Skylines Dance and Film Series
The Skylines Dance and Film series has been a collaborative production project between myself and my colleague, Laura Elliott of Winnipeg, MB. The aim of the series is to act as a platform organization for professional Canadian dancemakers to present either finished works or works in progress. The overarching vision of the Skylines Dance and Film Series is to a) connect dance artists from across the country (more specifically, from across the prairie provinces), b) support the creation of new works, from both established and emerging artists, and c) encourage the exploration of dance in film works. One of our goals is to move the Series from city to city, to encourage travel and inter-provincial connection, which is why we will be hosting our next Series here in Calgary. After a two-year pre-planning process, we successfully ran the inaugural Skylines Dance and Film Series over two nights in August 2018, at the Rachel Browne Theatre in Winnipeg. We have found August to be an optimal time to host an event as the timeline encourages creation over the summer months and does not conflict with other festivals or events happening around the community.
Over the last few years, Laura and I have been diligently assessing the needs of our respective communities, relaying news to one another across the country, and trying to determine how we can best facilitate this event. Both of us have made a point of attending Winnipeg, Calgary, and nationally-based community meetings and AGMS where possible, to both support the existing structures and determine how the Skylines Dance and Film Series will fit. This year we would like to recalibrate the Festival slightly to offer some new elements, to encourage more of a community feel. We would like to offer some workshops, artist talkbacks, and some more intimate film screenings in more of a “gallery” environment. One of the elements we would like to improve upon from our programming last year was the opportunity for our artists to really connect with one another, and offer more opportunities for everyone to connect, learn, and grow. Funding and investment from the Field Law Community Fund would provide us the ability to pay our artists, and provide a welcoming and engaging event for Calgary to play host to the Canadian dance community.
Who Will it Benefit?
Events like Skylines Dance and Film directly benefit and encourage the Canadian dance and arts community. Based on our research and personal experience, there is a real need for professional level dance presentation opportunities. There are so many talented and capable dancemakers in Canada, who desperately need a platform to show their work. Artists are often beholden to arts councils, which typically require a certain number of professional presentations in order to qualify for increased funding (or any funding at all). This lack of opportunity can be extremely challenging, and discouraging for career artists (especially emerging ones). While what we offer is modest, we are proud to provide this important stepping stone for our community. This funding will be immediately beneficial to these artists, and the surrounding community. Additionally, we would love to donate tickets to schools and arts organizations around Calgary, to assist those who otherwise wouldn't be able to access this event.