Sylvie Bouchard. Photo: Aurélien Muller.

July 27, 2022. Jennifer Bennett Darbyshire and Robert Binet, Co-Chairs of the Dusk Dances Board of Directors, today announced that Sylvie Bouchard will step down as Festival Director at the end of the 2023 season, to focus on her artistic practice and her creation/production company BoucharDanse.

“We are deeply grateful to Sylvie for her passion, creativity, and commitment to Dusk Dances these past 29 years.  Under her leadership, Dusk Dances has connected countless creative artists to audiences in public parks. Sylvie’s legacy is a strong and bright organization that will continue to bring exciting and diverse artistic voices to new audiences. We look forward to celebrating Dusk Dance’s 29th season with Sylvie in 2023 and continuing to build on our successes under new leadership in 2024. We cannot thank Sylvie enough.” said Bennett Darbyshire.

Bouchard has led the festival since its inception in 1993, and during her tenure furthered Dusk Dances’ vision of sharing the art of dance with a wider audience by creating a unique curated experience in a magical outdoor setting. Bouchard also spearheaded the organization’s very successful licensing model expanding the festival to parks in Barrie, Chatham, Deep River, Flesherton, Haliburton, Hamilton, Kingston, Manitoulin Island, Ottawa, Peterborough, Repentigny (QC), Terrebonne (QC) and Vancouver (BC), building long lasting relationships in these communities. In 28 years, Dusk Dances has presented 122 events and held over 520 performances in 28 different parks.

In a statement, Bouchard shared:

“It is with sadness, but mainly with excitement, that I have decided to leave my role of Festival Director at Dusk Dances at the end of 2023. Excitement for what is to come for Dusk Dances, and for how the festival will continue its journey through someone else’s vision and care. I created Dusk Dances in 1993 and during my tenure with the organization, I have had the privilege of seeing Dusk Dances grow, transform, and change, and the honour to work with so many incredible artists, staff, and board members to make the festival the best it can be, and continue offering a platform where dance artists and public meet.

The festival will forever continue to be near and dear to my heart, but I feel that this is the perfect time to give space to someone new to continue the journey forward. I am incredibly proud to be able to pass on an organization that is healthy, strong and that has learned to adapt.

My departure will allow me to turn fully towards, and dedicate myself to, my own artistic practice and the development of my creation / production compagnie BoucharDanse, as I feel a very strong desire to manifest BoucharDanse’s full potential.

I am profoundly thankful for the incredible opportunity I have had to lead Dusk Dances for 3 decades, and to meet and work with so many extraordinary, talented, and generous people and artists. I am moved by how Dusk Dances has been cherished by audiences since the very first event in Trinity Bellwoods Park, and I will continue to support the festival in whichever way I can.

I am looking forward to seeing you at Dusk Dances 2022, curated by Sofi Gudiño, from August 7 to 14, and to envision the 2023 events, which will be my last season with the festival.

Thank you for your ongoing support!”

Bouchard and the Board of Directors are excited for what the future holds and will begin the search for a new Festival Director in due course, with a call for applications.



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