Member Feature: Brady Academy of Irish Dance

Philip Brady, a certified Irish dance teacher and world class Irish dancer and performer, ignited his fervor for the art form in the heart of Dublin at the young age of ten. His Irish dance journey led him to clinch an impressive array of accolades, including ten consecutive Canadian titles, three North American triumphs, and five World Champion titles.

In 1983, Philip, along with his siblings Anne, Gloria, and John, founded The Brady Academy of Irish Dance. This establishment grew into Canada’s largest Irish dance school with locations in Edmonton, Calgary, and Fort McMurry and provides competitive Irish dance across Western Canada. Philip expanded the vision to Winnipeg in 1994.

During Philip’s dance career he toured with Michael Flatley on “Lord Of The Dance”, which kindled his passion for show dancing. This epiphany led to his inaugural production, “Dream of Ireland”, for Walt Disney Productions in 1996. Subsequently, he brought to life the beloved Celtic Ireland Pavilion in 2004.

“As a performer myself, it allows me to put all my experiences into my Pavilion at Folklorama,” states Philip. “Being the coordinator of a Pavilion is a lot of work; from choreography to sound and lighting, to finding the right food and drinks, all to capture what the Irish culture is like. But seeing it all come together and witness the audience fall in love with my culture is always worth it.”

The Celtic Ireland Pavilion serves as a kaleidoscope of Irish culture, encapsulating its essence through dance, toe-tapping music, and culinary delights that transports festivalgoers to the heart of Dublin. Philip’s unwavering dedication to this endeavour is a testament to his desire to share the rich history of Irish heritage.

“One of my favourite memories is seeing my students shine on stage and seeing the smiles on their faces,” expresses Philip. “Every performer at the Celtic Ireland Pavilion dances under my instruction at Brady Academy, and to see how much fun they have throughout the entire week will always remind me of how important Irish dancing is to them and to me.”

As the annual festivities of St. Patrick’s Day near, the Brady Academy extends an invitation to revel in the spirit of Irish culture at their annual Irish social on March 16th located at 1080 Wall Street, where attendees can enjoy drink, food, and music. You can also find the Brady Academy dancers performing at Shannon’s Irish Pub on March 17th throughout the evening.

This year Philip and the Brady Academy family are celebrating 30 years in Winnipeg! A big congratulations and thank you, Philip Brady and the Brady Academy, for all of your hard work showcasing various aspects of your culture at the Celtic Ireland Pavilion and through the art of dance.