Press release

Canada’s National Ballet School Hosts Nation’s Biggest Dance Party to Celebrate Canada’s 150th

May 25, 2017

Toronto, ON, Thursday, May 25, 2017 Canada’s National Ballet School (NBS) will kick off its nationwide celebration for Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation beginning June 2 at Sharing Dance Day events – free to the public – taking place across the country.

A Canada 150 Signature Project, NBS’ Sharing Dance Day events will bring Canadians and their communities together by empowering them to enjoy the physical, social, emotional and cultural benefits of dance. The Canada 150 Signature Project is funded in part by the by the Government of Canada through the Canada 150 Fund, and with the support of presenting partner Shaw Communications Inc.

Sharing Dance Day events include professional dance performances, open free dance classes, activity booths, music, and engaging activities for all ages and abilities. The highlight of each Signature Official Event will be performances of the 2017 Sharing Dance choreography, which has been taught and rehearsed across the country in dance studios, schools, community centres, long-term care facilities, and via online rehearsal videos – by children and youth, seniors and everyone in between – since January.

Sharing Dance Day Signature Official Events will take place in:

• Calgary – Eau Claire Market, June 2 from 4 - 6 p.m. MT
• Winnipeg – Axworthy Health & RecPlex, June 8 at 10:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. CT
• Toronto – Yonge-Dundas Square, June 2 at 12 noon - 6 p.m. ET
    o Children and Youth Event, 12 noon - 2 p.m. ET
    o Seniors Event, 3 - 4 p.m. ET
    o Community, 4 - 6 p.m. ET
• Montréal – Les Jardins Gamelin, Quartier Des Spectacles, June 2 at 5 - 8 p.m. ET
• Halifax – Grand Parade, June 2 at 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. AT

Nearly 200 communities (and counting), including schools and community spaces from coast-to-coast-to-coast - Vancouver to Yellowknife, Nunavut to Newfoundland - will be holding grassroots Sharing Dance Day events beginning June 2. Some notable events include:

• Charlottetown, PEI – Memorial Hall, Confederation Centre of the Arts, June 2 at 5 p.m. AT
• Collingwood, ON – Central Park Arena, June 3
• St. John’s, NL – Atlantic Place, June 3 at 1:30 p.m. NT
• Saskatoon, SK – PotashCorp Children's Festival of Saskatchewan, Kinsmen Park, June 6 at 12:30 p.m. MT
• Airdrie, AB – Airdrie Farmers’ Market, June 7 at 5:30 - 6 p.m. MT

Led by NBS artistic staff, four Canadian choreographers, each representing distinct styles of dance, cultural backgrounds and geographic locations, collaborated to give voice and movement to a unique work that embodies and celebrates Canada’s diversity and artistic identity. Choreographers include Kimberley Cooper (Calgary, AB), Eugene Baffoe (Winnipeg, MB), Tracee Smith (Toronto, ON) and Roger Sinha (Montreal, QC).The choreography is set to a piece of Canadian music that was specially remixed for Sharing Dance, featuring throat singer Tiffany Ayalik, born in the Northwest Territories and of Inuit ancestry.

Sharing Dance Canada 2017 is made possible with the support of additional national partners Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, Physical and Health Education Canada, the Globe and Mail, and Scotiabank; founding donors Joan and Jerry Lozinski; and leading supporters William R. and Shirley Beatty Charitable Fund and LesLois Shaw Foundation.

NBS gratefully acknowledges the support for Sharing Dance Day by community partners including: Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, Wildflower Arts Centre, J. Watson Dance, Absolute Dance, Creative Airdrie, DANCEPL3Y, and Ever Active Schools (Alberta) in Calgary; Arts Etobicoke, Canadian Dance Assembly, Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities, The Dance Ability Movement, DANCEPL3Y, Dancing with Parkinson’s Canada, Hart House, Parkinson Canada, ParticipACTION, TakingITGlobal, Toronto Community Housing, and YMCA in Toronto; Sinha Dance and 5inco in Montreal; Halifax Dance, Dance Nova Scotia, Kinnected Leadership, North Preston Community Centre, East Preston Recreation Centre, and Halifax Library in Halifax.

To learn more about Sharing Dance or Sharing Dance Day, please visit:



“I invite Canadians of all ages to put on their dancing shoes and make the most of Canada 150 through this diverse, inclusive and creative project that promotes healthy living. Let’s celebrate Canada’s multiculturalism and diversity through dance and movement!”
– Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

“By encouraging Canadians to get moving, Sharing Dance Canada 2017 provides kids and their families with a fun, healthy way to celebrate our country’s 150th birthday. This fantastic program creates opportunities for kids to get active, develop healthy habits, build self-confidence, connect with their peers, and foster an appreciation for Canada, and we are pleased to support our partner, Canada’s National Ballet School, with this outstanding initiative.”
– Chethan Lakshman, Vice President, External Affairs, Shaw Communications

“As an expression of identity, dance powerfully and poignantly reflects who we are, what we stand for, and what we can aspire to be – as individuals and as a nation – made even more relevant at our 150th anniversary of confederation. Canada’s National Ballet School (NBS) has a rich 58-year history and tradition of excellence in dance on the Canadian and international stage, and we are proud to bring this excellence to NBS’ Sharing Dance program. With the power of dance to unite people, Sharing Dance Day will beautifully demonstrate a nation coming together in celebration of Canada’s strength of diversity and cultural richness through embracing the benefits and joy of dance. NBS is thrilled to be counted among the Government of Canada’s Signature Projects, and deeply appreciative of Shaw Communications’ championship of community and youth as NBS’ presenting partner.”
– Mavis Staines, Artistic Director and CEO, Canada’s National Ballet School


About Canada's National Ballet School  

With a rich 58-year history and international reputation, Canada's National Ballet School (NBS) is one of the world's foremost training institutions for aspiring young dancers and teachers. NBS' distinctive pedagogy for its Professional Ballet Program integrates elements from the best in classical ballet training methods, contemporary dance and the latest advances in science and movement. NBS alumni work in 80 companies in Canada and abroad, frequently taking leadership roles as choreographers and artistic directors.

NBS believes that everyone  should have access to high-quality dance programs, encouraging people to engage artistically, and reap the physical, social, emotional and cultural benefits that dance provides. NBS' Sharing Dance community initiative has grown under the guidance of NBS artistic staff, developing fundamental aspects of physical literacy through dance in children and youth; engaging seniors, including those with Parkinson's disease or dementia, with dance activities that contribute to better health and improved quality of life; and promoting broad public participation for everyone in between.  

For More Information:
Sapna Goel
Communications Lead, Sharing Dance
Canada’s National Ballet School
416 964 3780 x 2115