Mary Louise Albert, Artistic & Executive Director
445 2nd Street
The BC Movement Arts Society (BCMAS) is a not for profit professional dance organization founded in June 2015 and based in Sointula, Malcolm Island - located within the unceded Kwakwaka’wakw territories of the ‘Namgis, Kwakiutl, and Mamalilikala Nations. BCMAS brings rural and urban together by presenting professional local, national and international contemporary dance performances, residencies and associated outreach activities in tandem with the dance artists presented to enhance community and artist engagement in culturally underserved areas of British Columbia. We are one of the few professional dance organizations based in and serving rural and remote underserved communities. We recognize the importance of an inclusive environment and follow best practices in its ongoing management and organizational development. Led by a professional seasoned dance artist, festival director and arts manager (Mary- Louise Albert) as well as a professional artistic associate (dancer/choreographer Rebecca Margolick), the team includes Artistic Cultural Advisor (Andrea Cranmer, ‘Namgis Cultural and Spiritual Leader), Community Advisor (Annemarie Koch), Programming Advisor (dancer/choreographer Livona Ellis) and a Board of Directors versed in professional, pre professional and educational dance, financial management and business operations: (Artemis Gordon, Pamela Rosa, Dr. Michael Margolick, Laurie Rowan and Brenda Jamar)
BCMAS is establishing a yearly contemporary dance series throughout the year (6 presentations: March – December) In dance, we believe there is no substitute for live performance. Small rural cities and coastal communities are largely deprived of this opportunity and it is very expensive for people living in these areas to travel to urban centres such as Victoria and Metro Vancouver to see performances as it incurs costs relating to overnight stays and taking time off work.
This presentation series moving forward will include for each artist/company presented in addition to our home base of Malcolm Island, shows in neighbouring Port McNeil (at the GateHouse Theatre) and the ‘Namgis Nation/Alert Bay (in the Laurence Ambers Recreation Center). This ensures that audience from the North Island Region that includes (in addition to Malcolm Island, Cormorant Island and Port McNeill) places such as Port Alice, Woss, Port Hardy, Sayward and Campbell River, can attend and not have to rely on taking a ferry schedule. We plan in the future to have presentations in other rural areas of British Columbia.
Upcoming presentations in 2020/2021 include: Cantenary – a multi-disciplinary full-length dance work performed and created by violinist Hanna Epperson and dancer/choreographer Rebecca Margolick with additional sound score by Maxx Berkowitz; A BC Arts Council funded creation, public presentation and filming of a professional and community collaborative
dance with text centering on the struggles and strengths of historical area women in the early 1900’s; Work in Progress presentation of new work by Serge Bennathan; Dance Series – March 2021 to December 2021;
ACTIVITIES TO DATE: To date BCMAS has presented professional performances (often in partnership), artist residencies and workshops/outreach in the North Island Region (and in Well’s BC in partnership with Mountain Island Arts).
Presented Donald Sales’s full length work ‘gReeN’ and a solo dance by Sidra Bell (engaged in community outreach through workshops and artistic sharing with the T’sasala Cultural Group and had an artist residency) – partner: Chutzpah! Festival
Co-presented with the Chutzpah! Festival the T’sasala Cultural Group in Vancouver where they performed in two local schools and at the Jewish Community Centre.
Presented Shay Kuebler Radical System Art – excerpts of ‘Glory’ and a new work (engaged in community outreach through workshops and artistic sharing with the T’sasala Cultural Group and had an artist residency) – partner: Chutzpah! Festival.
Presented Birds Sing a Pretty Song by Rebecca Margolick and Maxx Berkowitz and a dance/music work with David Essig, Margolick and Chuck Wilt.
Presented Allen Kaeja and Rebecca Margolick in solo dance works by both artists and dance films by Allen Kaeja with outreach by way of community dance workshops and a solo show by Margolick at the North Island Secondary School.
Artist residency for Tedd Robinson and Vanessa Goodman with outreach by way of community dance workshops.
Presented in partnership with the 2019 Chutzpah! Festival a New York City based 8-member dance company UNA Productions in their Canadian premiere of their full-length work Coloring in two performances in Sointula and one performance in the ‘Namgis Nation. We have been gaining important presenting experience and a significant amount of dance activity, often through partnerships, over the past three years. Some of our past activities were developed and executed while Mary-Louise Albert was also the Artistic Managing Director of the international performing arts festival Chutzpah! which she has now left after 15 years. Albert has over 35 years as a professional dance artist, presenter/curator, lives in Sointula and understands the multi-faceted aspects of professional dance presentation and the contemporary dance milieu. A New organization, we will sustain and grow our activities by learning and acting on the findings of a proposed market analysis; continuing to grow local, national and international partnerships, engaging and developing the careers of diverse dance artists and exploring and meeting the needs of remote rural audiences.