National Council 2019-2020

CDA staff and National Council would like to thank outgoing Directors Soraya Peerbaye, Margaret Grenier, Calla Lachance, Sue Edworthy and Nicole Owens for their dedicated service to the organization.

Executive Council


Dance Companies Standing Council Chair 

Fannie Bellefeuille
Executive Director, RUBBERBAND
Montreal, Québec

Fannie Bellefeuille’s career with RUBBERBAND began nearly ten years ago. After being appointed as the company’s administrative director in 2010, she was promoted to Executive Director in 2015. Fannie graduated from the theatre program of UQAM in 2004. She gained experience in arts administration while directing her own theatre company, Collectif Ikaria. She then completed a certificate in the management of cultural organizations at HEC Montréal, and followed this with a master’s degree in the same program. Parallel to her administrative activities, she has acted in live theatre and television plays since 1992. She also wrote and produced several plays and scripted two short films. She has won several awards for her work, including the Raymond Blais writing prize for Stockholm, la nuit (2007), and was chosen for the prestigious ISPA Canada Fellowship Program (2013–2015). Fannie has made a point of giving back to the arts community on an ongoing basis, offering her expertise to emerging companies as a mentor and participating in various arts council juries. She is currently treasurer of the board of directors of the Regroupement québécois de la danse and a member of the finance committee of ISPA. 

Vice President

Barry Hughson
Executive Director, The National Ballet of Canada
Toronto, Ontario

Barry Hughson joined The National Ballet of Canada as Executive Director in 2014. Since that time, the company has accelerated its trajectory of artistic growth, fiscal responsibility, community engagement, and international presence, including landmark tours to New York’s Lincoln Center, Théâtre des Champs Elysées in Paris and the Mariinsky and Stanislavsky Theatres in Russia.

Mr. Hughson began his career as a dancer with The Washington (DC) Ballet, where he performed classical and contemporary repertoire at the Kennedy Center and on tour throughout the world. For the last 25 years, he has served as an executive leader at Connecticut’s Warner Theatre, Complexions Contemporary Ballet in New York City, New Jersey’s American Repertory Ballet, The Atlanta Ballet, Boston Ballet, and The National Ballet of Canada.

As an arts advocate, consultant and educator, Mr. Hughson has had teaching and speaking engagements in the USA, Europe and South America. He is the Vice Chair of Dance/USA, North America’s largest service organization for professional dance. He is a founding member of Dance/USA’s National Leadership Council for Dance and has served as a mentor to emerging arts executives through the Institute for Leadership Training. In January 2015, in partnership with Dance/USA, Mr. Hughson spearheaded the first ever meeting of North American and European dance leaders, bringing together 22 administrators from nine countries for two days of meetings at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London. In Canada, Mr. Hughson is a Vice Chair of the Canadian Dance Assembly and serves on the Steering Committee for the Canadian Arts Summit.

Ballet Companies Standing Council Chair 

Susan Chalmers-Gauvin 
Chief Executive Officer, Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada 
Moncton, New Brunswick

Susan Chalmers-Gauvin, Co-Founder and CEO of Atlantic Ballet Atlantique Canada, is a strategic, results-driven leader with over twenty years of management experience in strategic planning, and community and program development, including leadership roles in the health sector and strategic counsel to First Nations. 

Ms. Chalmers-Gauvin has been responsible for the organizational and financial development of Atlantic Ballet Atlantique Canada since its establishment in 2001, bringing it from a start-up enterprise to an international touring company and positioning the company as an innovation hub for arts and public engagement. Ms.Chalmers-Gauvin is committed to the critical role the arts play in engaging communities in creative learning and has successfully established cross disciplinarypartnerships with the education, health, ICT and social sectors. She was inducted in to the Order of New Brunswick in 2017. She is the recipient of Top 50 CEO’s Award, Atlantic Canada; Canada’s TOP 100 Award-Canada’s Most Powerful Women, the Women’s Executive Network (WXN). She has also received an Honourary Doctorate of Letters, the University of New Brunswick and the YWCA Women of Distinction Award.

Elected Chairs

Service and Support Standing Council Chair

Kim-Sanh Châu
Artistic and General Co-Director, Studio 303 
Montréal, Québec 

Kim-Sanh Châu is a Vietnamese-French contemporary dance artist and cultural worker, based in Montreal. Trained in dance at Paris 8 (France) and UQAM (Montréal), she also holds a Master's degree in finance (ACU/Australia, Aarhus University/Denmark et Harvard University/USA). Her choreographic work has been presented locally at l'Arsenal, Tangente, MAI, Accès Asie and Quartiers Danses festivals; as well as internationally at SIDance-HOTPOT, Sejong Festival (Korea), Europe Meets Asia in Contemporary Dance, Krossing Over Art Festival (Vietnam), Dancebox and RAW Art Space (Malaysia). Châu is also a screendance filmmaker. Her work, mostly collaborative, has been screened in Canada, Colombia, Germany, France, Italy and Vietnam. In 2017, she was awarded Best Direction 2017 by Festival Quartiers Danses for Inner Smoke. Finally, Châu is Artistic and General Co-director at Studio 303 (Montreal).

Research & Writing / Training & Education Standing Council Chair

Ann Kipling Brown
Professor Emeritus, University of Regina
Regina, Saskatchewan

Ann Kipling Brown, Ph.D. is Professor Emerita of the University of Regina, having worked for many years in the Arts Education program in the Faculty of Education. She continues to teach, research and publish on dance pedagogy, the integration of notation in dance programs, the application of technology in dance education, and the role of dance in the child’ and adult’s lived world. In her professional and community service Ann has served for several years on the Advisory Committee and the Reference Committee for Arts Education for Saskatchewan Education. She has been actively involved in the Saskatchewan cultural community as well as serving on several international committees as well as attending conferences concerned with arts/dance education, including Dance and the Child International (daCi), World Dance Alliance (WDA) and The World Alliance for Arts Education (WAAE). Ann is committed to the research and networking in arts education with a focus on dance education in the public and private sectors having attended local, provincial, national and international conferences and symposia.

Chairs of Freelancers and Consultants Standing Council

Spirit Synott 
- (Shared Member at Large position with Rachel de Silva Gorma)

Actor, Dancer, Performer
Toronto, Ontario 

Spirit Synott is an actor, dancer, and visual artist whose innovative, cross-cultural work engages our differences and our individuality as well as our commonalities. As an actor, Spirit’s work has been featured in Degrassi, and in Jani Lauzon’s short Just One Word, which premiered at the 2017 ImagineNative Film Festival. Spirit’s dance work has been highlighted in films such as Hearts of Tango, and In Search of Joy. 2017 dance performances include Invictus Games fundraising and the Toronto Latin American Film Festival. In 2018 she was commissioned as a resource person to contribute to the education of TDSB Arts Co-Op, also hired as part of the team of PVD Porch View Dances as rehearsal assistant/director and understudy for ec-co-sys-tem group. In 2014, Spirit was artist in residence at Ryerson’s Dance Program, facilitating the choreography and performance of a work with 2nd year dance students for Social Justice Week. In 2009, Spirit performed in the Olympic Torch Toronto celebration. As a dancer, Spirit has worked with Debajehmujig Theatre Group (Indigenous dance theatre); Lisandro Gomez (Argentinian Tango); Rachel Gorman (contemporary dance theatre); Anthony Guerra (African/Caribbean folk); MUUVE (wheelchair dance); OMO Dance Company (modern ballet); Almond Small (modern); and Ronald Taylor/Canboulay (African/Caribbean modern). Spirit has created and performed numerous solo works and duets with Perry Augustine and Aaron Water. Spirit’s extensive multidisciplinary arts training includes a Master of Inclusive Design and an AOCA from OCAD University. Spirit trained as an actor with Actors Equity Showcase, Toronto Theatre Alliance, Actors’ Co-op, and Sears & Switzer; and in dance with Debbie Wilson. Spirit has served on the Diversity Committee and has been elected to the Board of ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists). In 2014, Spirit was awarded the Canadian Labour Congress Carol McGregor Award for her disability rights activism. 

Rachel da Silveira Gorman - (Shared Member at Large position with Spirit Synott)
Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director in the Critical Disability Studies, York University  
Toronto, Ontario 

Rachel da Silva Gorman is Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director in the Critical Disability Studies at York University, and an artist working in dance theatre, performance, and curating. Da Silva Gorman’s research/creation engages theory and method from fine arts, cultural studies, and social sciences; and focuses on transnational social movements, anticolonial aesthetics, anti-racist disability theory, and critiques of ideology. Her writing has appeared in Auto|Biography Studies, American Quarterly, Somatechnics, thirdspace, and the Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies. Da Silva Gorman has created and choreographed 14 dance-theatre and site-specific productions, ten of which have been remounted or screened at festivals. The Globe and Mail’s Paula Citron called Gorman’s dance theatre production Waking the Living “compelling…a disturbing and riveting reality check” and described her site-specific production Passing Dark as a “melancholy journey… of intense sadness.” She has been a movement director for several solo theatre artists and collectives, and she teaches choreographic process in disability, BIPOC, and queer arts communities. Since 2009, she has been on the curatorial committee at A Space Gallery in Toronto, where she has curated four exhibitions, and has participated in programming six exhibitions a year. In 2017, she received a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts for a performance-based research-creation project Year Five of the Revolution.

Dance Presenters Standing Council Chair - In progress 

Members at Large

Peggy Reddin
Executive Director, Confederation Centre of the Arts
New Dominion, Prince Edward Island

Peggy Reddin is Director of Arts Education at the Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown, PEI. She is the program coordinator and instructor for the Dance Performance and Theatre Performance programs in the Holland College School of Performing Arts, a partnership with Confederation Centre. Ms. Reddin co-founded dance umbrella (now part of the Youth Education Program of Confederation Centre) in 1988 with Julia Sauvé and has served as its Director since 1996. She is a graduate of the National Ballet School Teacher Training Program and holds a Bachelor of Arts (Philosophy) degree from U.P.E.I. Ms. Reddin has taught with Charlottetown Ballet Theatre, DancEast, and Charlottetown Festival Young Company, and has directed and choreographed numerous events on the Island. She was also the project founder for Dance with D.A.W.N., an innovative dance program for women with disabilities. In addition to her work in arts education, Ms. Reddin is very involved in the local arts community. She has worked in collaboration with Theatre P.E.I., the P.E.I. Symphony Orchestra, and the U.P.E.I. Music Department, among others. She has served on the board of the PEI Council of the Arts and Culture PEI, and as a juror for the New Brunswick Arts Board and the PEI Council of the Arts.

Cliff Le Jeune
Executive Director, Dance Nova Scotia
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Cliff Le Jeune is currently the Executive Director of Dance Nova Scotia. He has been a mainstay in the cultural life of Eastern Canada for over 35 years, as an actor, singer, dancer, director, choreographer, teacher/coach and was Artistic Director of the Stephenville Theatre Festival in Newfoundland for five years. He was a founding and principal dancer with Nova Dance Theatre of Halifax as well as duet partner with independent dancer/choreographer Leica Hardy. As an actor he has performed on stages across the country in musical, classical and contemporary productions and has created roles in many original Canadian musicals. Cliff is also a solo cabaret artist and has gained an international following for his interpretations of the songs of Leonard Cohen. He has been featured in concert on CBC and in 2005, along with Halifax’s Blue Engine String Quartet, he recorded a CD of Cohen’s songs entitled If It Be Your Will, which Cohen himself has called “a sublime gift”. In 2014, he left the theatre to take over as Interim ED at Dance Nova Scotia and was appointed Executive Director in 2015. He currently sits on the boards of Kinetic Studio, Kazan Co-Op Theatre, LPAS (Link Performing Arts Society) and the Cultural Federations of Nova Scotia. “Dance is for everyone. My goal is to make that statement a reality in our province. From elementary school children to seniors, we all deserve to know the joy of dance. That is my mission as Executive Director.”

Michèle Moss
Associate Professor, Dance, University of Calgary
Calgary, Alberta

Michèle Moss (BEd, MA) is a dancer, choreographer and community educator. She is currently a member of the professorial serving the Faculty of Arts/SCPA-Dance as an associate professor at the University of Calgary. Her dedication to discovering the nature of jazz dance and jazz music has led her to circle the globe. She began her ethnographic research in 1986 searching for the roots of North American jazz dance. As tenured faculty Michèle enjoys a career that is diverse. As co-founder of concert jazz dance company and community school, DJD (Decidedly Jazz Danceworks) in Calgary, Alberta, she enjoyed a performing career with the company but also created work from 1986 up to a most recent contribution in 2017. She created work as an independent choreographer in the Dancers’ Studio West annual choreographic festival since 1989. She also served as artistic director and choreographic festival from 2000-2005. Her research mostly takes the form of creation projects, but also includes textual projects. She is frequent conference presenter for numerous organizations including African Studies Association (ASA) and Congress on Research in Dance (CORD) and recently presented at CADD (Collegium for African Diaspora Dance) in Durham, North Carolina at Duke University.

She greatly enjoys her UCalgary teaching assignments, embodied and textual research, choreographic commissions, international teaching assignments and the many opportunities to conduct ethnographic research in the field. Her textual projects including co-authoring chapters, with Dr. Jill Crosby, on the history of jazz in a Feb 2014 publication from the University Press of Florida called Jazz Dance: Roots and Branches. Over the years her work has been supported by Canada Council for the Arts, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Heritage Canada as well she has received numerous UCalgary research grants. She considers herself a citizen of the world; born in the UK of Jamaican and British parents, raised in Montréal, resident of Calgary and frequent flyer.

Michelle Olson
Artistic Director, Raven Spirit Dance
Vancouver, British Colombia 

Michelle Olson is a member of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation and the Artistic Director of Raven Spirit Dance. She studied dance and performance at the University of New Mexico, the Aboriginal Arts Program at the Banff Centre and was an Ensemble Member of Full Circle First Nations Performance. Michelle works in areas of dance, theatre and opera as a choreographer, performer and movement coach and her work has been seen on stages across Canada. Selected choreographic credits include Gathering Light (Raven Spirit Dance), Mozart’s Magic Flute (Vancouver Opera), The Ecstasy of Rita Joe (Western Canada Theatre/National Arts Centre), Death of a Chief (Native Earth Performing Arts/National Arts Centre). She was the recipient of the inaugural Vancouver International Dance Festival Choreographic Award.She graduated as a Certified Movement Analyst from Laban/Bartenieff and Somatic Studies Canada and is currently teaching at Langara’s Studio 58.

Vivine Scarlett
Founder, Executive Director and Curator, dance Immersion 
Toronto, Ontario 

Vivine Scarlett is an administrator, choreographer, and instructor, whose artistic goals and aspirations are rooted in the love of dance. She is Founder, Executive Director and Curator for dance Immersion, an organization that presents, produces and supports dancers and dances of the African Diaspora. Ms. Scarlett’s contributions to the field of dance are generated from an energy that has fuelled her passion leading her on a journey for over 35 years of giving and serving through the arts. Drawn to all kinds of dance expressions and movement, Ms. Scarlett’s passion has manifested many experiences that have served Canadian artists of African descent with opportunities that have laid a foundation for continued growth and representation.

Vivine is the recipient of numerous awards including a Dora Mavor Moore award for choreography in "The Adventures of a Black Girl in search of God". Ms. Scarlett works diligently to connect Canadians artists to the rest of the world, embarking on a variety of initiatives that promote and provide platforms for established and emerging dance artists.

David Warburton (김모세) 

Director of Touring and Business Development, Royal Winnipeg Ballet
Winnipeg, Manitoba

David Kim Warburton (김모세) is the Director of Touring and Business Development for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet (RWB), Canada’s oldest premiere ballet company. He is responsible for the company’s touring strategy and portfolio, guest engagements, and special events. He is chair of the Shows Group, a planning group responsible for all upcoming seasons, tours, and other projects. As a member of the senior staff, he is directly involved with the organization’s operational affairs, government relations, business development, strategic planning/renewal, collective agreement negotiations, budgets, and policy.

Warburton represents the RWB on the Canada-China Joint Committee on Culture, the International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA), Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP), and Dance/USA. In 2018, he was selected as one of nine emerging leaders for Dance/USA’s Institute for Leadership Training. At the RWB, he has successfully led in developing new and existing relationships with presenting partners and key stakeholders, effectively growing the company’s performance opportunities and presence abroad. He has also led the RWB to grow its support for independent artists and other dance institutions.

In 2018, Warburton led the RWB to join the Winnipeg Indigenous Accord as a signatory, marking a minimum three-year commitment to reconciliation and a promise to continue working towards bringing our communities closer together. In consultation and collaboration with Indigenous and Metis elders and leaders, the RWB Indigenous Advisory Circle was established in 2019.


The Canadian Dance Assembly (CDA) is governed by a National Council of up to 15 members.  The Council is currently composed of the Chairs of the seven Standing Councils, who are elected by, and represent, their Council members.  The National Council additionally appoints up to seven Members at Large, to help balance sectoral, geographic and cultural diversity, and to ensure a good balance of skills, gender and generations. Please note that the officers of the National Council are appointed by the National Council at the first meeting following the Annual General Meeting.

Committees - CDA manages various committees that work alongside the National Council and staff to maintain the activities of the organization. The committees for the 2018/19 year are as follows: Advocacy, Pluralism, Conference and Finance.

For further details or if a member wishes to join any of these committees they should express their interest to the office at 416-515-8444 or email

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