We Bring Life to Art

School of Creative and Performing Arts | 2013-2023

In the summer of 2023, the School of Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA) at the University of Calgary achieved a milestone: ten years as a vital incubator for the future of performance locally, regionally and nationally. Formed in 2013 through the union of the former Departments of Dance, Drama and Music, the SCPA quickly established an ambitious trajectory — one that emphasized a rigorous combination of creative practice and research scholarship within each of its focused disciplines, while simultaneously capitalizing on the types of interdisciplinary opportunities to be discovered at the intersection of its three distinct divisions.

A decade later, the SCPA has both remained true to this course and proven nimble and responsive to a rapidly evolving and increasingly complex world. Each of its divisions remains the home to progressive and flexible disciplinespecific degree programs delivered by internationally recognized artists and scholars, while the School’s interdisciplinary opportunities, both curricular and extra-curricular, have been expanded and enhanced. Beyond these enduring characteristics, however, the SCPA has also embraced its role as a catalyst for deep communal impact and progressive change, both artistic and social.

We’re deepening the impact of our research, reimagining and diversifying our curriculum, extending and fortifying our community partnerships and collaborating with artists, arts organizations and post-secondary institutions in Calgary, throughout Alberta, across Canada and around the globe. As we engage with the most urgent issues of this historical moment, we stand by our unshakeable conviction that the performing and creative arts provide the foundation of any healthy society and are fundamental aspects of a life worth living. We’re immensely proud of our rich past and equally excited about the future opening before us.

A Monster Calls - Alchemy 2023

Alchemy - Festival of student works

Formerly the Taking Flight drama festival, we launched Alchemy in the 2017-18 season, a festival that highlights student achievements across all disciplines of the School. The support and excitement from students towards these interdisciplinary projects have consistently grown. For many students, these interdisciplinary showcases have drawn their most significant audiences.

Conduct - Transdisciplinary research

The SCPA mounted an interdisciplinary project Conduct, inspired by the life and compositions of Henry Cowell and informed by research from SCPA music professor Dr. Jeremy Brown. The production was a collaboration among the Dance, Drama, Music, and University Theatre Services, and incorporated the newest academic approaches to performance creation, all under the direction of SCPA's Director, Bruce Barton.

Conduct prsented by the School of Creative and Performing Arts
The Fairy Queen prsented by the School of Creative and Performing Arts

The Fairy Queen - Interdisciplinary production

The Fairy Queen was an SCPA interdisciplinary production directed by Melanie Kloetzel (dance), Pete Balkwill (drama), and Laura Hynes (music), with musical direction by Julie Harris. The production took place in 2019-20 season and a cast of more than 40 students and chamber orchestra performed a mash up of Purcell's baroque opera with contemporary sonnets and dance around themes of environmental stewardship.

SCPA Dance Division

Over a four-year period, the SCPA worked to launch two new degree programs in the Dance Division that have helped the program gain both national and international status. These programs - the BFA in Dance and the BA/BKin double degree focusing on Dance Science (the only program of its kind in Canada) - have helped establish the Dance Division's reputation as a unique and innovative program that focuses on future trajectories of dance research.

The Merchant of Venice, 2019

SCPA Drama Division

Their collaboration with The Shakespeare Company on "The Merchant of Venice" saw students working under the esteemed director, Carey Perloff, and alongside the talented Seana McKenna. This challenging production demanded excellence, propelling students beyond their limits. Further showcasing their dedication to unique theater experiences, the production team of "Metamorphoses" put a pool on the Reeve Theatre floor and created forest of 144 light bulbs.

SCPA Music Division

In support of the Black Lives Matter movement, SCPA Professor of Violin Edmond Agopian initiated a concert series titled "A Celebration of Music by Black Composers", in which he also performed as a violinist. Since its inception, six concerts have been presented, comprising of solo and chamber music works by Black composers, featuring SCPA Music faculty and students, Michèle Moss from the Dance Division and Canadian author, documentary film director, screenwriter and playwright, Cheryl Foggo. One of the concerts was also presented off campus - at the Lougheed Performing Arts Centre in Camrose. The concert series shed light on the creativity of Black composers who, despite racism and oppression, were able to excel as composers of music that ranges from solo works to chamber music, to symphonic music, to opera.
Edmond Agopian - Calgary Arts Award

Edmond Agopian


Calgary Arts Award - June 14, 2018, Calgary City Hall; I was awarded the Calgary Arts Award by Mayor Naheed Nenshi, and City of Calgary Councillor, George Chahal.


I initiated the annual RBC Concerto Concert event and partnership in 2006. Conducted and organized with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and student soloists on March 8, 2023 at Rozsa Centre, University of Calgary. The soloists consisted of two students from Mount Royal University Conservatory, and two students from SCPA, University of Calgary. This partnership between a major professional Canadian orchestra and two music institutions is unique in Canada.

"Sounds of the Season, 2020"- Composer and MIDI violin soloist- premiered on April 17, with a second performance on April 18, 2021: Bella Hall, Taylor Centre for the Performing Arts A twenty five minute work, "Sounds of the Season, 2020" for MIDI violin, Soundtrack, and Orchestra was inspired by the first Christmas/Holiday season affected by the Covid pandemic. The soundtrack consists of a melange of news excerpts from December 2020, related to the impact of the Covid pandemic on Indigenous communities, the elderly, hospitals, and so on. The piece is a musical reflection and retrospection of the upended life that replaced the joy of the holiday season that first year of Covid-19.


In celebration of University of Calgary’s 50th anniversary Edmond Agopian organized and conducted two performances of Mahler’s monumental second symphony - one in Calgary (Jack Singer Concert Hall), and one in Edmonton (Winspear Centre). The concerts involved the UCalgary Orchestra and choirs, Mount Royal Conservatory’s Calgary Youth Orchestra, members of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, and hundreds of singers from Calgary and Edmonton choirs. Guest speakers included Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

Peter Balkwill

2022 – Iniskim: Return of the Buffalo – World Stage Design and Southern Alberta. Iniskim is an intercultural, artistic response to the reintegration of Bison into the natural landscape of Canada, bringing together indigenous-artists from the Blackfoot Confederacy, Stoney Nakoda, and non-indigenous artists from across Canada. The outdoor event transcends performance and bridges into ceremony as it employs ritual, song, dance and puppetry to reignite our relationship to the land. An additional documentary produced by Telus Originals will be released in late August 2023.

2023 Pratt Lecture – Memorial University (Oldest public lecture of this institution) It Takes a Village: Spinning the Collective Yarn Delivered, April, 2023. Published: Breakwater Books, April 2023 Every day we tell stories, and listen to them, in countless exchanges with people in all walks of life. Our stories are raised up from the communities that are our people, and they are added to the words that end up making us who we are.

Co-written chapter in Building Embodiment – Chapter 9: The Sound in the Silence; the Movement in the Stillness: Discovering Embodiment in Presence – Routledge Press Building Embodiment offers a collection of strategic and practical approaches to understanding, analyzing, and embodying a range of heightened text styles, including Greek Tragedy, Shakespeare, and Restoration/Comedy of Manners. These essays offer insights from celebrated teachers across the disciplines of acting, voice, and movement, and are designed to help actors find deeper vocal and physical connections to poetic text.


Re-write and remount of Famous Puppet Death Scenes – and subsequent tours – Old Trout Puppet Workshop: A reimagining of a timeless classic, moving from four puppeteers to three with a complete redesign of the entire show. Premiered at the Avignon Theatre Festival, second run at the Edinburg Fringe Festival, with a following tour of four-cities in France as well as the London Mime Festival, and the Flip Side Theatre Festival in Singapore.

Bruce Barton


Bruce Barton collaborated with Toronto-based choreographer Allen Kaeja to create the dance-theatre performance I am the Child of…. Bruce provided Direction and Dramaturgy for this Vertical City Performance / Kaeja d’Dance co-creation, in which the dancers were tasked with mining their personal experiences of heritage, lineage, culture and family. Bruce also created the performance text delivered by the dancers and processed into the production soundscape by digital sound artist Edgardo Moreno. The performance employed ground-breaking uses of advanced technology, including dancer-held, multi-camera live streaming, embedded Augmented Reality, and a custom-designed audience interface for use on smartphones and tablets in the audience. I am the Child of… premiered at the Torque Festival, Canada’s largest international dance event, hosted by Harbourfront Performing Arts in Toronto in October 2022.


Bruce Barton curated the international online event “Reimagining Intimacy: Immersive and Participatory Performance in the Era of Covid-19,” a fully virtual symposium combining keynote presentations, Pecha Kucha-stye scholarly presentations, interactive workshops, artist laboratories, synchronous and asynchronous performances, and an extensive Artists Panel discussion. The program featured internationally celebrated performance companies such as ZU-UK (UK), Lundhal and Seitl and This is Not a Theatre Company (NYC), as well as many of Canada’s most active and accomplished creator-performers working in Immersive and Participatory performance. In addition, the event featured opening and concluding panels by the foremost English-speaking scholars in this area: Gareth White, Josephine Machen, and Adam Alston. Bruce also contributed an interactive laboratory at the event entitled GIFT: Recipes for Solitude with collaborator Alex McLean. The symposium was funded by a successful SSHRC Connection grant of $25,000.00, on which Bruce was the Principal Investigator.

Allan Gordon Bell - Symphonies of Luminous Being

Allan Gordon Bell


The creation of "Symphonies of Luminous Being", an orchestral work that was given its premiere performance by the combined forces of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and the Calgary Youth Orchestra (Rune Bergmann and Edmond Agopian, musical directors) on February 18, 2023 in the Jack Singer Concert Hall.


Creation of "Solastalgia", a work for cello and piano that was given its premiere performance by Cameron Crozman (cello) and Philip Chiu (piano) at the Women's Musical Club of Toronto on March 31, 2022 and a second performance by Cameron Crozman and Megan Milatz at the Victoria Summer Music Festival (August 4, 2022).


Allan Gordon Bell was awarded Doctor of Letters (D.Litt) honours cause by the University of Alberta, June 13, 2019


Performed Henry Cowell's Banshee for prepared piano during the landmark interdisciplinary production of Conduct created Bruce Barton and Jeremy Brown.


Allan Gordon Bell won the JUNO Award for the Classical Composition of the Year.


Served as Interim Director for the first year and one half of the SCPA's existence, working with Anna Mouat (Dance), Clem Martini (Drama) William Jordan (Music) and Mary Lou Mendyk (Administration) in the amalgamation of programs and activities. Performed the role of musical director in the School's first inter-arts production, Aesop's Fables.

Jeremy Brown


Jeremy Brown released a new recording of Canadian saxophone music by Pon, Ho, Eagle, and La Palme. The title of it is emergence, released on Redshift Records. It was recorded in 2021-2022 in the EG Hall, with assistance for the CRFA. His collaborative pianist was Lana Henchell.


Jeremy Brown has been contracted by Routledge/Taylor and Francis to write a book, New Perspectives on Jazz Patronage, to be completed in 2024. In May/June 2023, he conducted ongoing research in libraries at Yale, Harvard, and the Institute of Jazz Studies, Rutgers University, funded by the University of Calgary Faculty of Arts.


Jeremy Brown is composing new works for a jazz recording, funded by the Alberta Foundation for the Arts to be produced in October 2023. To be released on Chronograph Records, it includes musicians Audrey Ochoa, Chris Andrew, Tyler Horny and Kodi Hutchison. It will be engineered by Alex Bohn at OCL studios. This will be my second jazz CD and my eighth recording since 2003.


Dr. Jeremy Brown's first book, The Wind Band Music of Henry Cowell, was published by Routledge, with the College Music Society. It was a project spanning almost eighteen years, and included research at libraries in New York, Washington DC, Columbus, Chicago, Melbourne and repositories in Rochester, and Halcyon (California). It is the first book to chronicle the entire wind band works of Cowell, thirty-six in all.

2017 - 2018

Dr. Jeremy Brown hosted and was the partner for Killam Fellow Joe Morris in 2017 (New England Conservatory) and Fulbright Scholar Jack Wilkins (University of South Florida). Both collaborations resulted in recordings, Saxophone Legacy (2022) and Magnitudes (2022). Both artists worked with the UCalgary Jazz Orchestra and in student seminars and masterclasses. A new CD with Joe Morris is forthcoming, recorded in New Haven, 2023.

Christine Brubaker

Henry G20 was a mixed reality performance (walking audio play with Augmented Reality) adapted from Shakespeare's Henry V and set during the G20 protests in Toronto in 2010 which resulted in the largest mass arrest in Canadian history. Written and directed by Christine Brubaker it premiered at the

Luminato International Arts Festival in 2021 and World Stage Design in 2023. It was nominated for a Toronto Heritage award.

Directed the world premiere of Clem Martini's The Extinction Therapist at Theatre Aquarius.

UCalgary String Quartet

Kenneth DeLong


15 sets of program notes for the concerts of the Calgary Pro Musica Society. covering music from 400 years, ranging from solo guitar music to the music of Bach and Bartok, and every period between. More than 25,000 words.


A commissioned cover article in Opera Canada magazine on the history of Calgary Opera over the past 50 years.

2013 - 2023

As the classical music reviewer for The Calgary Herald and Opera Canada, Kenneth DeLong has published approximately 20 reviews of concerts and opera in each of these years, roughly 10,000 words per year in print across this period. In addition he has given many pre-concert talks for Calgary Opera and The Calgary Pro Musica Society over these and other years.


The publication of three articles on the music of Liszt in the Liszt Society Journal (London, England).

2013 - 2018

25 academic conference papers on many topics including: Liszt, Sullivan, film music, opera, keyboard music, orchestral music, and song. These papers were given in England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, and The United States.

Penny Farfan


“Penny Farfan. Ibsen Postcards/Postcard Ibsens: Domesticating Modernism.” Modern Drama, vol. 65, no. 3 (September 2022): 271-354.

Playwright Henrik Ibsen was featured on countless postcards during the postcard craze of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Encompassing photographic portraits, snapshots, sculptures, monuments, etchings, paintings, and caricatures, the historical interest of these postcards arises not simply from the range of images of the playwright they featured but from the quantity of cards that were published and circulated, how the cards were used and by whom, and what their uses suggest about Ibsen’s popular reputation, reception, significance, impact, and reach. This essay considers the range of Ibsen postcards and also their uses, taking into account the messages inscribed on the cards, the senders and recipients, and the ways the postcards circulated as much as the Ibsen images themselves. In doing so, it considers how the postcards animate the singular figure of the iconic playwright they represent and collectively constitute a lively archive—print and manuscript, visual and textual—that conjures a variety of different Ibsens. In their diversity, myriad uses, and international range, the Ibsen postcards—and postcard Ibsens—collected here illuminate the popular status, wide reach, and domestication of a key figure in the canon of modern drama and world literature and a beacon of first-wave feminism. The article includes a color insert of 119 illustrations, a first in the journal Modern Drama’s 60+-year history, and, at 83 pages, is among the longest articles the journal has ever published. Honourable Mention: Outstanding Article Award, Modern Drama, 2022.


Penny Farfan and Lesley Ferris, eds. Critical Perspectives on Contemporary Plays by Women: The Early Twenty-First Century. University of Michigan Press, 2021.

This collection of critically innovative essays by leading scholars foregrounds some of the ways in which women playwrights from across a range of geographic contexts and working in a variety of forms and styles are illuminating the contemporary world while also contributing to its reshaping as they reflect, rethink, and reimagine it through their work for the stage. Framed by a substantial introduction that sets forth the vision and structure of the book and an afterword pointing toward emerging currents in the field, the twenty-eight essays in the collection, each focusing on a single play of critical significance, together constitute a multifaceted picture of the work of women playwrights since 2000 as they engage with some of the most pressing issues of our time. Finalist: Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) 2022 Excellence in Editing Award.


Penny Farfan. Performing Queer Modernism. Oxford University Press, 2017

Focusing on some of the best-known and most visible stage plays and dance performances of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, this interdisciplinary study demonstrates that queer performance was integral to and productive of modernism, that queer modernist performance played a key role in the historical emergence of modern sexual identities, and that it anticipated the insights of contemporary queer modernist studies. Chapters on Arthur Wing Pinero’s The Second Mrs. Tanqueray (1893), Loie Fuller’s Fire Dance (1897), Vaslav Nijinsky’s Afternoon of a Faun (1912), Noël Coward’s Private Lives (1930), and Djuna Barnes’s metatheatrical parodies To the Dogs and The Dove (1923) exemplify manifestations, facets, and dimensions of and suggest ways of reading—and of reading earlier “readers” reading—queer modernist performance. Together, these case studies clarify aspects of both the queer and the modernist, and how their co-productive intersection was articulated in and through performance on the late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century stage. The book thus contributes to an expanded understanding of modernism across a range of performance genres, the central role of performance within modernism more generally, and the integral relation between performance history and the history of sexuality.


Penny Farfan: Penny Farfan and Lesley Ferris, eds. Contemporary Women Playwrights: Into the Twenty-First Century. Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.

Breaking new ground in the twenty-first century, this wide-ranging collection of essays addresses the work of contemporary international women playwrights. The book considers the work of established playwrights such as Caryl Churchill, Marie Clements, Lara Foot-Newton, Maria Irene Fornes, Sarah Kane, Lisa Kron, Young Jean Lee, Lynn Nottage, Suzan-Lori Parks, Djanet Sears, Caridad Svich, and Judith Thompson, but it also foregrounds important plays by many emerging writers. Divided into three sections—Histories, Conflicts, and Genres—the book explores such topics as the feminist history play, solo performance, transcultural dramaturgies, the identity play, the gendered terrain of war, and eco-drama, and encompasses work from the US, Canada, Latin America, Oceania, South Africa, Egypt, and the UK. With contributions from leading international scholars and an introductory overview of the concerns and challenges facing women playwrights in the new century, Contemporary Women Playwrights explores the diversity and power of women’s playwriting since 1990, highlighting key voices and examining crucial critical and theoretical developments within the field.

Patrick Finn


HCI. Work in performance and technology led me Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). HCI is the domain where robotics, games, AVs, XR and AI are studied. In 2021-2022, I became the first creative/performing arts scholar to receive an NSERC Discovery Grant. The grant supports my graduate students’ research and travel to international conferences to share our work. Prior to that I was the first scholar outside Computer Science to lead the Computational Media Design program.


Critical Condition: Replacing Critical Thinking with Creativity. The culmination a multi-year project this book was WLU Press’s top-selling scholarly book. It led to work in China, Japan, Europe, the UK, Australia, and the US. After the initial publication, along with the Association of Canadian University Presses we created an audiobook and developed a toolkit for making scholarly audiobooks. My work in the area continues with a focus on aesthetics as an approach to accessibility.

Marie France Forcier


A contemporary concert dance work for four intergenerational performers, windows, black holes, helium reveals layers of physical imagery born out of real lives. The research-creation project yields recommendations for directors and choreographers to reduce re-traumatization risk when asking artists to access personal autobiographical memory in development and performance.


Marie France Forcier choreographed her own version of Rite of Spring on UCalgary Dance majors. The work was performed in full theatrical dressing for pedagogical purposes during the pandemic, and further developed in the spring of 2022 for live presentation at the University of Calgary as part of Mainstage Dance.The student-performed work made such an impact that it was commissioned for re-staging by Calgary’s most celebrated dance company, Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, and performed by its members alongside a few noteworthy recent UCalgary Dance grads. The series of performances occurred throughout January 2023, as part of the High Performance Rodeo.

Marie France Forcier developed a speciality course, Somatic Inquiry in Choreography Development, which was completed by a variety of dance majors and non-majors, among them, Carly-Ann Haney, a PhD candidate in the faculty of Social Work. The interaction over the duration of the course let to a co-written article, Coming Home: Devised Somatic Dance, published in Fat Studies, and engaging with a wholly different community.

Pil Hansen


Launched the monograph Performance Generating Systems in Dance: Dramaturgy, Psychology, and Performativity (Intellect 2022). Consolidating ten years of research, this book takes a close, yet accessible, look at how systematic, improvised dance creations work: how they self-organize on stage, how they affect dancers' learning and agency, and how they bring about change, even to change-resistant conditions (trauma).


The release of: Hansen, Pil, Caitlin Main, and Liza Hartling. 2021. “Dance Intervention Affects Social Connections and Body Appreciation Among Older Adults in the Long Term Despite COVID-19 Social Isolation: A Mixed Methods Pilot Study.” Frontiers in Psychology 12: article 635938, 1-17. In partnership with Kaeja d'Dance, Hansen's interdisciplinary team at UCalgary studied the effect of dance interventions for older adults on social inclusion and body appreciation and discovered positive effects in the long term despite Covid-19 isolation. The study identifies collaborative and memory-based dance creation as effective methods. It also identifies a partial loss of relational capacity and increase in loneliness caused by Covid-19, which dance offers likely can help older adults overcome as vaccines roll out. A peer-reviewer stated that "the importance of this study cannot be overestimated." Pil Hansen also worked with Kaeja to continue providing these important dance offers to older adults from 2019-2022, bridging the full period of Covid-19 social isolation.


The release of the edited book: Hansen, Pil and Darcey Callison, eds. 2015. Dance Dramaturgy: Modes of Agency, Awareness, and Engagement. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. The book received strong reviews, became a bestseller, and has been adopted in classrooms across the world. It changed the field of new dramaturgy and dance dramaturgy, in particular, from a vague extension of conventional theatre dramaturgy to a defined field with explicit priorities, tools, and forms of agency of its own.

Laura Hynes - The Key of T

Laura Hynes


Principal investigator of a SSHRC-funded research-creation collaboration with Dr. Ari Agha called "The Key of T". The project included the first rigorous, empirical research on transgender singing voice transition with exogenous testosterone. Results were published in the NATS Journal of Singing. The Key of T performances explored Ari’s transition experience as a person of voice and the complexity of the decision to take T. (A massive collaboration with faculty, students, alumni, and ensembles at UCalgary, plus external organizations and speakers!) A short film was created about this project, and this research has been presented nationally and internationally.


Laura Hynes recorded Omar Daniel’s Zwei Lieder nach Rilke with the Land’s End Ensemble and Karl Hirzer conducting. The CD was nominated for a 2021 Western Canadian Music Award for Classical Artist or Ensemble of the Year.


"Music and the Mind: A Conversation with Renée Fleming” A collaboration between the Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI) and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, "Music and the Mind" featured talks by internationally renowned opera singer Ms. Renée Fleming and HBI researcher Dr. Bin Hu on the subject of the power of music as it relates to the health of the brain. The event was moderated by science writer and broadcaster Mr. Jay Ingram, and featured Music faculty members Dr. Laura Hynes and Prof. Allan Bell, and music student Rena Far.

Sarah Kenny


The University of Calgary’s Dance Division remains the only academic program in Canada to hold registered provider status of the Safe in Dance International Healthy Dance Practice teaching certificate because of Sarah Kenny's successful application in September 2017. The certificate gives international recognition of a dance teacher’s knowledge and practical application of safe dance practice. To successfully complete the certificate, Sarah leads undergraduate dance students through essay writing, filming themselves teaching, and an extensive self-reflective practice. BA Dance major, Kaili Che was the first to achieve this certificate with distinction and her story was highlighted in UToday in March 2021 –– ‘UCalgary first in Canada to offer a teaching certificate in safe dance principles alongside degree.’

2021, 2023

Sarah Kenny's strong community-engaged research partnership Alberta Ballet School continues to be the cornerstone of her research program. With eight years of prospective injury surveillance collected to date, this research has supported two graduate and two undergraduate research students. Podium and poster presentations have been made at several national and international conferences, including eight invited speaking engagements. Additionally, seven articles have been published in peer-review journals, with three additional publications currently in submission/review.


A recent media coverage of Sarah Kenny's ‘dance for health’ research featuring both the Dancing Parkinson’s YYC program at DJD and the Dance and Movement program through the University Heights Community Association.

Global Calgary (1:55min watch) –– the Community Dance program at University Heights got some attention during Mental Health Awareness week.

CTV Calgary (1:20min watch) –– the Community Dance program as above, different interviews and camera angles.

CBC Radio –– Des personnes âgées dansent pour leur santé en contribuant à une étude universitaire.



Sarah Kenny has been successful getting external funding to examine community dance programs. For example, the Dancing Parkinson’s YYC program, which operates out of Decidedly Jazz Danceworks (DJD), is the first program in Calgary specifically designed for people living with Parkinson’s disease and their care partners. Her current community dance research with DJD is funded by an MSI Foundation Research Grant earned in 2020, and is focussed on exploring experiences of physical literacy, social connection, and resilience among people living with Parkinson’s disease and their care partners. It is anticipated that three studies will be presented at reputable conferences and three academic papers will be published in peer-review journals.


In 2019, Sarah Kenny was a successful recipient of a Peak Scholar Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Knowledge Engagement award. This award acknowledges my research, which is unique in Canada. Specifically, the application of my experience as a contemporary dancer to the science of injury epidemiology is impacting the international dance medicine and science community, contributing towards refined international standards of how dance-related injury is defined and captured, but also close to home, advocating for recognition of dancers as both artists and athletes. Peak Scholars in Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Knowledge Engagement: 2019 Scholars.


In 2018, Healthy Dancer Canada (HDC) awarded Sarah Kenny the annual Research Award in recognition of research quality and significance to HDC’s mission, which is to foster and facilitate communication and collaboration among the dance community, health professionals and researchers, with the aim to enhance the health, well-being, and performance of all dancers. Kenny, S. J., Toomey, C., Emery, C. A. (September 2018). Sleep quality and self-reported health problems in pre-professional dancers: Are they associated? Healthy Dancer Canada 10th Annual Conference, Toronto, Ontario. ORAL

Melanie Kloetzel

2022 - 2023

Through support from the Canada Council for the Arts, TRAction (an arts and social justice collective started in 2019 by Kloetzel and Kevin Jesuino) launched the Climate Art Web (CAW-WAC) in 2022. The Climate Art Web is a place of exchange for artists living in northern Turtle Island (Canada) who are concerned with and committed to addressing climate issues. A grassroots network, CAW-WAC supports the sharing of resources, knowledge, and best practices within and beyond the climate art community. Advised by an Indigenous Advisory Council of five individuals, the network launched through a high profile online event that included artists from all across the country.

2020 - 2022

MEN in charge is a film that explores the creation and presentation of the live performance work, It began with watching. In doc(mock)umentary form, MEN in charge depicts how kloetzel&co. was able to create a brutally humorous take on gender and/in the U.S. political landscape as ‘alternative facts’ and outlandish acts take centre stage. Selected for over 15 festival presentations, MEN in charge has received a Best Documentary award from the Mabig Film Festival (Germany), Best Female Short award from the Freedom Festival International (USA), Best Experimental Film from the GO Independent International Film Festival (USA), and an Honorable Mention in the Documentary Short category at the New York IO Film Festival.


In 2019, Kloetzel published two high profile texts with her colleagues Victoria Hunter (University of Chichester) and Karen Barbour (University of Waikato) through Intellect Press. The first was a co-authored volume, '(Re)Positioning Site Dance: Local acts, global perspectives', which articulates international approaches to the making, performing and theorizing of site-based dance. The second, a co-edited special issue of the journal Choreographic Practices, brought together scholars and practitioners around the globe around the theme of 'Dance Urbanisms', collectively examining how site-based choreographic practices in urban locations extend understandings of embodied experiences in and relationships to site and place.

Room is a site-adaptive live performance and film that examines ecological precarity and adaptation in the Anthropocene. With live presentations in over 12 sites and five theatre settings in the UK, USA, and Canada, the film was winner of a ‘Creativity Award’ from the Los Angeles-based A Show for a Change film festival. The film also acted as the basis for the article ‘Site, Adapt, Perform: A Practice-as-Research Confrontation with Climate Change’ published by Kloetzel in the journal Dance Research, DOI: https://doi.org/10.3366/drs.2017.0186.

Jane MacFarlane - A Christmas Carol

Jane MacFarlane

Jane MacFalane was invited to be the Associate Director on the annual Theatre Calgary production of A Christmas Carol. This was the Covid, three-person version and the pod she directed [there were 2] had two Drama grads - Mike Tan and Vanessa Letitia. She has been involved with A Christmas Carol since 2002 and this was the first time she was invited to direct.


After being in discussions for a number of years, Jane MacFarlane began working with Skipping Stone, a transgender support organization, offering gender-affirming voice work. This has grown substantially since the pandemic and she has published an article in the upcoming Canadian Theatre Review about the work she has been doing with the community, which remains on-going.

Clem Martini


Clem Martini's play, Cantata: Rumours of My Crazy, Useless Life was produced by Sage Theatre in 2020. The play garnered great reviews, won Theatre BC's National Playwriting Competition, was nominated for five Betty Mitchell Awards, and was published as part of anthology.


Clem Martini's play, The Extinction Therapist, was premiered at Theatre Aquarius in Hamilton, Ontario. It received a wonderful response and was published as part of an anthology.


Clem Martini's historical novel, The Comedian, was published. This was the culmination of five years of research, writing and editing.


The Unravelling: How Our Caregiving Safety Net Came Unstrung, and We Were Left Grasping at Threads, Trying to Plait a New One; the book Clem Martini co-authored with his brother, Olivier Martini, was launched. It subsequently was short-listed for the W.O. Mitchell Book Prize and won the Alberta Trade Non-Fiction Book of the Year Award.

Michèle Moss

Received the Danse Collection Dance Hall of Fame award in October 2022.

Jani Parsons


The piano program at the University of Calgary collaborated with acclaimed Canadian composer and UCalgary alumni Vincent Ho to prepare, workshop, and premiere 12 new works for solo piano, "The Chinese Zodiac Animals, Book 2". Each work is a prelude and fugue that musically represents the character, movements, and qualities of the twelve zodiac animals. Twelve individual students and alumni presented the twelve unique works for the first time at the Lunar New Year Celebration Concert on January 22, 2023 to a standing-room only crowd. This project was a landmark project that brought together students, alumni, faculty, a celebrated composer, and the community in the spirit of creativity and celebration.


The Sound Atlas Festival made its official debut in Calgary, June 23-25, 2023 directed by Dr. Jani Parsons (SCPA piano faculty) in collaboration with Latitude 49 new music ensemble, the University of Calgary, and Contemporary Calgary. SAF is an experimental adventure in sound bringing together expert artists and composers from across North America. It featured world premieres, sound installations, interdisciplinary art, genre-bending curiosities, community outreach and engagement. The avant-folk vocalist/composer Annika Socolofsky was featured, as well as Land's End Ensemble, composer Liam Elliot, Ginger Beef Band, Karl Hirzer, soprano Laura Hynes, the Henchell/Tominaga Duo, and eight current SCPA composer/students in a celebration of new and dynamic music.

In 2022 Dr. Jani Parsons co-published a two-book series entitled "Technique Through Repertoire" through Piano Education Press and the Frances Clark Center. This was co-authored by Dr. Christopher Madden (UMKC) and supervised by the publishing editor, E. L. Lancaster. In 2021 until the present, they have presented countless times on our research and findings including presentations at the National Conference for Keyboard Pedagogy and the Music Teachers National Association conference.

Laurie Radford


Laurie Radford is a founding member of a 7-year SSHRC-funded international research group, ACTOR (Analysis, Creation and Teaching of Orchestration) led by Prof. Stephen McAdams of McGill University. Over a hundred faculty and students from several dozen universities and research institutions in Canada, USA and Europe make up the membership of ACTOR. A yearly workshop brings together this membership to share the year's accomplishments and discoveries. In July 2022, Laurie successfully organized and hosted the Year 4 ACTOR workshop at the University of Calgary and welcomed approximately forty of the ACTOR members for three days of meetings and presentations as well as lecture-recital at the Rosza Centre.

2013 - 2023

During the period 2013 to 2023, Laurie Radford composed 22 new music compositions ranging from chamber music, music for large ensembles, music for instruments and live electronics, and electroacoustic music. All of these compositions have received public performances in Canada, USA and Europe and a number of them have been recorded and released on commercial CDs by a number of publishers. Approximately 30% of these compositions received commission funding from either federal or provincial sources.

Rod Squance


Rod Squance formed a musical trio along with pianists Elizabeth Bergmann and Marcel Bergmann called Percussiano3. Since then, they have done multiple tours performing all over British Columbia and Alberta in small and large communities and on university campuses, and they are just getting started. They have made videos and recordings and performed on live television. Almost everything they perform is arranged or composed by members of the trio, in which Rod had a major role.


Part of Rod's work as Music Division Lead has been to make possible the opening up of the BMus program to students of any musical tradition, including those of equity-deserving cultures and of jazz. Prospective students from any cultural tradition can now apply and audition for the BMus program, and once in the program, can take their private lessons with a professional teacher from the community who specializes in and authentically represents that cultural tradition/instrument.

2021 - 2023

Over the past decade Rod Squance has been working to develop a special marimba to perform collaborations with Indian classical musicians. To play with these musicians, he needed an instrument he could play seated on the floor. Rod has received arts funding, designed and built four instruments, each one an improvement over its predecessor. The current iteration is an excellent instrument he can carry in a suitcase, with which he has performed all across Canada from Vancouver Island to St. John’s Newfoundland

During the years of Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, while most performing arts programs across the country moved entirely online, the School of Creative and Performing Arts was able to sustain a significant degree of in-person training. This was of enormous benefit to student learning. Made possible by the School's steadfast commitment to safety measures and strict adherence to guidelines and law, there were no cases of viral transmission within the SCPA during these years of pandemic restrictions.

2015 - 2016, 2022 - 2023

Rod Squance has been honoured with five teaching award nominations over the last decade. In 2015 he was nominated for a University of Calgary Teaching Excellence Award and won a Faculty of Arts Award for Outstanding Teaching the same year. In 2016, he won a University of Calgary Teaching Excellence Award. He was nominated for two Students Union Teaching Awards in consecutive years in 2022 and 2023, winning the award in 2023.

2015, 2017, 2019, 2021

Every two years since 2015, The Music Division's World Music Ensemble, under the direction of Rod Squance, has performed a concert in collaboration with the DNCE 427 ‘Embodying Global Dance’ class under the direction of Michèle Moss. With dozens of dancers and musicians together on stage, these performances have been beautifully authentic celebrations of diversity within a bridge building culture of sharing, understanding, inclusion, empathy and trust.

Backstage after the concert

Kathryn Parotta


In December of 2022, the UofC Chorus and Chamber Choir were featured at the Calgary Philharmonic's production of "Home Alone". The choirs and the CPO provided the score for the movie to two sold out performances at the Jubilee Auditorium. This was an incredible once-in-a-lifetime experience for our students!



In October 2022, Kathryn Parrotta's junior high choir with the Youth Singers of Calgary performed at Alberta Music Conference. After an incredible concert, one of her original pieces, "DO BETTER", was quickly published with Cypress Music Publications, making it her sixth song published with Cypress.

Tara Wilson

Tara Wilson


Founded the Calgary Hip Hop and Streetdance Festival to celebrate Hip Hop and Streetdance in our city



Founded The Gateway project - a preprofessional training program for Hip Hop and Street dancers to develop skills in dance, choreography and teaching.

Photo Credit: Whitney Curtis

Jovanni Sy


Jovanni received the 2023 Playwrights Guild Drama Award for KOWLOON BAY and the 2022 Playwrights Guild Comedy Award for THE TAO OF THE WORLD. Both plays were written while studying for his MFA at UCalgary.


Jovanni played the role of Mr. Miyagi in the pre-Broadway tryout of THE KARATE KID,THE MUSICAL at Stages St Louis.

Production still from Still Life. Photo Patrick McLaughlin, featuring Allison Lynch

Vanessa Porteous


Directed Richard III for The Shakespeare Company in Calgary. It was inspired by the global rise in authoritarianism and the lives of the 0.01%, and featured U of C Drama alumnus Bruce Horak, who played the role from within his own disability, legal blindness, white cane in hand. Horak is among only a handful of disabled theatre artists who have played the role in Canada.

2023, 2022, 2020 

Founded an independent film company, Cloche Films, and produced, wrote, and directed three fully funded short films: The Yuletide Sessions: A Seasonal Concert In Film (for Calgary Opera); Still Life, based on a poem by Allison Lynch; and Things I Know to be True, based on writing by Caleigh Crow, Michaela Jeffery, and John Murrell.

Cover design by Kathy Hiscox

Mike Czuba


2023 marked the release of Mike Czuba's book NO SHORTCUTS - The Five Chambers. A book about finding your own creative process based Czuba's experience as a working artist, as a mature student obtaining their degrees and now, having had the privilege of a decade of teaching over a thousand students in a University setting.


As of 2023, Cuzba's play AFTER MOURNING, about Joanna Bonger, the woman who saved Vincent van Gogh's artwork for the world, has had six staged reading across North America. In 2025, the play will have its world premiere on the stage.

Anton deGroot

Anton deGroot


"Devising the Collaborative Imagination" at the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design & Space. Worked with students from around the world at this international conference. Co-facilitated with Eric Rose.


Completed and unveiled redesign of lighting for the Reconciliation Bridge in NE Calgary. Co-design credits Anton deGroot, Ian Martens, Geoff Bouckley (lightSPACE at SMP Engineering).

Photo credit: @timnguyen.co

Julie Harris


2023-24 marks the 25th year of the Early Music Voices Concert Series presenting early music in Calgary. Founded the series in 1999. It has grown from humble beginnings to offering a stop on the North American tours for early music performers from all over the world. EMV prides itself on having helped grow the local early music scene over the years as well as bringing many visiting artists to perform in our city.

Music director of the SCPA production of Venus and Adonis. This was a special production of the UCalgary voice area, with collaboration from across the SCPA. It offered students an opportunity to be in an opera production and experience growth in all the aspects of their work as singers.

Claire Chen

Lana Henchell

Villainy was a large-scale collaboration of music, dance, and film culminating in a live performance-film premiere at the Globe Cinema in Calgary on October 22, 2022. My piano duo partner Akiko Tominaga and I commissioned composer Vincent Ho to create "Supervillain Duos" for two pianos, inspired by his Juno-nominated Supervillain Etudes. We then produced an experimental short film, directed by Emil Agopian, exploring the theme of villainy. Dancer-choreographers Yukichi Hattori, Kelley McKinlay, and Marie France Forcier star in the film. The premiere event featured a two-piano performance to underscore film.

De Ann Weekes

De Ann Weekes


I was an invited participant to The Dunham Legacy Revisited at The School at Jacob’s Pillow, where I was received the Professional Advancement Award in Dance. Through embodied investigations, the use of her teachings and choreographic works, we explore how our in dance embodies and reflects Katherine Dunham’s teachings and legacies. The issues she faced as a Black, female artist and artistic director remain global issues for us today.

Andrea Downie


Andrea received a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship Award for her research project: Exploring the integration of dance science and somatics in pre-professional dance technique classes for young adults. 


Andrea was nominated for the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science Teaching Award.

Kristin Flores


'UNESCO Heritage' for solo violin and orchestra by Kristin Flores was premiered by violinist Debra Fast with the Kensington Sinfonia and friends under the direction of Janna Sailor. This premiere took place at St. Stephen's Anglican Church in Calgary, AB on June 11, 2023. This piece was written for and is dedicated to Canadian violinist living in Italy, Debra Fast with the creation of this piece and premiere performance fully supported by the Canada Council for the Arts. Fast has been performing Flores’ solo violin works since the summer of 2020 and a friendship has formed as a result. This piece illustrates Flores’ and Fasts’ favourite UNESCO Heritage Sites through music. This project also involved CPAWS Southern Alberta through pre-concert and post-concert interviews around conservation and preservation of these beautiful UNESCO Heritage sites in Alberta.

Flores' orchestral piece 'The Four Seasons of COVID-19' was premiered by the Rocky Mountain Symphony Orchestra on October 7th and 8th of 2022 under the direction of Carlos Foggin at Red Deer Lake United Church in Calgary, AB and the Polaris Centre for Performing Arts in Rocky View County, AB. This piece was commissioned by the Rocky Mountain Symphony Orchestra with support from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. This composition describes the different stages of the COVID-19 pandemic and the emotions and experiences that coincided with each stage. This work illustrates the pandemic as it progressed through the seasons.

Sir N. Antonio Peruch


In 2021, Edizioni Curci published an outstanding book on the life and music of Astor Piazzolla, entitled, Astor Piazzolla. Il Padre del Nuevo Tango. Chronologia, opere e discografia ragionata, written by Italian musicologist and composer Paolo Picchio. I was honoured to be asked to prepare the English translation of this book. My translation was published in 2023 by Edizioni Curci with the title, Astor Piazzolla. The Father of the New Tango. Chronology, Works, and Annotated Discography.

2023, 2022

In September 2022, I joined SCPA as their Instructor of Classical Accordion. The University of Calgary is now one of the few North American post-secondary institutions offering accordion study in the BMus and MMus degrees. In addition to teaching our three students, I composed a commissioned work for our MMus student, Penny Sanborn who, through my international contacts, attended master classes in Italy in 2023. I performed as soloist with the Calgary Wind Symphony on their exciting December 2023 concert.

Penny Sanborn

Penny Sanborn

In the spirit of interdisciplinary collaboration, I collaborated with other artists in my first thesis graduate recital at the SCPA. In April 2023, I performed a concert on classical accordion with guest artists Andrea Neumann on violin, Andrea Case on cello, and Laura Lindgren, dancer.

I travelled to Florence, Italy to attend a masterclass with Maestro Ivano Battiston, meetings with his accordion students, and to attend a special concert. The concert was the “30x30 Project": a celebration to mark thirty years of Battiston's accordion professorship at the Luigi Cherubini Conservatory of Music. This 30x30 project included the presentation of 30 compositions for accordion, by 30 composers. This trip was partially supported by The Centre for Research in the Fine Arts, and the Bell Family Fund.

Video Still Captured by Kai Hall (Video Sourced from Hatchap Productions, filmed by Nick Boyle)

Deedra Salange Ladouceur

Downtime With Deeds is a new podcast that first premiered on August 31st, 2023. I took on various roles including editing, interviewing, hosting, promoting and producing. "Join Deeds & Savy for some downtime, on their journey, as they listen, learn, reflect and grow together. Follow along with this Métis-led podcast, as they hold space for various special guests to divulge their own life stories, sharing their connections to their indigeneity and the lessons they have learned through life."

'Ghost' Return To Mourning, was a one-person show I both wrote and performed in. It was also the first project I ever sourced funding for and produced. "If you were presented with an opportunity to write a letter to death, what would you say? 'Ghost' Return To Mourning is an experimental exploration of death, balancing autobiographical sentiment with external pressures regarding the healing that often needs to take place."

Stephen Demaer

Stephen Demaer

Releasing my debut solo classical guitar album, Reflections, is the culmination of my BMUS degree at the University of Calgary. It is an aural display of the past 5 years of work with Dr. Ralph Maier, who was invaluable in its preparation and completion. It was recorded in the Doolittle Studio July 2023, and will release February 10th, 2024 with a performance at Asylum for Art in downtown Calgary!

Having become an RCM certified teacher in March 2023, shortly before finishing my BMUS degree and being accepted into the MMUS degree, was a great amount of positive things to happen at once. Within weeks of starting the MMUS degree I found out one of my students had the highest mark in the region for their RCM piano exam, making them a gold medal student and myself a gold medal teacher.

Photo credit: Tim Nguyen

Steven Conde

Shakespeare in Love was one of the biggest productions of the SCPA in 2023. With a cast of 21 actors and over 30 others working behind the scenes, this show took a village to mount. UCalgary's production was also the first of its kind as it deviated from the traditional staging of the material. It instead used some gender-blind casting, neoclassical music, and contemporary touches toward both vocabulary and aesthetics.
For the first time in history, we presented a two-act play during the university's Alchemy Festival. Originally hailing from London's west end, the material for A Monster Calls was most challenging from its scale down to its subject matter. UCalgary's production had a cast of 15 undergraduate students who had 3 weeks of mostly 4-hour rehearsals to put together this mammoth of a show. A Monster Calls written by Patrick Ness explored grief amongst family especially as perceived and dealth with by the young.
Susan's Dream Date

Grant Tilly

Grant was one of four actors cast in the North American Premiere of The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde at Vertigo Theatre. The production incorporated stylized movement and live music played by the actors.

Grant wrote the libretto, lyrics, and music for the Susan's Dream Date, which explored the difficulties of dating while being a caregiver for an aging parent. A staged reading was presented as part of the Alchemy Festival and was directed by Christine Brubaker.

Krista M

Krista McGinn

I have learned a lot already after only one semester into my Mmus program, though my accomplishments may mostly be an intangible, subtle shift in the way of approaching my music discipline. In my teaching studio, I am creating a more speculative environment and sharing control over the lesson direction with my students. In my piano practice, I am cultivating new techniques involving holistic piano memorization, pre-performance strategies, and prepared piano. In performance, all these new ways of practicing my discipline will hopefully develop into tangible fruit in upcoming concerts at SCPA. Having graced these same halls forty years ago when beginning my undergrad studies in flute, it is satisfying to return to my roots to complete my grad degree in my first love, piano. Though I still admire and climb towards virtuosity in the honing of my craft, my discipline is starting to carry themes of 'listening and pause' while unravelling how all the arts in SCPA can co-partner in telling a story alongside music.

Gloria Mui

My solo violin "Fiddle Twiddle" was selected by the Columbia International Female Composer call for scores FMMN 2023 (Festival Mujeres en la Música Nueva 2023). My piece was performed by Columbia violinist Juan Carlos Higuita for the concert in Columbia - Auditorio Lleras Universidad de los Andes on August 26th, 2023.