DiverseTheatreBC (DTBC) is envisioned to be a digital platform that will promote and foster intersectional interculturalism throughout the BC professional theatre sector. Its central tool would be a fully searchable database of Indigenous and racialized theatre artists – performers, playwrights, directors, designers, opera singers, stage managers, and other theatre professionals – to which engagers (theatre companies, film/TV casting directors, indie directors/producers, schools, social non-profits) may access as subscribers. Other digital tools and educational enhancements would be added as demand dictates and funding allows; once established, the goal is to expand nationally to become DiverseTheatreCanada.
DTBC will be a powerful tool for building a more inclusive theatre culture that more authentically reflects Canada by promoting Indigenous and racialized artists (IARA); increasing hiring opportunities for IARA; and fostering intercultural connection, community, and artistic collaboration. DTBC would be searchable by gender, ethnic heritage (Indigenous, African, East Asian, Latin American, Middle Eastern, South Asian, mixed racial heritage), dialects, languages, artistic skills, and other fields as determined by research data gathered through community consultations.
In 2017, the support of a leading group of arts organizations was formalized through the establishment of the DTBC Working Group, whose membership includes:
- Brenda Leadlay, Executive Director, BC Alliance for Arts + Culture
- Dawn Brennan, Managing Director, Urban Ink Productions
- Jay Dodge, President, Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT) | Artistic Producer, Boco del Lupo
- Kenji Maeda, Executive Director, Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance (GVPTA)
- Phillip Djwa, Creative Technologist, Agentic Digital Media
- Scott Bellis, President, National Council, Canadian Actors' Equity Association (Equity)
- Valerie Sing Turner, Artistic Producer, Visceral Visions | Creative Director, DiverseTheatreBC
Also part of our team is Project Manager Anju Singh and Visceral Visions Practicum Student Alyssa Hirose.
It's been said that farmers don't grow crops; they create the essential conditions for crops to grow. DTBC will be a vital tool to break systemic divides, disrupt institutionalized structures, and create conditions under which theatre artists of colour – and by extension, the wider Canadian theatre ecology – can thrive. We are therefore grateful for support from: