HAGERSVILLE, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 4, 2011) - Kaha:wi Dance Theatre (KDT) will continue to provide high-calibre training to arts students thanks to support from the Government of Canada. Funding was announced today by Phil McColeman, Member of Parliament (Brant), on behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.

"Our Government has a plan for culture, and increased investment in arts training is an important part of that plan," said Minister Moore. "It demonstrates that we invest in excellence—the hallmark of the training provided by institutions like Kaha:wi Dance Theatre."

"This organization is making a great contribution to our region," said Mr. McColeman. "Our Government is happy to support this dance theatre, which offers an intensive summer training program that highlights Aboriginal dance forms and allows participants to increase their awareness and understanding of Aboriginal culture."

"Kaha:wi Dance Theatre is honoured to be the recipient of Canada Arts Training funding in support of our Aboriginal Dance Training program," said Santee Smith, KDT's Artistic Director. "As a leading dance organization, we are working to foster a vibrant community of Canadian dance artists where artistic excellence and acknowledgement of First Nations dance are uniquely highlighted. As the Artistic Director of Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, I look forward to cultivating the development of professional dance artists now and for the future. Thank you to the Government of Canada for its support of our vision and goals."

Kaha:wi Dance Theatre is a not-for-profit charitable organization that creates professional contemporary dance productions. Through both its productions and its training programs, the company is committed to increasing awareness and understanding of Aboriginal culture.

The Government of Canada has provided funding of $40,000 through the Canada Arts Training Fund. The Fund supports non-profit organizations that offer training to Canadians aspiring to a national or international professional career in the arts. Through Canada's Economic Action Plan, the total budget of the Canada Arts Training Fund rose in 2009 from $17.1 million to $24.1 million per year. This represents a permanent increase of 41 percent.

(This news release is available on the Internet at www.canadianheritage.gc.ca under Newsroom.)

Contact Information: Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
and Official Languages
Codie Taylor - Press Secretary
Canadian Heritage
Media Relations