Diane Thomson

Biography - Diane Thomson

                                                                    

Diane Thomson is a nationally renowned Canadian artist and humanitarian with over 30 years of experience across a multitude of mediums. With her entrepreneurial spirit Diane has successfully worked in almost every area possible within the dance realm.  She has taken dance and bridged it with other industries, becoming a media pioneer. Diane enjoys designing and creating tangible items and setting the tone.  She has participated in many commercial and fund raising events in a number of capacities. Some of her accomplishments include respected Nominations and Awards for Dance, Television and New Media. In addition to being a performer, Diane has been involved in Research, Creative Direction, Artistic Direction, Producing, Consulting, Lecturing as well as being a Spokesperson, Host and Emcee, Choreographer, Adjudicator, Model, Council Member, Educator and Fund Raiser.  Diane holds upper level certifications in ballet, dance, music-voice, theatre, broadcast television and business development.

 

Awards and Nominations

Diane is the 2014 recipient of the The Dorothy Cox-Scruton Award, from Royal Academy of Dance.  Recognized by the Industry, in 2000, Diane was nominated for her achievements in the film/television/new media and performance, by way of a 'Crystal Award' in the area Creative Excellence from Women In Film and Television, New Media.  In 2010 Diane was nominated for a Governor General Award – Performing Arts.  Canada Council for The Arts and External Affairs International Trade Canada have also recognized Diane for her work through the awarding of grants. In 2013 Diane received a 'Cane' Award for long standing community involvement for her work at 'Mayfair' from Rosedale Moorepark Association.  In  2010 and 2011 Diane received a ‘Certificate Of Appreciation’ for her  volunteer work from the City of Toronto.

 

Media

Diane's work has been featured on television specials including 'NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC- Miraculous Machines", C.B.C. - THE JOURNAL, C.B.C. - THE NATURE OF THINGS - 'Computers in The Arts'; CTV - B.N.N. (Business News Network) –‘The Bottom Line’; Fashion Television as well as in publications including industry journal, ‘Playback’ (Canada’s Entertainment Industry magazine), ‘The Globe and Mail’, ‘National Post, 'Creative Computing Magazine', ‘Science Magazine’, in addition to other periodicals and newspapers.

 

Professional performer

Films include, Principal dance in the Imax 3D movie -"Wings Of Courage' – Directed by Jean Jacques Annard, as well as numerous other television and films roles.

Diane has performed with ballet companies including Royal City Ballet - under the direction of Dolores Kirkwood, Pacific Northwest Ballet – under the direction of Kent Stowell, Mobius Dance Company, Los Angles – under the direction of Len Yu Wong, Dance In Canada Conference. She has represented the United Church of Canada at the Interfaith Conference

(televised).


Musicals and Opera’s include principal and supporting roles in ‘Hello Dolly’, ‘My Fair Lady’ and ‘Stepping Out ( principal role of ‘Mavis’); to Principal Performer at the Canada Pavilion, Expo 86 to Opera work with Edmonton Opera and Vancouver Opera‘Peter Grimes’ - Director Leon Majors Diane has performed either as a guest performer or in a concert setting throughout Canada, U.S., Japan, and Europe, both as a dancer and/or singer.  In Sept 2002 Diane joined with other performers in N.Y.C. at the inaugural 9/11 Memorial Services held at St. Marks In The Bowery; returning on a regular basis to perform.  Today the ballets Diane performs are choreographed specifically for her and reflect a message of hope, love, joy and peace.

With her beautiful soprano voice Diane has released 3 c.d.’s ‘A Walk of Faith’, and ‘The Faces of Love’ and a Christmas c.d.  Diane's music is broadcast worldwide on Jango.com and sold on I-tunes, Amazon and independently.

Diane is a member of C.A.E.A. (Canadian Actors Equity Association, of which she was a member of the  Western Dance Advisory/Council Alternate (1995 - 1998), a member of A.C.T.R.A. Association of Canadian Television, Radio Artists and Socan.


Researcher - Designer (Human Factors Specialist)

A Canadian Media Pioneer and early advocate for virtual reality, Diane is the first  Canadian professional dancer to successfully build a unique bridge between the art of movement/dance and 3D computer simulation technology.  This interdisciplinary PhD. level work premiered at Digicon ’83 – using rear image projection, paralleled with dancers on stage and then at the international Siggraph conference.   The graphics engine, developed from this work is known as ‘Virtually Human’ and is the first ‘high level’ coded (derived and written by Diane & her team) working human simulation engine developed directly from dance with applications to film, television, gaming, choreography, toys, forensics, bio-medical and robotics.  With over 27 years of applied research Diane is considered by the industry to be an expert in human factors.  With this work Diane has drawn alliances and partnerships with respected and award winning multinational Corporations and Governments. Her work has been featured at MacWorld,  Siggraph, U.S. National Business Education Association Conference, U.S. Oregon Technology Access Program and is used in commercial projects sold worldwide.

 

Creative consultant/Director/Producer/Designer

Diane has worked as Creative Director/Consultant, for multinational corporations on projects for e-learning, both conventional and e-books, covering a multitude of genres. She participates in new projects/commercials for television and the web, incorporating media convergence.  Diane has served as an adviser to multinationals in the area of bi-pedal movement for the gaming industry.  She has compiled and led creative teams, produced and supervised production of educational movies, interactive games and books and created and produced Canada’s first virtual simulated television host, owned by the Business News Network (CTVbellmedia).  In 2007 Diane worked closely with the late Rosemary Chisholm Feick (Posy) on the Creative Direction, production and compilation of her memoirs. Live Production credits include Artistic Director/Producer for the Main Stage for First NightCity of Vancouver.    For over 20 years Diane has created beautiful themed decor for events or the home, either as a independent or as is part of the Designers At Large team.  Diane is a member of the G.T.M.A. (Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance), of which she was a member of the Executive Round table 'Innovation & Design in 2007'.

 

Lectured

Diane has lectured and given talks in the areas relating to Creative Direction,

Dance, Human Movement and technology both in Canada and abroad; including the Laban Centre for Movement Studies, London, England and the University of Ontario, (Game Development Program).  At Simon Fraser University, Diane represented Simon Fraser University to outside groups leading workshops in movement.  Diane has taught ballet, jazz and musical theatre for Pacific Ballet Theatre School, Kirkwood Dance Academy, City of Vancouver.  Diane is a member of Royal Academy of Dance.


 A professional teacher Diane currently teaches classes in classical ballet, character and musical theatre in the GTA.   Many of Diane's students have gone on to Youth Ballet Companies and Contemporary Dance Companies, in addition to professional ballet programs. 


Spokesperson, Host and Emcee

Diane has represented numerous commercial companies and emceed events including; Rosedale Toronto Mayfair 2003 – present, KCTS – Seattle – Canadian Spokesperson, Maytag – Shopping Channel, Leather CPR (Los Angeles) – Canadian Launch, Shopping Channel, Food Marketing Institute, Washington, D.C., Vancouver DuMaurier International Jazz Festival 1987 – 1997, Asia Pacific Festival.  An industry pioneer, Diane has chaired Industry Panels on Animation in Toronto for Women In Film, Television and New Media.

 

Choreography

Include commercials - Cannon – Sure Shot Camera’s, L’Oreal - Toronto Fashion Week – Richard Tyler Shoe Launch 2007; film Class of ’69 – Directed by Sandy Wilson and Vancouver Opera – Peter Grimes – Director – Leon Majors, All In The Dance program - 2 shows per year and numerous fund raising events in Toronto.

 

Modelling

With a love for fashion, Diane has modelled for Canadian designers Nygard – The Bay, Jan Stimpson, Mary Van Osh, Lucinda Jones and U.S. designer Richard Tyler.

 

Council Member

A 30 year member of her professional associations Diane has served on the advisory and councils of Canadian Actors Equity Association – Western Dance Advisory and A.C.T.R.A. – Dancer/Choreographers – B.C. in addition to the selection committee for the Sam Payne Awards (A.C.T.R.A.).  An invited participant Diane takes part in Executive round table discussions on Innovation and Design with other industry leaders for the G.T.M.A.  Diane is a member of W.I.F.T. (Women In Film Television New Media), Royal Academy of DanceG.T.M.A. (Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance), I.S.E.S. (International Special Event Society), ACM Siggraph, CanFit Pro and HighFive-Ontario.  In 2009 Diane took part in C.R.T.C. (Canadian Radio Television Commission) hearings on behalf of Broadcasters, and was proud to do so as a second generation media pioneer.

 

Fund Raising and Community Service

Deeply involved in her community, Diane has helped raise funds working in the capacity of Producer, Event Coordinator, Décor, Performer, Public Relations, Sponsorship and Silent Auction Sponsorship for many causes and functions including;  Brazilian Ball – Peter Munk Foundation, Look Good, Feel Good Ball – Canadian Cancer Society, Victim Services of Toronto, Breast Friends Forever – Breast Cancer, Lung Association, Scarlet Ball – West Park Healthcare Centre, Fandango – Bridgepoint Heath, DAREarts Foundation (steering committee 2007), Equity Fights Aids, Casey House, Snowball and Back To Bemelmans, Holly Berry Fair – Rosedale United Church (steering committee), CCAVE (Creative Director) and Mayfair Rosedale (steering committee). 

 


Dance Arts is a private organization which conducts specialized seminars and performance opportunities for youth in various disciplines.