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News & Updates


December 19, 2023

WE ARE HIRING! Read our latest news

At CanAsian Dance, we're capping off a year of change with some of our biggest developments yet. Most importantly, we're hiring! In 2024, as we begin to implement co-leadership approaches, CanAsian Dance will be led by a Curatorial Committee comprising an Artistic Lead, a General Manager, and three Curatorial Committee Members.

As well as hiring, we're planning our transition to co-leadership—and we're seeking new board members to join us. Read on for these and other news items.

We're hiring: Artistic Lead and General Manager


CanAsian Dance is seeking an Artistic Lead and a General Manager. Successful candidates will contribute to a historic time for the organization, as we implement co-leadership approaches to our work and sharpen the activist dimension of our role.

We are accepting individual applications for each role or alternatively, joint applications from duos who are applying for both roles. Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis, and will close by end of day, Friday January 26, 2024.

For queries and to request accommodations during the hiring process, please contact

Read full job listings here

We're planning: Our transition to co-leadership


What’s co-leadership and what might it look like for CanAsian Dance? 

Earlier this year, we engaged two consultants to answer this question, among others. They consulted with dance community members, including our core contributors. We recently released their final report.

As we begin implementing the report’s recommendations, here are some things we’re keeping in mind.

For CanAsian Dance, co-leadership is not "how many people"; it's "how we want to work." Co-leadership is a methodology outside of singular leader models. In the arts, it bridges administrative and artistic structures.

Transitioning to co-leadership is also a long game. To realize this transition under conducive and compassionate conditions, the organization needs the right resources. We'll honour the wisdom in the consultants' report by realizing its recommendations over time, as we gather these resources.

Heading into 2024, CanAsian Dance is seeking new staff. We're currently hiring for the two positions of Artistic Lead and General Manager. We anticipate that we'll call for further curatorial committee members in the spring. We're also seeking board members. Together, staff and board will incrementally transition CanAsian Dance to co-leadership.

In embarking on this transition, we want CanAsian Dance to have a long life—and to lead with empathy and radicality.

We're seeking: CanAsian Dance board members


Want to join the CanAsian Dance board as the organization transitions to working within a co-leadership structure? With our incoming leadership staff and existing board members, you’ll co-create our strategic directions and shape our evolving role. 

We welcome all enquiries. We're also especially interested to hear from you if: 

  • you have expertise in the dance sector, human resources, fundraising, strategic planning, and/or finance

  • you have past experience engaging with CanAsian Dance (e.g., as a collaborator or program participant) 

  • you're a member of any Asian communities and/or a practitioner of Asian dance forms that we’ve yet to strongly engage with. 


For queries and applications, contact To apply, please submit your CV, along with a cover letter (max. one page) about your interest in the role and in CanAsian Dance. Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis, and will close by end of day, Wednesday January 31, 2024.

We're appreciating: Coman Poon and Ariana Shaw


As we start the next stage of the CanAsian Dance story, we’re profoundly grateful to Coman Poon and Ariana Shaw. Our now former board president, Coman joined the board in January 2016. Ariana, our outgoing Managing Director, became General Manager in June 2021. 

Coman and Ariana have steered CanAsian Dance during a testing time. They’ve led our response to the departure of founding Artistic Director Denise Fujiwara. They also ensured the organization's survival during the early stages of the pandemic.

All of this required an incredible amount of work. What's more, Coman and Ariana did this work while juggling other arts jobs and commitments—as is so often the case in the arts sector.

During this often tiring time, Coman and Ariana went above and beyond to help guide CanAsian Dance in shifting to co-leadership, whilst maintaining the stability of the organization.

Coman and Ariana, thank you for giving your time and talent. We wish you all the best in the next stages of your stories. 

January 30, 2024—CanAsian Dance will feature in a Creative Champions Network event

Creative Champions Network helps arts board members to learn about good governance. Its case-based learning series highlights selected Toronto arts organizations. 

Join us on January 30 when CanAsian Dance features as one of the case studies. You’ll learn about our ongoing transition to co-leadership. And you’ll be better prepared to navigate challenges at your own organization.

Tuesday January 30, 2024
5:30 PM to 7:30 PM EST
Adaptavist Offices, 4th Floor
45 Front St E, Toronto, ON
Attendance is free

Register here


September 5, 2022

TEDD ROBINSON, 1952-2022


We mourn the passing of Tedd Robinson with heavy hearts.  He brought to CanAsian; dances, teaching, and mentorship imbued with his practice of dance both as a choreographer and as a Zen monk.  His work had the quality of Zen koans; mysterious, profound, droll and skillful. 

He was loved and will be deeply missed. 

– Denise Fujiwara, Artistic Director Emerita



August 24, 2022



CanAsian Dance has decided on a path forward by bringing two Artistic Associates to pilot To Be Danced (TBD), an artistic (creation and curation) experiment that offers an intimate cohort an open-ended, critically rigourous and care-centred co-learning and co-mentoring opportunity. This begins with the appointment of both Mayumi Lashbrook and Michael Caldwell to be our inaugural Co-Artistic Associates for TBD. This proposal seeks a generative environment that seeds CanAsian’s commitment to exploring alternative models of cultivating artistic thought, process and action. In addition to the two Artistic Associates, there will be a public call-to-artists to join Mayumi and Michael in a co-curatorial and works-in-development process that is seeking alternative structures for the field.

This combination of two Artistic Associates will enhance the experience of the artists selected and enable an exchange of the Artistic Associates’ distinct, ov
erlapping and complementary capacities.
The Artistic Associates bring expertise in community outreach and engagement, critical exchange, lived understanding of ecosystemic pressures and imbalances, knowledge and skills for rigourous thinking, as well as curatorial and development practices for artistic works. Their candidacy allows CanAsian Dance to support emergent processes not only for artists but also for curators interested in exploring shared and collective models.



CanAsian Dance Board & Staff
     Coman Poon, Board President
     Brandy Leary, Board Member
     David Norsworthy, Treasurer and Secretary
     Ariana Shaw, Managing Director


Older News June 24, 2022 CANASIAN DANCE ANNOUNCES A YEAR OF CHANGE ​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.  Sincerely,  CanAsian Dance Board & Staff Coman Poon, Board President David Norsworthy, Treasurer and Secretary Brandy Leary, Board Member Ariana Shaw, Managing Director ____________________________________________________________________ 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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