News & Updates


June 24, 2022



CanAsian Dance recently celebrated 25 years as an organization dedicated to supporting, developing and presenting choreographic works from artists working with/in Asian concepts, aesthetic practices and identity explorations. The organization has been led and evolved by the skill, wisdom, heart, integrity, curiosity and artistry of our co-founder Denise Fujiwara. As Denise transitions from her Artistic Director role, she leaves the organization with an impressive history of artistic accomplishments as well as stabilized relationships and resources. In the coming year, Ariana Shaw will continue supporting the organization with finely honed leadership skills, sectoral knowledge, strategic planning and collaborative vision as our Managing Director. 


As we move forward we are taking the time to deeply consider our relationship to artists, audiences, communities and ecologies locally, nationally and internationally. The experience of the past two years has, and will, continue to deeply affect the cultural sector. It brought many long standing societal and sectoral conversations to the forefront. We wish to honour this as a fertile place of incubation and growth. 


To facilitate this, the organization is taking a transition year to engage in spaces of imagination, deep conversation and professional consultation. This process will be both formal and informal, involving artists, funders, stakeholders and audiences. We desire to examine our contributions, our relationships to the communities of practice we serve and to learn further about communities we are not reaching. This will help us create an informed, relational and responsive path forward.  It will inform us of possibilities for what leadership roles and structures can look like for CanAsian Dance. We desire to continue learning through generous and generative artistic spaces to further support artistic development and discourse as we look toward the future. If you’re interested in participating in this process, please stay tuned for invitations in your inbox and on social media.


For this year we will invigorate our programming through the exciting engagement of Artistic Associates who will shepherd the artistic programming already planned and in-process. We are honoured to welcome Gitanjali Kolanad as our first Artistic Associate for CanAsian Dance’s Kickstart program and festival. Gitanjali brings 5 decades of professional practice as a performer, choreographer, writer, kalaripayattu practitioner and teacher spanning across North America, Europe, and India. Furthermore, we are announcing a public call for another Artistic Associate who will bring forth an additional CanAsian Dance program


We are proud of the work and impact of CanAsian Dance over the past quarter century and equally excited and optimistic about the future. This transition year is about learning how CanAsian Dance can evolve, grow, and be in conversations that deepen relationships in order to continue cultivating a multiplicity of aesthetics and experimentation for artists and audiences. 



CanAsian Dance Board & Staff

     Coman Poon, Board President

     David Norsworthy, Treasurer and Secretary

     Brandy Leary, Board Member

     Ariana Shaw, Managing Director


Older News November 19, 2021 ​ CANASIAN DANCE ANNOUNCES NEW TD SPONSORSHIP! ​ Toronto, ON – CanAsian Dance is thrilled to announce that TD Bank Group is now the exclusive Diamond Sponsor of the CanAsian Dance Festival 25!  TD has generously donated $10,000.00 in support of the New Moves: Short Digital Dance Works aspect of CanAsian Dance Festival 25!  This program will invest in three outstanding and talented artists creating work that integrates an Asian idea or practice.  TD funding will directly support these emerging choreographers with their dance research and creation, provide dramaturgy, promotion, and support the presentation of their new dance films. CanAsian Dance sincerely thanks TD for choosing to work with us.  Their support for the New Moves program means increased artist capacity and greater impact for our community!  CanAsian Dance Ariana Shaw, General Manager  Denise Fujiwara, Artistic Director ____________________________________________________________________ ​ ​ July 13, 2021 ​ CANASIAN DANCE ANNOUNCES NEW GENERAL MANAGER   Toronto, ON - Following a lengthy search and thorough recruitment process, CanAsian Dance is pleased to announce our new General Manager: Ariana Shaw. Ariana comes to CanAsian Dance with a strong background in programming and producing, with previous roles at TO Live (the organization that manages Meridian Hall, Meridian Arts Centre, and St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts), the International Market of Contemporary Circus, and Fall for Dance North Festival. She also has had extensive experience as a circus creative and coach. We are excited for her to bring her knowledge and passion for the performing arts and arts management to CanAsian Dance. Artistic Director, Denise Fujiwara and the CanAsian Dance Board of Directors extend a warm welcome to Ariana and look forward to supporting her work and success as the new General Manager. "The Board of CanAsian Dance is excited and honoured to welcome Ariana as our new General Manager. She is a dedicated and impeccable organizer and producer with the complementary mix of creative, cultural and business acumen that we are seeking as we head into our 25th year. I look forward to working with her as we embark on envisioning and planning for what the start of our next quarter century looks and feels like." says Board President Coman Poon. CanAsian Dance will continue to create opportunities for artistic development by commissioning choreography and performances from artists investigating Asian ideas and practices.  Along with a planned visioning and strategic planning process, the Board of Directors has begun its recruitment of new Board members who will continue to champion this new vision for CanAsian Dance along with its staff. CanAsian Dance  Denise Fujiwara, Artistic Director Coman Poon, President, Board of Directors David Norsworthy, Treasurer, Board of Directors David Gonzales, Secretary, Board of Directors ​ ​ ____________________________________________________________________ ​ ​ March 3, 2021 ​ CANASIAN DANCE UNDERGOING A MANAGEMENT TRANSITION Toronto, ON - Following a remarkable era in the evolution of CanAsian Dance, Adina Herling will step down from the position of General Manager on June 30, 2021. Over the past 20 years, Adina has produced CanAsian Dance’s events including 11 CanAsian International Dance Festivals, 4 KickStart Festivals and will launch our newest project, GRIT: Short Dances in May 2021.  She has managed projects that have seen the commissioning of 32 international, national and Ontario-based choreographers. “I am deeply grateful for my long partnership with Adina. I have witnessed Adina’s remarkable skill in managing the organization and producing the events that touched the lives of so many dance artists and members of the public.” says Artistic Director Denise Fujiwara The Board of Directors of CanAsian Dance thanks Adina for her commitment to the development of the organization and wishes her the best in her continuing endeavours. CanAsian Dance will continue its work of supporting artistic development by commissioning performances by artists seeking to create dance that investigates Asian ideas and practices.  Along with a planned visioning and strategic planning process, the Board of Directors has begun its recruitment of a new General Manager who will work to realize programming for CanAsian Dance’s 25th anniversary in 2022 amongst other exciting initiatives. CanAsian Dance  Denise Fujiwara, Artistic Director Coman Poon, President, Board of Directors David Norsworthy, Treasurer, Board of Directors David Gonzales, Secretary, Board of Directors

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