a chronology of the recent activities


  • early 1999, and before: raising the legacy issue

The impetus for studying the dance heritage and dance collections issues came from The Canada Council's Dance Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee had expressed a concern about legacy and documentation, and recommended that steps be taken to study the implications of these issues for the discipline. Major dance heritage initiatives had been launched in other countries, and questions were raised about the status of Canada’s dance heritage, including what traces remained of Canadian dance history, best practices for managing preservation collections, and how to ensure long term documentation of current and future creation.


  • July 1999 to May 2000: study and preparation of a discussion document

The Canada Council, with some support from the Department of Canadian Heritage, agreed to fund a contract to conduct an initial survey of collections held in the dance community and an analysis of needs and identification of issues. Theresa Rowat was commissioned to conduct this study, and to prepare a discussion document intended for the dance community. This report was titled Study of Dance Collections in Canada / Étude sur les collections de danse au Canada.


  • June 2000: Login: danc/se symposium at Canada Dance Festival 2000

The Login:danc/se symposium included a working session entitled Building Dance Collections and Preserving the Legacy / L’Établissement de collections de danse et la préservation du patrimoine chorégraphique. A round table of invited delegates was assembled, and an open invitation to Canada Dance Festival participants was extended to take part in the discussions. Using The Study of Dance Collections report as a launching point, both delegates and audience members engaged in an animated discussion which concluded by reaffirming the importance of the dance legacy issues, identifying an extended list of stakeholders, suggesting additional issues that should be analysed in the context of dance heritage, and recommending that some concrete steps be taken to facilitate dance preservation both within the dance community and in the collecting community. The formation of a dance heritage working group or committee was proposed.


  • January 2001 to March 2002: Committee for the Preservation of Canada’s Dance Heritage is formed

With funding support from The Canada Council, an ad hoc committee was formed to pursue the heritage issues and to make recommendations on productive next steps. The members are Lawrence Adams, Miriam Adams, Amy Bowring, Philip Szporer, Vincent Warren, Leland Windreich, and Theresa Rowat (acting as chairperson and coordinator). The result of the committee’s consultations, analysis, and meetings is A Dance Heritage Strategy for Canada. It proposes strategic directions for laying the foundations for the preservation of Canada's dance heritage in the context of a sustainable dance discipline.


  • June 2002: meeting to launch the Dance Heritage Strategy at the Canada Dance Festival 2002

On June 11, 2002 (1:30 – 3:30 p.m., Lecture Hall, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa) a meeting to launch the Dance Heritage Strategy for Canada will be hosted by the Committee for the Preservation of Canada’s Dance Heritage. This meeting is being held in conjunction with the Canada Dance Festival 2002, and in conjunction with the first conference of the Society for Canadian Dance Studies. Everyone interested in dance heritage issues is welcome to attend. This will be an opportunity for members of the dance community, dance scholars and heritage collections custodians to come together to discuss the Strategy and to propose collaborative initiatives and community actions in dance heritage.



For more information about this initiative, contact:

Theresa Rowat:
Amy Bowring: