Dance Ontario Awards


Dance Ontario recognizes excellence in dance across Ontario through our Awards programs, from youth to lifetime achievement. We want to celebrate our community and recognize all the wonderful ways our members are making a difference. We offer four awards: Jacque Foesier Youth Dance Award, Lifetime Achievement Award, Innovation Award and Community Service Award.


This annual award seeks to recognize exceptional young dancers ages 19 & under who are not only pursuing excellence in their craft but go above and beyond making a difference in the lives of others and/or contributing to the dance community. The Award is named after Jacque Foesier, long-time Dance Ontario Board member and dedicated dance teacher who made significant contributions to the dance community in the province. Through the generosity of the Foesier Family and their friends Martha Jarrell, Roberta Kremer & the Finkelstein Family, Gerald P. King, Susan Lapell, Amy Stone, Karlee Vukets, this award will carry a cash contribution towards the recipient's ongoing training.

PAST RECIPIENTS: Makeda Benitez, Isabella Rapino, Madison Gray, Tess Vosper, Claire Whitaker, Ethan Bucholtz, Zachary Seto, Justine Coroza

Dance Ontario knows that there are many young dancers across Ontario doing great things!

Youth Award Criteria

Dance Ontario seeks to recognize a young talented dancer who goes beyond their training to make a difference, effect change, develop, promote, inspire, educate, connect and contribute.

Nominee must have:

  • demonstrated a passion, dedication and commitment in the pursuit of excellence in dance;
  • Used dance as the basis for developing creative and innovative ideas aimed at sharing their art
    or addressing real-world problems for themselves, their peers or the broader community
  • Demonstrated a positive impact on their community and beyond as a teacher/assistant,
    volunteer, organizer or advocate

Nominators must submit:

  • A completed nomination form
  • A letter of recommendation if nominator is not a studio/company director, teacher, or choreographer
  • A performance video, links to YouTube or Vimeo

Apply here

We look forward to receiving your nominations!

The recipient of the Dance Ontario Youth Award and their achievements are celebrated at an award ceremony that takes place during DanceWeekend each year. A cash award of $300 is also included.



The Dance Ontario Lifetime Achievement Award is given to those who have contributed substantially to the development of dance in this province over a significant period of time.

Currently Lifetime Achievement Award recipients receive $1,000 and an original bronze sculpture, Winged Torso, cast in bronze.  Created by Patricia Moody, it is one of a limited edition and is embued with a sense of motion and grace, ideally honouring its recipients.


  • Charlotte Holmes
  • Grant Strate
  • Lawrence & Miriam Adams
  • Brian Robinson
  • Trish Beatty
  • David Earle
  • Peter Randazzo
  • Lois Smith
  • Herbert Whittaker
  • Janet Baldwin
  • Boris Volkoff
  • Nesta Williams Toumine
  • Judy Jarvis
  • Joysanne Sidimus
  • Dr. R.N. Laidlaw
  • Rina Singha
  • Peter Boneham (1992)
  • Gladys Forrester (1993)
  • Vera Davis (1993)
  • Carol Anderson (1994)
  • Rose Hill (1997)
  • Danny Grossman (1998)
  • Patricia Miner (2004)
  • Mimi Beck (2007)
  • Roelof Peter (Ron) Snippe (2010)
  • Nadia Potts Gomez (2013)
  • Vivine Scarlett (2016)
  • Karen and Allen Kaeja (2019)



The Dance Innovation Award in recognition of a special or forward-thinking initiative undertaken by an individual.
2010 Recipient: Eroca Nicols
2013 Recipient: Apolonia Velasquez and Ofilio Portillo

The Community Service Award to recognize an individual's support for the dance community.
Recipients: John Newton, Ted Fox, Alan Page, Patrick Kutney, Omer Yukseker, Colin Anthony (posthumously) and Kenny Pearl