Festival of Dance Annapolis Royal (FODAR) brings professional dance alive in Annapolis County area of Nova Scotia. Annapolis Royal has a long history of arts and culture. FODAR’s main venue, King’s Theatre overlooks the founding location of The Order of Good Cheer in 1606. The Order of Good Cheer was founded by Samuel de Champlain to bring lively entertainment to the French settlers in Nova Scotia.
In 2014, Artistic Director Randy Glynn took a leap of faith, opening FODAR in Annapolis Royal. Though the town has a modest population of 400 residents, the inaugural season sold out. To date, FODAR is the only professional dance festival in Nova Scotia.
“To me, it’s an honour that we’re the only dance festival in the province,” said Randy. “In some ways we think about FODAR as the little engine that could.”
Randy believes that the arts in an integral part of communities across the country.
“Anywhere you are, you need a thorough fabric to make a community work,” said Randy. “You need restaurants, places to stay, people to be there and businesses. But I think you need culture just the same.”
“I think things like FODAR, and King’s Theatre make Annapolis an extremely attractive place to come to live, and to visit,” he said.
Randy is proud of what the opening of FODAR has done to expose Nova Scotians to the possibilities of working in the arts.
“If you’re growing up in rural anywhere – Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan or anywhere – and you can come see professional dance at the theatre, that opens up possibilities that wouldn’t otherwise exist,” said Randy.
“That level of professionalism sometimes clicks with somebody to say, ‘that’s what I’m doing to do, I’m going to go become a theatre technician’ and if you don’t have a theatre, that wouldn’t occur to you.”
Funding for the arts is something that Randy believes is integral to a thriving arts community across the country.
“Virtually none of the performing arts in Canada exist without funding… it’s essential, it just has to happen,” he said. “It’s essential to make things like FODAR happen.”
Support4Culture has provided Randy and FODAR the opportunity to bring dance to Nova Scotians year after year.
“We’ve been able to show professional dance to people in the province, and Support4Culture has certainly helped with that.”