Guelph Dance—formerly the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival—aims to engage and enthral. We strive to be a nationally-recognized leader in contemporary dance by offering a platform for professional, new-generation, and youth dance artists to share their vision, push creative boundaries, and engage community audiences.
- Guelph Dance creates opportunities for artists to push the boundaries of contemporary dance while engaging audiences and broadening their cultural experiences.
- We strive to foster an appreciation for dance in youth by presenting workshops directly in public schools and by giving local youth exposure to professional dance artists.
- To ensure financial accessibility, we provide affordable ticket pricing to performances and a variety of free events for people of all ages.
- To strengthen community relations, we partner with other local festivals and continually seek opportunity for co-productions.
- To broaden cultural accessibility, we are developing programs for at-risk groups who are financially, socially or physically challenged.
- We thoughtfully curate our programming to ensure high quality, innovative and culturally diverse works that represent the eclectic blend of dance being produced in Canada.
The next Guelph Dance Festival takes place in late May or early June every year. The Festival presents a diverse blend of high-calibre and innovative dance works from all over Canada.
Our On the Stage performances showcase the works of established choreographers and dancers, while Youth Moves focuses on dancers under 19. In the Park performances provide new and established artists with the opportunity to perform in unique outdoor venues throughout Guelph’s downtown. In the Studio features performances in an intimate gallery setting. The Dance Market allows participants to sample different movement styles offered in our great city. The Local Initiatives series, exclusively for local dance artists, pushes the Festival in new directions as we follow their lead. The Festival also offers Talkback Series to encourage greater dialogue between audience and dancers.
And we are so much more than the 4-day Festival weekend. We also have Arts Explosion March Break and Summer Camps, Guelph Youth Dance Training, Workshops in Schools, and Workshops for the General Public. We also produce and co-produce various performances throughout the year, including the CSA Nooner.
Guelph Dance is proud to be a part of the Guelph Fab 5, a collective of five area arts festivals that, like Guelph Dance, believe in provocative, consciousness-raising performances. The Guelph Fab 5 are Guelph Dance, Guelph Jazz Festival, Hillside Festival, Guelph Festival of Moving Media and Eden Mills Writers’ Festival. Check out the GF5_Manual on festival collaboration that we produced in 2017. It is a great resource for arts organizations looking to work together!
Want to know more about what we do? Take a look at our 2017-18 Annual Report.
Established in 1998, the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival was founded by Co-Artistic Directors Catrina von Radecki and Janet Johnson. With the firm belief that dancers should be able to live and dance outside major metropolitan cities, the two began to teach, choreograph, and perform in the city of Guelph. Audiences for their events slowly grew from 10 to 100. At the first GCDF in 1998, their audience grew to 650 patrons. Twenty years later, they can boast that the Festival and its offshoots have reach over 100,000 patrons!
We have rebranded and are now Guelph Dance. We have chosen to rebrand to better reflect the fact that we offer many different dance events and programs. As always, we are committed to providing Canadian contemporary dance artists with worthwhile opportunities, as well as engaging our community and providing our audiences with challenging and innovative contemporary dance from across Canada.
We hope Guelph Dance engages your interest in contemporary dance, and sustains it well into the future.
Staff and Board
Board of Directors
President: Michelle Miller
Treasurer: Marie Zimmerman
Secretary: Heather Finn
Member at Large: Nichola Martin, Lynda Walters, Carey West
Ex-Officio: Iryna Krukovets