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Local nonprofit dancing towards charitable status with fundraiser

Brass Ring Dance looks to raise $7,000 to be recognized as charity by CRA, which founder says will ensure more kids get a chance to dance

With an eye on receiving charitable status for her non-profit dance organization, Allie Laliberte is excited about an upcoming fundraiser.

“Our goal is to apply to the CRA to be recognized as a charity,” the Brass Ring Dance Inc. founder tells MidlandToday. “All of this process is quite expensive.”

The Lafontaine native, who now lives in the other L.A. (Los Angeles) created the Midland-based as a way to provide financial support for children and youth interested in dance.

“Obviously, there are families that need assistance with dance needs,” Laliberte says. “We see the need for it.”

Next Sunday, Brass Ring Dance will hold a fundraiser in Toronto with proceeds going to its efforts to become a registered charitable organization, a cost Laliberte says is in the $7,000 range.

“Industry Night” will consist of three classes. One for people with disabilities (all ages/levels) taught by Ali Phillips, a contemporary class (intermediate/advanced) taught by Caitlyn Paige and a commercial class (intermediate/advanced) taught by Tatiana Parker.

Each class will be an hour and 15 minutes. During the last 15 minutes of each class, a panel consisting of Canada’s top working casting directors, choreographers and agents will observe and provide feedback. 

“We have the top industry working professionals, Toronto’s top agency and choreographer,” Laliberte says, pointing out panellists include Amy Wright, a choreographer and casting director known for her work on The Next Step along with many other TV shows and movies, Dacosta talent agent Andrew “Pyro” Chung and choreographer Mark Samuels.

“We have some heavy hitters coming in to show their support. It’s going to be a really great day.”

Laliberte says the event is being held in Toronto rather than North Simcoe since it’s a better locale to raise the funds needed towards its end goal.

“This is more about making money,” she says, noting that achieving charitable status could also see greater donations from companies and individuals since they will be assured of a tax receipt.

“Our Midland events are donation based, this is a set price. In Toronto, we think we can sell out the room.”

Launched last year, Laliberte developed Brass Ring Dance to assist in paying for dance tuition and equipment. As it stands now, she says studios will either provide a reduced rate or the young dancer won’t be able to join.

Laliberte, 27, began her dance career at the age of 13 at Midland’s Dancer’s Studio. She attended École secondaire Le Caron in Penetanguishene in Grades 9 and 10 before transferring to St. Theresa’s Catholic High School in Midland to finish high school.

Since embarking on her professional career, Laliberte has worked with the likes of Drake, Rihanna, Shawn Mendes, Doja Cat, JBalvin, Ricky Martin and Sofia Carson.

Since its inception, the organization has also hosted donation-based dance workshops and seminars so children who may not be able to afford a year of dance still have opportunities to pursue it.

The nonprofit’s overall mission is to remove all barriers in dance by providing accessible, ethical and safer dance spaces for children and youth located in rural areas of Ontario.

“Our main goal is to help children and youth living in small towns,” she says, noting she’d like to eventually branch out to Orillia and Christian Island.

“We want to do anything we can to help grow the dance world.”

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Andrew Philips

About the Author: Andrew Philips

Editor Andrew Philips is a multiple award-winning journalist whose writing has appeared in some of the country’s most respected news outlets. Originally from Midland, Philips returned to the area from Québec City a decade ago.
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