Summer and Fall Awards and Honours

  • Santee Smith / Photo by Red Works
  • Jeanette Kotowich / Photo courtesy of Kotowich
  • Jessica McMann / Photo courtesy of McMann
  • Starr Muranko / Photo courtesy of Muranko
  • Brian Solomon / Photo courtesy of Solomon
  • Elise Tigges / Photo courtesy of Tigges
  • Crystal Pite / Photo by Michael Slobodian
  • Vladimir Laurore / Photo courtesy of Laurore
  • Alysa Pires / Photo by Vaida Pociute
  • Chan Hon Goh / Photo Courtesy of RBC
  • Shameka Blake / Photo courtest of Dance Ontario
  • Riley Sims / Photo courtest of Dance Ontario
  • Rebecca Sadowski / Photo courtesy of Alberta Foundation for the Arts
  • Tia Jim-Wood / Photo courtesy of Alberta Foundation for the Arts
  • Jocelyn Mah / Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann
  • Emily Molnar / Photo by Michael Slobodian
  • Jennifer-Dallas / Photo courtesy of Flip Publicity
  • Members of Simcoe Contemporary Dancers and Sylvie Bouchard / Photo by R.M. Swanson


Editor’s Note: The Dance Current aims to include all prizes recieved by dance artists and administrators from across Canada. However, this is not a comprehensive list. If you would like your award acknowledged, please email dc.editor@thedancecurrent.com with as much advance notice as possible. 


Congratulations to Santee Smith, Jeanette Kotowich, Jessica McMann, Starr Muranko and Brian Solomon, who are among the winners of the REVEAL Indigenous Art Awards. The prize, awarded by The Hnatyshyn Foundation, aims to “fuel Indigenous arts practice for the next 150 years” and was awarded to practitioners in a wide range of art forms. The laureates received their awards on May 22nd, during a ceremony in Winnipeg. 

Montréal’s Dana Michel was awarded the prestigious Silver Lion Award for innovation in dance for her work Yellow Towel, performed at the 2017 Venice Biennale. The award ceremony was held on June 27th in Venice – the same evening on which Michel performed the Italian premiere of this work. The artistic director of this year’s Biennale Danza was Québec’s Marie Chouinard.

Crystal Pite was honoured with the Benois de la Danse prize for best choreographer for her Paris Opera Ballet work The Seasons’ Canon. Known as the ballet “Oscars,” the awards were announced at Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre on May 30th.

The Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Awards are given to mid-career Canadian artists who demonstrate outstanding artistic achievement. This year’s dance recipient is Vladimir “7Starr” Laurore, a pioneer and leader in the Canadian Krump scene. He was recognized for his involvement in community centres and schools. For more on Laurore’s influence on Canadian street dance, see our photo essay “Putting the K in Canada” in the September/October 2017 issue.

Elise Tigges was the first dance graduate to be selected as valedictorian for the George Brown College Centre for Arts, Design & Information Technology. A current intern of The Dance Current, she has completed summer programs with Ballet Jörgen Canada and the Goh Ballet Academy.

The winners of NW Dance Project’s 2017 Pretty Creatives International Choreographic Competition were Alice Klock and Alysa Pires. Both selected choreographers participated in a six-day summer residency, guided by NW Dance Project artistic director Sarah Slipper, during the LAUNCH project in July.

The Dance Centre’s BC Dance Awards acknowledge the achievements and potential of British Columbia’s choreographers. Serge Bennathan received the annual Isadora Award for Excellence in Dance in recognition of his contribution to the province’s dance through a career spanning over twenty-five years; Julianne Chapple was the recipient of the biannual Iris Garland Emerging Choreographer Award, which supports the work of emerging artists.

Chan Hon Goh, former principal dancer with The National Ballet of Canada for more than twenty years, has been honoured as a 2017 RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award recipient. Goh’s parents, both former dancers in Beijing’s National Ballet of China, immigrated to Canada in 1977, when Goh was eight years old.

The Order of Canada marked it fiftieth anniversary with ninety-nine new appointments. Christopher House, artistic director of Toronto Dance Theatre since 1994, was among those honoured with the appointment.

The Corel Endowment Fund for the Arts, first awarded in 1998, has contributed to over forty artists’ projects since its inception. 2017 recipient Indian dancer Anjali Patil will create a new contemporary kathak dance inspired by the poet Surdas. For more on Patil, see our feature “Classical Forms in the Current Moment” in the September/October 2017 issue.

Fall Awards and Honours

REAson d’etre dance productions and the Contact Dance International Film Festival honoured Olya Glotka with the Gold Jury Award for her film Contact Dance Every Body. Featured in the film is StopGap Foundation founder Luke Anderson and dancer Laura Storey. From his wheelchair Anderson tenderly lifts Storey as the two perform a duet in the galleries of the Art Gallery of Ontario. The Gala Screening and Awards Ceremony took place July 1st, 2017, at Revue Cinema. The Silver Jury Award went to Satoko Sugiyama and Martin Henson of Parcon NYC. Celine Poon took home the Bronze Jury Award.

Shameka Blake and Riley Sims are the recipients of the 2017/18 Dance Ontario Creative Partnerships. Both artists will present premieres of works at the twenty-fifth anniversary edition of DanceWeekend at the Fleck Theatre in Toronto, which runs from January 19th through 21st, 2018. Blake’s work, Child Soldier, is a collaboration with Krump artist Amadeus “Primal” Marquez. Blake is the founder of the multidisciplinary dance company Artists in Motion. Sims, artistic director of Social Growl Dance, will showcase his work Old New Borrowed Blue, a contemporary piece.

The Alberta Foundation for the Arts celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary by awarding twenty-five awards to young artists. Among the recipients were Rebecca Sadowski, who is currently working on a piece inspired by her Métis heritage; Sabrina Comanescu, an instructor and choreographer who is working to promote the artistic work of the Caribbean community in Calgary; and prolific musician and powwow dancer Tia Jim-Wood.

Jocelyn Mah is the winner of the inaugural Winchester Prize. Her work August, Augusta was the impetus for the prize and was performed at SummerWorks Festival from August 3rd through 13th in Toronto. The Winchester Prize recognizes the best student dance work presented in the School of Toronto Dance Theatre’s third-year Choreographic Workshop and provides mentorship and financial support for the development of the work.

Atlantic Ballet CEO and founder Susan Chalmers-Gauvin is among ten people who will receive the Order of New Brunswick. The honour is given to residents of the province “who have demonstrated a high level of individual excellence and achievement in any field.” Chalmers-Gauvin has been recognized for her creation of Atlantic Canada’s first professional ballet company.

In August, Ballet BC’s artistic director, Emily Molnar, received the prestigious Order of Canada in Ottawa. Molnar also choreographs for the company, and her repertoire includes 16+ a room. She currently serves as artistic director of dance at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.

Jennifer Dallas was awarded the fifth annual Patrick Conner Award. Dallas, who hails from the Canadian Rockies, is the founder of Toronto-based Kemi Contemporary Dance Projects. The award honours artists who contribute to their community through their “integrity, honesty, generosity and belief.” A ceremony was held on September 18th at The Theatre Centre in Toronto.

This year was the inaugural year for Dusk Dances Barrie. Dusk Dances Festival Director, Sylvie Bouchard received the Rhythmfest 2017 Legend of Rhythm award in recognition of her contributions to dance in Canada. Led by City of Barrie Councillor Arif Khan, the award presentation was accompanied by performances of two works by Simcoe Contemporary Dancers.


Halifax Dance is moving up in the world. Literally. After twelve years in the basement of the Maritime Centre, the not-for-profit school with a budding 500 students will see the light upstairs in time for 2018. For over four decades, the organization has watched its students go on to professional careers, and it remains a training ground and home for artists-inresidence, including Mocean Dance.

Now entering its seventeenth season, Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie, is adjusting its company name to reflect the departure of Co-Artistic Director Bill Coleman. The new Citadel + Compagnie (C+C) will run exclusively under the artistic directorship of co-founder Laurence Lemieux, who says in C+C’s press release, “Citadel + Compagnie represents who we are now as a collective of imaginatively charged artists.”

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