The Welcome Project

In partnership with Toronto’s Dreamwalker Dance Company, The Welcome Project: Sharing Stories seeks to build a more inclusive and equitable local community by connecting individuals from different backgrounds and lived experiences through movement and gesture.

With the support from local community partners and interested individuals, we are seeking for participants to join this unprecedented initiative.

The Welcome Project: Sharing Stories – Chapter One (August – October 2020)

presented by Dreamwalker Dance Company and Guelph Dance

This season our community will be part of Dreamwalker‘s The Welcome Project: Sharing Stories. Guelph community members from Immigrant Services Guelph-WellingtonGuelph Youth Dance Training Program, and KidsAbility are among the featured participants. The first iteration of this collaboration, The Welcome Project: Sharing Stories, was featured on the Ontario Culture Days website over the month of October as part of Ontario’s Culture Days Festival.

The Welcome Project brings together individuals from diverse populations to participate in an empowering creative process through movement — awakening bodies, hearts, voices, imaginations, and perceptions — to co-create deeply personal stories while promoting mental health and wellbeing, social inclusion, and positive inter-group communication. The Sharing Stories edition of The Welcome Project takes place in a virtual setting to inspire individuals from already isolated populations to meet, connect, and experience inclusivity, creativity and self-expression during a time when other arts-based activities have been suspended and physical distancing must be upheld. 

The Welcome Project: Sharing Stories video collection introduces each individual with a glimpse into their personal experience within the shared movement and memory process that connected everyone to the theme of “home”.  Joshua “Classic Roots” DePerry has composed a unique music track inspired by each individual’s heartbeat vocalizations and the videos were edited by Aria Evans. 


Facilitators: Meryem Alaoui, Aria Evans, Shannon Kitchings, Claire Tacon

Ambassadors: Jaqueline Dubon, Manuel Garcia, Maria Gabriela Gómez, Stella Lim, Chenise Mitchell, Foufou Nazer, Naishi Wang, Abigail Whitney

Participants: Ali Abdel Ali, Jair Calva, Aura Carcueva, Natalia Garcia, Donat Ghebretensae, Jordan Isaac, Akram Koshesh, Tahereh Mirbabaei, Cynthia Mora, Sandra Olaya, Neelma Siddiqui, Bee Lee Soh, Kinnery Thompson, Priyamvada Tiwari, Masoumeh Zamanipoor, Saba Zhian

Project partners: Ontario Culture Days, City of Toronto, Newcomer Office, Guelph Youth Dance Training Program, Immigrant Services Guelph-Wellington, KidsAbility

Project funders: Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council

Project Instigator: Andrea Nann

Project Manager: Annie Katsura Rollins

Mixed Abilities Consultant: Michelle Silagy

Indigenous Liaison: Phil Davis

Researcher: Danielle Denichaud

Dreamwalker General Manager: Adina Herling

Dreamwalker Social Media Manager: Hayley Goldenberg 

Guelph Dance Outreach and Development Manager: Leslie Fisher

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