An important part of the SCDS mandate is to provide on-going encouragement of dance education through our scholarship program. This much-needed financial assistance goes to promising students, allowing them to attend intensive and pre-professional classes in Vancouver and elsewhere in British Columbia.

These awards are provided through donations we receive from individuals, members, co-production revenues and other fundraising iniatives. The funds received are pivotal to assisting coast dance students and adult dancers with financial assistance to further their dance education and training. We are proud to say that 2017 will be the 24th year that the society has been able, through donor generosity and ticket revenues to offer the scholarship program.


Over $5000 was awarded in youth and young adult dance scholarships for traditional and contemporary ballet, as well as modern dance disciplines. 

Award winners include:

  • Anika Bergman
  • Taylor Bramham
  • Isabella Casey-Campbell
  • Lorelle Evered
  • Makenzi Harris
  • Annah Kotai
  • Sophie Malcomson
  • Natalie Martin
  • Eibhlin Minastis
  • Brooklyn Turner


Adjudications for the awards occurred in April and at the end of June 2022, with a total of $4,200 awarded this year.

Lois Smith Senior Ballet awards went to:

  • Natalie Martin: $1500
  • Eibhlin Minatsis: $750

Lois Smith Junior Ballet award went to:

  • Annah Kotai: $250

Sunshine Coast Dance Society awards went to:

  • Annika Bergman: Jazz $250
  • Mya Perry: Hip Hop $250
  • Francesca Manson: Contemporary $250
  • Alison Girard: Lyrical $500
  • Andrea Villaneuva: Contemporary $250
  • Sophia Cimbala: $200

It is also interesting to note several of the award recipients have been accepted into prestigious summer and fall dance programs to enhance their dance studies. Natalie Martin was accepted into a summer dance program with the Boston Ballet, Anna Kotai will be heading off to an Alberta Ballet summer intensive program, and Chatelech secondary school graduate Alison Girard has been accepted into the Mather Dance Company Bridge Program in Los Angeles, an 11-month dance program that bridges the gap between competitive and professional dance.


This year, our annual scholarships were awarded to:

  • Sophie Malcolmson – Lois Smith Sr Ballet
  • Natalie Martin – Lois Smith Sr Ballet
  • Gracelyn Mailey – Lois Smith Jr Ballet
  • Eibhlin Minatsis – Modern
  • Carly Kennedy – Modern & Choreo
  • Alison Girard – Choreo
  • Gabriel Ryan – Tap

In addition, during the Festival of the Performing Arts, we also awarded a scholarship to Andrea Villanueva for Jazz.


There was a hiatus in our scholarship program due to COVID-19 preventing auditions.


At the end of June, $3000 in total was awarded in Ballet, Modern Dance, and Original Choreography.

Congratulations go to:

  • Kaliyana Denham-Rohlicek – Senior Ballet and Modern
  • Jasmyn Evered – Senior Ballet and Modern
  • Dorothy Harrower – Modern
  • Audree Hutchinson – Modern and Choreography
  • Sophie Malcomson – Junior Ballet and Original Choreography


Ballet, modern, and choreographic dance applications and auditions were adjudicated at the end of June with the following 2018 cash awards totalling $3500 presented:

  • Sophie Malcomson received the Lois Smith Memorial Junior (under 14 yr) Ballet Award.
  • Bronte Hanson won the Lois Smith Excellence in Ballet Senior Award (over 14 yr) as well as the SC Dance Society Award for Modern Dance. Bronte also won the Lois Smith Memorial Award for Ballet presented at the Sunshine Coast Festival of the Performing Arts in February.
  • Alyssa Rive, also a senior dance student, won the second annual Dance Society’s Choreography Award.


Two Lois Smith memorial awards, sponsored by the SCDS, were awarded during the 2017 Festival of Performing Arts on May 7, 2017. Sophie Malcolmson received $300. Natalie Martin received $200.

  • Memorial Award for Excellence in Ballet – $1,000
  • Cora Nelson, who auditioned with an excellent Tap routine this year, and has also shown incredible growth in multi-genre dance, received the Baris Foundation Award for Modern Dance – $1,000
  • Audree Hutchinson, who is passionately pursuing a career in original choreography, received the SCDS Award for Original Choreography – $500


The following scholarships were granted in 2016:
SCDS Scholarship:

  • Multi Genre: Evangeline Larson $1,000 
  • Lois Smith Ballet: Bronte Hanson $1,000 
  • Multi Genre: Coral Christian – $500

Other Scholarships:

  • Baris Foundation Dance Discipline Award: Emily Stoddard  $500
  • Team Canada Dance – Support Funding: Megan Doyle  $500


Jaime Butler and Cora Nelson each received a Lois Smith Ballet Award of $500. Evangeline Larson, Molly Carpenter and Kristie Sita each received a Dance Society Multi Award of $500.



In 2014, the society received confirmation that the SCDS would become the administrator of a new dance scholarship in the name of the late society founding member, Lois Smith. A very timely occurrence considering the twenty-year anniversary of the society in 2013. In her honour, the scholarship was awarded specifically for “Excellence in Ballet.” This enabled the Society to broaden the scholarship program in 2014 to include three awards to deserving coast dancers:

  • Lois Smith Award of Excellence in Ballet: $1000 to Evangeline Larsen
  • SCDS Award of Excellence in multi-genre dance: $500 to Cassidy Rainer
  • SCDS Multiple Achievement Award: $1500 to Kristie Sita


A total of $1250 was awarded to five coast student dancers, each receiving $250 (two youth and three graduating students). Tara Kalman and Kristy Sita received the Lois Smith Scholarship, while Michelle Milliken, Cora Nelson and Lily Riggs received SCDS Awards of Merit.


High school graduate Talieson Sanford received the Lois Smith Scholarship recipient for 2012 to pursue dance classes off coast during 2012/2013.


Tegan Jacson receives Sunshine Coast Dance Society Scholarship in 2011The 2011 scholarship recipient was Coast Academy of Dance student, Tegan Jackson. Scholarship hopefuls participated in a fantastic audition class led by professional Vancouver dancer Caroline Farquhar. Visiting the Coast as part of the Nosh and Stammer project, Caroline graciously agreed to create and conduct the class for the SCDS. Participants also danced a three minute solo. Board members Shelly Elston and Brittany Robertson were joined by founding member Nicola Blakey and dance teacher Lucy Ennis as adjudicators. Tegan will be using her scholarship funds to take the summer ballet intensive with Kathleen and David Holmes, and drop in on some summer classes at Harbour Dance. Congratulations Tegan.


Courtney Hobson receives Sunshine Coast Dance Society Scholarship in 2011Sunshine Coast dance student Courtney Hobson was awarded the Shelley Cromie Scholarship Award in July 2010, providing funds to attend the summer dance intensive training program at the Goh Ballet School in Vancouver. The scholarship was awarded in honor of Shelley Cromie, a local dancer and teacher who passed away in 2010.


Frankie Cottrell receives Sunshine Coast Dance Society Scholarship in 2011Local tap student Frankie Cottrell was awarded the Lois Smith Scholarship in 2009. Frankie is the first male dancer, and tapper, to win a Sunshine Coast Dance Society scholarship!
For more information on Sunshine Coast Dance Society scholarships, please contact us.