East Side Dance Festival 2021

Jun. 14, 2021

“Hard times require furious dancing”

East Side Dance Festival Overcomes COVID-19 difficulties to provide students with online performances opportunities

The East Side Dance Festival is hosted by seven schools from the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) and the Calgary Catholic School District (CCSD). The high schools involved are James Fowler, Nelson Mandela, Father Lacombe, St. Francis, Forest Lawn, St. Martin De Porres, and Notre Dame. The festival received a generous grant from Calgary Arts Development Association this year (CADA).

Instead of hosting a live, in person dance festival this year, the East Side Dance Festival Society has created a dance film featuring high school programs from the CBE and CCSD.

Shot and directed by local award winning artist Arran Brownlee, the film explores students’ experiences during the school closures, human rights violations, protests, the global pandemic and showcases their resilience and love of dance despite facing a difficult school year filled with obstacles and uncertainty.

The East Side Dance Festival Society is releasing the film to the general public at the Containr Art Park in partnership with Springboard Dance Studios on Friday, June 18 from 7 – 10 p.m. and Saturday, June 19 from 2 – 10 p.m. Learn more. Admission is by donation and all proceeds go directly to facilitate student programming for the 2021-22 festival.

At the opening of the festival, $1,000 in scholarships will be awarded to deserving CBE and CCSD students who hope to pursue their interest and develop their ability in dance after high school.

We ultimately hope to provide students who would not otherwise have performance opportunities the chance to showcase their incredible talent, to promote the importance of dance as an artistic, expressive and physical discipline in schools and to grow membership as we return to an in-person performance at our festival next year. We hope that members of our CBE community will join us to celebrate our students’ success and view their beautiful work.

For inquiries please contact Kelsey McMahon at kkmcmahon@cbe.ab.ca.