Encore! Dance Hall of Fame

One of the projects that is very close to my heart is the Encore! Dance Hall of Fame. It was launched last year at the Globe and Mail Centre with the goal to celebrate Canadian dance artists who have contributed a body of work that has significantly imprinted the cultural landscape of Canadian arts.

The first year’s inductees included, Danny Grossman, Blanche Lund, Ola Skanks, Rene Highway, Rina Singha, Jeanne Renaud, Karen Jamieson and Veronica Tennant. A Community Builders honour was given to arts patrons Joan and Jerry Lozinski who have contributed to help dancers through the path from student to second career. Quite extraordinary.

The dance community in Canada is wide spread and Dance Collection Danse ensures that  the inductees chosen represent a cross-section based on geography, discipline and diversity. As a part of the decision making committee, I can tell you it is no easy feat. There is much to catch up on and so many deserving recipients. But… we will get there!

It is rare of this community to find an event that gathers them together from coast-to-coast-to coast- a chance to celebrate and reconnect with colleagues near and far. The feeling in the room was emotional, celebratory and warm. For me, it was like you died and entered a room where everyone you had ever met or wanted to meet , was in one place.

There were live pop-up performances featuring today’s dancers and future inductees. The presenters were carefully chosen for their close relationship with the inductee. For instance, Evelyn Hart presented the award to Veronica Tennant. Seeing Veronica perform was the instigator for Evelyn to take ballet and the rest is history.  Micah Barnes accepted the award for his late partner, Rene Highway.  CBC’s Laurie Brown set the perfect tone as host of the event. It really was an eclectic crowd of arts industry leaders, bohemian dancers, friends and family. You can watch the inductions and performances on the Encore website at http://www.encoredancehalloffame.com

We are on the cusp of announcing the 2019 inductees and let me tell you, it is another impressive list! The event will take place on March 24th at the Globe and Mail Centre (if it ain’t broke don’t fix it)

I really suggest you make an effort to get there. It’s not just for dance enthusiasts, its a wonderful entry to a world that contributes to Canada’s cultural reputation here and internationally.  It’s a part of our legacy that should be treasured.  I will leave you with this…

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