Since 2004, the SCDS Annual Dance Residency program has been offering professional choreographers and multi-media dance artists from all over Canada the opportunity to come to the Sunshine Coast to create new works, workshop with local dancers, and present exciting performances of their work to the community at the end of their residency. If you would like more information or wish to apply for the SCDS Annual Dance Residency please contact us.


Buffalo Dreaming Project


Dances from Home


Josh Beamish


Becky Izad


Kokoro Dance


Choreographer Margie Gills with Community Dancers

A select group of community dancers from Sechelt, Nanaimo and Vancouver came together over the summer to learn a legacy piece to perform at the local Sechelt Arts Festival with artist Margie Gillis. The Dance Society also hosted a one-day workshop program for the adult dance community featuring Margie Gillis.



Choreographers Brianna Stark and Sammie Broomhall with Community Dancers

To mark our 20th Anniversary, the Dance Society assembled a select group of Sunshine Coast choreographers and professional caliber local dancers to perform at four to six coast Festivals from June until October of 2013. The 20th Anniversary Festival Dancers brought their interpretation of a critical “environmental message” via music and dance to the coastal communities of Gibsons, Sechelt, Pender Harbour, Powell River and regions in between on the Sunshine Coast. WATER was the overarching theme, with the project being launched on the second bi-annual Global Water Dances Day. (Photograph copyright Vern Bahti Minard Photography)


Ashley Whitehead, Dianne Doan and Lisa Rose Metz

Vancouver dance artists Ashley Whitehead, Lisa Rose Metz and Dianne Doan worked on the choreography of their work “THREE”, a fusion of their skills in contemporary, hip hop, and jazz, inspired by the elements of Fire and Ice.  For this multi-disciplinary arts performance, they collaborated with Sunshine Coast artists Robert Studer, the sublime ice paintings of Gordon Halloran, and the hot Brazilian sounds of Celso Machado. A finale performance was held at the Sechelt Arts Festival. 


Gail Lotenberg

The 8th Annual Artist in Residence program hosted Gail Lotenberg, Artistic Director of the Link Dance Foundation in Vancouver, in Gibsons for a week at the Heritage Playhouse, as she completed and introduced a new work and a choreographic collaboration with Vancouver dancers Darcy McMurray and Kirsten Wiren. Following the presentation of “Testing Perception,” Gail also presented a new work she choreographed with the Coast’s very own acclaimed dance artist, Sylvain Brochu. The residency also offered a unique two-day workshop to student dancers who performed their newly created piece at the finale show.


Josh Beamish
Josh Beamish
The 7th Annual SCDS Dance Residency Program hosted Josh Beamish, Artistic Director of Move: The Company. Josh collaborated with local performer Sylvain Brochu in the creation of Dendrochronolgy, part one of a five part series, choreographed by Josh and performed by Sylvain. Josh also hosted a fantastic workshop for local dancers. The Residency ended with a well-attended performance of Dendrochronolgy, choreography performed by the workshop participants, and a number of pieces performed by Josh and members of his company, Heather Dotto and Jacqui Lopez.



Brianna Stark,
Photo of Brianna Start in The Butterfly Effect, taken by Duane Burnett
Brianna is a contemporary and multi-media dance artist who spent her Residency in the creation of Aurelia and Imago. This piece travels through a projection of images from the cellular to the universal level, exploring the relationship of essence to matter and of the microcosm to the macrocosm, highlighting the significance of the individual within that equation. Brianna is also a Life/Art Process (LAP) practitioner, and offered workshops to the community and local choreographers in the LAP method. Life/Art Process is about informing our artistic expression with our lived experiences and engaging in the arts to extend creative possibility and meaning in our lives. The Residency ended with a full-length performance of Aurelia and Imago, and other pieces. Brianna has since performed this work in Vancouver, New York and Montreal.


Laura Hicks and Sara Coffin
Sara Coffin
Laura and Sara (shown to the right) collaborated for our 5th annual Dance Residency because the Sunshine Coast Dance Society board couldn’t pick just one of them! This proved to be an amazing combination. They held a five-evening workshop for local dancers using improvisation skills and the Liz Lerman’s Critical Response Process techniques. What resulted was a full-length show, Moving Voices, that included a piece from the workshop participants, solos from both artists, and an impeccable contact improv piece that Laura and Sara created during the Residency called Dis Chord.


Alison Denham and Billy Marchenski
Billy Marchenski and Alison Denham in 'AdamEve/ManWoman' by Alvin Erasga Tolentino, Photo by Chris Randle
Alison and Billy are both well-known interpretive artists in Vancouver, so we were very fortunate to have them both in Residency in 2007. They collaborated on an early sketch of the duet Adam and Eve. Alison also offered a great workshop to dancers of all levels where she gleaned material for her piece Dirty Laundry, which she would go on to perform at venues such as ROMP! A Festival of Independent Dance in Victoria. The Residency wrapped up with an informal showing of both pieces and a Question/Answer session with the artists.


Aprile Dunlop and Ben Garbe

In just one week, Aprile and Ben, members of Myth Makers, created a full-length narrative show called Circus of the Wheel and offered circus workshops to children in the community. It was an ambitious project that utilized many talented dancers from the Sunshine Coast, as well as a charming section with local youth and children. The visuals were out of this world and included the genius of Mind of a Snail puppetry group who added shadow puppetry to the show. The Residency show was sold out and was a huge success.


Meagan O’Shea

Meagan is a contemporary dance artist in Toronto, and Artistic Director of Stand Up Dance. Along with Aviva Chernik, Meagan offered a Movement and Sound Creation workshop that was attended by a wide range of students ages 12 to 50. In collaboration with Kalijo Productions and Alison Denham’s Gravity Works Ensemble, Meagan created a beautiful full-length show for the Residency. Meagan performed Night Stills, a narrative piece that describes the ill-fated relationship of a shy woman who sells flowers and a man who is allergic. It was a full and rich evening of dance.


Andrea Nann
Andrea Nann in Ink, Photo by Chris Randle
Artistic Director of Dreamwalker Dance Company, Andrea is a contemporary dancer in Toronto. Andrea and Kate Holden collaborated with Kalijo Productions and Alison Denham’s Gravity Works Ensemble. During the Residency, workshop participants learned a piece that Alison created, and performed it at the Residency performance. Andrea, Alison and Kate performed Ink, to a sold out show!