Mi Young Kim, 2021 Finalist

Mi Young Kim has established herself as one of the leading figures in the Korean- Canadian cultural scene. She works as a dancer, choreographer and instructor, and founded the Mi Young Kim Folk Dance Institute in 1979. The company then became the Korean Dance Studies Society of Canada, a non-profit organization in 1987.

Learn more about Korean Dance Studies Society of Canada founder and 2021 Muriel Sherrin Award finalist Mi Young Kim below.

Tell us why passing on knowledge of the art of Korean dance is so important for the future of dance?

Korean dance has a long historyof tradition and it is a unique form of art representating most Korean's emotions. Thus, it is crucial to preserve in its original form, and I strongly believe that by doing so we better contribute to cultural diversity in Canada.

How has being in a pandemic impacted your ability to connect and engage with dancers? What has been the biggest challenge in providing dance education from a distance?

Since the coronavirus outbreak in 2020, it has been much more difficult to stay connected and engage with our fellow artists and to maintain dance classes, especially due to social distancing. Nevertherless, our team members connect with each other on via Facebook, Instagram, Zoom and other forms of communication.They are keen to work with me, and we are making our best efforts to move forward with the current difficulties we are all currently facing.

The Sooryu Dance Festival is anticipated to return in 2022! Do you think it will look different next year than it has in the past?

The 2022 Festival will present a variety of workshops and dance shows featuring many talented artists carefully selected from an audition process. We are also planning a special stage titled "Naengyee" which is a Korean name for wild greens. Wild greens grow abandunt on the hills behind Korean villages in the springtime, and Koreans loves eating them because they have unique flavor and taste. We will make the beautiful scenery of the Korean hills be summoned to the show.

As the founder of Korean Dance Studies Society of Canada, how has the organization evolved since 1987?

For the past 42 years, KDSSC has undergone many difficulties. To name of few; lack of financial supports and cultural marginalization. Nevertheless, I am so proud of KDSSC for being a cultural bridge between Korea and Canada through a variety of cultural and artistic events and for being and established institution to preserve Korean dance in its original form. I am especially proude of KDSSC for being the one and only instition in Canada that offers professional education program for Korean dance, traditional and contemporary.

How does it feel to be nominated for the Muriel Sherrin Award?

Words cannot express my gratitude for the nomination. I am very much honored to be nominated for the award and I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the Toronto Arts Foundation.