The Dance Centre

The Dance Centre: Supporting the Development of BC Dance

Established in 1986 as a resource centre for the dance profession and the public in British Columbia, The Dance Centre has expanded rapidly into a multifaceted organization offering a range of activities unparalleled in Canadian dance. Driven by an ambitious vision to boost the profile of dance, and to develop a stronger infrastructure for the art form, The Dance Centre devises innovative programs supporting dance creators and presents performances and events to the public; operates Scotiabank Dance Centre, one of Canada's leading dance facilities; promotes BC dance to the public and to presenters; and provides resources and services for the dance profession, through its team of experienced professional staff.


The Dance Centre runs programs and projects which support the professional development of dance creators and performers, and nurture new audiences. Key programs include Artist-in-Residence, where choreographers undertake creation, performance, teaching and outreach activities over an extended period of time; DanceLab, in which choreographers collaborate in research with professionals from other disciplines such as visual art, music, and theatre; Global Dance Connections, a performance series featuring contemporary work by local, Canadian and international artists; and Discover Dance!, an accessible monthly noon hour event combining performance, question and answer sessions with the artist, and even audience participation. Dance In Vancouver is a biennial showcase of some of BC's most exciting contemporary dance artists, attended both by the public and presenters of dance from around the world.  Twelve Minutes Max supports the creation of short works by emerging artists through studio research, feedback, dialogue and studio showings. In mid-September the annual Scotiabank Dance Centre Open House offers an opportunity for the public to experience a day of free classes, workshops at events, and every April 29 The Dance Centre presents a program of public events for International Dance Day.

Other initiatives include the annual Isadora Awards recognizing artistic achievement, the Lola Award supporting mid-career and senior artists, and the biennial Iris Garland Emerging Choreographer Award. Artists and companies from across Canada and around the world give performances, workshops, talks and other events. In addition The Dance Centre collaborates extensively with organizations including the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, the Chutzpah! Festival, the Vancouver Art Gallery, Dancing on the Edge Festival and Made In BC - Dance on Tour, amongst others. The Dance Centre works with artists from a wide range of cultural backgrounds, including aboriginal artists, and with specific communities including people with disabilities and youth.

Scotiabank Dance Centre

For over two decades The Dance Centre spearheaded the drive to create a home for BC's dance community. Today it operates Scotiabank Dance Centre, a state-of-the-art facility which opened in September 2001 in downtown Vancouver, on a site donated by its title sponsor. The building has become a hub for dance activity, housing The Dance Centre's programs, as well as rehearsals, classes, workshops, performances and events by dance artists and companies from Vancouver and beyond. Scotiabank Dance Centre generates an estimated 60,000+ visits annually. The facility is also a popular venue with other art forms, however booking policies ensure that dance receives priority access and preferential rates.  

Promoting BC Dance

The Dance Centre is the primary source for information about dance in BC. The public can access information about forthcoming dance performances around BC, classes, companies and organizations via The Dance Centre's website (; and the information centre in Scotiabank Dance Centre's reception handles many enquiries. In addition to events such as Dance In Vancouver, The Dance Centre promotes BC dance internationally, producing information for presenters and promoters around the world: the online BC Dance Directory lists hundreds of BC dance organizations. In 2003 The Dance Centre facilitated a tour by nine Vancouver companies to the Dance Week Festival in Croatia.

A Resource for the Professional

The Dance Centre's members include over thirty professional dance companies and hundreds of individual artists, teachers, choreographers, performers and dance enthusiasts. They benefit from: Information, support and networking Information about funding, jobs, auditions, training and other opportunities; Dance Central, a bimonthly publication, plus E-Central email bulletin every two weeks; information sessions and networking events.

Video facilities including access to the most extensive dance DVD library in Western Canada.

Professional development Including workshops and training initiatives with local and visiting artists; opportunities to apply to participate in Dance Centre programs such as residencies; and consultations with experienced staff on topics such as grant writing, marketing and incorporation.

The Dance Centre received a Downtown Vancouver Association Achievement Award (2000), a Spirit of Vancouver Award for outstanding spirit and commitment to the community and the arts (2002) and a Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association Appreciation Award for its outstanding contribution to downtown Vancouver (2012).


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Media contact: Heather Bray, Marketing Manager T: 604 606 6412 F: 604 606 6401 .

The operations of The Dance Centre are supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Province of British Columbia, the BC Arts Council, and the City of Vancouver through the Office of Cultural Affairs.

Official hotel sponsor: the Holiday Inn Vancouver Downtown Hotel & Suites.

Media sponsors: OMNI Diversity Television, Vancouver Courier (Discover Dance!), The Georgia Straight (Global Dance Connections)


The Dance Centre

Scotiabank Dance Centre, Level 6, 677 Davie Street, Vancouver BC V6B 2G6 Tel 604 606 6400