Update: Because we recognize what silence means right now

Hello and much respect, everyone.

The Intrepid team is reaching out to publicly identify and challenge our silence, while we, at the same time, are listening, learning and following direction from BIPOC organizers, artists, intellectuals and individuals.

We will continue to share a “UPDATE: BECAUSE WE RECOGNIZE WHAT SILENCE MEANS RIGHT NOW” at ongoing dates for transparent accountability and action-sharing.

Intrepid is working to deepen & radicalize our thinking. We have threads of beginnings in training and structural change. We acknowledge that though we have long recognized, and had intent to meaningfully change systems in place at Intrepid that create barriers for Black, Indigenous and POC artists, audience, and community, our change has been too slow and too moderate. We have recognized the need for action, but not always taken it, and need to be (and are) asking ourselves why.

With the above, we openly share current actions we are taking:

  1. 1. We are undergoing cultural competency work.
  2. 2. We are asking and listening to direct feedback from BIPOC artists in our local community.
  3. 3. We are facing Fringe. We are aware that Fringe specifically is where BIPOC artists have felt unwelcome and experienced racism, and acknowledge we are accountable to the racism experienced. We’ve identified that a core value and success of our curated festivals is amplifying and uplifting marginalized voices; with the Fringe, operating within a wider white institution, that value has been less front of mind. A larger systemic framework defines the Fringe, but that framework is also where the problems are built in. Though the Fringe is in principle accessible to everyone and operates via a lottery system, we know that in practice there are barriers in both the systems and culture of the Fringe that prevent BIPOC artists from feeling like they are truly supported. We have not done enough to dismantle those, and other, barriers; we have been complacent in those oppressive systems.

Open Space, an artist-led arts centre and leader in our community’s (Lekwungen Territory) arts organizations, wrote: “We ask that everyone take the time to think through how their silence, disregard and/or resistance to change has contributed to upholding the systems of oppression that have led us to this grievous and unbearable time in our history.” Thank you for this offer, Open Space.

We acknowledge that the amount of emotional labour that the BIPOC community dedicates to educate white people and predominately white institutions is beyond reasonable. We acknowledge and commit that this extra labour MUST fall onto white folx. We now dedicate ourselves to be meaningful and transparent, and to hold ourselves accountable to back up these words with continuing action. We are taking time to determine what those actions are in the short and long term, and will continue to update our community.

Respectfully yours,
Heather, Holly, Justine, Owen, Sammie, and Sean
Intrepid Theatre Company, Lekwungen Territory

cc Chairs: Bianca Chu and Tom Daly
Please reach out to Artistic & Executive Director, Heather Lindsay heather@intrepidtheatre.com

™ FRINGE and FRINGE FESTIVAL are registered trademarks of the Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals

Intrepid Theatre respectfully acknowledges that we are located on the traditional and unceded territories,
of the Lekwungen People, now known as the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations.