M.A., Dance, York University, 2012
Patricia Fraser is a senior independent dance artist, teacher, and arts advisor. She graduated from York University with a bachelor’s degree in dance under founding chair Grant Strate, and went on to study at the schools of London Contemporary Dance Theatre, the Martha Graham Company, the José Limón Company, and Toronto Dance Theatre. Even before her graduation, Fraser performed with Dancemakers during their 1975 season, and then she moved to Scotland to become Director of Dance at the Glasgow Art Centre. She returned to Canada to rejoin Dancemakers in 1977, becoming Co-Artistic Director (with Carol Anderson) from 1980 through 1985. During her time at Dancemakers, Fraser went on to develop as one of the company’s finest dancers, performing in works by Conrad Alexandrowicz, Robert Cohan, Karen Jamieson, James Kudelka, Norman Morrice, Paul Taylor, and many others.
Fraser was Assistant Professor at York University in the dance department from 1985 through 1988, and then she left to pursue an independent career as a much sought-after performer and teacher. She has taught and performed extensively across Canada, as well as in Europe, and the United States, at such places as The Banff Centre, L’École de danse contemporaine de Montréal (formerly LADMMI), Montréal Danse, Simon Fraser University, Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers, and York University. She was a founding director of the Teachers’ Collective with Patricia Miner and Sylvain Brochu. She became Artistic Director of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre in 1993.
A recipient of many grants and awards, Fraser has also been a juror for the Canada, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Toronto Arts Councils; the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards; the Chalmers Training Awards; and the Dora Mavor Moore Awards. She is currently Chair of the Dora Mavor Moore Dance Division jury. A senior arts grant from The Canada Council for the Arts enabled her to undertake extensive international research on professional dance training.
In 2009, with the support of a Metcalf Foundation grant, Fraser took a six-month sabbatical to study dance training in Europe. In 2010, she was named as the inaugural winner of the Robert Johnston Award for exemplary Human Resources practices in the arts and culture sector. In 2012, she was a finalist for the Toronto Foundation for the Arts’ William Kilbourn Award for the Celebration of Toronto’s Cultural Life. She was awarded her M.A. in Dance from York University in 2012.