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“Instead of better glasses, your network gives you better eyes.” ~ Ronald Burt. ...

An interesting five days immersed in discussions about dance in Canada with The CanDance Network + ACDN. National Arts Centre / Centre national des Arts Canada Council for the Arts | Conseil des Arts du Canada Dancing on the Edge Akram Khan Company (UK)

Sunday, October 14
9:00 AM: Welcome Ceremony with Annie Smith St Georges, Algonquin Elder

9:45 AM: Artist-Presenter Workshop facilitated by Arts Manager Lee Bolton and Mohawk Dancer, Barbara Kaneratonni Diabo. The culmination of a professional development project which brought together a group of six dance artists from Indigenous and racialized communities over several months, this is a unique opportunity for presenters to explore different cultural approaches, methods and views of dance as well as to develop relationships with these particular artists and learn about their work.

Artists presenting include: Aicha Bastien-N’Diaya, Andrea Peña, Aria Evans, Ivanie Aubin-Malo, Natasha Powell and Nova Bhattacharya.
Project funded by the Québec-Ontario Cultural Exchange Program. (at the National Arts Centre, Pavillion Room) - * an interesting project. the artists presented their works and their visions.

Andrea Pena was awarded the Clifford E. Lee Award.

3:00 PM: Ottawa Dance Artist Showcase co-hosted with Ottawa Dance Directive, featuring:

Natasha Bakht, Christine Friday, Bboyizm, Deepti Gupta, Compagnie ODD - Yvonne Coutts, Sylvie Desrosiers, Jordan Samonas, and Tara Luz. (at the Arts Court Theatre)

* the work pitched was on par with emerging/mid-career artists in YVR, Jordan Samonas(Bboyism) had a unique approach to the culture of street dance.

Monday, October 15
8:30 AM: ACDN Planning Meeting and Session with funders from Canada Council for the Arts and Department of Canadian Heritage (at the National Arts Centre, Salon Room)

ACDN Planning Meeting (break out session with - Dena Davida, Mimi Beck, Lynne Thibodeau, Natalie Bonjour, Brian Webb, Andrew Tay)


Statement of Purpose:

  • Develop capacity fo dance touring system across Canada by building stronger relationships/networks among presenters.
  • Continue to build the capabilities of presenters to present dance more effectively in their communities.

Positive work of ACDN:

  1. Dialogue is vital and can be beneficial- presenters from different backgrounds coming together to discuss dance - thematic discussion
  2. Touring - more dance is presented in more venues (there is a sense) 
  3. Relationship building - effects are not immediate but effects the longer term thinking 
  4. For presenters programming less than 30% of their season in dance, vital opportunity learn about dance and what the process is.


  1. Too much focus on the business vs. the art itself
  2. Balancing bridging - aesthetics 
  3. Whos being represented on the stage and why?- transparency - who is the network? How are they accountable?
  4. Hierarchical framework/model of CanDance - 
  5. Untapped resources  (financial, infrastructure and knowledge) within the network > within the community and necessary discourse around curatorial practise.

10 year vision and beyond -

  • How do we prepare for the next 10 years - what does the art form and creational process look like in 10 years? How can we prepare for that? How can we use the momentum that is happening outside of the network? How do we use the current artistic practise to advance the curatorial/presenting practise - new presentation models - to inform the way ACDN works.

How do we assist the sector and development of artists through moving the work today and tomorrow?

Possible Ideas to incorporate:

Blockchain based technology to create transparency around contracts and decision making

Think Tank Days

Curatorial Dialogue

Re-grounding ourselves in the meaning of the work

Discussion on alternate Models of presenting

Committees/caucous developed based on interests/concerns (learning from PACT)

Actively seeking disruption creates conversation

Entrepreneurship as a value

Incorporating the digital age

ACDN 10:30-12:30 October 15, 2018

Funding Meeting

Heritage - Performing Arts (CAPF)

  • Some new funding
  • $500,000/year for Canadian export strategy - for five years
  • Two intakes thus far - launching a new intake for 19/20 1st of November 2018
  • Strategic investment
  • Regionally delivered
  • Relevance, impact on community + audience
  • Organizational health and financial management
  • Priorities for govt of Canada. - diversity, reconciliation, innovation

Canada Council for the Arts

Zaena Campbell (officer)

Supporting Artistic Practise

Within Canada Travel

*Explore and Create another option for travel and support the project further.

Eligible expenses: contribution to activities, fixed amounts.

Public Outreach: (not eligible if on core deadline)

Composite (multiple years) and project —

1 deadline per year

Spring 2019

Up to two applications (if the dates overlap you can only choose one if both successful)

Multi-disciplinary = organizations that work with multiple disciplines

Inter-disciplinary = combines disciplines in the work

Sector-Innovation + Development— planning, development and implementation of arts that benefit the sector. - resource sharing - networking -

12:45-5:30 PM: CanDance Network Meeting (at the National Arts Centre Rehearsal Hall)

  • 12:45 PM: Welcome and introductions
  • 1:00 PM: Annual Business Meeting
  • 2:00 PM: Discussion arising from meeting and updates on activities in the year ahead
  • 3:00 PM: Break
  • 3:15 PM: Seika Boye Presentation and Q&A
  • 3:45 PM: The Long Table discussion session on curation and social justice

Tuesday, October 16
9:00AM - 4:00PM
: CanDance Network Meetings (at the National Arts Centre, Rehearsal Hall)

  • 9:00-11:15 AM: Creation Fund and Creative Exchange Project Discussions (large and small groups)

Small to Medium Size Presenters/Festivals

Discussion: how and when does a presenting organization, presenter, AD- interject into the work with audience perception and subjective experience of the work?

Conversation about “mentoring” work that is presenter will be discussed later.

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