Tenth Anniversary 2011

Scotiabank Dance Centre Tenth Anniversary 2011

Scotiabank Dance Centre celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2011 and we marked this milestone with a number of events and initiatives. Mirna Zagar, Executive Director of The Dance Centre, who has been at the helm since before the building opened, reflected on its impact:

"It has been immensely rewarding to see how Scotiabank Dance Centre, which began as a dream so many years ago, has contributed to the growth of our diverse and multitalented dance community. It provides high quality studio space for dance artists, which is sorely needed, but more than that I believe we have been able to nurture a stimulating environment supportive of the creative potential of dance artists, contributing to a new synergy within the arts sector in Canada. This building has become a focal reference point for the art of dance in British Columbia, contributing to its visibility with local audiences and in national and international contexts."

Watch Reflections: Clancy Dennehy's video marking ten years of Scotiabank Dance Centre:

What Vancouver choreographers say about Scotiabank Dance Centre

"The Scotiabank Dance Centre is a space that puts professional contemporary dance right in the heart of the city. It has become a kind of second home for me either as a professional development base or as an outlet for presenting my work, in fact the year it opened I presented Loose Feathers - a full length work in the theatre space. As someone who likes to be involved in the arts communities here, I have experienced a diversity of shows at the centre. I look forward to a continued relationship with The Dance Centre society and the Scotiabank Dance Centre facility. I will be in the venue a lot this year (and next) with a new full length planned for 2012 (Restless Productions and Red Shift Music Society).  I am so grateful for the facility and the opportunities that come with it. We are very lucky to have this in Vancouver. Happy Birthday! Thank you for the years so far - I look forward to many more."

Claire French, independent dance artist

"I do remember vividly the day the foundation for the Scotiabank Dance Centre was laid. The whole dance community had gathered on a beautiful sunshiny day to witness and bless the occasion; a home for dance. The heart of the building started pulsating 10 years ago, when the Dance Centre under the direction of Mirna Zagar organized an elaborate opening for the new facilities. Just a few days after the 9-11 events, Aeriosa dancing on the walls, exorcizing the ghost of the past few days.... breathtaking! This was also where Mandala started its relationship with the facility, and the great team work of the Dance Centre. We were privileged to be the first dance group to initiate the floor and the capacity of the Faris Family Studio. With a prayer to mother earth we stamped the floor and invoked the spirit of the elephant head god Ganesha for an auspicious beginning with a bharata natyam performance. We were also thrilled to have been commissioned to create a new dance for the occasion, presented for 6 sold out performances.

"The building was now vibrating, and has not stopped since. The Dance Centre has over the past 10 years engaged the whole dance community of B.C. and beyond. There are today very few who are not aware of its presence and dynamism right in the heart of the city. Those 10 years have already created a legacy, and continues to be ever present to the needs of the ever changing face of the dance and larger artistic community. This legacy will continue to breathe for new generations to come as the flagship of dance in British Columbia, and will hopefully stand long after we are gone..... I take this opportunity to thank the excellence of the dedicated staff of the Dance Centre for their vision and hard work."

Jai Govinda, Artistic Director, Mandala Arts and Culture

"Dancing in a building like the Scotiabank Dance Centre is a gift to be in such bright, inspiring and open studios, that have a clear view to the world outside but that create a space where you feel inspired to look into the depths of your soul and find out what it is that you as an artist, have to say."

Meredith Kalaman, independent dance artist

"The Dance Centre was the first organization I joined when I moved back to Vancouver six years ago.  It gave me a place to practice, to teach, and to network - facilitating my return to the performing arts world of this city. My favourite place to create is in the quiet, sunlit (even in the rain!) 7F studio.  I can't imagine what I would have done without this facility and the people who work there."

Colleen Lanki, TomoeArts

"I moved in Vancouver in 2005 and The Dance Centre was a key institution that helped me in this transition. As an independent choreographer, it is often hard to find your way in a new city: find the affordable studios, find the community, find where interesting work is being created, etc. On top of the formal programming where each professional can apply for, I found that it is always possible to meet with the staff there, and work together on new ways to bring dance to the world."

Julie Lebel, independent dance artist

"Scotiabank Dance Centre is my home for dance in Vancouver. It is where I see my friends and colleagues, gain easy access to morning class for warm up before rehearsals, enjoy other resources that the Centre provides. When I have a project on the horizon, I always try to make its home base the Scotiabank Dance Centre. It is a real hub and a place that is close to my heart."

Gail Lotenberg, LINK Dance Foundation

"As one of the first dance artists in residence at the Scotiabank Dance Centre in 2005, I was provided a creative home by the centre with studios and theatre for creative research, creation and presentation of my full-length work OrienTik/Portrait. The residency was an instrumental support to the development of my dance artistry, providing visibility to my contemporary diverse art practice and as an Asian Canadian citizen. It was also, I believe, the birth of an impetus to an artists' and organizations' partnership and exchange that is now a thriving vision that the centre continues to embark on.

"Scotiabank Dance Centre, situated in the heart of downtown Vancouver, has been a central creative space for dance, unique of its kind in North America and a breathing ground for the development of dance in BC.  In its 10 years of existence we have witnessed dance come to life, both in and out of the space, with a global flavouring of ideas, presentations and connections, profiles of dance in Vancouver and studio showings with dialogue and dance classes. Dance activities have resurged and come alive while sensitively responding to a critical economical climate in BC, but also in response to the growth of a developing city such as Vancouver with diverse peoples, ideas and culture. The Scotiabank Dance Centre is becoming a flagship, a home for dance and art and communication for our community."

Alvin Erasga Tolentino, Co.ERASGA

"Kudos to the Dance Centre for the work done within the Vancouver dance community over the past ten years!  As an inaugural Artist-in-Residence in 2002 and again in residence in 2010 I am certainly grateful for the support of the development of my own work and the community at large."

Helen Walkley MFA, Contemporary Dance Artist: choreographer, performer and teacher, Certified Laban Movement Analyst, Registered Somatic Movement Educator