Introducing self checkout and Anna’s mentorship with Julie!

Hello, dear Foolish Operations community!

Anna Lamontagne here! You may already know me as the communications associate for FO, but today I’m speaking from a different position! I’m writing on behalf of my personal art practice, with the goal of sharing with you my process and vision for the first iteration of my most recent project : self checkout.

Last September, Julie Lebel emailed me to recommend I take a look at ArtStarts’  Creative Sparks Grants for Emerging Artist program. She wrote: “maybe for one of your projects, like the one with Qmunity? Just a thought!” Qmunity, if you don’t already know, is an amazing non-profit organization based in Vancouver, working with and for the queer, trans and Two-Spirit communities. I joined their volunteer team in the past year, and more specifically the team helping the Youth Program (ages 14-25). Together with danielle Mackenzie Long, we offered a creative movement workshop at one of the weekly Youth Group Drop-In in the Spring of 2022. The workshop was well received and I kept in the back of my mind the intention of further developing this avenue.

So, here we are! In September, Julie pointed me towards the ArtStarts call for projects. I brainstormed (with my mom, the very first advisor for this project!) and developed the outline of what would become a few months later self checkout, a performing arts project offered to youth between 14 and 18 years old who identify as members or allies of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community in Vancouver. I received very valuable support from Qmunity and Foolish Operations, without which my efforts to obtain resources would not have been possible. Thank you!

As of today, the majority of the project’s activities are still to come. However, I wish to share with you the sum of my preliminary thoughts, as an offering to open the conversation : 

self checkout : what is it?

self checkout is a project that combines performing art forms with expressions of queer identity to give 2SLGBTQIA+ youth and their allies (ages 14-18) the tools to foster their own creative ideas. The workshops allow imaginative minds to brainstorm together and generate ideas through dance, theater , writing prompts and more! The project allows a small group to take this process further by engaging in an intensive creative process during Spring Break 2023 (link to registration form here!)! The intensive focuses on the collaborative creation and planning of a culminating project. The outcome is determined by the ideas and interests of the youth, and supported by myself and my collaborator Jaime Hewat. A presentation for family and friends will take place!

The core values of the project are care, community, celebration of queer narratives and visibility for young emerging queer artists in the performing arts community. 

Expectations are malleable and will be determined through ongoing dialogue with project participants. As an emerging artist, I am learning to cultivate my own ambitions while modulating my expectations of the outcome. In this way, I am not risk-averse, but rather inclined to constantly try new things. 

My personal desires for this project are to challenge my skills as a creative leader and to strengthen my ties to my community and the values we share. To participants, I wish first and foremost fun! And perhaps a creative spark (or two!).

The interests that led me to develop such a project are sustainability in art,  collaborative art practices with a marginalized community to which I identify, the legitimization of alternative creative methods on the periphery of existing institutions, and, of course, performing arts and the contribution of the queer imaginary to the field. 

The overarching question that has emerged from this project to date is: what are the responsibilities and methods of those working to ensure a safer space for queer youth?

Julie Lebel has been a very valuable mentor in the development of the project, notably in the planning, promotion, administrative work and revision of documents. I also recognize that my position in communications support for Foolish Operations and my close relationship with Julie provided me with the necessary tools to develop this project! Thank you Julie!

To this day, I still don’t know the future of the project and I spare myself the speculation! I let the project work me as much as I work it. I will write a second blogpost to update you in the next few weeks! If reading this made you want to discuss with me about self checkout and development possibilities, feel free to write to me! Let’s go for a coffee! If you can think of anyone you know who might be interested in the project or who might want to register, please spread the word!

I encourage you to visit my personal instagram page, @lamont_anna_gne, to learn about upcoming activities for self checkout. Registration is now open until March 8th for the Spring Break intensive! Here is the link to the registration form!

Many thanks to the organizations that supported the project: ArtStarts in Schools, City of Vancouver, Collingwood Neighbourhood House, QMUNITY, Foolish Operations, Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre and What Lab.

And finally, a special thank you to some of my fellow supporters during the implementation of the project: Ry Forsythe, Julie Lebel, Jaime Hewat, Audrey Sides, Alyssa Favero, Sam Jin Coates, Maxx Sadler, Sarah Cavanaugh, Han Hugussen. 

FOS Strategic Plan 2023-2025

Last Fall, Foolish Operations started a strategic plan with the organization The Vantage Point and facilitator Dorla Tune. The goal is to develop the organization’s vision, priorities and strategies for the next three years.

Today, we are proud to share this reflection with our artists, families, audiences, friends and mentors!

Many thanks to the Foolish Operations Board of Directors for their generosity in this process !

Dancing the Parenting in 2023!

Picture by Lee Hutsulak

Dancing the Parenting is about to start in person again for its Winter 2023 Programs ! Save the date!

Dancing the Parenting is a FREE bilingual (French-English) program for families with children 0-5 yrs who want to experience relationship-based dance.

Based in creative dance and improvisation and integrating developmental, play and attachment theories, as well as the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education, Dancing the Parenting is a playful and creative exploration of movement, engaging parents/caregivers into their own dancing just as much as the children.

Registration is free, thanks to the support of the City of Vancouver and the Department of Canadian Heritage with essential partners such as Creekside Community and Recreation Centre, The Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation and Trout Lake Community Centre.

Registration is also ongoing throughout the year until capacity is reached.


When : Mondays, 9:30am – 10:30am

Dates: January 30th 2023 to April 17th 2023

Where : Creekside Community Recreation Centre. Weather permitting the program will be held outdoors at Riley Park.

Registration : (FREE) Through this form

Trout Lake

When : Wednesdays, 10:00 – 10:45am

Dates : February 1st to March 8th 2023 (6 sessions)

Where : Trout Lake Community Centre

Registration : $10/family. Currently closed, but waitlist available. Currently full, but waitlist available. We are likely to open 5 more spots starting the second week.

We look forward to dancing with you!

We are hiring a General Manager!

TITLE: General Manager

REPORTS TO: Artistic Director

PART-TIME CONTRACT: February 1st 2023, 85 hrs/month, between $26/hr (entry level) to $34/hr (with experience).

About us

Vision: Creating togetherness

Mission: Foolish Operations creates dance experiences that welcome babies, children up to 8 years old and their families in performances and workshops filled with irresistible invitations to participate. We collaborate with artists, educators and specialists to spark inspiration between communities, disciplines and fields of knowledge, using plays as the glue.

Values: Togetherness, Health, and Learning

History and context for the contract: Foolish Operations is 6 years old, in a growth phase that requires improving our financial and HR administrative systems. 

The Role

The General Manager supports the organisation in collaboration with the Artistic Director and other artistic associates and reports directly to the Artistic Director and the Board of Directors. With a hands-on approach, this work space can transform and evolve along the way. We will work towards exploring the skills you bring to the organization and developing others. 

This position is open to any BC resident and can be partly or entirely remote/online. The position requires access to a personal computer and reliable internet access. Don’t worry! You do not need to be a dancer for this position! As a caregiver-led organization, we focus on wellness and we work with flexibility: the candidate can organize their own work schedule and choose real time or asynchronous collaboration with the team. For candidates living in the Lower Mainland, access to our office at the Riley Park Fieldhouse in Vancouver will be provided. 

Foolish Operations Society is committed to creating a healthy, just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive workplace. We value the leadership of people who have been historically and systemically marginalized and strongly encourage equity seeking, Indigenous, persons with disabilities and LGBTQ2S+ candidates to apply for the role. 

The goals for this contract are to review and improve administrative systems: Financial (budgets, scheduling, reporting), Operations (day to day management systems, including the AirTable database), Human Resources (contracts, onboarding documents and criminal record checks), and Fundraising (grant writing and reporting, membership donations, etc).

Please submit your resume and cover letter to Julie Lebel at by January 10 2023

Dancing StoryTimes in Surrey Libraries!


Over the last 6 months Foolish Operations artists Sarah Gallos and Julie Lebel have been working alongside Surrey Youth Services Librarians and Technicians to increase physical literacy in storytimes and explore the possibilities of dancing books.

Foolish Operations hosted professional development sessions covering developmental movement pathways, attachment theories and how to dance words. Julie and Sarah visited library branches all over Surrey, hosting Dancing Storytimes for the public with the support of Youth Services Librarians and Technicians. The conversations after these events were full of learning from each other and the sharing of knowledge around storytimes with young children.

©Julie Lebel

November is the Month of Movement for Surrey libraries staff who participated in this project. During this time, they are testing out new movement practices, adding sprinkles of dance to their own storytimes.

We are continually amazed by and so proud of the Surrey Youth Services Librarians and Technician‘s work. We want to celebrate what they do and congratulate them on continuing to offer storytimes with movement and play. This strengthens family bonds and brings dance to unusual settings.

Thanks to the City of Surrey for supporting this project!

Moving Resting Nesting : in the pages of a book!

Foolish Operations made a book inspired by their performance Moving Resting Nesting!

We had been dancing books and stories in our workshops already, and so we had the desire to create a book specifically tailored to our expansive vision for dance. We are interested in finding new formats to make dance accessible in all kinds of settings and we know that children’s literacy is tied to attachment theory and movement. 

The book is the result of a collaboration between our artistic director Julie Lebel, our performer Sarah Gallos and our beloved illustrator Cherry Lu. It is informed by work on songs and text in the Moving Resting Nesting performance and would not have been possible without the involvement of all the artists in the creative process of the performance, including the families and mentors who have supported the process. It is fun, poetic, colorful and filled with little wonders ! 

The intent was to make a book very close to the Moving Resting Nesting performance, or “to offer an opportunity for those interacting with the book to feel similarly to how they might feel watching the performance” writes Sarah, including witnessing the colors. “ The experience of color is so personal and hard to describe with words”, writes Cherry Lu. “ It struck me how visceral colors can be and the power it holds in our memory. During part of the process, Julie and Sarah sent me a photo of Julie’s hometown sunset as aid. I am glad we were able to capture the right colors in the end.” 

We look forward to offering the book in our upcoming workshops and performances! 

It is not yet available for distribution or purchase but if you are interested, please email us! (available in english only at the moment).

Fall Online Family Dance!

Illustrations by Cherry Lu

Fall Online Family Dance!

Foolish Operations is happy to offer five online sessions of its program Dancing the Parenting at the end of Fall, its bilingual program (French-English) for parents/caregivers with children 0-5 yrs !

Our hope is to bring together families from different cultural horizons. All are welcome, regardless of their first language.

We are inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education, as well as creative dance, improvisation, neuro motor development and attachment theories. During Dancing the Parenting classes, parents/caregivers practice their own dancing just as much as the children. No experience necessary – abilities to move easily from ground to standing recommended.

Dates: Mondays, from November 14th to December 12th 2022

Time: 9:00 to 9:45am (PST)

Location: Zoom!

Price: Free!

Registration is mandatory through this form!

This program is free, thanks to the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage that helps bring together francophone and anglophone communities through activities.

Foolish Operations’ Atelier

Photo Credits : Anna Lamontagne

Since November 2021, we have a workspace at Jonathan Rogers Park that we affectionately call Foolish Operations’ Atelier!

By definition, in French, “Atelier” means: artist studio, artist workshop,a place to craft and work with materials.  

It is true, artists have been working at our Atelier this summer! Anna worked on the sewing machine, and we now have a third dance mat for our outdoor activities!

Thanks Anna!

Dancing the Parenting 2022-2023 : but what about COVID-19?

Photo by Yvonne Chew

2022-2023 Dancing the Parenting Programs are held in person once again !

But what about COVID-19?

There are currently no restrictions or indication that restrictions will be placed for dance classes this fall. That being said, we, and the community centre are committed to enabling a safe and healthy environment for everyone attending classes. 

Hygiene protocols are in place and anyone with a slight indication of a communicable disease will have to stay home. We will also hold and invite group and individual discussions on risk, physical distancing, masking, and touching. If any new provincial or federal guidance were to unfold, updates would be emailed to registrants.

If the weather is good, we may hold some of our sessions at Jonathan Roger’s Park at 1110 west 7th ave. We have created a large dance mat that makes it comfortable to move on the grass.

If you have any concerns in advance of registering, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

To consult the province-wide restrictions, please click here.

We hope you have a good session! Thank you and stay safe!

Moving Resting Nesting at SFU Burnaby Mountain Campus!

Photo by Riz Herbosa

We are very excited to partner with Giuliana Lira and Minoru Higa’s family to propose a community workshop and an excerpt of our performance Moving Resting Nesting for SFU students who are also parents of small children!

Moving Resting Nesting is Foolish Operations’ new immersive performance for young children and their adults. Set in a park, musicians and dancers guide children and their adults through a journey where they meet curious characters, magical objects and illustrations, interactive dance and music performances to connect with their inner songbirds and wonder about the world of birds and trees.

Date : Saturday September 24th 2022

When: 10:30-11:15am

Where : SFU Burnaby Mountain Campus (exact location and more information to be posted soon)

Who: Families with children between 3-7 yrs old

Register here!

Download our participant guide here!

Watch our trailer here

The event is funded by SFU community engagement grants