Dance Ontario recently wrapped up its inaugural Connecting the Dots conference at the Young Centre in Toronto’s Distillery District. The conference brought together educators, studio and venue operators, dance activists, animators and artists alike, as well as the funders and arts service organizations that serve the dance community of Ontario. Spread over three days – June 26th through 28th – attendees were invited to weigh in on issues that pertain to them and to their regions and to create action lists. Over the next two years, Dance Ontario will support the following communities: London, Orangeville, Barrie, Orillia, Sudbury, North Bay, Halton, Milton, Burlington and Hamilton, with its proposed activities. “These communities will develop partnerships across the sub-sectors (education/artists & venues/studios) and bring enhanced or new activities to broader markets within their regions,” commented Dance Ontario Executive Director Rosslyn Jacob-Edwards. Additionally, Dance Ontario will partner with the Council of Ontario Drama and Dance Educators to advocate to principals, faculties of education and the Ministry of Education to support dance educator’s needs as well as other partnered projects still to be confirmed.
Sharing and brainstorming was the work of the conference but the act of dance itself was not forgotten; dancers of all ages and genres were invited to perform at either the Performances by Competition & Youth Dance Teams, Studio & Professional Training Institution Showcases or the Professional Dance Showcase. The three-year Connecting the Dots initiative was made possible by funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.