Equity Readiness for Senior Leaders in Opera

With Nicole McVan and Tanya Rumble

Registration is now open.

Registration is reserved for senior leaders at member organizations, and will be on a first come, first served basis.

Association for Opera in Canada will soon announce its next strategic plan with a focus on Equity and Resilience. To help set the stage for our future collective work, we are excited to announce a new series of workshops in Equity Readiness for opera company senior leaders. Opera company senior leaders hold the most power when it comes to addressing Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and are the key to creating meaningful and lasting change. These sessions will help establish a common understanding, vocabulary as well as a process for increasing equity, power-sharing and intersectionality organizationally and across the sector from the leadership level.

We are delighted to be working with Nicole McVan and Tanya Rumble, both senior development and fundraising professional in the not-for-profit sector, who speak and write regularly on themes of equity, privilege, and power dynamics at industry events and conferences.

Who should attend the workshops?

  • General Directors
  • Artistic / Music Directors
  • University Program Leadership
  • Senior Staff of any Member Organization

(Note: There is a separate session for Professional Company Member Board members here. General Directors are welcome to take both sets of sessions if desired. They will complement each-other.)

Registrants are asked to commit to all 3 sessions. 

  • Thursday August 26th 2:00 – 3:30 EST
  • Thursday September 9th 2:00 – 3:30 EST
  • Thursday September 16th 2:00 – 3:30 EST

Overview of Workshops (all workshops held over zoom)

Workshop 1: Social Location and Systems of Oppression

August 26th 2:00 – 3:30 EST

  1. Welcome, introductions, and check in question
  2. Setting ground rules for workshops
  3. How to name your social location

Breakout groups for people to talk about their social location

  1. Overview and reflection of lexicon of words like: equity, diversity, inclusion, intersectionality, ally, solidarity, etc
  2. Understanding intersectionality
  3. Systems of Oppression

Breakout groups: discuss a scenario to understand how systems of oppression work

Workshop 2: Understanding Triggers and Microaggressions

September 9th 2:00 – 3:30 EST

  1. Welcome and check in question
  2. Common triggers that create fragility

Breakout groups to discuss triggers

  1. Overview of microaggressions and common situations

Breakout groups to reflect on common situations and how to approach

Workshop 3: Advancing Equity within your Organization

September 16th 2:00 – 3:30 EST

  1. Welcome and check in question
  2. How triggers and microaggressions uphold systems of oppressions
  3. Getting comfortable with difficult situations

Breakout groups to discuss a difficult situation and how to handle it

  1. Sharing power

Breakout groups on how to recognize and handle power sharing

  1. Final reflections and building action plan

Consultant & Facilitator Bios

Tanya Hannah Rumble, CFRE (she/her)

Director of Development, Faculty of Arts, Ryerson University

Tanya Rumble

Tanya Rumble

Tanya is a racialized settler of multi-ethnic origins living in Tkaronto. She is a fundraising leader who has raised millions for some of Canada’s largest charities including Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Canadian Cancer Society, McMaster University and now Ryerson University. As a racialized philanthropy professional Tanya is honoured to share her influence and insights with students, emerging professionals and peers in the sector. Tanya regularly writes articles on the topics of inclusion, equity, and access; and power, privilege and fundraising for industry publications and speaks to professional audiences at learning events regularly.

She graduated with an H.B.A., Political Science from McMaster University, earned a Masters Certificate at NYU in Marketing Communications and has completed numerous professional certificates including Not-For-Profit Governance Essentials (Rotman School of Management, Institute of Corporate Directors) and Truth and Reconciliation Through Right Relations (Banff Centre). Tanya has been a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) since 2017, completed her Master Financial Advisor – Philanthropy (MFA-P™) in April 2020, and most recently was approved to take the certification exam for the Communication Management Professional (CMP) designation through International Association of Business Communicators (IABC).

Additionally, she is an active leadership volunteer in the philanthropy and non-profit sector: Board Director with the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Canada, and Board Committee volunteer with AFP Canada-Foundation; executive volunteer with the Canadian Association of Gift Planners; Vice-Chair of the Board and Chair of the HR Committee with FindHelp Information Services – operators of 211 Toronto; and Board Director with Native Child and Family Services of Toronto. In addition to sharing her knowledge, she is committed to lifelong learning –  she is a graduate of the 2017 Association of Fundraising Professionals Inclusion and Philanthropy Fellowship, and 2010 DiverseCity Fellowship. Tanya gratefully acknowledges the traditional territories of the Mississauga and Haudenosaunee nations, whose traditional territory she lives and works with her husband and young son.


Nicole McVan, MA (they/them)

Vice President, Philanthropy & Marketing, United Way Greater Toronto

Nicole McVan

Nicole McVan

Nicole McVan is a strategic non-profit leader with 20 years of experience in Canada and abroad. Their experience spans many areas including corporate philanthropy, individual and community-based giving, volunteer development, national event management, and alumni giving.

As a white, able-bodied, transgender & non-binary person, Nicole uses an anti-oppressive lens in building philanthropy and marketing plans to work with and for communities. Nicole regularly speaks and writes on the topic of equity, privilege, and power dynamics for fundraising publications and at conferences and learning events.

Nicole volunteers their time in the community, including on the Board at Inside Out Film festival – an organization committed to the promotion and exhibition of film made by and about LGBTQ+ people of all ages, races and abilities. They hold a master’s degree in Non-profit Marketing and Fundraising from City University of London and is currently working on a certificate in Community Engagement, Leadership and Development at Ryerson University to build their knowledge of how to work with and for communities for lasting change.

Nicole is grateful to live and work on the traditional territories of the Mississauga and Haudenosaunee nations and acknowledges their role as a treaty person to reconcile and rebuild the relationship between indigenous peoples and settlers on Turtle Island.