Canada Council Walter Carsen Prize recognizes Canadian dance icon

Ottawa, August 28, 2012 – The internationally renowned dancer, choreographer and institution builder Menaka Thakkar is the 2012 winner of the Canada Council Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts. She has been bringing classical Indian dance to Canadians for 40 years andhas trained several generations of professional dancers who now enjoy thriving careers of their own.

Download images of Menaka Thakkar and her work.

“Menaka Thakkar is a major figure in the Canadian dance landscape,” said Robert Sirman, Canada Council for the Arts Director and CEO. “She has trained with some of the best in India and, for years, has made their teachings accessible to the mainstream in Canada. Her work has truly enriched our collective culture.”

The Walter Carsen Prize, administered and presented by the Canada Council for the Arts, recognizes the highest level of artistic excellence and distinguished career achievement by Canadian artists who have spent the major part of their career in Canada in dance, theatre or music. The award, valued this year at $ 30,000, was created through a generous donation of $1.1 million to the Canada Council by Toronto businessman and philanthropist Walter Carsen, O.C. The prize is normally awarded annually on a four‑year cycle: dance, theatre, dance, music.Read the complete news release here or by copying and pasting the following URL into your web browser’s address:

Media Contacts: 
Mireille Allaire: 1-800-263-5588 or 613-566-4414, ext. 4523                                   
Heather McAfee: 1-800-263-5588 or 613-566-4414, ext. 4166                          

Menaka Thakkar Dance Company: 
Karen Dempster: 905-763-6083, ext. 22