A Message to our Community from Ghost River Theatre
After much reflection and discussion, we wish to comment on the recent conversations and revelations surrounding safety, equity, and harassment within the theatre community. We stand in solidarity with our colleagues who have experienced harassment, assault, or other similar transgressions that create fear, injury and imbalance of power.
Our art is at times made in untraditional spaces and in unconventional ways, and we want to ensure that the people we encounter (artists and audiences alike) remain physically and emotionally safe while in our trust. Ghost River Theatre is continually examining our place within the artistic community and we are committed to taking actions toward a better tomorrow, specifically:
- support for staff participation in bystander and consent training, workplace incident reporting, and similar programs with various organizations such as PACT/Equity (Not In Our Space initiative), Calgary Sexual Health Centre, and the Edmonton Sexual Assault Centre
- research and policy reviews of various organizations (PACT, Canadian Actors’ Equity Association, Bad Dog Theatre, Rapid Fire Theatre, and others) to create the Ghost River Theatre Code of Conduct, which includes an action plan for identifying and reporting inappropriate and unsafe behaviour
- working with artistic leaders throughout the Alberta community to implement additional programs fostering safe spaces for all individuals, such as the Calgary Sexual Health Centre‘s Shift initiative (which focuses on engaging artistic leaders and their roles/responsibilities pertaining to safety); and
- working with West Village Theatre, as one of 3 resident companies, to conduct a safety assessment for our shared spaces, and to post clear guidelines for conduct and incident reporting within the West Village Theatre community.
Our goal is to continue to create a safe environment for artists, one where creativity flourishes without fear: to empower them to make their best art, and to create the most meaningful opportunities possible for audience engagement. We make art that pushes the boundaries of possibility, but never want that to be at the expense of human safety.
We appreciate the efforts of everyone in the community who has created platforms of support and sharing, and we will continue striving to better educate ourselves and illuminate opportunities for change. GRT is committing to the February release of our newly formed company Code of Conduct, which will include a clear outline of our policies surrounding anti-harassment and discrimination, as well as an anonymous reporting form and incident investigation process. We welcome dialogue with our community members and invite people to contact us if they have any questions, or thoughts they would like to share.
Eric, Louise, Jeremy, Savanna, and the Ghost River Theatre Board of Directors