We're only particles of change... orbiting around the sun.”

-Joni Mitchell, Hejira

Peggy Baker: Four Phrases
Howie Shia, Director, Michael Fukushima, Producer

Michael Fukushima has been directing and producing animation films since 1984. He joined the NFB in 1990, directing the Hot Docs-winning animated documentary Minoru: memory of exile. Since 1997, he's been a producer at the NFB, where he created Hothouse, a program for emerging young animators. As producer, his most notable credits include Chris Hinton's Genie Award-winning cNote and Howie Shia's Flutter. Michael is co-producing new work by Japanese filmmaker Koji Yamamura as well as Ann Marie Fleming's new NFB film based on the illustrated memoir I Was a Child of Holocaust Survivors. He also recently completed new films by Bruce Alcock and Shira Avni.

Peggy Baker

2009 Lifetime Artistic Achievement (Dance)

Dancer, choreographer and teacher

Peggy Baker is internationally acclaimed as one of the most outstanding and influential contemporary dancers of her generation.
A compelling performer, renowned choreographer, brilliant teacher, and passionate arts advocate, she has inspired several generations of young dancers, captivated audiences in Canada and abroad, and made an indelible mark on the modern dance scene.

Born in 1952 in Edmonton, Alberta, Ms. Baker studied acting at the University of Alberta before moving to Toronto to study dance. She apprenticed with Toronto Dance Theatre and began her professional career in 1974.

She was a founding member (1974) and artistic director (1979-80) of the Toronto dance company Dancemakers, contributing several choreographies to their repertoire and participating in more than
50 premieres of works by Canadian and international choreographers. From 1980-88 she toured internationally as a featured performer with the celebrated Lar Lubovitch Dance Company (New York), and in 1990 she toured the USA with the White Oak Dance Project created by dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov and choreographer Mark Morris. She returned to Toronto in 1990 to found her own company, Peggy Baker Dance Projects.

As a performer, Ms. Baker is acclaimed for her distinctive combination of intense physicality and spiritual radiance. "When I dance, I feel absolutely fluent, absolutely connected, as if I'm speaking in my first language," she says. Her choreography is rigorous, eloquent, and profoundly moving. She frequently collaborates with other Canadian choreographers and accomplished creators from other disciplines—actors, musicians, designers, visual artists, composers, filmmakers—and particularly with pianist Andrew Burashko, with whom she has created an important body of work.

Recognized as one of the modern dance world's finest teachers,
Ms. Baker teaches regularly at universities and professional training programs throughout Canada and the USA. She is currently (since 1992) Artist-in-Residence at Canada's National Ballet School.

Awards and honours include Member of the Order of Canada (2005); inaugural Ontario Premier's Award for Excellence in the Arts (2006); Order of Ontario (2003); Toronto Arts Council's Margo Bindhardt Award (2002); Cadillac-Fairview Salute to the City Award (2002); four Dora Mavor Moore Awards; and an honorary doctorate from the University of Calgary.