Pat the Dog Theatre Creation has been an awarded a Sector Innovation and Development Award from Canada Council. The award is for Regional Women Lead: A Grassroots Approach to Gender Parity for Women in Theatre. The award is National and significant - $96,000 over two years - and will provide supports for professional women theatre creators across Canada. The announcement was made last night at the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery during the Heels on the Diving Board Women’s theatre series dedicated to stories created by women.
“This acknowledgment from Canada Council gives us real tools to be change-makers for women practicing theatre in Canada.” said Artistic Director Lisa O’Connell, “It’s especially timely given the new study by the Ontario Arts Council.”
That study, The status of women in the Canadian arts and cultural industries: Research review 2010-18, provides insight into the status of women in the arts in Canada. Research shows a pervasive gender-based income gap across all six sectors under review (visual arts, dance, theatre, literature, music and media arts/screen.) Overall, women’s average incomes are lower than those of their male peers – a defining feature of work in the Canadian arts and cultural industries.
In fact, the Playwrights Guild of Canada’s Annual Theatre Production Survey (2017-18) stated that of 961 productions in the 2017/18 season, 60% were written by men, 30% by women, and 9% by mixed gender partnerships. “Less work produced by women means less jobs not only for writers but also for actors as there is a corresponding relationship between women playwrights and roles for women actors,” stated O’Connell.
Regional Women Lead will provide multi-layered opportunities for Women to tell their stories, including grassroots story collection and conversation cafés to Master Classes led by Governor-General Award-winning women playwrights. Mentorships will also be provided in playwriting, producing, directing and design. All activities will be led by nationally recognized theatre professionals. Programming will be begin in Waterloo Region in January 2019.