Anyone familiar with Dalhousie’s campus will tell you that it’s full of talented people. Véronique MacKenzie, an instructor in the theatre department and a social work student, is one of those people.
Ms. MacKenzie’s extraordinary talent was recognized recently by the Nova Scotia Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage and Creative Nova Scotia when she was awarded one of five Established Artist Recognition Awards.
Presented to artists in mid-career, the award comes with $5,000 in prize money. “I think it’s wonderful the province has a program like this that acknowledges people across disciplines,” said Ms. MacKenzie, a dancer and choreographer. “It’s not always easy being an artist in Nova Scotia and it’s great they’re recognized.”
She’s danced all her life. “I started when I was young,” she recalls. “I went through the ballet program and worked my way up before I switched to modern dance.” Modern dance, with a focus on improvisation, is what Ms. MacKenzie currently teaches to theatre students.
Originally from Montreal, she has been a resident of Nova Scotia for over 20 years. “The Atlantic provinces, but Nova Scotia in particular, are a great place to make a living,” she says. “This is just an awesome place to work and I make a point of telling young people that.”
Despite her assertion that Nova Scotia is a great place to work, she admits there are challenges for young dancers in the province. “I mentor lots of young dancers here and unfortunately many of them have to the leave the province for post-secondary education, which I always encourage, but I always want them to come back.”
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