Janis Dunning has been a national household name for decades. She was the creator and principal performer of two highly successful, award-winning, national CTV television series for children: ‘Let’s Go!’ and ‘The Rockets’. During her eighteen years of creating hundreds of television shows, she coached, mentored and assisted in the artistic development of hundreds of young artists. Her work in children’s television has inspired and touched the lives of millions across Canada.
Ms. Dunning began her career as a ballet dancer, receiving countless awards and recognition for her talent and artistry, including a full scholarship to the Banff School of Fine Arts and to Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet. She toured as far as Hollywood as a child singer. Later she was also awarded a Canada Council grant to study acting in New York and went on to an illustrious career as a performer and director in theatre across Canada and in the West End of London.
She has founded three training programs during her career (which are still in existence today): the Musical Theatre program for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the Young Company Program for the Charlottetown Festival, and the Canadian College of Performing Arts, of which she was the Co-Founder and Program Director.
She is also co-founder of the Canadian Heritage Arts Society.
Her passion for Canada and its people has inspired her to create major productions celebrating our country’s cultural diversity, our first peoples, and the youth of our nation. In celebration of Canada’s 125th anniversary she created and produced the national program Experience Canada which toured the country with 125 young Canadian artists selected from all regions of our land. Her show Spirit of a Nation was performed from sea to sea. She has written countless shows which have inspired the youth of Canada including the highly acclaimed We Will Not Forget, an original musical paying tribute to the men and women who fought in World War II to keep our nation strong and free.
As an educator, her students have prospered in careers on stage and screen around the world. She continues to inspire young artists to discover their talent and to match their artistic passion with a high standard of work ethic. Her passion and dedication to the arts and young people is renowned. Thousands of young Canadians have benefitted from her support, guidance and drive and she continues to contribute to the arts and to the education the young people of Canada – the next leaders of our nation.