About Us (History)

The SPACE is a CRA registered not-for profit Charitable organization that brings the world of performing arts to the rural community of Springfield, Manitoba and surrounding area through a variety of classes including many styles of dance, theatre, and much more.

The SPACE is fuelled by dedicated volunteers under the artistic vision of executive director Wendy Bobby. Many of the SPACE's teachers are mature students who have gone through the Mentorship Program. Our volunteer Board of Directors and efficient office staff oversee matters of governance and implementation. Together, our mission is to bring performing arts opportunities to children living in rural areas that would never have them otherwise. For the Community, by the Community.

The SPACE oversees the subsidiaries of Cooks Creek Dance Academy, Springfield Theatre Company, and Springfield Community Performing Programs. All programs under the SPACE's mandate are focused on providing performing arts education to children, youth, adults and seniors. Program educational opportunities are open to all regardless of ability or economic background.


  1. To educate and increase the public's understanding and appreciation of the arts by providing performances of an artistic nature in public places and by providing seminars on topics related to such performances; and
  2. To advance education by establishing and operating schools.

Mission Statement

To provide a positive and stimulating environment for youth and adults to gain knowledge and skills and to share the love of performing arts while at the same time developing self-esteem, self-confidence, physical and emotional well-being by offering structured classes and performance opportunities.

Our belief is that performing arts education is more than learning how to perform. It is a tool on which to build physical awareness, poise, grace, self-esteem and confidence.


We are proud of our history. It reflects our fundamental and unwavering belief in community and our commitment to the performing arts.

•Originally called Zora Dance Club in the village of Cooks Creek
•Classes were held at Zora Community Club
•Wendy Bobby 1st Teacher
•31 students, 6 classes
•1st Recital held at Garson Hall

•Classes expanded to two days to accommodate growth
•Recital moved to Selkirk Comprehensive
•1st Adult Classes added to program

•Mentorship Program began with Amie Ballegeer as 1st Assistant

•Season expanded to 27 weeks of classes

•Season expanded to 29 weeks of classes

•Name change to Cooks Creek Dance Academy
•Season expanded to 30 weeks of classes

•Recital moved to Franco-Manitoban Centre with 2 sold-out performances
•1st Dance Apparel line launched

•A 3rd day of classes added to accommodate growth
•A 2nd teacher joined the Faculty

•Ballet offered as separate discipline

•Schedule expanded to 18 classes
•1st year of Gilbert Tap Exams
•1st year to enter Dance Manitoba Festival
•1st Summer Workshops
•Musical Theatre introduced

•A 3rd teacher joined the Faculty (Melanie Warbeck)

•A 4th teacher joins the Faculty (Gloria Chen)
•A 4th day of classes added to accommodate growth
•Hip Hop introduced through workshops at Oakbank United Church
•Sarah Flaten wins Dance Manitoba Scholarship for Junior Tap Solo
•CCDA moves from Zora to Oakbank

•Classes held in numerous locations in Oakbank including: Oakbank Hotel Banquet Room, •Oakbank Elementary School and Oakbank United Church
•Pre-School classes introduced
•CCDA begins leasing 573 Main Street (our current location)
•RM of Springfield granted $15 000.00 for the renovations at our new location on Main Street
•573 Main Street building names the SPACE (Springfield Performing Arts Centre of Excellence

•Hip Hop and Musical Theatre added as Single Disciplines
•CCDA student population doubles from 25 classes to 46 classes
•Classes held 5 days per week in 2 studios
•Faculty increases to 9 teachers with 3 Mentorship Students

•1st year of Young At Arts Summer Day Camps.
•1st part-time Administrative Assistant
•1st CCDA students attend International Dance Organization (IDO) World Tap Competitions in Reisa, Germany
•CCDA student, Andrea Chaput, makes the Canadian National Senior Tap Team and won gold at IDO World Tap Competition in Reisa, Germany

•1st Website
•1st Workshops taught to Springfield Collegiate
•IDO World Tap Competition, Reisa, Germany
•CCDA students, Sarah Flaten, Matthew Klippenstein, and Kelsey Pruse place 4th in Germany as part of Manitoba Junior Tap Team
•CCDA Student, Sarah Flaten, places 10th for junior solo in Germany

•IDO World Tap Competition, Reisa, Germany
•CCDA students, Melissa Baert, Meghan Wasylenko, Nicole Fournier and Matthew •Klippenstein place 3rd in Germany as part of Manitoba Junior Tap Team
•CCDA Students, Sarah Flaten and Kelsey Pruse place 3rd as part of Manitoba Senior Tap Team

•IDO World Tap Competition, Reisa, Germany
•CCDA student, Cassidy Steiner, travels to Germany as part of the 1st Children's Tap Team to represent Canada
•"Building A Dream" Committee established to develop a plan to purchase the 537 Main Street Property (AKA "a SPACE of our own" plan)
•"ACCESS" a partnership with the RM of Springfield established to provide funding for families of low income and children with special needs financial assistance to participate in the SPACE's programs

•Springfield Theatre Company established under the direction of Rebekah Jones, with the cast of 25 bringing the production "Willy Wonka" to life
•Springfield Community Performing Programs established with 25 workshops offered during the summer of 2011 with 250 participants

•CCDA reincorporated as "Sunrise Performing Arts Centre of Excellence Inc." (the SPACE) with CCDA, Springfield Theatre Company and Springfield Performing Programs under this incorporated body.
•IDO World Tap Competition, Reisa, Germany
•CCDA students, Melissa Baert and Katie Boulet, place 3rd in Germany as part of Mid-Canada Junior Tap Team
•CCDA student, Deanna Flaten, places 6th in Germany as part of Mid-Canada Senior Tap Team
•The "SPACE of our Own" goal is achieved with the purchase of the building at 573 Main Street in Oakbank, Manitoba. The building could not have been purchased without the assistance of our loyal families and friends, along with the Springfield Kinsmen, Eastside Eagles, Willow Lane, Old Dutch Chips, RM of Springfield, MB Community Services Council, and Community Futures Winnipeg River.

•8 CCDA students participate in the 2013 Orange Bowl Half Time Show in Miami, Florida...a 1st for CCDA
•The SPACE is granted charitable status by the Canadian Revenue Agency in February of 2013 being officially deemed a charitable organization under education in cultural activities and promotion of the arts.

•The SPACE launches new (dance/act/perform) image: logo, website, outdoor sign, and promotional video
•The SPACE expands programming to inlcude theatre classes
•The SPACE gets a new roof and A/C units