Celebrate International Women’s Day at the Women in the Arts Roundtable

Courtesy of York University

In celebration of International Women’s Day, Dean Sarah Bay-Cheng of the Faculty of Arts, Media, Performance, and Design is hosting a discussion with various influential women involved in the arts scene in Toronto, taking place today, March 7.

Regarding the event, Sarah Bay-Cheng, the Dean of AMPD, says, “We are excited to host this conversation with women leaders in the arts as part of the Final Mile Club, an initiative to provide information and support to AMPD students as they transition from university to their professional lives.”

Panelist, Laura Friedmann, is a Toronto-based producer, director, and multidisciplinary artist. Her work, as co-founder of Wrapped Productions Inc., surrounds ideas relating to gender equality, human rights, intergenerational trauma, diaspora, and stories of healing and transformation. 

“It is not a secret that this industry hasn’t always been favourable to women, let alone women of colour,” says Friedmann. “In the last two years, all that has come to the surface regarding racism, misogyny, and inequities during the pandemic, the film industry has found itself in a moment of reckoning and has had to face the reality of changes that need to be made,” says Friedmann.

According to a report that was conducted by Statistics Canada and presented by the Ontario Arts Council, entitled “The Status Of Women in The Canadian Arts and Cultural Industries,” a little over 30 per cent of producers, directors, choreographers, conductors, composers, and arrangers in Canada are female. What’s more, according to the study, “Achieving Equity in Canadian Theatre: A Report with Best Practice Recommendations” by Equity in Theatre, women in these roles earn about 16 per cent less than men.

“I’ve seen very promising changes and systemic barriers being slowly removed for women and those from racialized communities,” states Friedmann. “I’m excited to share what I’ve learned from my involvement in some of these programs and initiatives that help to give access to and uplift women and creators of colour. Although there is still more work to do, these changes are starting to reflect a more equitable and accessible environment for many. It is important to bring these issues to light and reflect on what has happened to date, and what needs to continue happening in the future.”

Bay-Cheng adds, “This is a conversation with women, not just about women in the arts. I’m looking forward to hearing their perspectives on the future of work, equity, and the effects of rapidly changing technologies. It is events like this that make being part of AMPD so gratifying. We are connecting our most successful alumnae with the next generations.”

This conversation will also include Amanda Cordner, an actor on CBC’s Sort Of; Jennifer Holness, the founder of Hungry Eyes Media; Beth Janson, the chief operating officer of TIFF; and Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu, the artistic director of Obsidian Theatre. 

This event will take place from 2:30pm to 4:30pm in the Tribute Communities Recital Hall on Tuesday, March 7th. To register for this free event, click here.

About the Author

By Sydney Ewert

Arts Editor


Sydney is in her third year at York University studying Dance. She loves to travel and explore new places. When Sydney is not editing, working, or studying for her classes, she is likely going for walks or learning new recipes.


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