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. Premieres October 2, 2021
  • Exhibit of text, photos and drawings by architect Noel Best about the creation of the building (September 2021)
  • Installation by Justine A Chambers and Natalie Purschwitz (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

 

 

By supporting dance in all its forms and offering incredible programs and workshops, The Dance Centre has helped us to connect to the fabric of the Vancouver dance experience. The deep respect and insight of the staff have played a huge role in how we, as a Ukrainian Folk-Stage dance ensemble, perceive our own contributions and potential in the world of dance. Membership of The Dance Centre has provided amazing opportunities to present our art form to a broader audience and has been a catalyst for new choreography and collaboration.

- Debbie Karras and Laurel Lawry, Artistic Directors, Dovbush Dancers and School of Ukrainian Dance

The Dance Centre has been instrumental in the development of our company since its very beginnings - from a group of young artists eager to learn about the contemporary dance world, to a formalized collective creating its first short works, to the full-time company structure we now operate within, which has afforded us the opportunity to share our work across Canada and internationally. At all phases of our growth as artists, and as an organization, The Dance Centre has played a crucial supporting role.

- Lisa Gelley and Josh Martin, Co-Artistic Directors, Company 605

The Dance Centre exists as the core of our community, allowing artists of all mediums to come together with the public and experience dance on a wealth of levels. My term as a Resident Artist allowed the opportunity to work with four transitioned local dance artists to bring back works that may have never seen another life. The staff have always been supportive of my development and the access to the organization's resources, guidance, space and community, has forever impacted my artistic evolution.

- Josh Beamish, Artistic Director, MOVE: the company

Thank you very much for providing the venue for our Drum Auction Event. The Faris Family Studio looked stunning with the drums installed and the auction was a success. Thanks also to your technical staff for all their hard work and assistance.

- Susan Jackson, YVR Art Foundation