News (page 3 of 15)

Launch Party at The Levee

MusicNL and DanceNL are joining forces to kick off Dance Week with a launch party at The Levee! The shortlisted artists from the Most Danceable Song competition will play their tunes live, so come down and have a dance to start the week off right!

Featuring:

Ouroboros

It Could Be Franky

Rafiki

 

Where: The Levee, George Street

When: Saturday, April 23rd, 8pm – 11:30pm

Admission: $5

Memorial announces Dancer-in-Residence for Fall 2016

March 21, 2016

Memorial University (St. John’s and Grenfell Campuses) and its partners, Creative Gros Morne and DanceNL, are pleased to announce that the Memorial University Dancer-in-Residence for 2016 will be Julia Taffe.

The Dancer-in-Residence program takes place over six weeks in three different locations in Newfoundland and Labrador. During the Fall 2016 term, Julia will spend two weeks in each of St. John’s, Corner Brook, and Gros Morne National Park. In each location, she will pursue personal research as well as engage with students and the wider public. As well as supporting artistic research and development, the residency is a unique opportunity for community engagement by bringing new skills and perspectives to Memorial, and the greater community.

Choreographer Julia Taffe combines art, environment and adventure, making dances on buildings and mountains. Julia is the founder and artistic director of Aeriosa, a vertical dance company based in Vancouver. Aeriosa transforms neighbourhoods into theatres and explores wild environments as dramatic stages for live dance.  Julia has choreographed site specific works at locations such as: Stawamus Chief Mountain, Taipei City Hall, Cirque du Soleil Headquarters, Vancouver Library Square, Banff Centre, Scotiabank Dance Centre, Toronto’s 58-storey L Tower, the traditional Coast Salish territory of Vancouver’s Stanley Park and the traditional Nuu-chah-nulth territory of Clayoquot Biosphere Reserve on Vancouver Island. Julia and Aeriosa received the Canadian Dance Assembly “I Love Dance” Innovation Award in 2012. Julia is the second woman to achieve the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides Rock Guide certification. As well, she has worked as a climbing guide, instructor, coach, rigger, stunt performer and mountain safety tech for film and TV productions from British Columbia to Morocco.

“We received more than 35 applications from across North America,” said Alex Fallis of the selection committee, “and Julia’s stood out not only due to her unique artistic practice- vertical dance- and the strength of her research program, but also because of her previous artistic work that engages with geography and history. The committee felt that this aspect of her work would be an excellent fit in Newfoundland, and we aim to facilitate events and opportunities for interaction across the island.”

Specific events in each location will be announced in the coming months.

For an interview, or more information, please contact

Alex Fallis 

Division of Fine Arts (Grenfell) 

afallisATgrenfellDOTmunDOTca 

(709) 637-7190 

Pamela Gill

Communications co-ordinator (Grenfell)

pgillATgrenfellDOTmunDOTca

(709) 637-2187

An Opportunity For YOU To Advocate For Dance in Newfoundland and Labrador

Dear DanceNL Members,

As we face major changes in our provincial budget, please consider speaking up for the cultural industries, where budgets are already extremely lean. The more voices we have on this message, the more influential we can be!

I’m asking that you write a letter to include in the Government Renewal Initiative. A template is available below for your use, to be edited as you see fit or simply signed and sent in, or you can write your own.

Send your comments to OurFiscalFuture@gov.nl.ca.

Thanks so much,
Sharon

Sharon King-Campbell
Executive Director
DanceNL
dancenl.ca

 

[Date]

Premier Ball and Minister Bennett,

In response to the Government Renewal Initiative, I recommend that the government consider reinvesting in the cultural industries.

 
Like many industries in the province, cultural work in Newfoundland and Labrador is suffering. An industry that relies heavily on public investment in order to generate substantial direct and indirect returns, arts organizations have, over the past decade, been forced to cut programming, reduce staff hours, and put off major actions that would stabilize and grow the industry.

 
Culture is the hallmark of Newfoundland and Labrador. Beautiful television ads celebrate it. Visitors revel in it. New residents are attracted by it. Culture is – and reflects – our identity as a province, an identity based in our rich history, our pride of place, and our hopes for the future. It brings in skilled workers. It brings in tourism. It is a positive step towards a healthy, diverse, resilient economy, and one that can be made with confidence.

 
Given the profound social and economic value of the cultural industries, now is the time to renew a commitment made in The Blueprint for Development and Investment in Culture in 2006. Now is the time to invest in the industries that make Newfoundland and Labrador the target destination for Canadian and international tourists. Now is the time to invest in the workers who bring beauty, entertainment, and culture to the residents of this spectacular province.

 
Sincerely yours,

 
[Your Name]

 

 

 

In Response To The Province of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Government Renewal Initiative

3 February 2016

Premier Ball and Minister Bennett,

Thank you for your efforts to engage the population of Newfoundland and Labrador in the government’s fiscal planning. In response to that effort, I recommend that the government consider reinvesting in the cultural industries.

Like many industries in the province, cultural work in Newfoundland and Labrador is suffering. An industry that relies heavily on public investment in order to generate substantial direct and indirect returns, arts companies have, over the past decade, been forced to cut programming, reduce staff hours, and put off major actions that would stabilize and grow the industry.

DanceNL represents the dancers throughout the province, whether they practice dance as a profession or as a recreational activity. From traditional Newfoundland set dances and step dancing, to hip hop and contemporary ballet, the reality is that both professional and recreational dancers need public investment, and the public needs dancers. Dancing is an alternative form of physical activity, a form of expression and a path to strong communities and better mental health.

Culture, as a broader industry, is the hallmark of Newfoundland and Labrador. Beautiful television ads celebrate it. Visitors revel in it. New residents are attracted by it. Culture is – and reflects – our identity as a province, an identity based in our rich history, our pride of place, and our hopes for the future. It brings in skilled workers. It brings in tourism. It is a positive step towards a healthy, diverse, resilient economy, and one that can be made with confidence.

Given that case studies have shown that each dollar invested in the cultural sector has the potential to generate more than ten dollars in direct, indirect and induced returns¹, now is the time to renew a commitment made in The Blueprint for Development and Investment in Culture in 2006. Now is the time to invest in the industries that make Newfoundland and Labrador the target destination for Canadian and international tourists. Now is the time to invest in the workers who bring beauty, entertainment, and culture to the residents of this spectacular province.

In good faith,

Sharon King-Campbell

Executive Director, DanceNL

 

 

  1. http://www.businessforthearts.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/BftA-business-case-for-funding-the-arts.pdf)

 

Regarding the recently announced St. John’s municipal budget

December 22, 2015

To the members of City Council,

I, like so many of my peers, write today to voice concerns over the halving of the City of St. John’s’ Arts Jury budget and the simultaneous rise in commercial property taxes.

DanceNL received a 3-year grant in 2014. It represents just under 9% of our annual budget and has made an enormous difference to our young organization’s operations. Since we received this investment, we have hired a year-round part-time staff member, which has had an enormous impact in our ability to deliver services to our members throughout the summer. Our goal to hire a full-time permanent staff member still remains unfulfilled, however, and the probability of losing funding from the City in 2017 makes it harder to make that leap. It is, of course, no less necessary to the growth of the organization. It is merely less possible.

DanceNL represents the dance sector of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the vast majority of our members reside in St. John’s. Many of them will suffer from these proposed cuts. I would like to introduce you, therefore, to the St. John’s dance community:

Dancers are Educators

Many dancers have been training from a very young age, and often learn to teach dance in their teens. These individuals can go on to be lifelong educators. Dance teachers instill in their students confidence, discipline, and strength that are carried forward by young dancers throughout their lives.

Dancers are Small Business Owners

Most City dance schools are small, owner-operated private businesses. Some dancers also operate fitness studios within the City. They employ young people as well as experienced instructors and administrators. These businesses will suffer directly from the rise in business taxes in the upcoming budget. The educators who work for these businesses will likewise feel the effects of this rise.

Dancers are Society-Builders

St. John’s has a rich variety of social dance clubs. These groups meet regularly, in borrowed or rented spaces, to learn, to dance, and to socialize. These clubs are often a first social network to new St. John’s residents. They enrich the lives of longstanding residents. They encourage social and physical wellness in the city’s population. All they need are opportunities to grow.

Dancers are Social Workers

You may recall a council meeting last April where Mayor O’Keefe danced with a young woman who was about to launch a new social outreach project. That young woman was Chelsey Hicks, and her project was Dance Thru It, “an outreach program that aims to help the community express, release and work through whatever life is throwing at them.” When Dance Thru It officially launched in September, Chelsey was so overwhelmed by requests from the community that she had to go into intensive program development to deal as efficiently as possible with the demand. Starting in January, her program will operate at 2 city community centres, and she hopes that she will be able to expand to more centres where the program is most needed.

Dancers are Storytellers

Despite a dearth of infrastructure to support professional dancers in both the City and the Province, determined dancers like Sarah Joy Stoker, Louise Moyes, Calla Lachance and Andrea Tucker continue to work to tell their stories and the stories of this place through dance. Storytelling is vital to culture: it gives the audience a sense of itself and a sense of its community. It creates an environment of life-long learning.

Dancers are a Point of Pride for the City

As one could glean from one glance at the throngs of people who filed into the St. John’s Arts & Culture Centre this weekend to see Kittiwake Dance Theatre’s The Nutcracker, residents of this City are proud of their dancers. They come to the show annually, they bring their children, and they go home feeling good about the fact that the St. John’s dance community can produce of production of that calibre.

Dancers are Proud of this City

Neighbourhood Dance Works’ annual Festival of New Dance attracts dancers from across Canada and around the world. These dancers arrive in St. John’s for a few days in October and are struck by the place. They are inspired by the vibrant culture. They long for opportunities to return. Similarly, Karen Kaeja, the first Dancer in Residence at Memorial University, speaks eloquently and passionately about her time in St. John’s and encourages others to visit. The dance community here takes pride in the place where they live and work, and loves the chance to show visitors around, to talk up their favourite restaurants and shops, and to encourage visitors to come back again. They act as ambassadors for this city.

The budget passed last Monday threatens these dancers and their roles in the community.

It will force small businesses to charge patrons more, to pay employees less, or to close outright, which will discourage students from taking dance classes.

It will inhibit the growth of professional and social dance groups.

It will decrease residential access to wellness and recreation activities.

It will inhibit the delivery of social dance programming.

It will discourage professional dancers from working and living in this city, where already there is so little infrastructure to keep them here.

It will result in less dance work to tell the stories we need as a culture.

It will result in less dance work make citizens proud.

And it will make dancers less proud of their City.

That being the case, I urge you to reconsider these ill-advised cuts, and to reinvest in the arts as the economic driver and social necessity that they are.

Sincerely,

Sharon King-Campbell

Executive Director

DanceNL

 

*if you would like to voice concerns about the municipal budget, email the council at citycouncil@stjohns.ca

*there is an ongoing petition to council to raise the investment in arts to $4 per capita. There are copies at Fred’s Records, Rocket Bakery, Escape Quest, and the LSPU Hall available to be signed.