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Daina Ashbee wins the CALQ Prize for Best Choreographic Work for When the Ice Melts, Will We Drink the Water?

Anne-Marie Jean et Daina Ashbee
Anne-Marie Jean et Daina Ashbee

Montreal, November 15, 2016 – The Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ) is pleased to award the CALQ Prize for Best Choreographic Work of the 2015-2016 season to choreographer Daina Ashbee for When the Ice Melts, Will We Drink the Water? The $10,000 prize was presented to the choreographer by Anne-Marie Jean, CEO of CALQ, at the Prix de la danse de Montréal awards ceremonies.

“The CALQ selection committee was strongly impressed by Daina Ashbee’s choreographic installation, an intelligent exploration of complex subjects—such as female sexuality, Aboriginal identity and climate change—with a radical approach that transcends simple provocation,” declared Anne-Marie Jean. “The work keeps its audiences on the edge of their seats, leading to a stunning climax.”

The prizewinner

When the Ice Melts, Will We Drink the Water? was created by Daina Ashbee in collaboration with dancer Esther Gaudette and composer Jean-François Blouin. It closed the RAOTIHÓN:TSA—Focus on First Nations’ Creation Festival, presented by La Chapelle Scènes Contemporaines at the Monument National on Earth Day, April 22. It was subsequently presented at OFFTA in June 2016. Its title in the form of a question is intended to spark reflections on climate change, but the work is rooted within the performer herself, dealing with sexual abuse and violence against women.

Daina Ashbee ( This link will open in a new window)

Daina Ashbee is a Montreal-based artist, performer and choreographer of Dutch, Cree and Métis descent. Her work, which uses both contemporary and traditional means of expression, is strongly influenced by her heritage and experiences as a young woman. She has performed at the Global Alliance Against Female Genital Mutilation in Switzerland (2015), the Musée d’ethnographie de Genève (2015), La Chapelle Scènes Contemporaines (2015, 2016) and Montréal, arts interculturels (2014). In 2015, for Unrelated, she was a finalist for the CALQ Prize—Work by an Emerging Artist in Montreal.

Supporting excellence

With a view to achieving equitable and sustainable artistic development, CALQ supports creation, experimentation and production in all regions of Quebec, while helping to raise the profile of its artists locally, nationally and internationally.

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Karine Côté

Conseillère en communications à la promotion des arts et des lettres

Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec

Tél. : 418 528-2589 ou 1 800 608-3350

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