The Board of Directors and staff of Theatre Network Society acknowledge the systemic racism, and discrimination that has disproportionately oppressed Indigenous people, the Black community, people of colour, and underrepresented groups for hundreds of years. There are times we have been blind to, or complicit with these systems of oppression – grown from Canada’s history of colonization, and slavery that stole the land, dignity, and stories of people of colour – and it is time for us to do better.
Canada is more diverse than the stories we see on stage and for too long equity seeking people have been silenced, and forced to tolerate colonial narratives that spread misinformation, and celebrate cultural appropriation. Theatre Network commits to using its resources to support people of colour, women and LGBTQ+ persons by providing them safe spaces, and opportunities so they can focus on, and do their best work.
In the summer of 2020 our Board President, along with Board Director Lewis Cardinal, artists, and local organizations came together to discuss the causes, and effects of systemic racism, and misogyny, and how Theatre Network can do better to support IBPoC, women and LGBTQ+ artists.
Theatre Network is working to integrate new actions and processes into our daily operations and long-term organizational planning, and will announce new initiatives as part of our commitment to actions as the 2020/21 season unfolds.
The 35//50 Initiative will result in a minimum 35% of staff and contractors who identify as Indigenous, black, and people of colour (IBPOC) and 50% of staff and contractors who identify as female or non-binary by the 2025 theatre season. Theatre Network thanks the individuals who put in their time and effort to call theatre organizations to action through this initiative, and we confirm our commitment to make meaningful change to our policies and practices that will lead to a more inclusive, and diverse theatre community