Mission and Guiding Principles

Mission and Guiding Principles

Young Lungs Dance Exchange is a not-for-profit artist-run support organization committed to the development, creation and presentation of contemporary dance and performance on Treaty 1 Territory, Winnipeg, MB.

As an Arts Service Organization, Young Lungs Dance Exchange acknowledges that we have a responsibility in reconciliation. We give thanks to the caretakers of this territory, both recorded and unrecorded, including the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, Dene Peoples, and the Métis Nation. A gathering place for dance for over 15,000 years, we are grateful for the ability to dance and celebrate on this land, and for the teachings of Indigenous peoples, colleagues, Elders, and peers, sharing traditional and contemporary Indigenous knowledge. We are committed to working together to build a better relationship with each other and with the land. We believe in sharing resources so that we can collectively honour and uphold treaty responsibilities, and practice on the land that we call Canada today.

In late 2019, YLDE went through a Strategic Planning Process funded by the Manitoba Arts Council.  The outcomes were a revised and strengthened mandate and guiding principles, a renewal of our organizational structure, and three new board members. Our organizational structure consists of a Managing Artistic Director who reports to a working Board, the Research Residency Coordinator, and the Outreach/Marketing Coordinator.

Our Vision

Dance holds a vital and valued place in society.

Our Mission

Young Lungs Dance Exchange supports the evolution of dance in Manitoba through training, research, creation, and presentation initiatives for artists.

Our Guiding Principles


YLDE strives to create experiences for participants that are designed with a positive and vibrant energy.


YLDE works collectively and collaboratively, valuing the sharing of leadership and decision making.


YLDE responds to the creator’s drive to critically question as a response to the present time and to their own artistic vision. As an organization YLDE is invested in examining our role in communities including the oppressive systems we function within and have historically benefited from.


YLDE works to build accessible and safer spaces. YLDE strives to engage across culture, experience of racialization, age, gender and ability. YLDE is committed to understanding how we have benefited from white supremacy through investing in strategies for structural transformation, and working towards accountability for the organization.


YLDE values, respects and honours personal relationships. YLDE strives to ensure those who engage with us are respected.

Black Lives Matter. We Stand With You.

We, the Young Lungs Dance Exchange board of directors and staff, Stand in solidarity with Black communities leading the Black Lives Matter movement across the globe, seeking justice for Black lives lost at the hands of police and systemic racial violence.

As an organization we are dedicated to taking action now to dismantle systemic racism, white supremacy, and systems of oppression, from the inside of our organization, out.

We acknowledge that our board of directors, since the organization’s beginning, has predominantly consisted of white women, and we have historically programmed primarily white artists. We are funded by art institutions that are a product of a colonial system. We acknowledge that we are participating in this colonial system and benefit from white privilege.

Moving forward, as a not-for-profit artist-run support organization operating on Treaty 1 Territory:

We are committed to funding Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) artists in our upcoming and future Research Series, and ensuring BIPOC representation throughout our programming. 

We are committed to increasing BIPOC representation on our board and selection committees.

We are committed to prioritizing members of BIPOC communities and other marginalized groups in our search strategies and hiring process for a new Executive Director in the Fall.

We are committed to expanding the dance practices supported by our organization, including cultural dance practices from BIPOC communities.

We are committed to building relationships with dance organizations, with artists, and with supporters who are doing anti-racist work in pursuit of creating more inclusive spaces.

We are committed to adhering to the Indigenous Accord with which we have signed.

We are committed to educating our board and staff, starting with reading the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Final Report Summary and discussing it together using the TRC Reading Guide for Non-Indigenous Organizations provided by Manitoba Harm Reduction Network.