Scotiabank Dance Centre
20th Anniversary

Celebrating one of Canada's flagship dance facilities

Our 2021-2022 season will mark the 20th anniversary of our building, Scotiabank Dance Centre, with special programming including exhibits, publications and a film, in addition to residencies, performances, and a special edition of the annual Scotiabank Dance Centre Open House.

ANNIVERSARY PROGRAMS AND EVENTS

  • Scotiabank Dance Centre Open House: 20th Anniversary Edition October 2, 2021 Details
  • Our Dance (working title), a short film by Milos Jakovic and Hossein Fani. Coming Soon.
  • Exhibit of text, photos and drawings by architect Noel Best about the creation of the building (September 2021). Read more
  • Iambic System, a lobby installation by Natalie Purchwitz and Justine A Chambers, assembled intuitively in response to the movement of the materials and the activity in the space. (October 2021)
Exterior of Scotiabank Dance Centre at night

“It has been immensely rewarding to see how Scotiabank Dance Centre, which began as a dream so many years ago, has contributed to the arts scene in our city and the growth of BC’s dance community! As a hub for dance, it provides high quality studio space, but it is much more than just a building: we have nurtured a stimulating environment that is supportive of the creative potential of dance artists, contributing to a thriving synergy within the arts sector in Canada. Scotiabank Dance Centre is a place where people from all walks of life come together around dance. Today it is also an established participant in a cultural network connecting BC to organizations around the world, and facilitating national and international cultural exchanges – even throughout the pandemic as we kept the facility operational and accessible to artists, helping to sustain careers in dance.”
– Mirna Zagar, Executive Director

Audience watching Greeting Ceremony in the Faris Family Studio

SCOTIABANK DANCE CENTRE AT A GLANCE

History

  • Scotiabank Dance Centre opened in September 2001.
  • A purpose-built facility designed for the use of a diverse dance community, it is believed to have been the only one of its kind in North America at the time.
  • It was spearheaded by The Dance Centre, a non-profit resource organization for dance in BC founded in 1986, which operates the facility in addition to running artist residencies and support programs, presenting performances and offering outreach activities.
  • The site, donated by Scotiabank, was formerly a branch of the bank built in 1930. The building retains its heritage façade on Granville Street.
  • Its objectives are: to provide professional quality space for dance artists to work; to provide a central home for the dance community; to increase visibility for the art of dance in the city and beyond; and to provide a place for the public to connect with dance.

Building

  • Designed by Architectura (now Stantec) in collaboration with renowned Canadian architect Arthur Erickson.
  • Located in the heart of downtown Vancouver, on the corner of Davie and Granville Streets.
  • Seven floors, seven studios, ranging in size from 630 sq ft to 2944 sq ft.
  • Studios have specially designed sprung floors, and air conditioning. The seventh, the Faris Family Studio, is an intimate, fully-equipped black box theatre space with retractable seating for 154, for production and presentation activities.
  • Other facilities include a lounge, change rooms with lockers and showers, physiotherapy clinic, laundry, board room, and canopied rooftop patio.

Impact

  • Scotiabank Dance Centre is more than a building – it has become a cultural hub, bringing together people from diverse communities to create, share and experience dance.
  • Studios are used for rehearsals, classes, performances and events in all dance styles: ballet, bharata natyam, bellydance, capoeira, contemporary, flamenco, hip hop, salsa, tap, tango and many more.
  • In providing affordable space to artists in an increasingly unaffordable city, it has dramatically changed the community and the way that artists work together.
  • It is an internationally-recognized facility for dance with connections to Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Asian, the US and South America.
  • The 2018-19 season (the last full season pre-COVID) saw:

87,000+ visits
450+ studio renters
1561 rehearsals
792 classes and workshops 128 performances, presentations and special events
468 meetings

 

 

The Dance Centre has been key to my work as a performer, director and choreographer. It was a home for me to work when I first returned to Vancouver, and has become the base for my company, TomoeArts. It's been the foundation of my practice!

- Colleen Lanki, TomoeArts

The Scotiabank Dance Centre is a space so many diverse artists create their magic. It is a meeting point where we are sure to see familiar faces, or now, familiar eyes behind a mask. Personally, I am grateful for the guidance and support of Mirna, Raquel and Linda who have helped through the years in all phases from idea to performance, creating possibilities to develop work as a choreographer and director in a place I call home.

- Lesley Telford, Inverso Productions

So much of my dance life has happened in the Birmingham studio! Every time I'm at The Dance Centre I find it a beautiful thing to be with the collective dance histories and memories that have passed through there.

- Francesca Frewer