to leave the door open for new leadership. CCA was founded in 1945, even before the Canada Council for the Arts, and has been a voice for all disciplines in arts, culture and heritage. Their disappearance prompts the question: what next? Who will lead policy development at the federal level and advocate for Canadian artists and art in Canada?
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Fortier's 30 days of dancing in Paris

 Paul-André Fortier performing his own work Solo 30x30 in Paris, France / Photo by Marion-Bonan

>> by Jaimée Horn
Montréal-based dance artist Paul-André Fortier recently wrapped up thirty days of performing his Solo 30x30 in Paris. Welcomed by the Théâtre National de Chaillot from September 21st through October 20th, Fortier performed on the Esplanade Trocadéro, with the Eiffel Tower as his backdrop. In a video by the Délégation générale du Québec à Paris, Fortier comments that he offered his daily performance as a gift to pedestrians who wished to observe, but, in doing so, he was also giving himself the gift of dancing for thirty consecutive days. The piece received warm accolades and has now been performed 450 times in multiple cities around the world.
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Randolph Academy celebrates twentieth anniversary

>> by Cynthia Brett
On October 15th Randolph Academy celebrated its twentieth anniversary with a fundraising gala in Toronto's Fairmont Royal York Concert Hall. Over 200 people, including honorary co-chair David Mirvish, attended the dinner, auction and concert featuring over 150 students, alumni and special guests. The evening also celebrated the Bathurst Street Theatre's renovations and official name change to the Randolph Theatre. Another highlight of the evening was the presentation of the inaugural Gregory Hines Performing Arts Mentorship Award to Tara Young, artistic director of Cirque du Soleil's Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour. The late Gregory Hines, a friend of Randolph Academy founder George Randolph since the 1970s, periodically made surprise visits to the school to teach. He is buried in Oakville, Ontario, and, once a year, Randolph and other tappers pay tribute at his grave with stories and improvisation.
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Monday, October 22, 2012

I Love Dance Awards

>> by Kathleen Smith
On Sunday, October 21st, as part of the Canadian Dance Assembly’s Step in Time Conference in Ottawa, twelve awards were given out to deserving members of the Canadian dance community during a gala dinner in the Panorama Room at the National Arts Centre. With Tré Armstrong hosting, performances from Supernaturalz, Mandoline Hybride and Vanessa Shaver and presenters such as Alberta Ballet’s Jean Grand-Maître, BJM’s Jay Rankin and Les Grands Ballets’ Alain Dancyger handing out the glass statuettes, the evening was a true celebration of committed contribution.

Here are the awardees:
Organization Award – Dance Collection Danse (Toronto)
Donors Award – Jeanne Lougheed (Calgary)
CPAMO Pluralism Award – Menaka Thakkar (Toronto)
Audience Member Award – Henry Kim Wong (Vancouver)
Corporation Award – TD Bank Group
Innovation Award – Julia Taffe/Aeriosa Dance Society (Vancouver)
Seniors Award – Charmaine Headley/COBA (Toronto)
Aga Khan Museum International Award – RUBBERBANDance Group (Montréal)
Healthy Citizens Award – Erica Ross/Dance Our Way Home (Toronto)
Award for Creative Economy – École Christiane Bélanger Danse (Québec)
EnPointe Youth Award – Julia Gutsik/Luv2Groove (Ottawa)
Rosco Floors Community Award – Karen and Allen Kaeja (Toronto)

More information about the awards and conference (including posting of a number of the documents presented in Ottawa) is available at cda-acd.ca.
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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Inaugural Dance Awards in Toronto

>> by Brittany Duggan
On October 14th, Toronto's Young Centre for the Performing Arts celebrated the inaugural Young Centre Dance Awards. Curated by Young Centre resident artists Roberto Campanella and Andrea Nann, the awards were created to celebrate excellence, creativity, innovation, collaboration, community and spirit in Toronto as well as to increase the Young Centre’s commitment to present dance and support dance-centered activities as promised by General Director Albert Schultz on the night of the event. Nominees were invited to present work, live or by video, in Whirl, The Dance Cabaret, which took place directly before the awards ceremony. Gadfly took the award for Emerging Dance Artist, Esmeralda Enrique for Senior Dance Artist, Jon Reid for Community Dance Artist and Marie-Josée Chartier for Multidisciplinary Dance Artist. Nominees included: Jasmyn Fyffe, Cara Spooner, Anjelica Scannura, Nova Bhattacharya, Robert Glumbek, Claudia Moore, Sylvie Bouchard, Bill Coleman and  Laurence Lemieux, Lenny Dela Pena, Jacob Niedzwiecki, Heidi Strauss and William Yong. Stay tuned for more dance at Toronto's Young Centre.
More: youngcentre.ca
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Arts patron Walter Carsen dies at 100

 Walter Carsen / photo courtesy of The National Ballet of Canada

>> by Naomi Brand
Described by The National Ballet of Canada as its "greatest patron", businessman and philanthropist Walter Carsen died on October 8th, 2012 at the age of 100. Carsen’s generosity is unmatched in the history of The National Ballet of Canada. He underwrote twelve productions for the company, funded tours, campaigns and led the donations for construction of the ballet’s permanent home in Toronto, named in his honour. "He helped us achieve what we wanted to do. He was an inspiration through his generosity, leadership and great enthusiasm and he was also a great friend to the company," said Artistic Director Karen Kain in a statement. In addition to his support of the ballet, he established the annual $50,000 Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts and donated to the Shaw Festival, the Art Gallery of Ontario and the United Way, among other charities.

Carsen was born in Germany and came to Canada in 1941 where he built his fortune distributing photo and optical supplies. Among his many honours, Carsen was appointed as a member of the Order of Canada in 1995 and, in 2002, was promoted to officer of the Order of Canada. “When I see a need I believe in, I want to help," said Carsen in an interview with the Toronto Star earlier this year. "Money is here to be spent. Give it where you love it and where it gives pleasure to others.”
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Franca biography shortlisted for Governor General's Literary Award

>> by Naomi Brand
Author Carol Bishop-Gwyn's The Pursuit of Perfection: A Life of Celia Franca has been shortlisted for a 2012 Governor General's Literary Award for non-fiction. Bishop-Gwyn's book tells the life story of Celia Franca, founding artistic director of The National Ballet of Canada and the company's artistic director for twenty-four years. Bishop-Gwyn is also a freelance journalist who holds two graduate degrees in dance history and has taught at York University, Ryerson University and the School of Toronto Dance Theatre. The Pursuit of Perfection is the first book on Canadian dance history to be shortlisted for the award. Winners will be announced on November 13th.
More: http://ggbooks.canadacouncil.ca/en/The-Pursuit-of-Perfection-A-Life-of-Celia-Franca.aspx
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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Dancefilm rising

>> by Philip Szporer
A crowded fall festival season didn’t deter Cinédanse Montréal from muscling its way into the field with a four-day run in September, including screenings of more than thirty-five shorts, documentaries and special events. “It’s about time,” was a general reaction from festival-goers. The ambitious event drew a slew of international entries and guests, including ballet star Claude Bessy, famed Pina Bausch dancer Jo Ann Endicott, and director Mike Figgis, whose raw and brutal The Co(te)lette Film was the festival opener. 
Housed in the city’s 800-plus-seat golden-era movie palace Cinéma Impérial, Cinédanse Montréal is based on the model of its programming co-curator Cinedans, Amsterdam’s magnet for dance-media innovation. Saturday matinees drew a modest fifteen to twenty ticket-holders at each screening, while about a dozen people attended that day’s morning roundtable discussion, “Why Onscreen Dance? What to Do or Not to Do”.
Director Sylvain Bleau, former manager of such companies as Les Grands Ballets Canadiens and LaLaLa Human Steps, proudly launched the biennial festival without a cent of public money. A late start in publicizing the new event caused problems at the box office, he acknowledged. Nonetheless, Bleau supports the idea that dance artists “need not limit themselves to the stage.”
Learn more >> cinedanse-mtl.com
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