Anti-Racism, Anti-Discrimination Statement

The Segal Centre has always believed in the power of the performing arts to strengthen and connect communities. Our Jewish roots remind us of our duty to not be bystanders and to stand up against white supremacy and antisemitism, and be actively anti-racist. Our participation in and facilitation of national and international conversations on advocacy has helped us to make fundamental and sustainable changes to the way we operate so that we can promote an environment that actively works against racial bias, unconscious bias, anti-blackness, and discrimination in all forms.

We used the opportunity presented to us while our stages were dark to advance this important work at all levels of our organization and it has allowed us to grow as a stronger and better representative for our community. This work includes continuing discussions with our stakeholders and with our Board of Directors, and the engagement of a BIPOC consultant, Kamana Ntibarikure. We created a plan of actionable steps to be an agent of change. Equitable representation has become a core value of the Centre in recent years, but we must do more. We can and must be better. We continue to hear, listen, and learn from artists, patrons, and our own team members about how we can make the Segal Centre a place where BIPOC creators and patrons can feel at home. Thank you to those who shared their thoughts with us. We are heartened to know that our community is so close that you feel comfortable reaching out and putting your trust in us. This trust is something we do not take lightly.

Please take a moment to read the list below of steps we’ve taken so far. We look forward to remaining in conversation with you, our community, as we pursue this essential work.

  • Came out with a statement on social media in support of the protests sparked by the murder of George Floyd and postponed online events in order to elevate Black voices.
  • Hired a BIPOC Artist Advocate and Artistic Advisor, Kamana Ntibarikure (2021-2022) and Keith Fernandez (2022-2023).
  • Held workshops with the Board of Directors on Anti-Racism facilitated by Rivka Campbell.
  • Tips and donations were raised during the final Broadway Super Awesome Fun Time dance classes and donated to Black Theatre Workshop and Obsidian Theatre.
  • Changed our June 23, 2020, Tuesday Night Live @ Home selection to a show where we could reflect on the experience of BIPOC artists and focus our discussion on diversity.
  • Acknowledged the disproportionate whiteness of the traditional and current Broadway musical theatre canon on the Broadway Café 10th Anniversary Celebration livestream and committed to actionable measures to help correct this disparity when the events restart up again in the future.
  • Participated in The Transformations Project, a national project hosted by the National Arts Centre. The Segal Centre collaborated with three emerging and diverse voices from our community as part of this initiative: Justin Johnson, Jennifer Roberts, and Sarah Sinacore.
  • The Lisa’s Nightcap series featured a number of BIPOC artists including Ray Hogg and his new Prime Mover Theatre Company that supports marginalized artists in the theatre, Segal Centre BIPOC Consultant, Kamana Ntibarikure, and multi-disciplinary artist J Rob (aka Half White Full Black).
  • Sent out an end of season Segal Centre video update to 21,000+ stakeholders acknowledging the opportunity we have to be a part of the conversation and our intent to inform our community of our action plans going forward.
  • Produced an online event, Keeping the Conversation Going, in partnership with The Montreal Holocaust Museum featuring Black voices from the cultural and educational sectors including Mike Payette, Rivka Campbell, Nantali Indongo, Josa Maule, and Lisa Ndejuru.
  • Commemorated Black History Month in partnership with Black Theatre Workshop with Liberation’s Radiance, a light installation by Tim Rodrigues. This was accompanied by weekly “Reflections” pieces from BTW’s Artist Mentorship Program (AMP) alumni Maryline Chery, Justin Johnson, and Willow Cioppa, and hosted a weekly conversation where the AMP alumni discussed their “Reflections”.
  • Hosted Becoming Nakuset, a panel discussion about the intimate CBC documentary of the same name, alongside our partners at Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom. It was moderated by Rabbi Lisa Grushcow and featured panelists Nakuset, Victoria Anderson-Gardner, and Daniel Milner.
  • Produced Moving Forward, a panel discussion bringing together students from five Anglophone Quebec theatre institutions to reflect on the abuse and discrimination faced behind closed doors in educational spaces. It was moderated by Kayleigh Choiniere and Mara Lazaris, and invited guests were Camila Fitzgibbon, Gabe Maharjan, Rebecca Gibian, Dakota J. Wellman, and Meagan Shroeder.
  • Released a statement on antisemitism including resources for dealing with online racism and learning about the history of antisemitism from the Montreal Holocaust Museum.
  • The Board of Directors adopted an addendum to our current strategic plan, refreshing our strategic priorities, and updating our mission to reflect the Segal Centre’s ongoing commitment to equitable representation.

Currently in progress and ongoing efforts:

  • Continue to educate ourselves via readings, personal research, webinars, participating in advocacy discussions on a local, national, and international level with the theatre sector.
  • Maintain a growing list of actionable items and ideas supported by the Board of Directors that looks at ways we can build a stronger and more robust anti-racist Segal Centre.
  • Commit and continue to use our social media platforms to share resources, stories, articles, projects, and amplify BIPOC voices and events.
  • Reviewing the processes and practices from programming and development, to rehearsal and production in light of our commitment to anti-racism and the conversations we have been having.
  • Supporting and enforcing the newly ratified sections on access, inclusion, and anti-oppression in the Canadian Theatre Agreement (CTA).
  • Continuing to seek out and build relationships with BIPOC artists in Montreal, throughout Quebec, and beyond.
  • Creating an internal anti-racism and anti-discrimination working group that will offer recommendations based on the Action Plan.