Resources – #1 Where We’re At

Hello lovers of Dance in Saskatchewan and beyond! This posting is the first Board Blog, bringing you the latest in news and comment from your Board of Directors.

This first edition will be a lengthy one, but bear with us as we clarify the organization’s current status. First, we do want to thank you for all you do for dance and your communities and wish you all the best in these difficult times. You are to be congratulated for maintaining your vision and commitment and we hope to follow your example in our work on the Board.

As you know, the last two years have been difficult ones for DSI, and we are in the middle of major change. We will keep providing you with the latest information as to how DSI is doing and what is on the Board table as we look forward to your feedback and advice.

As many of you know Dance Saskatchewan was placed under Eligibility Review for funding in October 2019, by SaskCulture in its role as manager of the Culture Section of Sask Lotteries Trust. This process can last up to two years. Since then, with ongoing support from SaskCulture’s Eligibility Committee and management your Board has been working hard since our election early this year to address the concerns raised by the Eligibility Committee. We are hopeful that DSI will emerge in mid-2021 from the process with renewed mandate, focus and energy.

A major condition of DSI maintaining eligibility is that it conduct and act upon a province-wide review of the dance community’s needs and expectations. We will be issuing a Request for Proposals for this review shortly and will hire an independent third party to lead it, getting under way in January.

Another requirement was that DSI vacate the lease at Fairmont. This arrangement had not only proven to be beyond our managerial and financial capacity but had also generated a steady, growing unsustainable pressure on our human and financial resource for an initiative serving only one part of our provincial community. Our operating, granting and program capacity has been significantly reduced due to the ongoing net cost of the Fairmont lease and, more recently, the cost of exiting it. DSI maintains office space at Fairmont but with a significantly reduced footprint.

In this year our Annual Global Funding has been reduced substantially and even the second half of our grant is not assured: it depends on DSI’s performance in the eligibility process. We are listening to the needs of members and will take them into consideration as we go forward. However, this reduction along with the requirements of the eligibility review significantly impacts our capacity to support programs and services in the short term, pending the outcome of the province-wide review.

We were pleased with the turnout at the much-delayed 2018-19 AGM and look forward to seeing as many of you as possible early in the new year at the 2019-20 AGM. We will be aggressively recruiting new members to the Board in order to enhance the diversity and capacity of DSI’s leadership for the changes and opportunities that lie ahead. Please give this serious consideration.

While this is uncomfortable news for all of us, we take hope from the strength of dance in Saskatchewan and your many years of support. We look forward to getting over these hurdles and continuing to work together as we advance the cause of dance the length and breadth of Saskatchewan.