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The Voice of Canadian Dance

The Canadian Dance Assembly (CDA) is the voice of the professional dance sector in Canada and promotes a healthy, sustainable environment in which professional dance practice can grow and thrive.  CDA cultivates a strong national voice for Canadian professional dance and supports the development of resources for this field of artistic expression. Through conferences, workshops, and networking events we connect the dance community from coast to coast, building a cohesive and dynamic milieu.

Make sure your voice is heard and join the Canadian Dance Assembly today! Together we are stronger. 

View Our Events Calendar

Be sure to check out the events calendar for the latest in conferences, festivals and professional development opportunities.

  • Festival of Dance Annapolis Royal | FODAR 2016 25-Aug-2016

    Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley Welcome to Atlantic Canada's summer Contemporary Dance Festival! ..

  • First National Symposium for Dance and Well-Being 04-Nov-2016

    Toronto, ON The First National Symposium for Dance and Well-Being: Collaboratively Advancing Res..

  • Leading Edge After Performance (LEAP) Conference 2016 11-Nov-2016

    TORONTO LEAP is an innovative initiative bringing the dance and sport communities together in a ..

  • CAPACOA Conference | CINAR 2016 Program 14-Nov-2016

    CAPACOA Conference will be held in conjunction with the CINARS Biennale and will propose thought..

    • Choreography Across Disciplines - Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity

      17-Aug-2016
      December 04 - December 11, 2016

      Application deadline: September 14, 2016

      A cross-disciplinary thematic residency for artists exploring choreography

      Overview

      In response to a growing cross-disciplinary interest in choreography, this eight-day thematic residency co-facilitated by Ame Henderson and Christopher House will bring together 8-12 artists to engage with methods and ideas distilled from contemporary choreographic practice.

      Choreography Across Disciplines is for professional artists working in disciplines other than dance who are leaning towards choreographic ideas, and for dance practitioners investigating choreography in dialogue with other art forms. The goal of the residency is to explore how choreographic thinking - spatial, temporal and sensory - can enhance a diverse range of artistic practices.

      What does it offer?

      The residency will be grounded in embodied research, knowledge sharing and play, enhanced by encounters with a range of somatic and formal approaches and work with scores and improvisation structures. Physical activities will be supported by open discussion, writing and dialogic walks. 

      Who should apply

      For professional artists in any medium including visual art, performance, film/video, digital arts, sound arts, music, theatre, writing and inter-arts who are interested in exploring the potential of choreographic thinking in their practice, and for dance artists working with choreography in relation to, or within, other forms. 

      Participants must have experience in some physical practice (not necessarily dance-based) and be willing to act as performer/collaborators in the working of their peers; performance-as-choreography is an important aspect of the work. 

      Applicants should have an established practice with a history of public presentation, and an interest in both learning through the body and collaborating in an intensive group environment. International and Canadian artists are invited to apply.

      Learn more + how to apply.

    • Recommendations for the 2017 Federal Budget

      08-Aug-2016

      As we have in previous years, the Canadian Arts Coalition will submit a brief to the Standing Committee on Finance. Making a pre-budget submission is a great opportunity to share with our government what our industry needs are, and to have our voice be heard.

      The Canadian Arts Coalition steering committee recently met to discuss possible recommendations. The new Liberal majority government and the recent infusions of funding to Canadian arts and culture mean the advocacy landscape is much different this time around. For example, all three of our recommendations for the 2015 budget were met in some way, which means we now have the opportunity to turn our attention to issues not previously addressed. It’s an exciting time!

      The steering committee decided on the following two recommendations for this round of pre-budget consultations:

      See all the recommendations and read more HERE. Download/read the brief HERE.

    • Toronto’s Church Street Discover a Hidden History of Canadian Dance

      02-Aug-2016

      Nestled between a nail salon and a strip of shabby pawn shops, Canada’s only dance museum sits on the third floor of a tawny-brick building on Toronto’s Church Street. There’s no sign out front to mark its existence. Passersby are likely to find their eye drawn elsewhere, toward the hulking neo-Gothic Metropolitan United Church that claims the entire opposite block, the ad for blue iridescent fingernails in the adjacent window, or the bustle of commotion just south on Queen Street East.

      We had a sandwich board out front for a bit and that brought in a few curious people,” says Dance Collection Danse co-founder and director Miriam Adams. “But we had to take it down.” She smiles with a touch of irony.

      A bylaw restriction.

      Despite its low profile, Dance Collection Danse, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, is a remarkable repository of the country’s dance history. The museum’s tiny Church Street home consists of three bright and modest rooms – a gallery space, a work space and an office – all open to the public five days a week, with admission by donation. Its collection is as impressive as its housing is humble. In addition to a special exhibition that changes biannually, the museum has closets lined floor-to-ceiling with hundreds of written documents, 1,100 hours worth of oral history on cassettes, cupboards stuffed with aging costumes and quirky artifacts, more than 2,000 video recordings of performances dating back several decades and a vast off-site holding of backdrops and historic Canadian set pieces.

      Visiting the museum for the first time last week, I had the sense that I’d happened upon the kind of hidden cultural gem you seek out and fetishize as a tourist. Amy Bowring, a dance historian and DCD’s director of research, dangled all kinds of fascinating ephemera and collectibles in front of me: Early 20th-century pointe shoes with metal toes for tapping, a purple chevron tutu from the 1960s, the red blazer worn by the dance contingent of the Canadian Olympic team in Berlin in 1936.

      We have amazing stories to tell,” Bowring says. “People think about dance as being frivolous, but it’s not. It reflects our immigration history. It reflects moments in politics.” As an example, she cites the balls held at the country’s Confederation talks in 1864, when networking took place while people waltzed. She adds that indigenous dances were banned in the 1880s through the Indian Act. “Dance was seen as subversive enough that it had to be banned in order to suppress a culture. It clearly isn’t frivolous.

      Dimitri Vladimiroff, a Russian dancer who came to Canada at the beginning of the 1920s, in Toronto in 1930. (Courtesy Dance Collection Danse)


      Read the full article on the Globe & Mail.

    • Why Ontario’s New Culture Strategy Still Needs Work

      27-Jul-2016

      CDA's Executive Director, Kate Cornell, and many others in the arts chime in on what they think of Ontario's new culture strategy in this column by Canadian Art magazine. 

      Here's an excerpt:

      Artist Groups Respond to Status of the Artist Act
      Architects and designers aren’t the only ones concerned about inclusion in the new culture strategy.

      “Dance is only periodically mentioned in the strategy,” writes Kate Cornell, executive director of the Canadian Dance Assembly, in an email to Canadian Art. Cornell also, like Josephson, notes the relative lack of material for those in the design field.

      Overall, though, Cornell is pleased by the strategy’s direction.

      “The Culture Strategy’s four goals are admirable,” Cornell writes. “Eliminating barriers and increasing access are the primary themes. Indigenous arts and deaf and disability arts play a large role in the strategy.”

      One of the biggest boons, it seems, could be a commitment to build upon the Status of Ontario’s Artists Act.

      “The policies will benefit the arts sector generally, especially artists working in communities and/or schools,” Cornell notes. “Most notably, the influential Framework document and toolkit that will be distributed to other Ministries will build on Ontario’s Status of the Artist Act.”

      Originally passed in 2007, the Status of Ontario’s Artists Act recognizes the importance of the province’s artists—but, as the actors’ union ACTRA Toronto notes, the original act “fell short of what ACTRA and other artists had hoped for.” As a result, ACTRA Toronto and others have “continued to pursue rights and benefits for Ontario’s artists,” in particular “labour rights for artists.”

      Representatives from CARFAC Ontario were also pleased to see mention of building upon existing Status of the Artist legislation.

      “It is good to see a mention of a commitment to building on the Status of Ontario’s Artists Act,” CARFAC Ontario executive director Sally Lee and board president Yael Brotman said in a joint statement. “We hope for continued participation/consultation to ensure that legislation includes wording that addresses artists’ socioeconomic standing; makes a commitment to developing a labour relations mechanism; and requires periodic reviews of the legislation.”

      Read the full article on Canadian Art magazine site.

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    Canadian Dance Assembly
    55 Mill Street, Suite 312
    Case Goods Building #74
    Toronto, ON M5A 3C4
    Canada
    Tel: 1.416.515.8444
    Fax: 1.416.515.9444