Canadian dance companies nominated for the $75,000 Arts Achievement Award

Recipient to be announced in June 2010

MONTREAL, April 16 /CNW Telbec/ - The Imperial Tobacco Canada Foundation today announced the nominees for the 2010 Arts Achievement Award. Established in 2009 to recognize sustained artistic excellence and innovative achievement by a Canadian arts organization, the Arts Achievement Award is donated on a rotational basis among art forms beginning with the Visual Arts in 2009. This year the category is Dance, and the winner will receive a $75,000 prize.

"We are delighted that this year the Arts Achievement Award honours excellence and outstanding artistry and contributions in Dance," said Joan Pennefather, General Manager of the Imperial Tobacco Canada Foundation. "These Canadian dance companies rank among the world's best and we are pleased to shine a light on their incredible, lasting innovations and their contribution to Canadian culture and Canadian communities. Their Canadian and international accolades speak to their extraordinary accomplishments. We also want to thank our nominators for their exemplary job on our behalf."

The nominees were selected by three peer nominators deeply versed in this area and retained to provide their expert recommendations. A selection committee will bring forward one recommendation for the recipient of the $75,000 Award to the Foundation's Board of Directors who will make the final decision.

The 2010 nominated organizations in Dance are:

THE NATIONAL BALLET OF CANADA, TORONTO

An institution of truly national character, the National Ballet of Canada as served as a dance educator and popularizer, as well as consistently offering the highest level of dancing in the country.

THE ROYAL WINNIPEG BALLET, WINNIPEG

The Royal Winnipeg Ballet has played a unique role in Canadian dance, introducing the art of ballet to a wide audience. It has championed a range of repertoire from classical to experimentally challenging contemporary works by Canadian choreographers.

LA COMPAGNIE MARIE CHOUINARD, MONTREAL

Since its creation in 1990, this contemporary dance company has won a formidable global reputation based on the polished performance of brilliantly original works that challenge the expressive and interpretive qualities and limits of the artform. Each new work offers an odyssey across the history of humanity.

LA COMPAGNIE LA LA LA HUMAN STEPS, MONTREAL

World renowned, this company continues to challenge the frontiers of dance, never ceasing to surprise and challenge us through the quality of the work, the innovative integration of sound and technology, and a relentless exploration of the communicative potential of the human body at speed.

Details on the Arts Achievement Award, and the Foundation's Local Community Program, are available on the website at www.imperialtobaccofoundation.ca.

Nominators retained to submit recommendations for the 2010 award were:

    
    - Danièle de Fontenay, co-founder and Artistic Director, Usine C,
      Montreal
    - William Littler, former dance, theatre and music critic for 30 years,
      The Toronto Star, Toronto
    - Max Wyman, former dance critic for 30 years, The Vancouver Sun,
      Vancouver.
    

Established in 2005, the Imperial Tobacco Canada Foundation is a private charitable foundation funded solely by Imperial Tobacco Canada Limited and is responsible for managing the Company's donations programs.

SOURCE Imperial Tobacco Canada Foundation

For further information: For further information: Catherine Doyle, (514) 932-6161 x2332, Fax: (514) 932-2695, cdoyle@itl.ca

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