Dance project celebrates 150th anniversary of Canada's conferences

Journal Pioneer staff
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CHARLOTTETOWN – Eleven dance students from the Holland College School of Performing Arts, a partnership with Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown, are in Quebec City this week to begin an educational and cultural exchange project that will help commemorate the 150th anniversary of Canada’s founding conferences.

These dance students from the Holland College School of Performing Arts are in Quebec City for an educational and cultural exchange project that will help commemorate the 150th anniversary of Canada’s founding conferences.

The students will be participating in MMD2014: March/Memory/Dance, a project funded by the Government of Canada in recognition of the historical significance of the 1864 Charlottetown and Quebec Conferences in the creation of Canada.

“As we look confidently to the future, we draw great strength from our past,” said Shelly Glover, minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages. “Providing an opportunity for youth to learn more about Canada and create a unique personal vision within their art is a great way to showcase this momentous milestone in our history.”

MMD2014: March/Memory/Dance will be performed on Great George Street in Charlottetown on Aug. 30 at the beginning of Founders Week when seven tall ships are visiting Charlottetown. The dance will be performed again in Quebec City on Sept. 6, when the same tall ships arrive in Quebec City.

The students from Holland College School of Performing Arts are spending five days learning and rehearsing the newly created MMD2014: March/Memory/Dance with 10 dance students from the École de danse de Québec, and eight professional dancers, under the direction of Quebec choreographer Harold Rhéaume. Instructors from both schools will participate in the sessions and will continue rehearsals at their schools in the respective cities. MMD 2014: March/Memory/Dance is a new creation inspired by Rhéaume’s “Je Me Souviens,” presented by Rhéaume’s company, le fils d’Adrien danse, in Quebec City in 2011 and 2012.

“It is very fitting that the MMD2014 -March/Memory/Dance will take place during Founders Week,” says executive director of P.E.I. 2014, Penny Walsh McGuire. “Like the delegates of the 1864 Charlottetown Conference 150 years ago, this is an inspiring collaboration between people from various parts of the country who are coming together to realize a shared vision.”

MMD2014: March/Memory/Dance is the result of a unique collaboration on several levels: between the sponsoring organizations ­– P.E.I. 2014 and Rendez-vous Naval de Quebec; between two dance schools – Holland College School of Performing Arts, an English speaking school, and École de danse de Québec, a French-speaking school; and finally between student and professional dancers.

“This collaborative project is an ideal way to celebrate and commemorate the 150th anniversary of the 1864 Charlottetown Conference and Quebec Conference, especially as we approach Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017,” says Jacques Beauchesne, CEO of Rendez-vous Naval de Québec.

In 2014, Canadians will mark the 150th anniversary of the historic 1864 Charlottetown Conference, which led to the creation of Canada. P.E.I. 2014 Inc. is facilitating the planning, promotion and implementation of the Sesquicentennial celebrations. The year-long and provincewide P.E.I. 2014 program of events are designed to honour the past, celebrate the present and plan a bold tomorrow.

Organizations: Holland College School of Performing Arts, Canadian Heritage

Geographic location: Canada, Charlottetown, Quebec City Great George Street

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  • robert dennis
    March 04, 2014 - 21:57

    Hello, I am bringing my 6 grandkids to Charlotte via a cruise ship on August 6th. We will have all day in town and I would love to have them experience the dance and culture of the area. Any ideas that you might have would be wonderful. Two of our kids are serious ballet students. thank you.