(Ottawa – May 6, 2017) – On May 13, teenage girls with ties to countries around the world – from Afghanistan, Bosnia, China, Costa Rica, Denmark and Germany, to Iraq, India, Ireland, Liberia, Pakistan, North and South Sudan, Liberia, Somalia and Yemen – are taking over Bayshore Mall to celebrate what it means to be Canadian through the universal language of dance.

The project, Celebrating Canada through Diversity and Dance, is a collaboration between the Dandelion Dance™ Performance Company and girls from all over Ottawa West, most of whom are new Canadians. Since early April, this group of girls has been working together to create a live dance performance that will capture both the joys and challenges of being a young Canadian woman in 2017.

“This is such an amazing group,” says Kelsey Walsh, the Director of the Dandelion Dance™ Performance Company. “Young women are not often seen to be leaders – and those who are new Canadians, even less so. Our performances on May 13th will highlight the voices and potential of young Canadian women from all parts of the world, who are now proud to call Ottawa home and to contribute to celebrations in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday. We are looking forward to engaging the crowd at Bayshore!”

A fifteen year old participant named Maha shares, “I love everything about the workshops. Everyone is very friendly and supportive … I never thought I would dance, but now here I am! The environment of the workshops is really friendly and open-minded. I enjoy being part of it.”

Celebrating Canada through Diversity and Dance is part of AOE Arts Council’s NEIGHBOURHOOD ARTS 150, Celebrating Ottawa’s Communities/ L’ART DES QUARTIERS 150, célébrons les collectivités d’Ottawa an official Canada 150 and Ontario 150 community-engaged arts project. Neighbourhood Arts 150/L’ART DES QUARTIERS 150 is bringing twelve of Ottawa’s most inspiring professional artists and arts groups together with neighbourhoods from all corners of Ottawa to celebrate their communities and express what it means to be Canadian. Ottawans can participate in free arts experiences, from April to October in over 20 communities outside the downtown core. Local youth, seniors, families, newcomers, BIAs, community associations and more are taking part in artist-led activities including everything from dance, theatre, art installations, sculptures, storytelling, puppetry, murals and more in non-traditional venues.

Celebrating Canada through Diversity and Dance

May 13th, 11am and 2pm
Live Performance taking place at Bayshore Mall – 1st Floor, 100 Bayshore Drive
Coffee (generously provided by Bridgehead) and refreshments will be available

*Participants in this project are available for interviews upon request.

Neighbourhood Arts Council 150

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