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Two dancers using sheets as props in their dance

Social services

Opening opportunities in the arts for people living with disabilities

Sep 7, 2021

(Above) PHOTO BY ERIKA FERRARIN

Dance organisations across Canada have identified a significant gap in their knowledge and capacity to integrate digital platforms and new technologies that are accessible for artists with disabilities. Propeller Dance, a national leader in integrated dance and disability arts programming, is committed to helping remove obstacles to participation in safe new ways. 

Through a $30,000 national grant from the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation, Propeller Dance is setting out to build a pan-Canadian dance and disability digital network to allow individuals with physical and developmental disabilities, mental illness and youth from underrepresented communities to actively engage in integrated dance programming. By conducting online presentations and socially distanced experimentation in dance labs, they will research, test and discover new technologies to implement alongside in-person training that can be accessible for everyone. 

Propeller Dance intends to share the project’s findings widely among the disability arts community to help scale their work and integrate it into other disability art forms. The TELUS Friendly Future Foundation is excited to help Propeller Dance and their partners level the playing field for young artists with disabilities to pursue their passions.

The networking opportunities between our creative partners and technology experts is fostering a sense of ‘we are all in this new learning together’ and it is sparking new creative ideas. Another wonderful outcome is the leadership roles that artists and suppliers with disabilities are taking on in this project, both as participants, but also as committee members and workshop presenters.

Shara Weaver, Artistic Co-Director, Propeller Dance