photo by Aria Evans
In our pilot year Dreamwalker Dance Company partnered with City of Toronto Newcomer Office, Working Women Community Centre, St. Stephen's Community House and DanceWorks to offer an extensive series of movement-based workshops to Newcomers, Immigrants, Youth, City staff, and Newcomer service providers. The intent of these workshops was to provide participants with a resonant experience of Canadian values and to introduce embodied activities designed to create positive experiences and a general sense of welcome in a community context.
From June 2018 to May 2019, Dreamwalker mentored and trained 9 diverse, local dance artists (ranging in ages from 20 years old to 60 years old) and 20 Newcomer Welcome Project Ambassadors (ages 16 to 70) to facilitate workshop experiences with over 600 Newcomers and 60 TDSB students (approximately 30 different classes). Each class participated in 3 workshops, and the project culminated in 3 distinct Public Action events: at Royal Ontario Museum April 15, 2019; at Godstone Park June 27, 2019; and at Nathan Phillips Square for Toronto Newcomer Day on May 16, 2019.
Through these workshops Nann introduced powerful physical tools to break down barriers and create experiences of inclusion and acceptance, increasing self-confidence and providing lived experiences of Canadian values: celebration of diversity, mutual respect and freedom of self-expression.