Welcome to Equity in Theatre

Achieving Equity in Canadian Theatre

Achieving Equity in Canadian Theatre: A Report with Best Practice Recommendations
Prepared by Dr. Michelle MacArthur



This report is the product of the collaboration, cooperation, and support of several individuals, organizations, and associations. First and foremost, we would like to thank the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Ontario Trillium Foundation and for financially supporting the Equity in Theatre initiative. EIT’s Co-Chairs, Rebecca Burton and Laine Zisman Newman, have guided this research from the beginning and provided vital feedback, insight, and encouragement. Research assistance was provided by PGC Project Coordinator and EIT Metcalf Intern Jennie Egerdie and Playwrights Guild of Canada’s Administrative Coordinator Catherine Vidal; Jennie also provided editorial assistance and Catherine helped with the translation of French materials. 

EIT’s Steering Committee and partners include Artists Driving Holistic Organizational Change, Associated Designers of Canada, Canadian Actors’ Equity Association, Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario, Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance, Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas (Canada), Pat the Dog Theatre Creation, Playwrights Guild of Canada, Playwrights Theatre Centre, and the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres. These organizations have provided research, feedback, and support throughout the process of preparing this study. Special thanks go to the individuals sitting on the Steering Committee: Cole Alvis (IPAA), Aliyah Amarshi (PACT Diversity Committee), Joanna Falck (LMDA), Sedina Fiati (CAEA Diversity Committee), Lynn McQueen (CAEA), Lisa O’Connell (PTD), Lena Recollet (IPAA), Arden Ryshpan (CAEA), Meg Shannon (PACT), Sheila Sky (ADC), charles c. smith (CPAMO), Donna-Michelle St. Bernard (The Ad Hoc Assembly), and Heidi Taylor (PTC). 

Several individuals read the final drafts of the report and provided invaluable feedback. Special thanks to Gilli Bush-Bailey, Joanna Falk, Louise Forsyth, Marcia Johnson, and Shelley Scott for their careful edits and insightful comments. 

We contacted arts organizations and councils, theatre companies, and individuals across the country and outside of Canada with requests to share gender and diversity statistics and information about equity initiatives. While they are too numerous to name individually, we are indebted to these people and organizations for their generous contributions and their enthusiasm for the project. We also thank all those who participated in EIT launches and events across Canada—their ideas and energy have also provided support to this research. Though this report reveals that there remains a lot of work to be done to achieve equity in Canadian theatre, it is heartening and hopeful to know that countless individuals and organizations are invested in this goal.