Theatre Alberta extends deep gratitude and support to the theatre and arts community members across Alberta—specifically in Moh’kins’tsis (also known as Calgary) in Treaty 7 and Amiskwaciwâskahikan (also known as Edmonton) in Treaty 6—who have come together to craft and present a gift for the future of theatre in Alberta. The 35//50 Initiative in each of Alberta’s major urban centres is offering a clear and generous path towards community commitment and accountability in addressing systemic employment inequities in the theatre industry.
The 35//50 Initiative has asked Theatre Alberta and many of our group members to commit to a set of organizational beliefs and policies, rooted in anti-racist and anti-oppressive practices. These commitments will result in 35%+ of staff and contractors who identify as Indigenous, Black, and People of Colour and 50%+ of staff and contractors who identify as female and non-binary by the 2024/2025 theatre season. This timeline is achievable, and comes from artists and community members whose exclusion, tokenization, and pain has been visible, loud, and palpable for generations. This is a gift.
Theatre Alberta will both uphold the beliefs and commitments of The 35//50 Initiative and support all of our participating members across the province in doing the same. We will hold community accountable, and we expect community to do the same for us. While the Initiative is designed for participation from professional theatre companies in our province’s two major urban centres, it is also possible for community theatres and theatre educators across Alberta to participate as well. This is a gift.
From Theatre Alberta, you can expect to see additional action across our organization—our board of directors, our employed staff, our contracted artists and educators, and our programs and services. We have a lot of work to do in service of these commitments. In the short-term, we will prepare and publicly share the requested demographic information at the end of the 2020/2021 season, along with an action plan that will be created by our board and staff members. We are excited to develop and share our plans, and to see yours. We are excited to work together in community in support of The 35//50 Initiative.
From all of us at Theatre Alberta—Thank You to The 35//50 Initiative YYC and YEG for the offering you are making to our provincial theatre community!