New Event, Big Ideas

Co-artistic directors Catrina von Radecki and Janet Johnson invite you to participate in the next Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival!

Catrina: This year is a significant year for the GCDF as it marks our 15th anniversary!  Over the years, the local dance scene has grown significantly, as have our partnerships with the Guelph Fab 5 (GCDF, Hillside Festival, Guelph Jazz Festival, Festival of Moving Media, Eden Mills Writers’ Festival) and other local arts organizations. We’re being asked now to curate dance events with local artists for more events than ever.

In turn, local dancers are requesting more opportunities and asking for more ways to become involved. This is incredibly encouraging as it was our dream from the first year that dancers could live, train and perform in Guelph as professional artists. Now that we’ve achieved this goal, we’re looking at how our organization can support the current needs of local dance artists.

As this is our 15th anniversary year, we want to shakeup the festival format to include community celebration and engagement in a whole new way. As a contemporary dance festival, we want to always stay current and exciting. As a Guelph-based festival, we want to support our local dance artists and engage our audiences.   This year we’re offering a new community-based initiative: a chance for local, professional dance artists to create their own Festival event!   Artists are encouraged to dream, scheme, and create innovative and cutting-edge ways to perform dance in Guelph.

This new program will be presented during the 15thGuelph Contemporary Dance Festival, May 30th-June 2nd.

Call for submission deadline is November 1st!

Artists have complete freedom to present site-specific dance ideas in any way they choose—the only limitation is your imagination. Ideas might include presenting dance in a bar, a storefront, a church, in Market Square, etc., etc.

We want to bring dance to a new and possibly unsuspecting public in a variety of settings in the downtown core. We want our regular dance patrons to view dance in surprising, sometimes intimate, sometimes shocking ways.  We’re looking for vision, integrity, skill, and passion.  We want you to freely explore audacious perspectives, like presenting dance to one audience member at a time, or presenting dance on the side of a building, and so on.

Janet: I look forward to honouring, celebrating and nudging forward some of the committed, skilled and passionate dance artists of Guelph. It excites me greatly to be able to help facilitate more dance creation in Guelph. The time is ripe as there are many different Guelph-based dance voices, all propelling themselves forward, all deserving of more opportunities to engage in their dance forms. This new event will be a great made-in-Guelph dance event for our community to observe and celebrate!  

FYI: The GCDF will provide our Festival infrastructure, staffing, and promotion to support your ideas, along with an artist fee and production costs. Please note that although performing artists do not have to be local, local contemporary dance artists will be given preference.

You will find the call for submissions form here. A huge thank-you to the Guelph Community Foundation for partially funding this new initiative. We can’t wait to see what you dance up!  

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