Dancemakers and Shay Erlich Present: Pushmakers Townhall

A presentation of sector research and open conversation mediated by Shay & Christina. Held over zoom on May 31 at 2pm EDT.

Pushmakers Townhall

May 31, 2024 | 2pm EDT
Cost: Free
Register on Zoom

When we put out a call in November 2023 for manual wheelchair dancers to be part of a residency for Shay Erlich’s Guest Curatorship, we didn’t know what to expect. Since then– we’ve learned so much! Join us for a discussion about manual wheelchair dance in Canada, dance sector needs, and how organizations like Dancemakers are learning to take cues from disability artists to build a strong and inclusive dance sector.

The zoom meeting will have ASL interpretation, simultaneous French Language interpretation, and CART. If you have access requests to attend this webinar, please email for more information.

We encourage artists and arts professionals of all styles and stages to attend!

Shay Erlich (they/them) is a disability justice world builder living in Tkaronto. Their work both creatively and professionally reimagines a disability-centered world where disabled people are empowered to love themselves and live free from stigma, shame, and ableism. They are a champion of disability inclusion in the arts and media sector – working with organizations such as the City of Toronto Arts and Culture department, Canada Media Fund, DAWN Canada, the National Arts Centre – National Creation Fund; where Shay is a disability-arts curatorial advisor. Shay’s writing on the arts can be found in many publications including The Dance Current,, and The Cripsters. Their body of work also includes a significant dance career. Shay was a co-choreographer and dancer of A Provocation on Wheels I and Safe Words (I didn’t say broccoli) with The Cyborg Circus Project. The film version of A Provocation on Wheels I was part of the festival circuit as a selected short at the Contact Dance International Film Festival, the ReelAbilities Film Festival (Toronto), and the Chinook Festival. Shay’s work with other dance companies includes Heart2Heart by Political Movement, and SPUR of the Moment Shakespere Collective. Shay has participated in many prestigious residency and artistic development opportunities including The Inkling Incubator (2019), New Blue Kaeja d’Dance Creative Risk Residency (2019) and Dancing Disability Lab (2020). Recently Shay was the inaugural Accessible Futures artist in residence with North York Arts where they choreographed and produced a short dance film Landscapes: Love Letters to Willow. Learn more about Shay here.

Questions or Comments?

Dancemakers Centre for Creation
410 Jarvis Street
Toronto, ON M4Y 2G6

Follow us on Instagram: @dancemakersto

Image Descriptions:
1) Shay and Paulina hold each others forearms as they dance around each other in their wheelchairs. Shay smiles at Paulina, and Paulina’s back is to us. Paulina’s right wheel is blurred, indicating that the pair are spinning quickly. They are in a hall with tall ceilings and metal pillars to Shay’s left.
2) Shay, a white, non-binary, trans-masc human looks directly at the camera grinning. They have short brown hair that is cut close on the sides and longer on the top. They have facial piercings in their eyebrow and nose. Shay is wearing a short-sleeve button-down shirt that is dark blue and has a green and maroon plant pattern all over it.