Funding shortfall suspends Canada Dance Festival 2018

The May 2018 edition of the annual Canada Dance Festival has been suspended because of a funding shortfall.

The decision was taken by the festival’s board of directors and made public Wednesday in a media release. The release also indicated that the board was “hopeful the festival will return.”

The release said, “The Board opted to press pause on next year’s festival in order to explore alternate funding options after a series of grants did not come through.”

Board chair Denis Walz said in the same release that “the decision to suspend the 2018 edition was not an easy one. The CDF is a significant player on the Canadian dance landscape. Many artists and people across our country love and depend on this festival. We now have the opportunity to consult with key stakeholders to determine how best to generate stable and predictable funding. Our hope is that, with a renewed vision, the festival can thrive in the future.”

The release said the CDF has experienced “an unexpected loss of funding in the past two fiscal years.” The result has been a cash flow crunch making meeting ongoing operational commitments difficult.

The release said that the CDF has been successful artistically and financially over the years alternating between large and small spring festivals. Despite that the festival has had trouble finding sustainable and predictable funding.

The festival is 30 years old. It is held each year in Ottawa in co-operation with the National Arts Centre. In that time the festival has commissioned more than 95 works.

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Peter Robb began his connection with the arts community in Ottawa in the mid-1980s when he was the administrator and public relations director of the Great Canadian Theatre Company. After a long career in journalism with the Ottawa Citizen where he served in a number of different posts he returned to the arts when he became the Citizen's arts editor.