A statement on the occasion of the George Floyd Memorial Day of Enlightenment

It’s been a year since the murder of George Floyd and the ensuing horror, propelling a broad societal investigation into how racism, white privilege and oppression are active in our societies and respective sectors. The Association for Opera in Canada made a statement last year, as did many performing arts companies, acknowledging that there are systemic issues and inequities in the performing arts, and that we have work to do to correct them.

We are committed to doing the work and aware that the work is complex but vital/necessary.  Since last year, with the participation of BIPOC stakeholders, board members, and professional consultants, specific pressure points of inequity in the opera sector have been identified, with recommendations for how to improve them.

AOC is committed to using this information to inspire action, beginning by integrating clear and actionable goals into a three-year pledge welcoming all Canadian opera companies and opera leaders to come together in a national coalition for change. It is part of our new strategic plan (to be announced shortly) with a focus on Equity, not only as a goal in and of itself, but a lens through which to view all of our existing and future practices.

We stand in solidarity with Black, Indigenous, Asian and all communities who experience oppression. Actions, not pledges or statements, are the real change and as the Association for Opera in Canada, we will support all of our member companies in informed actions as we look to a thriving, more equitable future.

Christina Loewen, Executive Director
Michael Hidetoshi Mori, Chair of the Board of Directors