November 13, 2020
Subject: Dance Studios in British Columbia
To our Ministers of Parliament in British Columbia, and our Health Authorities I am writing to you as the President of the BC Dance Educators Association. The purposes of this Association are to promote dance and dance education in British Columbia, to work with all and any government agencies on behalf of all the members to assist in licensing, regulations and common issues and to also provide a forum for education on the rights and regulations of dance teachers and dance studios with respect to all government regulations. On behalf of the over 150 dance studios in BC and as the representative of the BC Dance Educators Association I am asking for clarification for these many small businesses. Classifying them into the fitness category is a misrepresentation. Dance studios are educational in their structure. The majority follow National and International syllabi where examination results garner educational credits in the Province of BC. Shutting down dance studios, while allowing Cheerleading and gymnastics to continue is unfair to the thousands of participants in this province. Their businesses operate on a 10 month curriculum but they have 12 months of expenses. Many studios were refused the CECRA as the owners were not willing to apply for this benefit. They are all on precarious financial footing because they were shut down in the spring. Many had to refund a minimum of 25% of their expected income for the year. In order to have virtual classes caused additional expense. They were unable to present their year end recitals which provide them with a bit of revenue to help get them through the summer months. In order to reopen this fall they had the added expenses to outfit their studios with proper distancing and sanitizing. They followed the protocols demanded of them. If there are further rules they need to be informed immediately so they be put into place now and they can stay in business. With the Federal Government extending funding to our Province – this very important youth arts program needs our immediate support. I look forward to connecting with you and discussing this pressing issue further.
Janice Wharton | President
BC Dance Educator’s Association
Direct: 778-789-7892 | www.bcdanceeducators.ca