By Year



Kingston & GTA coming soon


CODE went all the way south to Windsor, ON for a one-day conference.

See the brief recap here:

CODE finally made it to the North West and held a conference for educators at Beaver Brae Secondary School in Kenora, ON.

See the brief recap here:


2022 CODE Conference The Future of Tomorrow

This is a vital time in history for the drama and dance community, as we continue to work together to champion equity, diversity, and inclusion!  Work with talented presenters and delegates as we develop our ability to name, identify, unpack, learn about, and seek action to respond to systemic racism, discrimination, and other forms of oppression through these two powerful art forms!


Rebuild. Reflect. Renew.

"I absolutely loved reconnecting with drama and dance teachers again. The presenters were so engaging, personable, and clearly knowledgeable about their topics. Somehow CODE was able to make a virtual event as successful as a live event! Amazing!"

"Thank you for designing the CODE conference, despite everything else going on in education and the world! I found [Rob] Kempson's message to be refreshing and resilient. And the upbeat energy of all the conference organizers was replenishing for my soul. Thank you for finding relevant, timely topics."

"I loved the conference, I hope to have an opportunity to attend next year in person. Thank you so much, I have learned much and the French was super helpful since I'm a beginner drama/dance French teacher."


Virtual 50th Anniversary Celebration & David Booth Tribute

Statement of Postponement of the 2020 Evolve Conference

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2019 - CODE-on-the-Road

Central West/West Regional Conference: Stratford, ON. October 19, 2019.

Our Stratford conference on October 19th was outstanding. Workshops in Drama and Dance for K-12 educators led by a Stratford artist and CODE board members centred on the theme Growing Your Soul. From Othello to Finding the Joy in Dance, participants filled their toolboxes with many new inspiring ideas and strategies.The conference was well attended, the weather was gorgeous, our vendor Marketplace was buzzing. Congratulations to our conference chairs, our Central West and Western Regional Coordinators who worked together: Cheri-Anne Byrne and Leslie Turcotte.  Thank you to the committee supporting them, the team at Stratford and all the delegates who attended. This conference delivered what it promised: our souls grew.

2018 - CODE-on-the-Road

 Code in the 6ix artwork depitcing grafitti and spay

Toronto Regional Conference: Building Community. UTSC, Toronto, ON. (Code in the 6ix)

East/Central East Regional Conference: Picton, ON.

"Just loved it - all of it! In my 32 years of teaching one of the best workshops I have attended!"

"I found the instructors and the participants professional, engaging, skilled and talented. I left the workshop inspired, and with qualitative tools to utilize and inform my practice. The long drive was definitely worth it. May I also mention the warmth, and cordiality that I was met with from the outset. My soul was well fed."



Huntsville, ON

The vision of the conference is to celebrate, inspire and learn about the diverse voices that make up our drama and dance community. We have artists, educators and academics from diverse backgrounds sharing their dance and drama work around equity issues, arts advocacy, teacher and student wellness and the lenses which shape understanding.

One of the many strengths of dance and drama is the potential to allow students to explore a variety of perspectives and embody new ideas and concepts. As drama and dance educators we need to provide students with opportunities to experiment with various roles, use drama and dance as a vehicle to explore a variety of perspectives, and claim their voice through the roles they embody and the movements they create. We, as educators, must also examine our own voices. Where do we fit in in the landscape of Arts advocacy? How can we include a variety of perspectives, cultures, identities and experiences in our classrooms? What part do we play in fostering student creativity?

Keynote: Trevor Copp


Niagara Falls, ON

What did you like the most about the CODE 2016 Conference, Pick Your Path?:

"Being surrounded by so many like minded teachers; workshop leaders making everything experiential and practical; workshops tied to current and best practices"

"So many wonderful, dynamic, creative, passionate people in one place! The networking is much appreciated!"

"very relaxed, fun atmosphere with many opportunities for learning"

"I really appreciated the excellent dance presentations and workshops - this is an area where I have a lot to learn and I was happy to have the multiple opportunities that the conference provided."

"The workshops went beyond my expectations (which are always high for the CODE conference). I was truly blown away by new learning."



Mississauga, ON

The idea of Discovery connects to CODE's mandate of demonstrating how drama and dance can be used to teach, deconstruct and enhance student inquiry. The idea of WE is intentionally broad and open to exciting interpretations by Workshop Applicants.

Over 150 delegates, artist-educators, workshop leaders and vendors descended on the Hilton Meadowvale in Mississuga to celebrate Dance and Drama education in the province of Ontario. And what a celebration it was!

Starting on Thursday night with a special viewing of Kinky Boots at the Royal Alexandra Theatre hosted by Mirvish Productions, the weekend kicked into full swing on Friday night at the Opening Night Party in the Hudson Bay room at the Hilton. Graciously sponsored by Beau's All Natural Brewing, we were entertained by the Speck Brothers, who kept the mood lively (despite the Jays losing the series). 

Saturday was filled with fantastic workshops by CODE teachers and artist-educators. Highlights of the day were the Panel Discussion on the Future of Drama Education, moderated by Christine Jackson who was joined by teacher Greg Danakas, scholar and researcher Kathleen Gallagher, Artist Educator Rob Kempson, and TDSB student and artist Nyame Outten-Joseph. Important questions about the future of Drama in Ontario schools were raised, and the follow-up discussion on Sunday morning allowed delegates to consider their own practice in this context. Thanks to Christine, a CODE past president, for organizing this great discussion.

Our delicious dinner was capped off by two stellar Keynote presentations. We were treated to an inspiring and challenging keynote address by artist, educator, scholar, activist and dreamer Amanda Parris, who asked us to think about our practice in relation to those students who are in front of us. Intermingling scenes from her one-woman play 32C with her talk, we were entralled, entertained, and inspired.

Our Keynote performance was no less inspiring. Award-winning dancer and choreographer Jasmyn Fyffe and her dance company gave us an exceptional excerpt from her piece Pulse,  which has us all in awe. Thank you to both Amanda and Jasmyn for being so amazing, and for sharing your gifts with us.

"Although I have planned many years to attend the CODE conference, this was my first CODE conference. I was most impressed. I am an ARTS Resource Teacher (Dance, Drama, and Music) and I've mostly chosen to spend my money on attending OMEA or ORFF Conferences. But, I'm very happy that I attended the CODE conference this year. Thank you."



Ottawa, ON.

After three days of learning, sharing, networking and reconnecting, the 44th Annual CODE conference drew to a close on Sunday. We hosted over 150 delegates from around Ontario and from as far away as British Columbia, Saskatchewan and England. From inspirational talks from our keynotes, Luca Lazylegz Patuelii and Lynn Fels, to performances by Rhythm Works, Dandelion Dance, Propeller Dance and Rag and Bone Puppet Theatre, we were treated to a fantastic display of Drama and Dance. 

Heartfelt thanks go out to Gisele Paquette, this year's conference chair, as well as her tireless committee. Ron Dodson, a longtime CODE member and Past President, was outstanding as usual in providing registration logistics. Thank you. Thanks also go out to all our workshop presenters, and trade fair participants. 

Conferences such as these do not run without volunteers, and it is thanks to Michael Wilson and his students from the University of Ottawa's Faculty of Education. Your help was invaluable in making the conference happen. 

Finally, we have to recognise all of the delegates, without whom this conference would not be possible. It is all of our collective energy and experience that make this annual conference great.

Brock Student Volunteer Testimonials:

"Being at CODE was an incredibly inspirational experience. Not only have I become excited for my future as a drama teacher, but I also feel that by attending workshops my drama tool belt has grown substantially."

"The CODE conference was an incredible experience that allowed me to experience and interact with teachers of a very diverse age range and hear their thoughts and opinions on the way drama and dance is taught and current issues that have emerged in our society today."

"Going to CODE was an amazing experience. It felt great to be surrounded by professionals working in our field. It was also nice knowing that in that space we were all equal and we could share our experiences and ideas. It didn’t matter what training, education, or degree you had: we were all there to collaborate, learn and enjoy the arts."


The curtain went down on the 2013 CODE Conference after an incredible three days of drama, dance, education, and meeting up with great friends old and new. From October 18-20, the Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville, Ontario became a hub for elementary and secondary educators, artists, pre-service teachers, professors and supporters of these two brilliant art forms. With a vast array of workshops to choose from, delegates and presenters alike got the opportunity to learn and share ideas, philosophies, techniques and activities to use in their classrooms to continue spreading arts education to our students. On this note, a HUGE thank-you to every workshop presenter, keynote speaker, delegate and volunteer who made this conference a tremendous success. While the workshops were fabulous, the very presence of all of these creative minds in one building was an inspiring experience. With the passion and dedication that the artists and educators of this province possess, drama and dance education is going to continue to grow and play remarkably important roles in the lives of students and grown-ups alike. Again, thank-you to everyone involved in this year's conference!


This conference focused on the universal nature of drama and dance and its power to inspire and promote global responsibility and awareness. By making real-world connections through the arts to the issues affecting our increasingly-complex world, students will increase their understanding of themselves and the world around them. Patrice Baldwin, past President of the International Drama in Education Association (IDEA) and Chair of National Drama, the UK ’s leading professional association for drama teachers and theatre educators, and Executive Forum member of the World Alliance for Arts Education, was the keynote for this conference.

Workshop themes included:

  • Creating and developing a unit of study focused on issues of globalization and citizenship, social justice, environmental issues and/or socio-economic issues, and/or equity and diversity, from pre-planning to implementation to assessment and evaluation
  • Exploring dance and drama from diverse communities and cultures (e.g. world dance forms, First Nations, Metis and Inuit cultures)
  • Exploring environmental and/or social justice issues through drama/dance in a school or community setting (e.g., working with at-risk populations, using drama and dance to explore issues of poverty, the impact of trade on world nations and the environment, the Occupy Wall Street movement, etc.)
  • School and community-based organizations using the arts as a tool for social activism and awareness
  • Real-world and cross-curricular connections of drama and dance to other subjects (e.g. integrated arts, social sciences, science, geography, mathematics, health, etc.)
  • Developing students’ financial literacy and critical literacy through the arts
  • Tools for elementary generalist teachers to incorporate authentic drama and dance experiences for students into their existing curriculum (integrated arts, cross-curricular lessons and units)
  • Bringing dance and drama in to the Early Childhood Education classroom


Reach Conference Image

Blue Mountains, ON.

For the first time in history, CODE partnered with the Ontario Arts Council to welcome both teachers and artists to our conference. We worked alongside one another in professional development workshops, network and socialize together in the resort setting of Blue Mountain, and make connections that we hope will extend beyond the conference to your classroom, school and community. 

Special Features of this Conference included:

  • workshops by teachers, artists and teacher-artist partnerships, including Allen and Karen Kaeja, Christine Jackson and Martha Burns, Adrienne Smoke, Larry Swartz, Project Humanity, Janice Pomer and more
  • keynote speaker Hannah Beatch, director of the Dandelion Dance Company, "I Can Dance a Better World"
  • Reach Project Presentations on collaborations between schools and their communities
  • a teacher-artist panel discussion focusing on the creation of successful teacher-artist partnerships
  • energizer workshops, networking socializers, Gala dinner and more, all in the beautiful setting of Blue Mountain Resort

This year's Poster Fair showcased projects undertaken by educators and artists to "reach out" to their community. Projects helped make connections between drama and dance in the classroom and the arts community in your town, region, or internationally.

Photograph courtesy of Ron Dodson

This year we celebrated the partnerships between teachers and artists as we ‘reached’ outside-of-the-box so that professionals from these two worlds could finally collide and learn from each other!  The workshops ranged from drama on social issues and integrated arts to movement for film and hip hop dance.

We were very lucky to have Hannah Beach as our keynote on Saturday afternoon. Hannah spoke to us about her childhood and her experiences with dance.  Author of the popular “I Can Dance” series, Hannah gave us some insight as to where all of her ideas stem from and we were truly inspired.  Hannah has recently written “I Can Dance A Better World” which explores real life issues such as inclusion, hunger, stereotypes, the environment, authenticity, and children’s rights.

The conference was a huge success, with more than 100 participants attending the CODE conference for the first time.  A special thank you is extended to Bev Bonk, Pat McCarthy and the Conference Committee for all of their hard work in planning such a wonderful event!  Other highlights from the weekend include our mentoring program, which began on Friday night, a very successful trade fair which ran for the three days, the Banquet dinner and Saturday evening Gala which featured presentations from many of the Saturday workshops, and finally the AGM on Sunday morning.


40th anniversary

Keynote: Alan Kaeja

Read more about the 40th anniversary and CODE's history here.

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Huntsville, ON



Blue Mountain, ON

  • When Hearts are Open, Ears can Hear
  • LGBT Drama - Character Ed and Identity using Queer-centered Texts and Pedagogy
  • Conflict Evolution
  • Doing Our Character Work.....
  • Keynote Speaker Avis Glaze, on the important roles that the arts and teachers play in developing character in young people


Blue Mountain, ON

Performance of The Nightingale by Rag & Bone Puppet Theatre

  • Text and Movement
  • Shakespeare on Wheels
  • Stage to Page: Performance to Literacy
  • Writing a Play
  • Using the Energy: What Primary Drama Means


Brampton, ON

Keynote Address: Annie Kidder

Keynote Address: Douglas Paraschuk, Design Coordinator of The Stratford Festival

  • On the Edge of the Experience: Wanting “IN" but Not Knowing How to Get There
  • Multimedia Dance
  • Artists and Literacy in the Classroom: Shakespeare and the ESL Student




Brockville, ON

Keynote Speech: Larry Swartz, O.I.S.E. “Drama and Other Themes: How Do We Matter?”

Plenary Panel: Drama and Dance: Judging the New Curriculum. "Is it 'The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly'?"

Plenary Panel: Arts Education Advocacy: 'The State of the Arts.'

Showcase: Mariposa in the Schools and Prologue to the Performing Arts

Showcase: MASC, from Ottawa



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Conferences began in 1970.

See a recap of CODE's history from 1970 to 2020 here: Virtual 50th Anniversary Celebration

Read more about early conferences here: CODE History

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