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Announcing the Recipient of the Iris Garland Emerging Choreographer Award

We are thrilled to announce that Shion Skye Carter is the recipient of the Iris Garland Emerging Choreographer Award, a biennial award established in 2004 which supports the work of emerging artists.

Our Executive Director Mirna Zagar said: “I am so happy to have the opportunity to support the work of this exceptional young artist. Shion blurs the boundaries between disciplines to explore multiple facets of identity and belonging, and she epitomizes the tremendous diversity and talent currently at work in BC.”

“Receiving the Iris Garland Emerging Choreographer Award is an honour, and an affirmation of my work at this crucial point in my career,” said Shion. “The platform and resources provided will help me continue in this trajectory as an emerging artist, receive mentorship, and fully develop my new solo dance project. I am grateful for The Dance Centre’s support, and the opportunity to perform my solo in one of Vancouver’s perennial theatre spaces.”

Through the Award, Shion will present a new work, Residuals (住み・墨), at Scotiabank Dance Centre in 2022. Residuals (住み・墨) is a solo that uses visual, sonic and physical influences from the art of Japanese calligraphy.

Congratulations Shion!


Shion Skye Carter is a dance artist originally from Tajimi, Japan, and based in Vancouver. Through choreography hybridized with calligraphy, video, and sculptural objects, her work celebrates the intersection of her ethnographic and queer identities, in connection with her heritage. As co-founder of olive theory, an interdisciplinary duo with musician Stefan Nazarevich, she collaborates to experiment at the intersection between embodied performance, installation art, and live sound. In both her independent work and as olive theory, Shion has performed across Canada and worked as artist-in-residence at What Lab and Left of Main in Vancouver, as well as LEÑA Artist Residency on Galiano Island, BC. Her recently produced short films have been screened at festivals globally, including SHUT IN DANCE Film Festival (USA), House is Me by Purespace (Turkey), Dance Days Chania (Greece), and Moving Images Dance Festival (Cyprus). As a performer, she has interpreted the works of artists such as Vanessa Goodman (Action at a Distance), plastic orchid factory, and Ziyian Kwan (Dumb Instrument Dance). She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance and Kinesiology from Simon Fraser University.

The Iris Garland Emerging Choreographer Award was established in memory of the pioneering educator who developed Simon Fraser University’s dance program. It provides $5000 to assist an emerging artist between 19 and 35 years of age who demonstrates exceptional choreographic potential, to produce their work at Scotiabank Dance Centre in Vancouver. Previous recipients are Amber Funk Barton (2005), Chengxin Wei (2007), Sara Coffin (2009), Shannon Moreno (2011), Vanessa Goodman (2013), Deanna Peters (2015), Julianne Chapple (2017) and Jamie Robinson (2019).

Read more about The Dance Centre’s Awards here:

Photos: Lula-Belle Jedynak and Bee Kent