Backstage Pass to Porch View Dances: Mimico

Welcome to your backstage pass into a series of all the fun access to what’s happening in preparation for the final performances this June. You can look forward to meeting the choreographers and the community dancers. Gain sneak peeks to their practices and much more…

Porch View Dances: Real People Dancing In Real Spaces (PVD) is giving Etobicoke – Lakeshore communities more of an opportunity to connect and engage with their neighbours through the beautiful art form of dance. Learn more about the PVD Mimico, HERE!



House One
Concept & Choreographer: Julia Aplin
Community Dancers: Laura Pong, Charlotte Pong, Kieran Pong, Marion Jenson, Ken Jenson

House Two
Concept & Choreographer: Michael Caldwell & Louis Laberge-Côté
Community Dancers: Jesse, Wendell, Rowena Fox, Anne Ostrom

House Three
Concept & Choreographer: Karen & Allen Kaeja
Community Dancers: Aldona Renalli, Hugh Renalli, Irene Yelovich, Cheryll-Ann Yelovich, Joseph Yelovich

Festival Emcee – EmmaClaire Brightlyn

Vinette Dancers – Renée Greneway, Clara Rose Isgro, Eryn Finlay, Samantha Hughes, Serena Watson, Susie Strachan


Let’s get started with our first house stop lead by Julia Aplin and community dancers Team Stanley!

Meet House #1 Choreographer: Julia Aplin

Julia has been dancing and creating dances for as long as she can remember. She has created a dance for theatres, rivers, boxing rings and cyberspace. She won the Dusk Dances 2014 Audience Choice Award for “Inner City Sirens Part 2”. She performed around the world with Dancemakers, under the Artistic Direction of Serge Bennathan for 15 seasons. As well as her work in Canada,  Julia has worked with choreographers Damien Munoz from Spain and Kim Itoh from Japan. She continues to explore her fascination with the human body in motion through dance, healing and teaching. Julia has a private practice to help people love their body and love moving.


Meet House #1: Team Stanley

Laura Pong, Charlotte Pong, Kieran Pong, Marion Jenson, Ken Jenson

Ken and Marion Jenson of 26 Stanley Avenue have been married for 60 years and have lived in Mimico their whole lives. The Pong’s (Steven, Laura, Charlotte, and Kieran) at 22 Stanley Avenue moved to Mimico in 2009, but have called Etobicoke home forever.

Ken and Marion and their children attended the same schools: GR Gauld, John English and good old Mimico High School. Charlotte and Kieran also attended John English.

Ken had a long career in the electrical field and Marion was a school secretary, with her last school being David Hornell Junior. Ken is the oldest resident on this block of Stanley Avenue and Kieran is the youngest, but that doesn’t stop them from playing cars together and sharing stories of how Mimico has changed. Marion taught Charlotte how to knit and Charlotte loves to sit with Marion on her porch and tell her all about her day.

Mimico has gone through many growing pains with amalgamation, the constant struggle to accept change, and despite it all, it proudly remains the best place to live. The Jenson‘s and the Pong‘s are participating in Porch View Dances Mimico this year to celebrate the progression of life and it’s opportunities and the special connection these two families have. Oh, and Laura needs to return a cake pan.

Meet House #2 Choreographers: Michael Caldwell & Louis Laberge-Côté

Michael Caldwell

Michael Caldwell is a Toronto-based choreographer, performer, curator, and arts advocate. He has performed/collaborated with over 50 of Canada’s esteemed dance creators/companies, performing across North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. His performances have earned him two (2) Dora Mavor Moore Awards for outstanding performance in dance. Caldwell is a two-time K.M. Hunter Charitable Foundation Artist Award finalist. He is the executive producer at Fall for Dance North, and associate artistic director at Festival of Dance Annapolis Royal in Nova Scotia, and sits on the board of directors at the Dancer Transition Resource Centre, and the advisory committee at Citadel + Compagnie and Dancemakers.

photo credit: Marlowe Porter


Louis Laberge-Côté

Louis Laberge-Côté is a Toronto-based dancer, choreographer, teacher, and rehearsal director. An acclaimed performer, he has danced nationally and internationally with over thirty companies and has been a full-time member of Toronto Dance Theatre (1999-2007) and the Kevin O’Day Ballett Nationaltheater Mannheim (2009-2011). He has created over eighty choreographic works, which have been presented and commissioned in Canada and abroad. His work has garnered him a Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Choreography, as well as eight other individual and ensemble nominations for Performance or Choreography. A sought-after pedagogue, he has taught classes and workshops all across Canada and has been recently appointed Assistant Professor of Dance at Ryerson University. He holds an MFA in Creative Practice from the University of Plymouth (UK).


photo credit: Maxine Bergevin


Meet House #2: Fusion

Jesse, Wendell, Rowena Fox, Anne Ostrom

Wendell and Jesse are a fun-loving, open-minded, couple who have lived in Mimico for 7 wonderful years. Well-rounded entrepreneurs, they run their own global business while still enjoying a simple life filled with the creative pursuit of art, design, and philosophy. Warm, multicultural & multilingual world- travellers, music is their passion. They enjoy time outdoors, often on their bicycles and e-bike. They love new friends and challenges and believe in exploring their boundaries.

Mimico was to be the starter home for Anne and her young family.  25 years on and she is still here, enjoying the roar of the lake on a windy day, the rumble of the streetcar and the friendship of good neighbours. Rowena grew up in Mimico and was drawn back to the lake to start her own family and business years later. Both lovers of the written word, Anne and Rowena met at book club. An adventurous spirit has sparked both women to tell their own story in dance.



Stay tuned for more backstage access coming tomorrow, will be introducing you to House #3…