Established in 1986 as a resource centre for the dance profession and the public in British Columbia, today The Dance is a multifaceted organization offering a range of activities unparalleled in Canadian dance. The Dance Centre:
- devises programs and presents public events;
- operates Scotiabank Dance Centre, Canada's flagship dance facility;
- promotes BC dance; and
- provides resources and services for the dance profession.
Programs include Artist-in-Residence, where a choreographer undertakes creation, performance and outreach; DanceLab, where choreographers collaborate with professionals from other arts disciplines; and Discover Dance!, an accessible monthly noon hour event. Dance In Vancouver is a biennial showcase of BC's contemporary dance scene, attended both by the public and presenters of dance from around the world. Other activities include the annual Isadora Awards recognizing artistic achievement, the biennial Iris Garland Emerging Choreographer Award, collaborations with other festivals and events, and free annual International Dance Day (April 29) and Open House (September) events.
For over two decades The Dance Centre spearheaded the drive to create a home for BC's dance community. Today it operates Scotiabank Dance Centre, a state-of-the-art facility which opened in 2001 in downtown Vancouver, on a site donated by its title sponsor. The building has become a hub for dance activity, housing The Dance Centre's programs, as well as rehearsals, classes, performances and events by artists and companies from Vancouver and beyond.
The Dance Centre is the primary source for information about dance in BC, providing information on performances, classes and companies. It also promotes BC dance internationally, producing information for presenters and promoters around the world.
The Dance Centre also supports the profession through a range of services: information, support and networking; training; consultations; and Dance Central, a bimonthly publication. Video facilities Including access to equipment and an editing suite at affordable rates, and Western Canada's most extensive dance video library.