About Us

National Council
2023 - 2024

This is our board of directors and they work to uphold the CDA by laws and guidance for the sector. We are always welcoming diverse leaders in dance and encourage those interested in joining the National Council to express their interest to info@cda-acd.ca. Details about the role, open positions and terms of commitment will be shared. The CDA bylaws and board governance are also available to view here: CDA Bylaws.

Executive Council

President

David Warburton (김모세)

Executive Director, Port Theatre  |  Nanaimo, British Columbia

David Warburton (김모세) is the Executive Director of The Port Theatre, a leading community performing arts centre located on the traditional territory of the Snuneymux First Nation on Vancouver Island. He is also the Vice President of the Canadian Dance Assembly, a national arts service organization that provides a strong voice for Canadian dance and supports the development of resources for the dance sector through its various programs and advocacy efforts.

Warburton is the former Managing Director of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Company (RWB). He joined the RWB in 2013 as Company Manager and before stepping into the role as the Director of Touring and Business Development and then Managing Director. He served an integral role in reshaping and rebuilding the ballet company. His work at the RWB has taken him around the world including China, Colombia, Argentina, Italy, Sweden, The Netherlands, Germany, and many other destinations. He led the RWB to join the Winnipeg Indigenous Accord, a multi-year commitment to answer the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action. In response, the RWB Indigenous Advisory Circle was established as a promise to bring our communities closer together through inclusive, considerate, and accountable action.

In 2015, Warburton co-created the national award-winning play SANGJA, closely inspired by his adoption story as an international transracial adoptee and his search to find his birth family. The play premiered in Seoul and toured multiple times throughout Korea and Canada. He has been invited to guest speak about his work in advocacy in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, and Seoul. In 2018, he was selected as one of nine emerging leaders for Dance/USA’s Institute for Leadership Training, a program supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, that focuses on shifting patterns of inequity in dance. He was an organizing member of the Korean Society of Manitoba from 2016 to 2022. His work in government advocacy and cultural diplomacy has meaningfully contributed to federal support for the arts and cultural sector during the COVID-19 pandemic. This has included crucial direct consultations with Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland and the Prime Minister’s Office.

Treasurer

Edward Esguerra

Director of Finance and Administration, Royal Winnipeg Ballet  |  Winnipeg, Manitoba

Edward Esguerra is the Director of Finance & Administration at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. A leading cultural institution, the RWB has earned a national and international reputation for its extraordinary performances and top-class training programs. At the RWB, Esguerra helps with managing project budgets and reporting. Working closely with the CEO and Managing Directors, he has guided the organization through difficult financial periods.

Esguerra has volunteer experience as an English Teacher with Manitoba School Improvement Program, helping newcomers to Canada adapt to their new surroundings. Esguerra also serves as Treasurer for Creative Manitoba.

Secretary

Harmanie Rose

Associate Artist/Teaching Assistant, All Bodies Dance  |  Vancouver, British Columbia

Harmanie Rose is a disabled dance artist living and working on the unceded territory of the Musqueam, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. She is curious about the choreographic possibilities of the disabled dancing body. Harmanie co-founded iDance Edmonton in 2009 as a way of creating ongoing learning and performance opportunities in dance for people with and without disabilities. Since 2014, Harmanie has been working as a performer, choreographer, and facilitator for All Bodies Dance Project. She is excited to be co-facilitating Ready Dance Youth Project with Danielle Wensley. She has created four outdoor, site-specific pieces for Vines Art Festival and was a featured performer in world-renowned dance artist Alice Sheppard’s short dance film Inclinations. Harmanie participated in UCLA’s inaugural Dancing Disability Lab, which aims to answer questions around the culture and aesthetics of disabled dance. In May 2020 Harmanie was featured in The Dance Current. Harmanie has recently joined the board of directors of CRIPSiE in Edmonton and the InterdepenDance collective of disabled dance artists in BC. She is excited to be a part of the discussion of decolonizing the idea of what dance is and what it can be.

Elected Chairs

Chairs are appointed positions that oversee and contribute to a specific sector. These sectors are identified by the dance sector needs and therefore can fluctuate. These roles are vital in steering CDA towards the areas in need of most support and connection across Canada.



Research & Writing / Training & Education Standing Council Chair

Michèle Moss

Associate Professor; Dance Division Chair, University of Calgary  |  Calgary, Alberta

Michèle Moss (BEd, MA) is a dancer, choreographer, researcher and community educator. She considers herself a citizen of the world; born in the UK of Jamaican and British parents, raised in Montréal, resident of Calgary since 1978 and frequent flyer in search of the best vantage point from which to consider dance and dancing. Michèle began as a tap-dancing tot in the UK and then had the good fortune to study at NCC in Montreal (Negro Community Centre). She is currently Associate Professor and Chair of the Dance Division in the School of Creative and Performing Arts at the University of Calgary-with pedagogy, global dance practices and jazz dance as her focus. She greatly enjoys her UCalgary teaching, research, and choreographic course assignments as well as local and national commissions, international teaching and the many opportunities to conduct ethnographic research in the field.

As co-founder of concert jazz dance company and community school, Decidedly Jazz Danceworks (DJD) 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. Her choreographic work has been supported by Canada Council for the Arts, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Heritage Canada as well as numerous UCalgary research grants. Moss was a long-time member of the board of the Society for Canadian Dance Studies and is excited to bring her wealth of knowledge to her position with the Canadian Dance Assembly. She continues to serve on working groups related to equity and diversity in Canada and USA. She is proud of her mentorship and she continues advise many Calgary dance artists and educators formally and informally.



Ballet Companies Standing Council Chair

Susan Chalmers-Gauvin

Co-Founder & CEO, Atlantic Ballet Atlantique Canada  |  Moncton, New Brunswick

Susan Chalmers-Gauvin, O.N.B., M.S.M., is a strategic, results-driven leader with over 25 years of management experience. Ms. Chalmers-Gauvin is the Co-Founder of Atlantic Ballet Atlantique Canada and has been responsible for the strategic and financial development of the Company since its establishment in 2001. Ms. Chalmers-Gauvin has demonstrated ability to develop a vision, inspire a broad base of support from the community, private and public sectors, and achieve consensus and deliver results.

Ms. Chalmers-Gauvin actively pursues innovative partnerships which include collaborations with the education, ICT, health and social sectors and led the development of four large-scale multi-stakeholder community engagement initiatives at the municipal, provincial, regional and national levels. She has used art as a platform for civic collaboration on violence against women, youth retention, downtown revitalization, immigration diversity and inclusion, and digital transformation.

In 2021, Ms. Chalmers-Gauvin was awarded the Meritorious Service Decoration (Civil Division). In 2017, she was awarded the Order of New Brunswick and was appointed to the Canadian Dance Assembly (CDA)’s National Council and is now chair of the CDA’s Finance Committee. In 2015, Ms. Chalmers-Gauvin was named one of Atlantic Canada’s Top 50 CEO’s. She was designated one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100 in 2013. She received an Honourary Doctor of Letters from University of New Brunswick (2012) and the YWCA Women of Distinction Award (2009). Under her leadership Atlantic Ballet Canada has received numerous awards for innovation and leadership as well support for diversity and inclusion.

A passionate promoter of the arts, Ms. Chalmers-Gauvin is a frequent guest speaker regionally, nationally and internationally on the topics of performing arts management, the importance of Canadian arts and culture to our regional, municipal and national economies; and the key role the arts play in enriching the quality of life in our communities. She has served on a number of boards including that of the Ron Joyce Centre for Business Studies, Mount Allison University, Artslink New Brunswick, City of Moncton Cultural Board, Enterprise Greater Moncton,  National Steering Committee for Culture Days, and Canadian Dance Assembly.

Members at Large

Each and every individual on our board plays a key role in advocating for their region, dance style and individual representations. We aim for a broad and intersectional group of individuals.



Collette "Coco" Murray

Artistic Director, Coco Collective  |  Toronto, ON

Collette “Coco” Murray is a dance educator, cultural arts programmer, and dance instructor. Her performance background includes Caribbean Folk, traditional West African, and other diasporic dance styles with many Toronto-based dance companies. She is a dedicated dance artist whose creative work spans 20 years in Ontario in communities. Murray creates culturally responsive art programs and focuses on mentorship of emerging Black dancers and an art educator that partners with organizations. Miss Coco Murray is her mobile, dance education business yet Murray is also Artistic Director of Coco Collective, an intergenerational, multidisciplinary team of artists offering projects connecting participants to the knowledge from African and Caribbean arts. This award-winning artist is recognized as one of 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women honouree in 2020 and the 2019 recipient of the Toronto Arts Foundation’s Community Arts Award for her significant contribution to working in and for transforming local communities through dance. Murray was the Canadian Dance Assembly’s 2013 recipient of the “I love Community” Dance award in Vancouver, BC. In addition, Murray is a contributing writer published in The Dance Current magazine and Dance Collection Danse. She serves on the Board of Directors for Arts Etobicoke and Dance Umbrella of Ontario (DUO) bringing equity, education, and inclusion lens. Murray is pursuing her Ph.D. in Dance Studies at York University to research on dance education pedagogies and mentorship that supports the Canadian African diasporic dance sector.



Tatum Wildeman

Artistic Director/Choreographer/Dancer – The Saskatchewan Dance Project  |  Saskatoon, SK

Tatum Wildeman is a Saskatchewan based independent contemporary dance artist and artistic director of The Saskatchewan Dance Project. She is dedicated to advancing safe and professional level dance training and performing opportunities for dancers in Saskatchewan. Tatum is committed to safe dance practice and is in the final stage of completing her Safe in Dance certificate through Healthy Dancer Canada. Tatum also dedicates her time to outreach dance-based programs focused on mental wellness for Indigenous youth living on reserve and is currently working with the community of Wollaston Lake to establish and deliver a permanent dance program. Tatum is a practicing Registered Nurse and is currently working towards a masters in nursing at the University of Saskatchewan focusing on the use of dance to improve mental wellness in Indigenous youth living in northern Saskatchewan. Tatum is passionate about the use of dance to improve mental health and advancing safe dance practice for professional independent dance artists.



Liliona A. Quarmyne

Artistic Director, Kinetic Studio  |  Halifax, Nova Scotia

My body is a conduit, a link to past and to future generations. 

It takes me back, it takes me forward, it carries the present. 

My body is story.

Based in Kjipuktuk (Halifax), on the powerful, unceded and unsurrendered land of the Mi’kmaq people, Liliona is a dancer, choreographer, actor, singer, community organizer, and activist. Originally from Ghana and the Philippines, she has an eclectic background that has taken her through many performance styles on four different continents. Liliona performs across the country and internationally, creates original works as an independent artist, facilitates community programming, and is the Artistic Director of Kinetic Studio. The scope of Liliona’s artistic work is broad, but is particularly focused on the relationship between art and social justice, on the body’s ability to carry ancestral memory, and on the role the performing arts can play in creating change. Liliona loves to work in collaboration and community, and is mom to two wonderful kids.



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.

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