Mission Statement

Agent Bios

Peter da Costa

Founder / Agency Director
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Stephen Greig

Principal Agent (Toronto)
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Frank da Costa

Principal Agent (Toronto)
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Melissa Panton

Principal Agent (Vancouver)
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Shannon Teat

Agent (Vancouver)
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History

Peter ventured into the entertainment industry in the mid 1990’s with a partnership in Urban Dance Arts Entertainment, a company formed primarily to service the corporate world with live dance shows. In his role as Production Coordinator, he was introduced to many exceptional performers and intriguing personalities. From very early on, he was privileged to have the mentorship of one of Canada’s leading corporate entertainment booking agents, Elwood “Woody” Saracuse. Being surrounded by talented unrepresented dancers, Peter recognized that there was a void in the industry. Soon after, in December of 1998, he established an agency dedicated to the representation of dancers for all areas of the entertainment industry.

His reputation grew and he quickly attracted some of Canada’s leading talents, many of whom remain from that first year of existence, with the agency to this day. He would like to acknowledge those clients (below) for their loyalty and thank all clients throughout the years for their significant contribution to the growth and success of the agency.

Special thanks to: Ted Banfalvi, Carla Bennett, Shawn Byfield, Roberto Campanella, Wayne Catania, Vanessa Cobham, Steve Cota, Chantelle Leonardo, Louis Paquette, George Randolph, Martin Samuel, Kiera Sangster, Sherisse Springer and Mike Tracz.

Significant changes to the agency occurred in 2001 with the name change to da Costa Talent Management and the relocation to our present day offices. That year the agency was extremely fortunate to have Stephen Greig join on. Together, Peter and Stephen revamped the focus and direction of the agency from a heavy dance based clientele to a much more diverse triple threat client base.

In March 2005 the agency was accepted into TAMAC reaffirming their reputation in the industry.

In 2007, with the assistance of Melissa Panton, the agency expanded to include a select group of gifted children and teens.

In 2010, the agency created a new division to service Dance Competitions, Festivals and Studios, giving them access to our elite roster of dance professionals to hire as both adjudicators and guest instructors.

2011 was a monumental year with the expansion of a new office in Vancouver headed up by Melissa Panton.

In 2013, Andrea Marino joined the Vancouver branch as Melissa’s assistant and later her mat leave cover.

In 2014, Frank da Costa (yes, there is a relation) dips his toes in the stormy waters of the talent agency world. Time will tell if he jumps in with both feet. Stay tuned…

In 2015, Frank is still here…

July 2015, Shannon Teat joins the agency to work alongside Melissa on the West Coast. This also marks the 4th year anniversary for da Costa Vancouver.

Today the agency handles some of Canada’s most outstanding actors, singers, dancers and world-class choreographers for all areas of the entertainment industry.

Peter da Costa has built his career on not just seizing, but creating opportunities. It is that mix of insight and ambition that compelled him to establish da Costa Talent Management and build it over 17 years into a leading industry player. With offices in Toronto and Vancouver, da Costa Talent Management today enjoys a cross-country presence that benefits the agency’s roster of award-winning Triple Threat talent—actors, singers, dancers and world-class choreographers.

A first-generation Canadian, Peter was born in Lisbon, Portugal, and immigrated to Canada at the age of four. Witnessing his parent’s struggle and sacrifice provided the foundation for a work ethic that has propelled him to achieve his goals, whatever the endeavor. The mentorship of Elwood “Woody” Saracuse, one of Canada’s leading corporate entertainment booking agents, also helped set the stage for Peter’s industry success.

Peter started his first company at the age of 19 while studying Business Management at Ryerson University. In the mid 1990s he sold his stake and ventured into the entertainment industry with a partnership in Urban Dance Arts Entertainment. In his role as production coordinator of live dance shows for the corporate market, Peter was introduced to many exceptional performers and intriguing personalities–many of whom were unrepresented. Recognizing there was a void in the industry, in 1998, he established an agency dedicated to representing dancers for all areas of the entertainment industry. Over the years, his reputation — and roster — grew and he quickly attracted some of Canada’s leading talents, many of whom remain from that first year of existence with the agency to this day.

A born entrepreneur, Peter is always seeking new ventures that capitalize on his extensive industry experience, particularly in creating and producing. In 2011, he co-founded Show Choir Canada and was honoured in 2015 with a Canadian Screen Award as creator and co-producer of the TVO documentary Unsung: Behind the Glee, which chronicles the national – and international – phenomenon of the Show Choir Canada National Championships.

Never content to rest, Peter is now building on the momentum of Show Choir Canada with several productions in development, including a TV series and live theatrical show.

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A performing professional since the age of 15, Stephen began his career with the National Tap Dance Company of Canada, performing with them for 10 years throughout Canada, The U.S. and around the World in such venues as The Metropolitan Opera House in New York City, The Hong Kong Coliseum and The Kennedy Centre, the latter in a gala tribute to President Ronald Reagan.

After leaving the company, Stephen began a freelance career that saw him perform in more corporate industrial shows than he can count, several feature films, commercials and musicals. A close association with Diversified Productions allowed him to expand his skills to include choreography (including The Opening Ceremonies for the 1992 Olympic Track & Field Trials in New Orleans), stage management and even as a road manager for a Canadian Armed Forces Tour to The North Pole.

In 1994, Stephen was hired to be The Head of Dance for Sheridan College’s Music Theatre Performance Program. Over the next seven years, he managed to juggle his performing career with his teaching and also to choreograph more than 20 shows for Theatre Sheridan. Outside work offered him the chance to add director to his resume with several successful shows for the Ganaraska Summer Theatre.

In 2001, Stephen was offered the opportunity to see the business from another side, so he left Sheridan College to join da Costa Talent Management. In between (and during shows), Stephen found the time to study business at the University of Toronto, and this job was a chance to use some of those skills. Assuming the role of Robin to Peter’s Batman, a steep learning curve ensued. His ability to memorize literally everyone’s phone number, take point on projects, and hold down the fort while Peter is “on assignment”, have made him a fixed asset on da Costa’s Balance Sheet. He continues to scout talent for the agency, build bridges with theatres across the country, as well as working on the day to day business projects. Dealing with actors and casting directors is much like mediating the U.N. – hard…rewarding…and a ton of fun. He is currently single, resides in L.A. and was named People’s Sexiest man Alive in 2006. No, wait…that was George Clooney…I live in Toronto.

He still teaches dance part-time, and in the last few years has added competitive ballroom dancer to his list of accomplishments.

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A Vancouver native, Melissa Panton began performing at the age of three. Her professional career includes numerous film and television credits, live stage, major sports league dance teams, adjudication and choreography. In 2002, she moved to Toronto to pursue new avenues in the entertainment industry. She became a client at da Costa Talent, and the very next day booked her first gig – she’s that good! While building credits as both a choreographer and actor, she began studying Arts Administration at Humber College, and gathering experience in production, casting, business and stage management.

When da Costa Talent decided to create a Youth Division, Melissa became a huge resource. She was immersed in the urban dance scene, and was instrumental in recruiting talented youngsters who were great dancers, but also had potential in singing and acting. While her passion then lay in building her reputation as a choreographer – she was equally committed to nurturing the Youth Division at da Costa Talent and soon took over the role of Batgirl at the agency.

In 2010, Melissa decided to return home to the land of ocean and mountains… And her new fiance! A new chapter of da Costa Talent was born, making the agency bi-coastal and allowing clients to pursue opportunities in both Toronto and Vancouver. Melissa now assumes the role of principal agent for da Costa Talent Vancouver and is excited for the newest chapter in her career.

Melissa hopes one day to relocate to Texas, where her hair will be less noticeable.

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Shannon Teat officially joined the da Costa Talent team in July 2015 after working with them for several contracts during the busy seasons from 2012-2014. She first realized her passion for it while covering Melissa when she ran off to get hitched in Mexico. She possesses not only extensive experience on both sides of the table but also a passion for musical theatre and an in-depth perspective on the dance industry.

Shannon grew up in Vancouver, where her love for the arts compelled her to seek training in jazz, ballet, tap, hip hop, and musical theatre, as well as singing and acting. She was a member of the esteemed Source Dance Company its very first year, and now sits on their audition panel as it heads into its 15th year. Her performance credits include commercials, television shows, motion pictures, as well as motion capture for video games. Some of her favourite credits include travelling the world as a dancer and singer with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines (where she met her husband), touring through North Africa entertaining the Canadian troops, and through China in revue-style shows.

Following her performance career, she has worn many hats in the arts choreographing for studios and workshops across Canada, and adjudicating regionally and nationally. Her work ethic, approachability and professionalism has led her to be a natural selection to be awarded rehearsal director positions for dance and theatre companies, and lead casting and audition tours for various projects. She will now use her management, organization, strong networking and people development skills to advance the careers of her actors, singers, dancers and choreographers.

Shannon is excited to represent such a talented roster. Her wonderful, fresh energy and supportive nature is a perfect fit to our team.

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