Wednesday, November 13, 2019

SCD Announces Change in Leadership


Wednesday November 13, 2019, Barrie ON

Subject: SCD Announces Change in Leadership

Now in its 10th year of operations, Simcoe Contemporary Dancers (SCD) announces a forthcoming change in artistic leadership. Effective January 2020, Founder/Artistic Director, Sarah Lochhead, will be stepping down as Artistic Director to pursue additional artistic interests and spend time with family.

During Lochhead’s tenure as Artistic Director, SCD incorporated as a not-for-profit entity, presented and commissioned a broad range of dance works, has provided countless educational and accessible performances in the community, and introduced Dusk Dances Barrie to the region’s circuit of arts festivals. SCD’s work has been acknowledged through the receipt of funding from the City of Barrie, the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Ontario Arts Council, the County of Simcoe, as well as receipt of the 2017 Barrie Arts Award for Contribution to the Community.

SCD’s current Associate Artistic Director, Shelby Thoms, will move into the role of Artistic Director. Thoms joined SCD in 2013 and is an invaluable company member dedicated to artistic excellence and community engagement.

"I fell in love with dance growing up in Simcoe County. Upon graduating from university, Sarah gave me the chance to perform and create close to home. I'm honoured to be chosen to help continue her legacy and give artists in this community the opportunities & support that SCD has gifted me,” said Thoms.

This change in Artistic Leadership is part of a planned multi-year organizational transition which began in 2017 with the mentorship of Chrissy King towards the role of Executive Director. King assumed the role of Executive Director in July 2018 and has led the organization to diversify revenue streams and promote sustainable growth to SCD’s ongoing activities through community partnerships. Lochhead will hold the title of Founder/Artistic Consultant and continue to mentor the organization's transition while staying engaged as a guest instructor and choreographer.

"It is with great joy that I have taken on the role of Executive Director for SCD. With support from our artistic team and Board of Directors, I endeavor to continue to grow SCD’s presence within Simcoe County and beyond,” said King, adding “During this time of transition, we are thankful for the past which has brought us here today and look to the future with excitement."

“At the heart of this company is a commitment to community, collaboration and creativity. It has been an honour to nurture and support the growth of this emergent idea into the arts organization it is today,” said Lochhead. “I have every confidence that together Shelby and Chrissy will lead SCD in exciting new directions for the community.”

Of the transition, Board Chair Wendy Hutchinson remarked, “The Board would like to thank Sarah for all that she has done in bringing her vision to life, as well as Chrissy and Shelby for their commitment to the company, and we look forward to working with them in ensuring the continued growth of SCD well into the future.”

As part of their 10th Anniversary season, Simcoe Contemporary Dancers are embarking on a Simcoe County Tour entitled Confluence – A mixed program which includes both premiers of new works, including a new work facilitated by Lochhead, and pieces from the company’s decade of cultivating professional contemporary dance in the region.

Confluence opens Nov. 23rd in Barrie at the Five Points Theatre before heading to regional venues from January through March.

Confluence Tour Dates:
Barrie: Sat. Nov. 23, 2019 - The Five Points Theatre
Collingwood: Sat. Jan. 4, 2020 - The Historic Gayety Theatre
Orillia: Fri. Jan. 17, 2020 - The Orillia Opera House
Alliston: Sat. Mar. 14, 2020 - The Gibson Centre

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Media Inquiries: Chrissy King – Executive Director
p. 647-618-3240

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