Tapestry Opera stands in solidarity with Black and Indigenous communities in Toronto and across the globe in the fight for justice.
We acknowledge that there is no such thing as neutrality in discussions of oppression: there is only the choice to do something, or to do nothing. Inaction and willful ignorance are the props that hold up structures of racism that disenfranchise, diminish, and harm people of colour, particularly Black and Indigenous people.
Tapestry exists in the context of the performing arts sector in Canada, and the opera sector more broadly. We are storytellers, and what stories are told and who tells them matters. As a progressive cultural institution, we recognize the role that our artistic and organizational practices have in critiquing and dismantling systems of inequity and oppression.
While words are important, they are only the first step, and we commit to the following actions:
- We will curate our programming with a diversity of creative teams, perspectives, and artists
- We will consciously engage in anti-oppression conversations around the work that we create and produce
- We will thoughtfully engage in work about race, in partnership with leaders from those communities
- We are conscious of our platform and visibility in the industry, and we commit to using it to advocate for increasing equity throughout the sector
- We will amplify the work and voices of people of colour and other underrepresented communities
- We commit to being open to criticism and being held accountable with earnestness and openness to improvement.
- We will prioritize equity at all levels: creative teams, staff, board, and artists
- From our white staff members:
- We acknowledge that we benefit from racism.
- We commit to educating ourselves and our networks, and to speaking up against racism wherever we encounter it.
- We commit to be proactive and vocal, questioning processes and policies in our personal and business lives.
- We are not afraid of being uncomfortable. We commit to this journey and the inevitable missteps, and to coming back and doing better the next time.
For non-Black folks and people who are newly engaged in the discussion, here are some resources to get engaged at a local level:
- Guide to Allyship: A beginners guide to supporting marginalized communities: https://guidetoallyship.com/
- Support Black-owned businesses in Toronto: https://www.afrobiz.ca/toronto
- Give to Black advocacy organizations: https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/black-organizations-anti-racist-groups-canada_ca_5ed57ea1c5b6867b30853e20
- Watch Desmond Cole discuss his book, The Skin We’re In: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msoBTIv1VqM&fbclid=IwAR2ePpVPpFGlYG34QW0n3KMPHwQxwHkhhl__1GZuwwbMp5Fl3crBA2Orge0
- Sign the petition for an inquest into the death of Regis Kochinski-Paquet: https://www.change.org/p/justice-for-regis-korchinski-paquet
We stand in solidarity. We stand in hope of a better, richer, fairer future, and we will work to make it real.