Every year during the first week of May, hundreds of Canadian dancers descend upon Prince Rupert, BC for one of the most unique dance competitions in the country. The BC Annual Dance Competition has been luring bright young talent to its stage for over 20 years with its commitment to promoting the performing arts, the opportunity to walk away with some of the largest cash prizes in Canada, and now chances to travel to other competitions across the country and around the world.
Founded by Teresa Mackereth, the competition began as a 3 day festival with $11,000 and grew into a week long competition awarding over $50,000 in cash prizes and scholarships and has been recognized around the world with the inception of the Canadian Dancer of the Year Award, an event that has sent one junior and one senior competitor to Australia and the United States in the past.
What makes this competition even more special is that it is entirely run by volunteers and donations, mostly from the small community itself. The non-profit organization, Jazz Productions Association, works year round to raise money and recruit volunteers. They and the community also do their best to keep costs down for the dancers by being able to offer things like great rates at local hotels and reasonable prices at concession stands for dancers too busy to get out of the building all day.
Aside from the cash prizes, several dance schools that support the competition award scholarships that give dancers a great opportunity to experience different styles and techniques from around the country. Some scholarships include 1 week and longer, all-expense paid visits to Triple Threat and Harbor Dance in Vancouver, Enchainement in Prince George and Sean Cheesman’s Dance Camp.
With a state of the art theater, highly qualified adjudicators from Canada, the United States and around the world, and the opportunity to walk away with some of the largest cash prizes awarded in North America, dancers should strongly consider adding a trip to the BC Annual Dance Competition to their calendar.