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THE SCOOP | Toronto Dance Company To Shut Down Permanently Due To COVID-19

By Michael Vincent on November 13, 2020


• The closure will mark the end of Dancemaker’s 46-year history.

Dancemakers, one of Canada’s oldest dance companies, has announced they will end all artistic and operations activity, effective July 31, 2021.

“As with many arts organizations across the country, the global pandemic directly impacted Dancemakers’ capacity to deliver its 2020 artistic programming and its financial revenue sources,” said Board Chair Louis-Michel Taillefer. “Combining these losses with the burden of our ever-increasing studio rental costs, we have regretfully come to the decision to shut our doors at the end of this current fiscal year.”

Located in the Artscape building of Toronto’s Distillery District, the organization has stated that occupancy costs have been increasing by nearly 10% annually, making operations unsustainable. As of 2019-20, occupancy costs amounted to 36% of Dancemakers operating revenue.

“As Dancemakers’ studios are a central component of the arts infrastructure for Toronto’s performing arts community, we are fully aware and disappointed that, by shutting down, this will negatively impact affordable studio rental opportunities for the local dance and arts community,” Taillefer said.

The Board has appointed dance artist and choreographer Natasha Powell to lead the company through its final season of Resident Artist and Guest Artist Programming.

Dancemakers’ will shut down in two stages. The first will be the cancellation of the Baker Studio and Office leases, effective December 31, 2020. The second stage is the cancellation of the Theatre Studio lease, effective July 31, 2021. While open, both the Baker and Theatre Studios will house programming and other events; after the office closure, Dancemakers’ staff will work remotely.


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Michael Vincent
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