We have so little time to be born to the moment.”

-Martha Graham

Joysanne Sidimus

2006 Lifetime Artistic Achievement (Dance)

Dancer, writer, arts activist, Balanchine Repetiteur and mentor, Joysanne Sidimus is one of contemporary ballet's most respected artists and a passionate advocate for the socio-economic rights of artists.

Ms. Sidimus began her career in her native New York City, training at the School of American Ballet. She is a Repetiteur for The George Balanchine Trust, staging the legendary choreographer's works for over 20 years for The National Ballet of Canada and internationally. She performed with Balanchine's New York City Ballet and was a soloist with London's Festival Ballet and a Principal Dancer with the Pennsylvania Ballet and The National Ballet of Canada. Ms. Sidimus has taught internationally, including at Canada's National Ballet School and the American Ballet Theater School, and spent seven years on the faculty of the North Carolina School of the Arts.

She is the founder (1985) and executive director until December 2005 of the Dancer Transition Resource Centre, a unique, visionary national organization that has helped over 10,000 dancers make necessary transitions into, within, and from professional performing careers through a program of education, counselling, and grants for retraining and subsistence. She was also the driving force behind the establishment of the Al and Malka Green Artists' Health Centre at the Toronto Western Hospital, and was its founding vice-president.

Joysanne Sidimus has contributed her expertise to countless organizations and advisory bodies, including the Canadian Advisory Committee for the Status of the Artist, the International Organization for the Transition of Professional Dancers (founding vice-president), Dance Ontario, the Canada Council for the Arts' Dance 2020 visioning team, and Performing Arts Lodges of Canada. She currently sits on the Ontario Status of the Artist Sub-Committee.

She is the author of two books: Reflections in a Dancing Eye: The Role of the Artist in Contemporary Canadian Society (co-written with Carol Anderson) and Exchanges: Life After Dance.

Awards and honours include the Governor General's Meritorious Service Medal (2003) for her significant contribution to Canada's cultural life in founding the Dancer Transition Resource Centre; the Canada Council for the Arts Jacqueline Lemieux Prize (1999); and the Dance Ontario Award (1989).