Bringing Presenters And Creators Together

The Creation Fund allows presenters to commission and help fund new work from artists.

For presenters who want to help fund new Canadian dance performances or artists looking to get new projects off the ground, The Creation Fund is here to help.

“The CanDance Creation Fund commission was the keystone for our entire project. The network’s confidence in the project, the solid financial contribution, and above all the extraordinary benefit of full presentation in three cities, including in our home market, created an absolute paradigm shift for our organization.” 

–Peggy Baker, who we are in the dark

A Proud History of Inspiring New Work

CanDance plays a key role in fostering and creating new work by Canadian artists. The Creation Fund and the support from our presenters give artists opportunities to create provocative, personal new pieces that might not have found funding or touring possibilities. Here is a small sample of the work:

IN MY BODY, Yvon Soglo (Crazy Smooth) and Bboyizm (2021)

In My Body is an intergenerational exploration of a form of dance born on the streets of the Bronx. It shows respect for its heritage, and it is not only pushing the genre forward, but helping to redefine dance in Canada. 

Crazy Smooth says, “Hip Hop culture is only fifty years old, and unlike other established dance genres, the original creators of the movement are still dancing. The individual differences amongst genders, generations, cultural identities, limitations and rituals will expose the vulnerabilities we seek to mask  as we strive to be the mavericks the audience has come to expect.”

Bboyizm, In My Body, 2020-21 Large Scale Creation Fund, photo by Jerrick Collantes

MINOWIN, Dancers of Damelahamid (2019)

The Dancers of Damelahamid’s largest theatre production, Mînowin, balances movement, song, and new multimedia design to reflect on Indigenous identity, immersing audiences in a narrative that illustrates moments of connection, understanding, and renewal. It illuminates the process of finding direction and explores understandings of organic moments that arise when we connect with one another. These connections breathe new life into our artistic practices and offer critical inquiries with performance spaces. The Dancers of Damelahamid say, “With the support of this Creation Fund, the company gained access to resources, talents, and added capacity to follow my vision, realizing the vision and aim of Mînowin, particularly in breaking boundaries and reclaiming space as Indigenous artists.”

Dancers of Damelahamid, Mînowin, 2018-19 Small Scale Creation Fund, photo by Anna Springate Floch

WHO WE ARE IN THE DARK, Peggy Baker Dance Projects (2018) 

Choreographed by acclaimed Canadian dance artist Peggy Baker, who we are in the dark offered supercharged live music, and sophisticated design elements from artists working with pigment, projection, and light. 
Of the Creation Fund support, Baker says, “We have never before been able to work with such a large cast of dancers and musicians, such an extensive design team, support our production with a full technical team, or take a work on tour immediately after the premiere. Artistically, who we are in the dark achieved a level of richness and complexity that is far beyond anything else we have brought to the stage. Time, money, and multiple performances on tour worked their ‘magic’ just as one expects.”

Peggy Baker, Who we are in the Dark, 2017-18 Large Scale Creation Fund, photo by Jeremy Mimnagh

Questions and Answers about The Creation Fund

What is The Creation Fund?

The Creation Fund is a presenter-driven initiative in which a group of presenters (who are also CanDance members in good standing) may apply for matching funds to support a creator artist they would like to commission for a new work. 


How does a presenter initiate a new Creation Fund work?

At each CanDance meeting, time is allocated for presenters to discuss artists and projects they are eager to support. A CanDance member presenter or presenters can champion an artist’s work and seek CanDance partners to co-commission a new creation. 

How many presents are needed to fund a commission?

Generally, a Creation Fund commission needs a commitment from at least four presenters who agree to invest in the work in order to qualify for matching funds from the CanDance Network.

Must commissioning presenters commit to presenting the future piece?

Yes, the work must be presented in a future season. All the contributing presenters may work together in helping the artist develop a tour for the new creation.

Can any CanDance member present the final commission, even if they haven’t invested in the commission?

Yes. Not all CanDance members have the financial resources to commission new works. Oftentimes, CanDance members are interested in presenting the finished piece, whether or not they have invested in the commission.


Is there a form or process to follow for Creation Fund participation?

No. There is no form or standard process for artists to apply to the Creation Fund. As an artist, your best approach is to develop a professional relationship with a CanDance member who has supported your work (either through a past presentation or in conversation). Talk about your project and ask that presenter if they might take your initiative forward to the CanDance members.

List of past recipients –

2022-2023: Dancers of Damelahamid (large scale), Diana Lopez (small scale)

2021-2022: Catherine Gaudet (large scale), Le Patin Libre (large scale), and Shay Kuebler/Radical System Arts (small scale)

2020-2021: Crazy Smooth/Bboyizm (large scale) and Naishi Wang & Jean Abreu (small scale)

2019-2020: Guillaume Côté (large scale) and Anne Plamondon (small scale)

2018-2019: Kidd Pivot (large scale) and Dancers of Damelahamid (small scale) 

2017-2018: Peggy Baker Dance Projects (large scale) and Lara Kramer Danse (small scale)

2016-2017: Compagnie Virginie Brunelle (large scale) and Fortier Danse-Création (small scale)

2015-2016: Company 605: Vital Few (large scale) and Frédérick Gravel (small scale)

2014-2015: Daniel Léveillé Danse: Solitudes duo (large scale) and Out Innerspace: Major Motion Picture (small scale)

2013-2014: Fortier Danse-Creation: Misfit Blues (small scale) and Kidd Pivot: Betroffenheit (large scale)  

2012-2013: RUBBERBANDance Group: Empirical Quotient (small scale) and Le carré des lombes (Daniele Desnoyers): Paradoxe Melodie (large scale)

2011-2012: Wen Wei Dance: 7th Sense (small scale) and Van Grimde (Corps Secrets): The Body in Question (large scale)

2010-2011: Dana Gingras (Animals of Distinction): Heart as Arena (small scale) and Aszure Barton & Artists: Awaa (large scale)

2009-2010: Ame Henderson: Relay, and Louise Lecavalier: Children & A Few Minutes of Lock, and Byron Chief Moon: Essence of Life

2008-2009: Jose Navas (Compagnie Flak): S, and Denise Fujiwara: Lost and Found

2007-2008: Montréal Danse Commissions Sarah Chase: On the Ice of Labrador and Matjash Mrozewski: Break Open Play

2006-2007: Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg: Nick & Juanita, and Martin Bélanger: Grand Unified Theory, and Pierre Paul Savoie Danse: Diasporama

2005-2006: George Stamos and Crystal Pite (Kidd Pivot): Lost Action

2004-2005: Wen Wei Dance: Unbound

2003-2004: Natasha Bakht commissions Shobana Jeyasingh: Triptych Self

2002-2003: Daniel Léveillé Danse: The Modesty of Icebergs

2001-2002: Lola MacLaughlin (Lola Dance)

1999-2000: The Holy Body Tattoo, Deborah Dunn, Coleman/Lemieux, and Peggy Baker commissions Paul-André Fortier

1998-1999: David Pressault, Roger Sinha, and José Navas

1997-1998: Gwen Noah, Andrew Olewine, and Tedi Tafel

1996-1997: The Holy Body Tattoo, Pierre-Paul Savoie Danse, and Julia Sasso

1995-1996: José Navas, Lee Su-Feh, and Roger Sinha

1994-1995: Deborah Brown, Tedd Robinson, Deepti Gupta, Kokoro Dance, and Yvonne Coutts

Photo credits: Top banner (Bringing Presenters and Creators Together) – Paul-André Fortier and Robin Poitras, Misfit Blues, 2013-14 Small Scale Creation Fund, photo by Xavier Curnillon. Middle Banner (Questions and Answers about the Creation Fund) – Peggy Baker, Who we are in the Dark, 2017-18 Large Scale Creation Fund, photo by Jeremy Mimnagh. Bottom cover image (List of past recipients) – RUBBERBANDance, Empirical Quotient, Small Scale Creation Fund 2012-13, photo by Tim Forbes.