Regional Networks

Dance Ontario continues to expand its regional networks with generous funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Sudbury, Windsor and Algoma/Sault Ste. Marie have joined London (LDN), Halton (HDN) and Dufferin (DDN).
The Association acts as a catalyst for collaborators drawn from local arts councils, public school boards, dance studios, and local professional artists who will promote and encourage increased sustainable dance activities.
Enriching people’s lives through arts, culture and heritage, this initiative has built access to arts-based learning opportunities and compelling artistic, cultural and heritage experiences, and impacted the lives of approx 14,000 people in the communities served.
Dance Ontario recognizes and thanks the Ontario Trillium Foundation for its commitment to increasing access to dance across the province. A leading grantmaking foundation in Canada, the Ontario Trillium Foundation strengthens the capacity of the voluntary sector through investments in community-based initiatives. An agency of the Government of Ontario, OTF builds healthy and vibrant communities.  For more information on the Foundation, please visit the website at:

Regional networks activities were a result of outcomes from Dance Ontario's Connecting The Dots Conference.
Download the report here.

Dance Ontario Announces Workshops and Creative Activities Across Five Networks With Andrea Nann

With funding from the Ontario Arts Council, these professional development/networking opportunities will offer tailored workshops led by acclaimed dance artist Andrea Nann/Dreamwalker Dance Company, together with creation of a unique choreography common to each of our five networks located in Halton, Dufferin, London, The Soo and Windsor.

Andrea Nann is a contemporary dance artist and founding artistic director of Dreamwalker Dance Company. She creates work for the stage, film and outdoor sites; investigating contemporary approaches to creation through collaboration with individuals from diverse backgrounds and disciplines. Andrea devises, constructs and delivers movement based opportunities for diverse peoples to come together and share unique lived experiences.

 A graduate of York University’s Department of Fine Arts, Andrea was a member of the Danny Grossman Dance Company for 15 years and over a 31-year career in contemporary and modern dance, she has contributed to the creation of new works by over 60 dance/theatre creators. She continues to appear as a guest artist with Peggy Baker Dance Projects, Tribal Crackling Wind and Volcano Theatre. Long-time creative collaborators include dance artist Sarah Chase, musician Gord Downie, and writer Michael Ondaatje. From 2004-2015 Andrea created/produced 9 editions of multi-arts program The Whole Shebang and from 2012-2016 she devised/produced a 4-year/4-city multi-arts collaborative project; The Ontario Shebang.  In 2018 she created The Welcome Project, addressing inclusion and cultural literacy based on internal and external challenges faced by Newcomers to Canada, and extends this unique practice to include others who are new to dance and interpersonal art experiences.  

Andrea has held artist residencies at Grace Centre for the Arts (current), FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre - St. Catharines (2015-2016), Burlington Performing Arts Centre (2014-2016), City of Kingston/The Grand Theatre (2013-2015), Brock University Centre for the Arts (2013-2015), River Run Centre - Guelph (2013-2015), Soulpepper (2012-2014), Young Centre for the Performing Arts (2008-2012), Pia Bouman’s School for Creative Ballet & Movement (2013), Scotiabank Dance Centre Vancouver (2013), Canadian Children’s Dance Theatre (2008-2009), Shadbolt Centre for the Arts Burnaby, British Columbia (2006-2007), and was the Iris Garland Visiting Choreographer at Simon Fraser University (2013). In 2016 Ontario Contact recognized Andrea as Artist of the Year for contributions to the Performing Arts touring sector in Ontario and in 2019 she received a Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Performance by an Individual in Dance.

This initiative will support professional workshops as well as choreographic activities adapted to suit the specific needs and skills in each of the five networks allowing for involvement of professional dancers and teachers as well as be open to members of each local community. A video will be created of the final short works featuring dancers from across the province.


Dufferin Dance Network (DDN) Catherine Carpenko (Coordinator)Image:

Halton DanceNetwork (HDN) Kate Lowe and Alan Faigal (Coordinators)

London (LDN) Bizz Varty (Coordinator)

Windsor & Chatham (WDN) Mary Jo Mullins & John Salalila (Coordinators)

The Soo/Algoma (S/ADN) Valerie Calam (Coordinator)

Sudbury (SDN) Emma Duncan (Coordinator)

Download All Networks Report 2019

Image: Arkan Dance Company

Dance Network (HDN)
Cultural Diversity Festival
Burlington 2018

The Cultural Diversity Festival gave Burlington audiences a chance to see,
experience and try their hand at something new and different – be it dance,
music, drumming, a lecture, flamenco or crafts….there was a diversity of
offerings representing the diversity of our neighbourhoods.





On July 27 & 28, 2018, Dance Ontario held the first all networks meeting in Windsor to coincide with the presentation of Riverfront InterArts' ParkDances site-specific dance festival, sponsored by Dance Ontario.

Originally brought to the Board by Catherine Carpenko, the establishment of networks across Ontario is true to its intent inasmuch as sustainable dance activity must be grassroots initiated. Dance networks in Halton, Dufferin, London,Sudbury, Windsor and St.Ste.Marie /Algoma have been funded with a generous multi-year grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation and we have been inspired by the extraordinary diversity of network members'  activities and their consistency.  Each hub has drawn together dance departments from public schools, studios, professional dance artists and community groups celebrating many forms of dance.  Activities range from annual dance festivals, to professional development for dancers, workshops, classes and swing dance clubs.

The July meeting encouraged all to share their experiences, pool ideas and discuss possible exchanges.With original and current Regional Coordinators, Peter Kelly and Grace Smith, and Program Director Amy Hampton, representatives Kate Lowe, Alan Faigal and Margie Sims (Halton), Catherine Carpenko & Michelle Johnson (Dufferin), Mary Jo Mullins, John Salalila & Taisa Petruk (Windsor), Elizabeth Varty & Alissa Cassidy (London) discussed their challenges and successes.  Emma Duncan (Sudbury) who had recently brought Alvin Collantes' gaga workshops to her region as well as seen presentation of the week-long intensive, branches2018 (both supported by Dance Ontario), was unable to attend. Breakout sessions included Money Matters & Administration (Rosslyn Jacob Edwards), Producing and building professional community (Natasha Powell), and Engagement/Outreach - attendance and social media (Peter Kelly).

Top Left - Grace Smith, Amy Hampton, Natasha Powell, Peter Kelly
Bottom Left - Margie Sims, Catherine Carpenko, Alan Faigal, Kate Lowe