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April 05, 2017

Dance Intensive: Creative Spark Vancouver

Creative Spark Vancouver and Emerging Artist Justine Fraser

Justine Fraser of Reforming Art Productions recently presented a five-day dance training intensive for teens. This opportunity was made possible through a Creative Spark Vancouver grant, funded by the City of Vancouver and disbursed by ArtStarts. Justine shares her thoughts on how this experience has allowed her to grow her confidence and skills as an emerging artist.

The next deadline to apply for Creative Spark Vancouver grants is April 21, 2017. Read on below for more information.


Hi Justine! Can you tell us a bit about your project?

My project was a five-day dance training intensive, aimed towards artistic youth aged 14-19. My vision for this project was to provide youth with an authentic dance company experience, while offering them high-caliber dance training and the unique opportunity to be mentored by Vancouver's current generation of emerging artists.

Who participated in this project? Why did you choose to work with this age group and community?

This project was aimed towards local dance students aged 14-19. The week was designed to give serious dance students an authentic dance company experience. I chose to work with this age group because in just a few short months some of them will be entering the local dance community as graduated dance students. My goal was to use this program as an opportunity to bridge the current professional dance community to the future generation of local dance artists. Through professional mentorship, Q&A sessions and creative process work, attending students were able to create relationships with current emerging artists, to help them transition into the local community.

What motivated you to apply for a Creative Spark Vancouver grant?

When I learned about the Creative Spark Vancouver grant, I was very excited! As a young, emerging artist, I felt I had a great idea, but lacked both the courage and the financial means to bring my vision to life. As a young teacher, I have always felt drawn towards mentoring the next generation of dance artists. I really resonated with the goals of the Creative Spark Vancouver grant, and felt that having recently been a graduated dance student myself, I had something unique to offer this generation of dance students. Applying for this grant gave me hope that my artistic voice could be heard by the local Vancouver dance community, and that both my vision and passion for further developing young artists could be shared with Vancouver's future generation of professional dancers.

How has this project impacted you personally as an emerging artist?

Running this project has taught me that I have something valuable to contribute to this community. It has been incredibly inspiring to witness an idea come to life, and has shown me that with a lot of hard work anything is possible. As primarily a performance dancer, this experience has shown me that there is so much more to a career in dance than just dancing. Through this journey, with each overcome obstacle, I have been further developed as a mentor, creator, performer, educator and mover. It has taught me the importance of contribution within a community, and has reminded me about the significance in recognizing that everyone has something unique and valuable to offer. Moving forward from this experience, I look forward to continuing to challenge myself as an artist by further developing this program to offer the best opportunities for youth to explore their individuality, connect with the local art community and develop themselves as the future generation of Vancouver's professional dance artists.

Thanks, Justine!

April 21, 2017 is the next deadline to apply for Creative Spark Vancouver grants! Grants of up to $2,000 are available for emerging artists of any age in any artistic discipline who are residents of the City of Vancouver, or residents and members of the Musqueam, Squamish or Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. Learn more and apply today at

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