Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre-Media Centre

Community Update

June 30, 2021

In July 2020, Royal MTC shared a Commitment to Action; an Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism plan that 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. As part of our journey we promised transparency, including Community Updates, the last of which we shared in March 2021.
Here are the steps we have taken since our last update:
  • Following a series of organization-wide anti-racism, anti-oppression and equity workshops in the Fall 2020, conducted by Jackie Hogue (J. Hogue & Associates), Jackie led an Organizational Audit for MTC. She assessed our work backstage, onstage, in our facilities, and with our full and part-time staff – with a goal to create safe spaces for all. The work included surveys with staff, Board, and focus groups with local and national IBPOC artists who had recently worked with us. The final report was shared with staff and Board in a series of workshops to unpack the findings. The report was shared publically with the community on March 3, 2021 is available here.
  • In January and February staff and Board continued our training with Jessica Dumas’ Essential Conversations for Indigenous Inclusion workshops.   
  • Seasonal Fringe staff have participated in anti-racism, anti-oppression and equity workshops with J. Hogue & Associates.
  • Leadership and Senior Staff have continued training with workshops led by artEquity: Finding the Keys, and Everyday Justice.
  • With Acuity HR we have reviewed staff policies, including MTC’s Harassment & Discrimination Policy and other HR documentation that covers both MTC and Fringe staff.
  • We have embedded new Respectful Workplace expectations in rental contracts, including users of the BMO Digital Studio at the Tom Hendry Warehouse.
  • We have formalized hiring processes to ensure recruitment and hires reflect the diversity of our community. We commit to posting all positions internally and externally, disclosing salary range, reviewing all job requirements, including anti-racist and social justice values as key attributes for candidates.
  •  We have included cultural competency support in  production budgets for the 2021/22 season, working alongside the access, inclusion and anti-oppression practices outlined in the Canadian Theatre Agreement.  
  • In June we announced a call for submissions for a Residency Program, prioritizing equity deserving creators and companies for access to space and financial support.
  • The Board of Trustees Nominations Committee welcomed six new Trustees who joined the Board at the AGM in June 2021.
Led by our Governance and Strategic Planning Committee and facilitated by Health in Common, we developed a new 2021-2024 Strategic Renewal Plan. This was created through facilitated conversations with senior staff and Board, informed by the perspective of an external focus group comprised of IBPOC audience members, artists, donors and volunteers and approved in June 2021. We will share the final version on our website.  
By our next Community Update we will report on the following actions:
  • This summer we will begin a consultancy with Engaging Access to facilitate a Accessibility Review to ensure best practices and compliance with the Accessibility for Manitobans Act. Renovations are in process for a universal toilet room (gender neutral bathroom) in the Warehouse lobby.
  • By September we will update handbooks and orientation materials for Artists, Staff, Board, Front of House and Volunteers, reviewed by external HR counsel and including third-party reporting procedures.
  • In the fall, all staff will renew their Respectful Workplace training, led by Acuity HR.
  • We are developing training videos for MTC and the Fringe’s volunteer corps in partnership with J. Hogue & Associates, and will also provide de-escalation training for Front of House and Box Office staff.  
  • We will continue to source and provide workshops and training for staff and Board in areas of equity, diversity, inclusion, accessibility, anti-racism and anti-oppression.  
  • New procedures will be articulated as part of Fringe applications for 2022, embedding Respectful Workplace commitments and ensuring artists have access to resources to support safety and well-being.  
  • We will convene a group of Board, community and staff members and establish terms of reference for an Anti-Racism Task Force (working title). This group will review our progress to date, establish further actions based on reports and feedback, confirm accountability to our Commitment to Action and help ensure the goals of our Strategic Plan are set in motion.
  • We will continue to prioritize candidates from equity deserving communities in calls for applicants for artistic opportunities or professional development programs.
In our ongoing commitment to transparency, we will continue to provide updates on our website. Our next Community Update will be shared in December 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 M├ętis Nation, and to lead the necessary work at MTC to create a equitable future for all.

Kelly Thornton, Artistic Director             Camilla Holland, Executive Director                     
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

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