Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre-Media Centre


Community Update

December 17, 2020
In July 2020, Royal MTC shared our Commitment to Action, responding to the calls of the community. In this statement, we acknowledged our privilege as a predominantly white-led institution; apologized for the harm caused by inherent barriers for IBPOC communities; and committed to making transformative change. Our Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism Action Plan seeks to repair and reimagine MTC’s relationships with our community, and build bridges with those who have been historically excluded or underserved by our theatre.

Here are the steps we have taken so far:
 
  • We are working with Jackie Hogue (J. Hogue & Associates) to facilitate an organizational audit – backstage, onstage, in our facilities, and with our full- and part-time staff – with a goal to create safe spaces for all. This has included conversations and focus groups with local and national IBPOC artists. The final report will be shared with our community in the new year.
  • Jackie has also developed and delivered workshops designed to build MTC’s capacity to dismantle racism, including training and conversation about equity, unconscious bias, anti-oppression, and anti-racism, with staff and Board. Staff and Board will also participate in Jessica Dumas’ Indigenous Awareness and Engagement workshops in late January.
  • Recent artistic announcements (Pimootayowin Creators Circle, National Mentorship Program) prioritize and invest in IBPOC artists, demonstrating our commitment to ensure the development of a robust artistic community that reflects the diversity of the Province.
  • The Tom Hendry Digital Studio prioritizes IBPOC creators for this accessible and affordable space.
  • The Board of Trustees Nominations Committee is committed and working to welcome IBPOC candidates with new Trustees joining at the AGM in June 2021.
  • MTC leadership and staff are on a journey of learning; in addition to training above, leadership has participated in workshops including Anti-Racist Theatre Foundational Course (Nicole Brewer), Anti-Racism Training for Leaders (Praxis Consulting), and Anti-Racist Approaches to Radical Recruitment in the Arts (artEquity).

By our next Community Update we intend to:
 
  • Invite IBPOC artists, audience members and volunteers to participate alongside staff and Board of Trustees in the development of a Strategic Planning framework for 2021-2024.
  • Engage external counsel to review and update staff and Board policies including MTC’s Harassment & Discrimination Policy, the Board Code of Conduct and other relevant HR documentation.
  • Ensure third-party reporting mechanisms are in place for staff, contractors and artists.
  • Prioritize cultural competency support for creative teams in production budgets, alongside new access, inclusion and anti-oppression practices as outlined in the Canadian Theatre Agreement.
  • Announce a call for submissions for a Residency Program, prioritizing IBPOC creators and companies.
  • Facilitate anti-racism training for seasonal Fringe staff, de-escalation training for Front of House and Box Office staff, and workshops for MTC and Fringe volunteers.
  • Develop and articulate new hiring processes that ensure that recruitment and hires reflect the diversity of our community, and embody anti-racist and social justice values as key attributes for candidates.  

In our continued commitment to transparency, we will continue to provide updates on our website, and our next Community Update will be shared in June 2021.

We are deeply grateful to work on Treaty 1 land, the traditional territory of the Ininew, Anishinaabe, Dene and Dakota peoples, and the traditional territory and homeland of the Métis Nation, and to lead the necessary work at MTC to create a equitable future for all.

Sincerely,

Kelly Thornton, Artistic Director             Camilla Holland, Executive Director
kthornton@royalmtc.ca                               cholland@royalmtc.ca

The Board of Trustees of the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre supports the leadership of our Artistic Director and Executive Director, and commits to work with them on the actions ahead. The Chair of the Board of Trustees, John Guttormson, can be reached via board@royalmtc.ca
 

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