Jake W Hastey has been called “startlingly creative, prolific, and spirited” by the Edmonton Journal who listed him as one of their People To Watch in 2015. As the CEO and artistic director of Toy Guns Dance Theatre his work has been heralded with five star reviews and sold out shows. In 2014 the company was voted best dance company in Edmonton by Vue Magazine a title retained in 2015 as well as listed as one of the top ten dance performances of 2014 by The Uniter, Winnipeg’s Urban Journal. Jake’s seven full length dance theatre works have been equally well received across Canada with over a hundred performances in the last three years.
With a diverse background ranging from classical ballet and opera to contemporary theatre and clown Jake has trained at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, University of Alberta, King’s University, American Ballet Theatre (NYC), as well as privately with amazing artists and directors across Canada including Evelyn Hart and Arnold Spohr.
Jake has made a significant contribution to dance education in Alberta with over a decade of teaching, program coordinating, and artistic directing in both the non-profit and private sectors. During his seven years as artistic director of Silhouette Dance School he doubled the program, brought in guest teachers from across the country, and had students audition and be accepted into The National Ballet School (Canada), Royal Winnipeg Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Joffrey Ballet School, The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, and The School of Alberta Ballet.
With a passion for accessible public art projects Jake has conceived of and been instrumental in the development and launch of many major art projects and programs. He received national media coverage for his Graffiti Art House project in 2014, was the creative force behind Dancing in the Park Edmonton’s free outdoor dance festival which offers professional performances, live music, dance lessons, and a celebratory dance party, launched a dance community fundraiser titled Ultimate Dance Battle, and this past year launched tights for tots an international initiative to supply financially challenged children with dance attire to pursue their dreams of dance. In 2015 he launched the Toy Guns Summer intensive with dancers from across the province spending a summer in Edmonton including performing in a new five star production he created for the Edmonton International Fringe Festival and in the fall assisted in launching both the Toy Guns Apprentice program and Young Company.
Jake W Hastey is a two time Mayor’s Awards for the Arts nominee, two time recipient of the of Arnold Spohr Scholarship for dance, Sterling award nominated director, winner of the Best Director award at the Edmonton International Film Festival, and has had the honour of having his work exhibited at national arts festivals. In 2017/18 he is looking forward to the launch of the Toy Guns Professional Dance Certification Program as well as having four of his works including two world premiere productions presented in the Toy Gun’s Edmonton season.
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