On April 10, 2013, Dr. Menaka Thakkar was named a 2013 laureate of the prestigious Governor General's Performing Arts Awards (GGPAA) for Lifetime Artistic Achievement. Laureate individuals are honoured for their outstanding body of work and enduring contribution to the performing arts in Canada.
In recent weeks artists from across Ontario have been meeting with MPPs regarding sustaining funding for the Ontario Arts Council. Participants recommended by PASO members from within their own memberships resident in specific constituencies have now met with 32 MPPs - 16 Liberal (including 4 Cabinet Ministers), 10 Progressive Conservative and 6 New Democrat.
At the meetings, there were 10 advocates from the dance community.
In the words of Artistic Director and CEO Bengt Jorgen, "people are falling in love with our production of Swan Lake all across British Columbia! We have now performed Swan Lake in Duncan, Nelson, Vernon, Prince Rupert, Terrace, Kitimat, and Burns Lake and the response has been truly overwhelming. We sold out in Burns Lake, Vernon, Nelson, as well as Kitimat.
After 21 years with OAC, first as Associate Dance Officer then Dance Officer and since 2001 as Director of Granting Programs, Billyann Balay has decided to retire. Her last day will be May 10, 2013. "Billyann is a tremendous asset to the Ontario Arts Council. Neither the board nor I wanted her to leave, but we certainly respect her decision. I am extremely grateful that Billyann has given us a long time to prepare for her departure and has also agreed to participate in the process for hiring her successor," said Peter Caldwell, Director & CEO.
The Dance Ontario Selection Committee (Peter Ryan, Jennifer Watkins, Yasmina Ramsay, Tina Nicolaidis and James Kendal) has chosen Gadfly (Apolonia Velasquez & Ofilio Portillo) & Benjamin Landsberg for Creative Partnership support for 2012!
Gadfly will create Stygmata, a work for six dancers performing on pointe to a score that mixes house with tracks by Dr. Draw. The piece challenges the fear faced when you dare to be different.
Landsberg will work with five dancers transforming a space into an imagined combative arena of identity synthesis.
Christina Taylor, Chair of the Quinte Ballet School of Canada (QBSC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Catherine (Cathy) Taylor as the new Artistic Director of the school. "Currently in its 40th year of operation, QBSC is extremely fortunate to have Cathy Taylor at its helm" explains Christina Taylor, "She brings a wealth of experience, charisma and artistic vision to the role.
The internationally renowned dancer, choreographer and institution builder Menaka Thakkar is the 2012 winner of the Canada Council Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts. She has been bringing classical Indian dance to Canadians for 40 years and has trained several generations of professional dancers who now enjoy thriving careers of their own.