250 Indigenous Student Dancers From 13 Communities to Take Part in 16th Annual Showcase May 12 & 13 at Toronto’s Meridian Hall
Toronto, ON — Working with some of Canada’s best professional choreographers over the past eight months, 250 Indigenous student dancers from 13 communities across the country are ready to leave it all on the stage. They’ll be taking part in Canada’s Largest Indigenous Youth Performance, presented by Outside Looking In, at Toronto’s Meridian Hall, Friday, May 12 and Saturday, May 13, 2023.
After last year’s spectacular return to a stage performance in front of a live audience, OLI CEO and Founder, Tracee Smith is ready to do it all over again. “This is a fantastic year for OLI! We’ve never had this many student performers. And we’re continuing to draw big names to our Showcase. Stay tuned as we announce our special guests over the next few weeks.”
Outside Looking In (OLI) is a national organization that offers multiple support programs for Indigenous youth across the country including:
- OLI Dance, its flagship program is a high school-accredited dance program for Indigenous youth in grades 7-12
- RBC Future Leaders, a high school enrichment, leadership and mentorship program
- OLI Alumni program, designed to provide a platform for past participants to stay connected with OLI after high school to ensure they are supported and guided as they transition into adulthood – including an Entrepreneurship module sponsored by TD
Smith added that OLI continues to expand its reach. “2023 has seen the addition of six new communities, including our first in Quebec. Our numbers took a bit of a hit during the pandemic, but last year and this year clearly indicate that we have bounced back with more students and communities wanting to join our dance program.”
Since the inception of its dance program in 2007, OLI has played a critical role in empowering thousands of Indigenous youth from over 30 communities and achieving high school graduation rates of over 96 per cent while improving academic standing and health and wellbeing. Over 80 per cent of youth participants reported improved mental health and self-esteem; 90 per cent reported an increased level of importance on education, and 86 per cent reported better grades.
Corporate and Foundation support for OLI has also experienced an uptick. CIBC recently signed on as a new OLI Alumni sponsor, along with support from The Peter Gilgan Foundation and The Pathy Family Foundation for OLI’s Dance program.
This week, OLI will also debut its one-hour documentary special, A FORTNIGHT BLOSSOM: The Outside Looking In Camp Experience, chronicling the journey of Indigenous youth as they leave their home communities, meet peers from across Canada, and gear up for the performance of their lives. The heartfelt documentary can be streamed for free at olishow.com, starting April 13.
This year’s Annual Showcase performance will feature youth from:
- Baker Lake, Nunavut
- Big Island Lake Cree Nation, Sask.
- Garden Hill, Man.
- Lac La Croix, Ont.
- Native Canadian Centre of Toronto, Ont.
- Pikangikum First Nation, Ont.
- Pinaymootang First Nation, Man.
- Red Sucker Lake, Man.
- Seven Oaks School Division, Winnipeg, Man.
- St. Theresa Point, Man.
- Tasiujaq, Nunavik, Que.
- Wasagamack, Man.
- Webequie First Nation, Ont.
Local students will be able to catch the first Showcase on Friday, May 12th at 10:30 am. The general public are invited to purchase tickets for the second show on Saturday, May 13th at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $20 to $100 each (plus fees & taxes), and are available online through the following outlets:
- TO Live
- By phone at 1-855-985-2787 or 416-368-6161 x1
- In person at the Meridian Hall Box Office located at 27 Front Street East
About Outside Looking In
Founded in 2007, Outside Looking In is a nationally registered charitable organization that aims to empower Indigenous youth through the transformative art of dance, while they pursue education, increase their mental and physical health, and engage in self-expression. For information, visit olishow.com.
Outside Looking In would like to thank our generous lead supporters, including RBC Foundation, RBC Future Launch, TD Ready Commitment, Scotia Bank, CIBC, Peter Gilgan Foundation, Pathy Family Foundation and the Tachane Foundation.