National Arts Centre mourns the passing of Canadian choreographer and dancer Rachel Browne

Ottawa (Canada)—The National Arts Centre (NAC) is mourning the death of Rachel Browne, the founder of the longest standing contemporary dance company in the country, Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers (WCD).

Known as the beloved matriarch of the Winnipeg dance community, Ms. Browne was visiting Ottawa over the past few days as part of the Canada Dance Festival. The NAC extends its condolences to all of the dancers participating in the festival and to Ms. Browne’s family and friends, she will be deeply missed.

Browne was here to oversee a performance of students from The School of Contemporary Dancers (Winnipeg) on Tuesday and to attend the performance of Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers in Brent Lott’s 97 Positions of the Heart on Wednesday.

Mr. Lott is the current Artistic Director of Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers (or WCD). “Rachel Browne’s legacy is us,” Lott said in a statement. “All of these dancers and choreographers who have been blessed by knowing her, dancing for her, being mentored by her. We’re all around the world now.”

Lott’s show will go on as planned on Wednesday. “She wouldn’t have wanted it any other way,” he said.

To pay tribute to Rachel Browne’s contribution to the cultural life of Canada the NAC has lowered its flag in recognition of her passing. There will be a book of condolence in the lobby during the rest of the Canada Dance Festival so artists and patrons of the festival can write some thoughts and memories of Ms. Browne for her family. 


For more information, please contact:

Rosemary Thompson, Director

Communications and Public Affairs

National Arts Centre

(613) 947-7000, ext. 260

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