2020 Commitment from Theatre Passe Muraille

COMMITMENT FROM THEATRE PASSE MURAILLE 

Presented at the 2020 Annual General Meeting

November 23, 2020

 

The deaths of George Floyd and Regis Korchinski-Paquet, among many other deaths, along with the recent spate of more visible anti-Black racism, motivated AD Marjorie Chan and MD Régine Cadet to publish a note on May 29, 2020 in which they questioned a theatre’s role in these difficult times. It was clear to them that to continue to bring work that is representative of our city, that transverses boundaries, and that challenges the status quo, they would be bringing these difficult conversations to the forefront. And furthermore, then inviting their audiences and supporters to take a stand with them, in solidarity with these afflicted communities. 

It is without hesitation that they publicly announced a commitment to make a donation to two underfunded organizations, one each serving Black and Indigenous communities, as voted on by audiences during the 20.21 season. 

This action is in line with TPM’s values of being accessible and equitable as well as its open-door policy that we’ve been implementing and intensifying in recent years. 

TPM’s leadership and Board of Directors also acknowledge that our individual and institutional practices must align with our stated organizational mandate and values. Further, we desire to continue to confront racism and the deliberate marginalization and exclusion of Black, Indigenous and people of colour through our operations, programming and art. As an organization, and as individuals, we commit to being open to criticism, to examine our role in benefitting from systemic racism and practices (even when unintentional) and to hold ourselves accountable to the broader community by outlining the following advocacy, actions and timelines: 

 BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) Representation 

  • At least 50% in leadership positions, as well as continuing to invest in active succession planning for BIPOC individuals showing aptitude (currently 100% BIPOC, including 1 Black woman) 
  • Continuing internship opportunities (artistic, administrative and leadership) specifically for BIPOC individuals with a commitment to supporting at least one Indigenous individual per season, starting as soon as possible, and no later than 2021 – 2022 season 
  • Commit to increasing BIPOC representation on the Board to at least 50% (27% as of October 18, 2020) with a commitment to at least one Black and one Indigenous individual, no later than June 2021 
  • Commit to increasing BIPOC representation on our staff, as positions become available, by prioritizing BIPOC candidates of equal skill sets (25% as of October 18, 2020) 
  • Continue to represent the BIPOC community in our artistic programming at a minimum of 50% or more and further to commit to at least one residency per season for an Indigenous and Black artist or artist collective, starting 2021-2022 
  • Commit to engaging an Indigenous or Black Elder-in-residence to give us guidance and perspective, no later than September 2021 
  • Commit to continuing to acknowledge and support intersectional BIPOC individuals (Queer, Trans, Deaf, Disabled, Blind, etc.), and establish more formal partnerships, beginning with exploratory conversations with groups (TPM Amplify project launched in Fall 2020) 

Advocacy 

  • Commit to financial support by sharing 25% of the proceeds of 1 fundraising event per year starting 2021, and advocacy for Black and Indigenous grass roots organizations. 
  • Commit to usage of organizational resources to support amplification of Black and Indigenous arts, cultural, and advocacy organizations throughout the season, starting November 2020 
  • Commit to continuing our educational ARAO (Anti-Racism/Anti-Oppression) sharing of resources and conversations among staff and board, as a standing agenda item for our meetings 

Internal Governance 

  • Holding anti-racism anti-oppression training annually for board and staff, the first sessions having been held September 30 and October 7, 2020. 
  • Annual review and update of our anti-harassment and anti-violence policy (last updated in May 2020) and develop an anti-racism and anti-oppression policy (April-June 2021). These policies to include clear and confidential reporting structures for staff, artists, community and board 
  • Commit to engaging independent community consultant groups for accountability 
  • Commit to community transparency of our hiring procedures for leadership 

The responsibility for clear reporting on our progress on all of our commitments above is assigned to the Artistic Director, Managing Director and the Board of Directors through their Community Engagement Committee, reporting to the community as a part of our Annual General Meeting.