President’s Message – 2011 Annual General Meeting

The Sunshine Coast Dance Society has been operating as a non-profit society for 18 years. Every year the Sunshine Coast Dance Society strives to encourage and present fresh, relevant, and dynamic dance for our community. We are dedicated to supporting all forms of dance, collaborating with other art disciplines, providing educational support for dance students and developing a more diversified audience of dance followers.

For a small dance society we manage to present a diversified program to suit all dance lovers. Our mandate is to expand what we already do, and bring a cohesive program that will bring more B.C. and North American talent to our community. We do all this, and much more, with a very small board. Shelly Elston and Yvette Cormier are key to the organization, while Brittany Robertson, Kim Fitchett and myself assist when possible. Recently we have been very fortunate to take advantage of the multi-talented Diana Robertson (no relation to Brittany) to assist us with a variety of projects including a visioning afternoon at the end of May, where we focused on who we are as a society and who we’d like to be in the future. We also took a closer look at roles and responsibilities and are in the process of defining the tasks that are required to complete events with the help of much-needed volunteers.

In 2010 the SCDS accomplished a great deal. We assisted Lindsay Prentice with funding for rehearsal space for her original show ‘Skeleton Woman’ that was premiered at the 2010 SOPA series to a sold out show! For our 7th Annual Dance Residency, Josh Beamish and Sylvain Brochu collaborated to create ‘Dendrochronology’ a piece choreographed by Josh and performed by Sylvain. Josh gave a workshop to local dancers, creating a piece that was performed in the residency show. Dancers from Josh’s dance company ‘Move: the company’ performed a number of solos and duets as well.

Dance Society Logo
Dance Society Logo

For the second year in a row the SCDS participated in the Sechelt District sponsored ‘Earth Hour’ event in March. Sylvain Brochu’s dancers danced a piece at twilight with a talented percussionist. The ‘Tiger Dance’ by SCDS volunteer Gerardo Avila was also performed to everyone’s delight. Also in March, I wrote a letter to the Sechelt Cultural Task Force and the Sunshine Coast Performance Centre Society to recommend that in their future arts facility planning that they consider the needs of dancers and performance artists, i.e. providing a proper dance floor and adequate rehearsal space. They responded very positively.

In April 2011 we set up our new web site with the help of Alison Taylor, Diana Robertson and Shelly Elston. Now we really are more accessible to the community and can support other dance schools and events! Check it out for upcoming dance shows, workshops and other dance events in out community!

Once again in spring 2011 we presented the very popular Source dance company from Vancouver with two dynamic urban dance performances at the Raven’s Cry Theatre. Called Flashback, students from CAD also got a chance to perform to the large appreciative audiences.

Shelly Elston applied for some much needed local grants in support of our 2011 Dance Residency. Thankfully we received the funding that will help keep this important project going. For 8 years our mandate has been to offer regional and national choreographers and multi media dance artists, the opportunity to come to our beautiful little theatre on the Sunshine Coast and work for a week in the Heritage Theatre, creating new works, offering workshops to locals and present their new work in either an informal showing or a full evening performance. This September, the SCDS is very pleased to host Gail Lotenberg, Artistic Director of the LINK Dance Foundation in Vancouver as the 2011 Artist in Residence. Gail will be collaborating with Sylvain Brochu in the creation of part two of his five-part series. Stay tuned for more information about our Residency Workshop with Gail, and performances at the end of the residency in September.

In June a $500 scholarship was awarded to Tegan Jackson after a formal audition process that other CAD girls participated in. We had 4 adjudicators, Shelly Elston and Brittany Robertson from the Society and two seasoned guest observers, Nicola Blakey and Lucy Ennis.

We were very fortunate on the same weekend to have a guest teacher from Vancouver, Caroline Farquhar, who was here working on a piece with Laura Hicks (past residency recipient) Anne Cooper, and their talented musician composer, Rachel Wadham. Hosted by the Society, they were in town preparing for a piece to be shown at the 2011 Dancing On The Edge series. The piece called ‘Nosh and Stammer’ is a tongue in cheek expose about being a server in a restaurant. The piece was very funny and with help from Sylvain Brochu and myself acting as an “outside eye,” the piece was polished for the city stage.

Sylvain is helping with our plans for another ‘Celebration of Dance’ in the late fall of 2011. It will be a collaboration of local dancers combined with one or more professional guest artists (more to say about that later).

And finally I am stepping down as President, but honored to say Diana Robertson has accepted the position. I am thrilled to pass on this role to an extremely talented and gifted person and look forward to working with her as a director!

Respectfully, Maggie Guzzi President SCDS