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"Just add colour" : unintended whiteness in Vancouver theatre and arts and culture policies in Canada Cheung, Belle Chi-Tung 2018

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“JUST ADD COLOUR”: UNINTENDED WHITENESS IN VANCOUVER THEATRE AND ARTS AND CULTURE POLICIES IN CANADA by  Belle Chi-Tung Cheung  B.A. (Hons.), The University of British Columbia, 2012  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE AND POSTDOCTORAL STUDIES (Geography)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)  August 2018  © Belle Chi-Tung Cheung, 2018   ii  The following individuals certify that they have read, and recommend to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for acceptance, a thesis/dissertation entitled:  “Just add colour”: unintended whiteness in Vancouver theatre and arts and culture policies in Canada  submitted by Belle Chi-Tung Cheung in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Geography  Examining Committee: Dr. Geraldine Pratt, Geography Supervisor  Dr. Henry Yu, History Supervisory Committee Member   Supervisory Committee Member  Additional Examiner   Additional Supervisory Committee Members:  Supervisory Committee Member  Supervisory Committee Member iii  Abstract  Common around the world, the arts are considered an expression of culture and are a powerful vehicle for communicating and understanding a nation’s values and collective identity. Diversity is often considered a defining characteristic of Canadian identity, but the arts in Canada has long struggled with its own lack of diversity. This thesis explores the relationship between Canada’s multiculturalism and cultural policies, and how this relationship has resulted in an unintended whiteness in Canadian arts and culture. Focusing on theatre in Greater Vancouver, this relationship is illustrated in two ways: the first, an exploration of artistic expression outside of Canada’s official languages which demonstrate the limiting effects of bilingualism policies on linguistic and cultural expression in Canada, and explores transnationalism as a possible catalyst for new constructions of culture, citizenship, and belonging. The second example explores how theatre practitioners in Greater Vancouver conceptualize, create, and understand diversity in specific ways that perpetuate the invisible hierarchies of whiteness, and make it difficult for diversity to become part of the mainstream. For theatre artists and organizations in Vancouver, diversity has been defined as racialized difference and power dynamics that have resulted in a continued othering. I argue that this relationship ultimately results in a preference for and reproduction of Eurocentric models and artistic values. This thesis questions the role and responsibility of Canadian cultural institutions as accurate representations of “Canadian” identity, and advocates for innovative approaches to cultural policy that would better serve and leverage the unique potential and role of cultural communities in Canada. iv  Lay Summary  Common around the world, the arts are considered an expression of culture and are a powerful vehicle for communicating and understanding a nation’s values and collective identity. Diversity is often considered a defining characteristic of Canadian identity, but the arts in Canada has long struggled with its own lack of diversity. This thesis explores how the relationship between Canada’s multiculturalism and cultural policies has resulted in an unintended whiteness in Canadian arts and culture. Diversity is conceptualized, created, and understood in Greater Vancouver theatre in specific ways that perpetuate the invisible hierarchies of whiteness, and make it difficult for diversity to become part of the mainstream. This thesis questions the role and responsibility of Canadian cultural institutions, and advocates for innovative approaches to cultural policy that would better serve and leverage the unique potential and role of cultural communities in Canada.     v  Preface  This thesis is original, unpublished, and independent work by the author, Belle Chi-Tung Cheung. The fieldwork reported in Chapters 2 and 3 was covered by the UBC Behavioural Research Ethics Board Certificate number H16-01811. The project title was “Cultural Funding and the Performance of Diversity,” and the principal investigator was Dr. Geraldine Pratt.   vi  Table of Contents  Abstract ......................................................................................................................................... iii Lay Summary ............................................................................................................................... iv Preface .............................................................................................................................................v Table of Contents ......................................................................................................................... vi List of Figures ............................................................................................................................. viii List of Abbreviations ................................................................................................................... ix Glossary ..........................................................................................................................................x Acknowledgements .................................................................................................................... xiii Chapter 1: Introduction ................................................................................................................1 1.1 Positioning the Research ................................................................................................. 4 1.2 Outline of the Thesis ....................................................................................................... 6 1.3 Methodology ................................................................................................................... 8 Chapter 2: Multiculturalism and the Official Language(s) of Artistic Expression ...............14 2.1 Introduction ................................................................................................................... 14 2.2 Multiculturalism Within a Bilingual Framework ......................................................... 15 2.3 Canada’s Cultural Policy and the Canada Council for the Arts .................................... 22 2.4 Equity and Official Languages: An Inherent Contradiction ......................................... 26 2.5 The Official Language(s) of Artistic Expression: A Case Study .................................. 32 2.6 Conclusion .................................................................................................................... 47 Chapter 3: Multiculturalism and the Language of Diversity in Vancouver Theatre ............50 3.1 Introduction ................................................................................................................... 50 vii  3.2 Situating Vancouver and Theatre as an Institution ....................................................... 53 3.3 Diversity as Difference and Inequality ......................................................................... 59 3.4 The Language of Diversity and Othering in Vancouver Theatre ................................. 62 3.5 Organizational Approaches to Diversity in Artistic Creation and Presentation ........... 72 3.6 Conclusion .................................................................................................................... 81 Chapter 4: Conclusion .................................................................................................................84 4.1 What Kind of Representation? ...................................................................................... 84 4.2 Thirty Years of Unintended Whiteness......................................................................... 85 4.3 Conclusion .................................................................................................................... 90 References .....................................................................................................................................93 Appendices ....................................................................................................................................99 Appendix A : Interview Questions ........................................................................................... 99 Appendix B : Culturally Diverse Productions at the Gateway Theatre (1995-2013) ............. 100 Appendix C : 2015 Pacific Festival Audience Data, Gateway Theatre .................................. 101 Appendix D : List of Companies in the Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance .. 124 Appendix E : Demographic Data, Theatre in Vancouver (2016, 2017) ................................. 126   viii  List of Figures  Figure 3.1 Demographic data of theatre actors in Vancouver (2016, 2017) ................................. 58  ix  List of Abbreviations  GVPTA   Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance NAC    National Arts Centre OLA    Official Languages Act OLMC   Official Language Minority Communities  POC    People of Colour  x  Glossary  Terms in the Glossary are included here as defined by the Canada Council for the Arts (“Glossary | Canada Council for the Arts,” n.d.).  Cultural Diversity  The presence, expressions and participation of many different individuals and communities co-existing in the general culture of a society, and the explicit recognition that the contribution and participation of all peoples, particularly marginalized people, have the potential of equal value and benefit to the society at large.  Culturally Diverse The Canada Council for the Arts uses “culturally diverse” to respectfully identify racialized groups that correspond to “visible minorities” under the Employment Equity Act. These are Canadians of African, Asian, Latin American, Middle Eastern and mixed racial heritages (mixed racial heritage includes one of the above groups), who have been historically disadvantaged as a group and may experience discrimination based on colour, culture and race.  Culturally Diverse Organizations Organizations that demonstrate a sustained commitment to the creation, production, distribution and/or collection of art by Canadian arts professionals of African, Asian, Latin American, Middle Eastern heritage, including those of mixed racial heritage. This is reflected in its leadership, arts professionals employed and artistic activities. These organizations are mandated xi  and dedicate a majority of their resources to supporting the perspectives, stories and arts practices of arts professionals from these culturally diverse communities. • Culturally Specific – arts organizations that are rooted in racialized communities and are led by and dedicate a significant majority (75%) of their resources to supporting the arts practices by culturally diverse artists. • Intercultural – arts organizations that are mandated and dedicate the majority (at least 51%) of resources to supporting and collaborating with culturally diverse artists.  Equity  Equity is a principle and process that promotes fair conditions for all persons to fully participate in society. It recognizes that while all people have the right to be treated equally, not all experience equal access to resources, opportunities or benefits. Achieving equality does not necessarily mean treating individuals or groups in the same way, but may require the use of specific measures to ensure fairness.  Equity-seeking Groups  Equity-seeking groups are communities that face significant collective challenges in participating in society. This marginalization could be created by attitudinal, historic, social and environmental barriers based on age, ethnicity, disability, economic status, gender, nationality, race, sexual orientation and transgender status, etc. Equity-seeking groups are those that identify barriers to equal access, opportunities and resources due to disadvantage and discrimination and actively seek social justice and reparation.   xii  Official Language Minority Communities (OLMC)  Official Language Minority Communities (OLMCs) are groups of people whose maternal or chosen official language is not the majority language in their province or territory – in other words, Anglophones in Quebec and Francophones outside of Quebec. For the purposes of its granting programs, the Canada Council defines OLMC individuals, groups and arts organizations as those who self-identify as belonging to one of these groups.  OLMC Arts Organizations  Organizations that demonstrate a sustained commitment to the creation, production, distribution or collection by arts professionals from Official Language Minority Communities and are mandated and dedicate the majority of their resources to supporting their perspectives, stories, arts practices.   xiii  Acknowledgements  This thesis has been three years in the making and resulted in more personal and academic growth than I had thought possible. Thank you to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for providing me with the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship that helped make all of this possible.  Thank you to my supervisor, Dr. Geraldine Pratt, and Dr. Henry Yu, for giving me the space and time to formulate my thoughts, ambitions, and directions. Thank you for encouraging me to explore new avenues and providing the guidance to narrow all my ideas down when I had thought it wasn’t possible. Simple thanks are not enough for helping me find my voice.  To my family, friends, and colleagues, thank you for always offering words of support and encouragement when I needed it most. To every artist I interviewed, thank you for being kind and generous with your time and thoughts, and for trusting me with your opinions and questions.   Finally, to every Indigenous artist and artist of colour championing diversity in your work: It has been a privilege to meet you along the way on my own journey. Thank you for leading the way with your work, experiences, and teachings, despite how hard and demoralizing the experiences can be. I continue to be inspired by your resiliency and never-ending strength and am fighting with you every step of the way.  1  Chapter 1: Introduction  Both at home and abroad, Canada is regarded as a tolerant society where people of different ethnicities and cultures coexist peacefully and productively. Diversity is widely considered one of Canada’s biggest strengths, and is a defining characteristic of both the country’s official multiculturalism policies and Canadian identity (Trudeau, 2015). The Multiculturalism Act, passed in 1988, defines multiculturalism as a reflection of the “cultural and racial diversity of Canadian society” (Canada, Minister of Justice, 1985, p. 3). The Act not only acknowledges but also protects the “freedom of all Canadians to preserve, enhance, and share their culture heritage” (Canada, Minister of Justice, 1985, p. 3). Multiculturalism policies have had a profound impact on the nation’s cultural policies, and subsequently on the arts in Canada. In contrast to the emphasis that multiculturalism policies place on diversity, Canadian theatre has long struggled with the discrepancy between the lack of diversity in the arts and Canada’s increasingly diverse population.  Created in 1957, the Canada Council for the Arts, Canada’s national public funding body, promotes, supports, and recognizes artistic excellence of the arts both at home in Canada and internationally. In 2015 under newly-elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the Government of Canada announced its decision to double the annual budget for the Canada Council for the Arts from $150 million to $310 million by 2021. In the last three years, the Canada Council for the Arts has committed to new funding models that emphasize diversity, in order to more accurately represent Canada’s diversity in arts and culture. Despite financial and ideological commitments to diversity in the arts at the federal level, Metro Vancouver’s performing arts industry has questioned its own lack of racial and cultural diversity in comparison to the region’s increasingly 2  diverse population. An ever-prominent topic over the last few years, the lack of diversity in Canadian theatre remains an ongoing social problem that has beleaguered the industry.  The central aim of this thesis is to understand the lack of diversity through an analysis of the relationship between multiculturalism and cultural policy, and the impact this relationship has had on artistic expressions and understanding of cultural diversity in theatre. This thesis suggests that this relationship has resulted in an unintended whiteness that dominates the industry and influences the way diversity is theorized and discussed in public and artistic discourse. My research argues that this unintended whiteness impacts artistic creation and the decisions made by cultural institutions, and ultimately results in a preference for and continued reproduction of Eurocentric models and artistic values. This study uses a local context to understand the broader implications of this fraught relationship and focuses specifically on the professional performing arts in Metro Vancouver.  This thesis illustrates the relationship between multiculturalism, cultural policy, and everyday experiences of diversity in theatre in two ways: the first, through an exploration of artistic expression in a language other than English and French as an example of Canadian identity outside of official bilingualism, and the second, through narratives of how notions of cultural diversity in the performing arts are conceptualized, enacted, and created by artists in Vancouver, and how this discourse around diversity has been influenced and shaped by multiculturalism to result in an unintentional and pervasive whiteness. This thesis argues that the lack of diversity in theatre is a direct effect of multiculturalism, and that contemporary understandings and current discourses around diversity in theatre have perpetuated and reinforced the power structures and invisible hierarchies of whiteness that make it difficult for diversity to become part of the mainstream in Canadian theatre. By grounding the research in a 3  historical and anti-racist understanding of the formation of multiculturalism and cultural policy, I argue that the arts in Canada have unsuspectingly upheld the colonial histories and structures that made the nation. On a broader level, this study questions the efficacy of efforts to diversify theatre if concepts of diversity are limited to ideas of racialized representation that “just add colour” to institutional whiteness, and whether diverse theatre in this form truly escapes tokenism and the binary narrative of multiculturalism and bilingualism.    Common to almost all cultures around the world, the arts are considered an expression of culture, and have always been a powerful vehicle for communicating and understanding a nation’s values, priorities, and collective identity. Artists “not only mirror the values of the society they live in, but also … reflect on the issues that society must address if it is to know itself better” (Jackson, 1999, p. 2). The arts have an intrinsically and emotionally powerful role in society because “regardless of place, or social and economic status, telling our stories to one another has been, and continues to be, a shared value and a source of social cohesion” (Cohnstaedt, 2007, p. 15). This thesis questions whether the arts have privileged and legitimized certain communities and histories over others as representations of Canadian identity, and whether other histories have been only selectively remembered, documented, and archived. In studying theatre, an art form that relies on the physical representation of bodies for its primary purpose of storytelling, this thesis challenges the role of Canadian cultural institutions and cultural policy, and their responsibilities in reflecting the country’s rapidly changing demographics.   4  1.1 Positioning the Research  This thesis explores intersections between three distinct areas: multiculturalism, cultural policy, and diversity in theatre in Vancouver. Current literature speaks to all of these areas, especially British Columbia’s colonial theatre history, the relationship between official multiculturalism and cultural policy, and the history of funding in arts and culture. While this thesis can be seen as a study of multiculturalism in practice, I position this research as a study of the everyday ways in which policies have lasting and recognizable impressions at the local and individual levels. This study is built on the intersection of multiculturalism, cultural policy, and the lack of diversity in theatre. My research hypothesizes this intersection as the main foundation of the diversity discourse in the Vancouver theatre industry, where this discourse – in a circular and cyclical manner – finds its roots in multiculturalism and, through cultural production in the public arena, reinforces the invisible power structures and inequality of colonialism and works to perpetuate a particular and narrow range of Canadian identities.  In 2011, the Canada Council released a report called “Understanding Aboriginal Arts in Canada: A Review of Knowledge and Literature,” written by France Trépanier and Chris Creighton-Kelly. The report is a thorough review of knowledge and literature on Aboriginal arts in Canada, and stresses the uniqueness of Aboriginal art practices in the country. The report is broad, covering Aboriginal worldview and knowledge, Canada’s colonial history, and recent history in Aboriginal arts and its role in communities and for individual artists. Most importantly, the report calls on non-Aboriginal Canadians to better understand Aboriginal arts in order to honour Aboriginal artists, their history, and their “respected place in the arts imagination of this country” (Trepanier & Creighton-Kelly, 2011, p. 80). In 2015, the Canada Council for the Arts 5  announced that the organization would be consolidating over 140 granting programs into six thematic programs that no longer differentiate by artistic disciplines: Explore and Create; Engage and Sustain; Creating, Knowing and Sharing: The Arts and Cultures of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples; Supporting Artistic Practice; Arts Across Canada; and Arts Abroad (Arts, n.d.; Gattinger, 2017). The Explore and Create; Engage and Sustain; Creating, Knowing and Sharing: The Arts and Cultures of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples programs dedicate funding specifically to the artistic practices of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and are meant to recognize the place of these artists in Canada. For the purposes of this thesis, my scope of diversity and multiculturalism focuses particularly on visible minorities, defined in the glossary of the Canada Council for the Arts as Canadians of African, Asian, Latin American, Middle Eastern and mixed racial heritages of one of the aforementioned groups. It’s important to note here that my research makes a distinction between multiculturalism and indigeneity. I acknowledge this as a limiting factor in my research, but the separation I make is a deliberate rather than ignorant choice: to conflate multiculturalism and Indigeneity would not honour or respect the place of Aboriginal art in Canada. This distinction is not an exclusion or an oversight but recognition of my own responsibility as an academic and artist of colour writing about the discourse of diversity in theatre. I position my research partially as a recognition that multiculturalism and Indigeneity must be two simultaneous and separate but interconnected conversations if we – (here, I adopt Trepanier and Creighton-Kelly’s phrase) and there are many Canadian we’s – are to “genuinely and respectfully listen…[and examine] the harsh realities of our collective history” (Trepanier & Creighton-Kelly, 2011, p. 80). Current “diversity conversations” in theatre, and in my own interviews with artists, make a distinction between indigeneity and diversity. While there is a 6  widespread recognition that diversity includes both visible minorities and Indigenous peoples, there is also a very important acknowledgement and respect that the cultures, protocols, ways of being, and expressions of Indigenous people are also separate from the diversity conversation because they are the foundation and at the forefront of what it means to decolonize the arts in Canada. As a settler artist-academic of colour, I consider my own responsibility in this work to make the distinction so as to avoid conflations of multiculturalism and Indigeneity, where the plight, concerns, and circumstances of Indigenous peoples and visible minorities are often assumed and considered to be one. This conflation would erase Canada’s colonial formation and systemic disenfranchisement of Indigenous peoples, and diminish both the accountability of visible minorities to recognize their own roles as settlers, and their responsibility in working towards truth and reconciliation.   1.2 Outline of the Thesis  In this thesis, I explore the relationship between multiculturalism, cultural policy, and how this relationship has manifested in artistic expressions and understandings of diversity in theatre in two ways.  Chapter 2 explores the relationship between multiculturalism the official language(s) of artistic expression. The chapter begins with a summary of Canada’s multiculturalism policy and situates the chapter in Eve Haque’s examination of multiculturalism within a bilingual framework (2012). Through a close reading of the 1963 Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism and the 1969 Official Languages Act, Haque’s work identifies official bilingualism policies and commitments to the English and French language as a factor in upholding Canada’s 7  inherent colonial power dynamics. I then turn to cultural policy in Canada and investigate how both cultural policy and the nation’s cultural institutions have been formed with roots in contentious multiculturalism policies that echo settler colonialism. Having laid the historical framework, I then present a case study of the Pacific Festival at the Gateway Theatre in Richmond, British Columbia, a suburb of Vancouver. Programmed in Chinese, the Pacific Festival was the first festival created by a professional theatre in Canada that was in a language other than English and French, in an attempt to engage the city’s predominantly Chinese population. Chapter 2 explores the role of cultural institutions in utilizing transnational practices in expressions of Canadian identity, and raises questions about artistic expressions of Canadian identity outside of the country’s official languages. Chapter 3 explores the relationship between multiculturalism and the language of diversity in Vancouver theatre, and how this relationship is present in the ways that theatre artists utilize the language of diversity in their work. Through interviews with theatre artists in Vancouver, I explore the ways in which they understand and describe diversity in artistic creation and their own lived experiences, and how the language of diversity here echoes multiculturalism in upholding the hegemony of English and French Canada. Interviews with artists revealed that in theatre, diversity – just like multiculturalism – is defined as racialized difference and inequality in power dynamics, and has resulted in a continued othering of non-white artists (by both white and non-white artists). Organizations showed a deeply engrained rhetoric of diversity that, despite awareness of their own whiteness, continued to reinforce the power dynamic between themselves, non-white artists, and cultural communities that they were trying to engage. In this chapter, I explore multiculturalism as a practice and its effects at the local level in two ways: first, through a close study of how individual artists understand 8  diversity, and second, by examining how organizations approach diversity from opposing perspectives as producing and presenting theatre companies.  The final chapter of this thesis asks the question “what kind of representation?” to further nuance the complexities and intricacies around the idea of representation. Looking forward, I call for three shifts in approaching diversity in cultural policy: the first, for arts at the local and regional level to become the new center of national cultural policy in order to create a Canadian identity more representative of the country’s diversity; second, for a shift away from the phrase “arts and culture,” in an attempt to depart from the innate power dynamic and connotations that lie in the syntax of the term; third, to consider whether ideas of racialized representation in theatre – which at its core is a representational art form – actually escapes tokenism and the binary narrative of multiculturalism and bilingualism. I question whether attempts at racial representation in a representational art form is the best way to engage and represent communities, or whether more innovative and transformative approaches to cultural policy would better meet the needs and leverage the unique potential and role of diverse communities. The chapter closes with a summary of the main findings of this study.  1.3 Methodology  As a research method, antiracism relies heavily on context in building an understanding of the racisms that exist. Timothy Stanley advocates for a “small narrative” that captures the experiences of a particular group rather than a “grand narrative” that constructs a metahistory of reified subjects like “the nation,” “the people,” or “the race” (2012). An antiracist perspective recognizes racialization as a representational process that can intersect across cultural, 9  knowledge, or social systems without falling into pre-determined positions (Stanley, 2012). I adopt this approach in seeking sources and excluded narratives that may offer an alternative and fluid understanding of how theatre as an institution has been constructed.  Theatre as an institution is created, embodied, and upheld by the artistic work that individuals choose to create. Each year, individual artists and artistic directors of theatre companies (whether big or small) choose what types of shows they will program in their seasons each year, who will perform in them, and who will write the work that they choose to commission. The interviews that I conducted have been key to learning how theatre artists understand diversity in the arts, and illustrate how the term is understood at different levels; through policy, and in everyday language and artistic expression. This understanding extends beyond the work that individuals create, and holds more importance in learning how each individual’s understanding of the term “diversity” is translated for communication to and consumption by audiences. Exploring this understanding allows for reflection on how diversity has been constructed, its intended meanings, and its effect in the creation and consumption of “Canadian” culture.  From 2009 – 2014, I worked as a stage manager, producer, and arts administrator in the Vancouver theatre industry for a number of different companies. This experience affords me a unique perspective and position to conduct this research: both as an insider who understands the inner workings of theatre organizations and the challenges that they and individual artists face, and as an outsider, whose livelihood is no longer dependent on the industry, looking critically at the topic of diversity in theatre in this particular locale. Drawing on my professional networks, I interviewed 20 participants working in the Vancouver theatre industry in a variety of roles. Most participants had specific roles or titles if they were tied to a specific organization at the time of 10  the interview. However, each individual interviewed has created theatre and worked in more than one discipline: some are actors and playwrights; others are artistic directors, playwrights, and actors; some are producers and general managers. I make this distinction as participants were asked to speak to their experiences in whichever way they felt most comfortable, and this type of cross-disciplinary artistic creation is the norm – rather than the exception – in the industry in both Vancouver and across Canada.  Because the industry is quite tight-knit, personal connections and previous relationships were key to securing interviews and encouraging individuals to open up about a difficult and complex topic. Participants were recruited through word of mouth, and through professional connections from my time spent working in the industry. Participants were restricted to individuals who work in the Vancouver theatre industry, specifically in two categories: individuals who create work in writing, design, directing, and acting; and individuals who are part of senior leadership of local theatre companies, such as artistic directors, executive directors, or general managers. I chose these two categories as the basis for my research because these individuals are in positions of power and make decisions about how stories are told, as well as how cultures and histories are represented. Their decisions and ideas are communicated as theatrical productions to audiences for consumption, and they are often in positions to receive support from municipal, provincial, and federal funding bodies which then turn these individuals' ideas into publicly-funded artistic representations of Canadian culture. Theatre as an institution – like any other institution – consists of many different individuals across a variety of roles, ranging from administration to creative design to hospitality. However, these roles impact the public differently than roles that have decision-making power over content or, for example, the bodies that are cast to play specific roles in theatrical productions. Theatre practitioners whose 11  roles involve creation or decision-making ultimately engage in a process of meaning-making and categorization based on their own personal ideas. This is a particularly important distinction in my research, especially in the context of examining theatre as a representational artistic practice whose primary function employs bodies to tell stories. Interviews were conducted between October 2016 to August 2017. Each interview took place in a one-on-one setting. My interviews were conducted around a list of pre-determined questions (see Appendix A), and I often included specific questions based on the participant’s history and background, with questions tailored to their own artistic work or organization. I began each interview by asking participants to explain a little bit about their own background and work as an artist to situate them within Vancouver’s theatre industry. Each participant was asked to define the term diversity in their work, and what that looks like in practice. Interview questions primarily focused on the participant’s experiences with diversity or artistic approaches to diversity in their work.  Interviews were designed to be fairly unstructured to mirror the general informality and casual nature of the industry in an attempt to create a comfortable and familiar environment for participants. I encouraged artists to speak to whatever they felt was pressing and relevant.   My intention was for interviews to range from 45 to 60 minutes, but they often extended to anywhere between 90 minutes to three hours. Given the delicate nature of the topic, I had expected some unease or reluctance in discussing the issue and expected that at least a few artists would request to remain anonymous.  However, every single artist I interviewed was generous with both their time and their thoughts and gave consent for their names to be included in the study. There were very few reservations about telling personal anecdotes or experiences (both good and bad), though a few artists did speak off record for parts of their interviews. I found that artists were 12  open to discussing issues around diversity in the theatre industry due to my own professional background and training as a theatre artist. Participants appeared to feel more at ease with what they could say, and this allowed the conversation to flow naturally around shared vocabulary and experiences, and ultimately resulted in very rich discussions. Every artist I interviewed was happy to engage with the topic of diversity, and for some, it seemed as if it was an opportunity to work through their own notions and ideas out loud in a space for that purpose. I recognized that I was interviewing artists who were eager to tackle the “diversity conversation” because they wished to see change in the industry, and were given an opportunity to discuss this topic with a person of colour who shared their experiences with diversity (or lack therof) in in Vancouver theatre.   The purpose of the interviews was not to create a timeline of when specific individuals or companies have produced diverse theatre, or attempt to account for where race exists in the theatre industry, or the racial and cultural composition of the individuals who make up the industry. My research calls for new perspectives in examining the lack of diversity in Vancouver theatre, and proposes looking at the problem outside of artistic creation (such as plays and their content) and visibility (the specific actors and bodies that are cast to play certain roles in theatrical productions). Current literature has not yet closely examined how diversity is articulated within a structurally and historically racist policy framework, and in the larger conversations of how government policy may – perhaps unwittingly – restrict what it means to be a “Canadian” to mostly Anglo- and Francophone identities. Most importantly, my research explores the anecdotes, motivations, and understandings of diversity from the context of examining theatre as an institution. With this in mind, despite their trust and generosity in giving permission to be named, names and identifiers of all participants have been omitted to keep the 13  focus on their ideas and language, rather than the connotations that may come with revealing the identities of specific individuals or organizations.  14  Chapter 2: Multiculturalism and the Official Language(s) of Artistic Expression  2.1  Introduction To fully understand the discourse around diversity in Canadian theatre, we must first understand the political formation of Canada identity, the nation-building policies that were implemented to support the state, and how these policies have influenced cultural policy. In this chapter, I briefly recap the history of Canada’s multiculturalism policy, and ground my framing in Eve Haque’s work examining multiculturalism within a bilingual framework. I review the history of Canada’s cultural policy and how Canada’s major cultural institutions – despite being considered arms-length organizations from the government – have been formed with roots in contentious multiculturalism policies. I then present a case study of Gateway Theatre, a regional theatre in a suburb of Vancouver that programmed a Chinese-language festival series in response to the city’s ethnic makeup. This case study explores the contradictions of multiculturalism and artistic expressions of culture outside of the English and French languages. Lastly, this chapter explores the role of cultural institutions in utilizing transnational practices in expressions of Canadian identity. This use of transnational practices, in combination with language, acknowledges complexities in Canadian identity and the notion of diversity in theatre. The central argument of this chapter attempts to illustrate the outdated nature of Canada’s multiculturalism policy as a container model of nationalism. Through the case study presented in this chapter, I suggest that multiculturalism policy attempts to gloss over and consolidate the complexities of communities and people’s lives into pre-defined categories that marginalize 15  those who do not speak only English or French, and especially immigrants classified as visible minorities. I argue here that cultural policy framed within bilingualism and a commitment to official languages is too restrictive, and does not allow for adequate responses to the communities that actually exist within Canada. Multiculturalism – and subsequently, diversity – have become political discourses that rely on a “language of culture and ideological constructions of ethnicized and racialized communities” (Bannerji, 2000, p. 9). This chapter situates the lack of diversity in Canadian theatre within an understanding of Canada’s history of multiculturalism and its unintended effects, and ties the diversity discourse in the arts to the broader national discourse.   2.2 Multiculturalism Within a Bilingual Framework  In 1971, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau oversaw Canada becoming one of the first countries in the world to adopt multiculturalism as a national policy. Today, Canada is upheld domestically and internationally as an openly accepting and colourful mosaic where multiculturalism has mostly succeeded, despite the country’s officially recognized systemic marginalization of Indigenous peoples. There is a sense of pride that Canada is one of the only countries in the world where multiculturalism is a part of the constitution and there is continuing widespread popular support for multiculturalism (Kymlicka, 2011). Multiculturalism is a national discourse about how Canadian identity and society are constructed, and the political and legal foundation for cultural diversity in the country (Mahtani, 2002). The 1988 Multiculturalism Act as we know it today was built on the 1963 Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism, which sought to investigate the relationship 16  between the English and French in Canada. At a time when national unity between Francophones and Anglophones, and the “Canadian identity,” were at risk, the Royal Commission reinforced the English and French as Canada’s dual founding cultures in an attempt to pinpoint a cohesive national identity. The Commission recommended the Official Languages Act in 1969, further reinforcing Canada’s linguistic identity as an English- and French-speaking country by giving both languages equal status (Guo & Wong, 2015; Haque, 2012; Paquette, Beauregard, & Gunter, 2017; Winter, 2014). As a by-product of the Royal Commission and the Official Languages Act, however, non-English and non-French people contested the idea of Canada as a dualistic country in language and culture, and demanded the same equality and protection as those of English and French heritage. Multiculturalism entered the national conversation as a policy designed to place ethnic groups and their cultural differences within the national bilingual framework, and it can be seen as the official, legislative response to ethnic plurality (Mahtani, 2002). Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau introduced Canada’s multiculturalism policy within a bilingual framework in 1971. Multiculturalism was written into the Canadian constitution in 1983, and officially became the Multicultural Act in 1988 (Guo & Wong, 2015).  The Multiculturalism Act defines multiculturalism as a reflection of the “cultural and racial diversity of Canadian society, and acknowledges the freedom of all Canadians to preserve, enhance, and share their culture heritage” (Canada, Minister of Justice, 1985, p. 3). Multiculturalism as a federal policy transpired over two separate stages. During the formative stage, the initial multiculturalism policies had several key objectives, which included retaining cultural identity, assisting cultural groups in overcoming barriers, and learning an official language. In the institutionalizing stage, the various multiculturalism policies became the Canadian Multiculturalism Act of 1988 (Guo & Wong, 2015). The policy contains ten principles, 17  including but not limited to recognizing multiculturalism as a fundamental resource and characteristic of Canadian heritage and identity, promoting the full and equitable participation of communities, and the reflections and expressions of the diverse cultures of Canadian society.  Much has been written about multiculturalism in Canada from perspectives across the social sciences. Scholars acknowledge that multiculturalism in Canada carries numerous definitions and is a constantly transforming entity (Hansen, 2014; Leung, 2011; Pankratz, 1993; Winter, 2014). Each definition of multiculturalism has specific contexts in the “historical, political, social and cultural conditions [of] the time it was created” (Leung, 2011, p. 20). Randall Hansen differentiates between multiculturalism as a sociological fact, where people from all over the world live together in a society, and multiculturalism as a policy, where people are integrated into society in an established way (2014). Augie Fleras and Jean Leonard Elliott identify five dimensions of multiculturalism: 1) an empirical fact; 2) ideology; 3) practice; 4) critique; and 5) state policy (2002). For the purposes of this chapter, I refer to “multiculturalism” both as official state policy and as critique of state policy that challenges state authority on how multiculturalism has been defined. The critique asserts that official policy has designed multiculturalism as an “assimilationist or monoculturalism policy” (Guo & Wong, 2015, p. 4) or, in Canada’s case, a biculturalism policy.  To draw the relationship between Canadian arts funding and official multiculturalism policies, my research adopts the perspective of multiculturalism as explored in Eve Haque’s examination of multiculturalism within a bilingual framework through a close analysis of the Royal Commission on Biculturalism and Bilingualism. Haque’s work exposes the “implicit hierarchy of biculturalism” and bilingualism, and subsequently, the inherent colonial structure in the origins of Canadian multiculturalism (2012). Haque argues that by creating a 18  multiculturalism policy predicated on the 1963 Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism and the 1969 Official Languages Act, Canada’s official multiculturalism policies covertly reinforce the status of Canada’s two “founding races” (2012). The importance of this bilingual framework should not be overlooked because it is a keystone of the multiculturalism policy alongside multiculturalism itself. The Commission’s main priority was “strengthening bilingualism in Canada and (re)defining the country as a bilingual and bicultural nation” (Paquette et al., 2017, p. 276), a deliberate and specific choice to protect those who were considered the linguistic minorities in their respective provinces (defined as Anglophones in French-speaking provinces, and Francophones in all other English-speaking provinces). Haque reminds us that by “maintaining that there were two official languages, [Trudeau] revived the cultural contradiction … in order to sustain the dominance of the two founding groups” (2012, p. 224).  Haque’s examination reveals that the Royal Commission considered language a personal choice made by individuals (2012). Language is “instrumental in the way that we think, act, and engage with (and carries culturally significant meanings of) the world” (Paquette et al., 2017, p. 281). By focusing on language, the Commission was able to recommend the implementation of official bilingualism under the guise of addressing a “national crisis – one inherently linked to its multilingual and multi-cultured peoples – that threatened the country’s very existence if something was not done to address it” (Paquette et al., 2017, p. 276). Within this interpretation, English and French languages were tangible tools to ‘save’ Canada from Quebec separatism. But within this response were concerns about a confused and incoherent identity, wherein all other languages (and subsequently peoples) were seen as threats to the seemingly unified English and French order. Minelle Mahtani shows us that the “trope of ‘multiculturalism’ has thus been 19  placed (uneasily) within the context of a bilingual Canada as one of way of dealing with Canada’s ethnic and racial diversity” (Mahtani, 2002, p. 68). The discourse around bilingualism in Canada is often closely tied to and interchangeable with race and social hierarchy, and Mahtani reminds us that it is difficult to separate national and ethnic identities within the context of multiculturalism (2002). The Royal Commission on Biculturalism and Bilingualism marked a turning point for Canadian cultural policy, and Canada’s multiculturalism policies were introduced as a response to the Commission (Paquette et al., 2017). After having reinforced the national identity as English and French, Canada needed to acknowledge that a diverse and multicultural population also lived within its borders. With its roots firmly grounded in settler colonialism, multiculturalism resulted in the creation of perceived space for cultures other than the English and French without upending the hegemony of Canada (Bannerji, 2000; Haque, 2012; Leung, 2011).  Multicultural policy established that all other cultures were second to English and French culture and language in the settler colonial order. Critics of Canada's multicultural policy argue that, within a bilingual framework, multiculturalism became a tool that created a sense of equality and belonging by simultaneously making differences and hierarchies invisible and dividing racialized “minorities” into distinct cultural entities (Bannerji, 2000; Haque, 2012; Thobani, 2007). Multiculturalism effectively manages the Other, and “successfully eclipses the notion of nationhood” (Mahtani, 2002, p. 68) for those who fall outside the official definition of bilingualism. Sara Ahmed’s study of multiculturalism in Australia argues that “multiculturalism enables the nation to ‘reinvent’ itself … which allows it to live with the difference of others, while claiming this difference to enhance its own cultural superiority” (cited in Thobani, 2007, p. 145). Contemporary understandings of Canadian multiculturalism as a policy of equality 20  supports Ahmed’s claim, and confirms the successes of both the Royal Commission on Biculturalism and Bilingualism and multiculturalism policies in reframing Canada with a new sense of identity and culture (Paquette et al., 2017).  Multiculturalism policy became a discourse and ideology that accepted all ethnicities and differences, and created sameness and a neutral co-existence where all cultures supposedly had the same value, access, and place in society (Bannerji, 2000; Haque, 2012), while simultaneously maintaining the official status of the English and French in Canadian society. Multiculturalism advocates for all cultures to be equal and equivalent, but relegates all other ethnicities as “Others” (Haque, 2012; Mulcahy, 2017; Yhap, 2009) in two ways: by defining the Others as “Canadian” just like the English and French, and by keeping the legal status of the English and French intact above all other languages. This distances all immigrants who are not linguistically Anglo- or Francophone from the cultural norm, strengthening the status of English and French speakers as foundational communities and rendering all other linguistic groups as arrivants or perpetual immigrants. Social hierarchies between European immigrants existed throughout different phases in Canada’s history of immigration. Cloaked in a commitment to language – or, which bodies speak English and French and which bodies do not – the bilingual framework creates a social hierarchy that effectively marks bodies as the most visible determining factor of multiculturalism. Multiculturalism makes room for white privilege, disadvantaging visible minorities who are discernably different when defined by their skin colour. Within a bilingual framework, multiculturalism effectively codifies white supremacy and Canada’s history of settler colonialism into the constitution, and successfully renders this social hierarchy invisible.  In his 2011 report, Will Kymlicka writes that “before we can decide whether to celebrate or lament the fall of multiculturalism, we first need to make sure we know what multiculturalism 21  has in fact been” (2011). To understand the problem of whiteness in Canadian theatre, we must take the same approach to understanding the roots of multiculturalism and cultural policy. While the ideals of multiculturalism diverge from multiculturalism in practice, the formation of Canadian policies have always transpired on unequal ground, in spite of policies that try to mitigate and downplay the hierarchical structures intrinsic to Canadian society (Winter, 2014). As a public policy, multiculturalism roots itself in a narrative of an equal and harmonious Canadian society but, despite best intentions, is also a policy clouded by settler colonialism. We then see this embodied in cultural policy. It is important to begin the discussion on arts funding in Canada with multiculturalism, as it is a “politics of citizenship, a politics of culture, and a policy referential that serves to orient many other policies … [and] has a structuring effect on social and political life” (Paquette et al., 2017, p. 278). Multiculturalism and diversity are staple discourses in the arts (Bannerji, 2000; Chua, 2003), and arts and culture funding policies in Canada are inextricably tied to multiculturalism and bilingualism policies through “authorial privilege” (Hoffman, 2003, p. 10) which has allowed multiculturalism to indirectly write and influence the direction of Canada’s official legislated culture. Arts industries are an expression of a country’s culture, and are seen not only as a reflection, documentation, and historical archive of the nation and its values, but also as avenues of change and commentary. As an art form, theatre relies on the portrayal of bodies and representation of histories, voices, and perspectives. It only makes sense that in controlling multiculturalism, expressions of culture and identity are being controlled as well.    22  2.3 Canada’s Cultural Policy and the Canada Council for the Arts  Canada’s official multiculturalism and bilingual policies are closely tied to funding structures and policies in arts and culture. Not unlike the relationship between the Royal Commission and multiculturalism, multiculturalism has shaped the formation of cultural policy in Canada. Over the course of Canadian history, the arts in Canada has become increasingly “tied to institutions … post-secondary programs, buildings, and public funding” (Hoffman, 2003, p. 20). Not only has Canada controlled the ideology of multiculturalism, but through that, also used multiculturalism as a tool for cultural control (and vice versa). Echoing the previous discussion on multiculturalism, this section serves to provide a brief historical framework for understanding Canada’s cultural policy and its arms-length institutions in relation to multiculturalism within a bilingual framework. Similar to Jonathan Paquette et al., I will focus only on the federal cultural policy, despite the fact that cultural policy in Canada also exists at the provincial and municipal levels (2017, p. 272). While this is a limitation of my analysis, it is a reasonable focus given that my focus on cultural policy is closely tied to nation-building and the idea of the Canadian identity. Cultural policy at other scales is an issue that I will return to in the concluding chapter. Today’s arts and cultural funding policies in Canada were born out of the 1951 Massey Commission, which recommended the creation of a national funding institution, the Canada Council for the Arts, to foster and promote professional arts in Canada by providing financial support and services to arts organizations and artists (Cohnstaedt, 2007; Jackson, 1999; Low, 2016; Paquette et al., 2017; Robertson, 2006). Created in 1957, the Canada Council for the Arts is considered an arms-length institution that provides awards, endowments, grants, and services to professional artists and arts organizations across Canada. In 1966, the National Arts Centre 23  (NAC) was created to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the confederation of Canada. The NAC officially opened its doors in 1969, with the purpose of developing performing arts in the Ottawa region, and to assist the Canada Council with the development of the performing arts in the rest of Canada (Jackson, 1999). Today, the NAC is also considered an independent institution and programs theatre, dance, and music in both English and French. Separate from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Department of Canadian Heritage was created in 1996 to govern the arts, cultural industries, heritage, cultural policy development, and the supervision of national cultural institutions such as museums and libraries (Cohnstaedt, 2007; Low, 2016; Paquette et al., 2017; Robertson, 2006). Together, the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the National Arts Centre are responsible for implementing cultural policy in the arts, and hold much of the decision-making power for how cultural funding is distributed to artists and arts organizations across Canada (Cohnstaedt, 2007; Jackson, 1999; Low, 2016; Todd, 1979).  Like multiculturalism, the definition of culture is a contested and ever-moving target, debated across both the humanities and the social sciences. Terry Eagleton claims that the term ‘culture’ is one of the most difficult words in the English language to define (2000). Definitions of culture tend to work in two ways: the first, a broader view of culture as a whole way of life, and the second, a narrower view of culture as a body of artistic activities and expression (Bell, David; Oakley, 2015; Gomez, 2009; Pankratz, 1993). As Mayte Gomez explains, culture is an “active concept [that] refers to a social system, to a way of life which can change and which can be chosen” (2009, p. 31). Culture is fluid because it is defined by and responsive to its community, another fluid concept determined by time, race, social interactions, and place. Culture and politics are closely intertwined, and any discussion of cultural policy must then also 24  consider cultural politics. The framing of culture in policy is important because it – like culture itself – carries tremendous responsibility and social impact that influences customs, norms, ways of being, and more tangibly, determines institutions and forms of government (Gomez, 2009). Li reminds us that culture carries meaning-making responsibilities and implications in that cultural meanings and practices provide “ideological rationale for why [things] are done the way they are” (1994), and come to represent the collective values of a people about their social and group identities (Mulcahy, 2017), belief systems, and traditions. Bell & Oakley (2015, p. 113) summarize the power of culture and subsequently cultural production in re-storying and re-crafting a nation’s narrative:  A key concept here is the nation as an imagined community…and the steering of the imaginative work of making a nation cohere and self-identify is often down to culture. Historians remind us that nations are “fictions,” so it should come as no surprise to see cultural production and consumption centrally implicated in the story of the nation.  The Royal Commission on Biculturalism and Bilingualism defines culture as “a way of being, thinking, and feeling … sharing the same customs, habits, and experiences” (Gomez, 2009, p. 31). As a country, Canada defines culture as a “community’s knowledge, experience, beliefs, values, customs, traditions, and distinctive institutions” (Jackson, 1999, p. 2). In contrast, Canada’s cultural policy is described as the “expression of a government’s willingness to adopt and implement a set of coherent principles, objectives, and means to protect and foster its country’s cultural expression” (Jackson, 1999, p. 1). By Canada’s official definition, its cultural policy is a social and hierarchical activity that can choose its customs, norms, and institutions (Yhap, 2009), and simultaneously, exclude other customs, norms, and social orders that do not define or benefit the perceived and chosen majority. The fact that a certain type of culture may represent a community does not always mean that cultural policy will do the same. Culture is not 25  simply a reflection of the people who live within its borders, their values and norms, but a continuous process of reification. Not writing explicitly about Canada, Edward Said argues that culture is a “sort of theater where various political and ideological causes engage one another” (Said, 1993, p. xiii), and comes to represent much more than a body of artistic work. Like Said’s analysis of the relationship between culture and imperialism, Canada’s cultural policy also has the “power to narrate, or to block other narratives from forming and emerging” (1993, p. xiii), a central process to exerting control over the creation and expression of Canadian culture. Canada’s cultural policy – like all countries with a legacy of settler colonialism – is distinguished by the emphasis on identity formation and the politics that are involved with articulating and framing its definition (Mulcahy, 2017).  Cultural institutions in Canada began as “tools of nation building and social cohesion” (Cohnstaedt, 2007, p. 14). Paquette et al. summarizes the period of the Massey Commission as a transition from colonial cultural policy – where the policy was focused on upholding the status of the English and French – to a policy of nationalism, where expressions of culture in English and French are seen as the foundations of “national unity” (2017). All three entities within the Government – the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the National Arts Centre – have a “prominent role in shaping … norms and attitudes towards culture and cultural programming” (Paquette et al., 2017, p. 279). It should not be seen as a coincidence that the Department of Canadian Heritage is also responsible for administering and managing the multiculturalism policy alongside the country’s objectives for its cultural policy. This nationalistic perspective of Canada’s cultural policy is in line with the Massey Commission’s objectives of using cultural institutions as an incubator for Canadian identity and vehicle for disseminating Canadian culture.  26  Multiculturalism and cultural policy have been – and in their present form, continue to be – a tool to control the image, identity, and culture of the nation. Multiculturalism and cultural policy are deeply entrenched in their commitments to bilingualism and biculturalism, subsequently maintaining invisible social hierarchies and white hegemony by managing the Other. A fact that cannot be ignored is that these policies and institutions – the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism, the Official Languages Act, the Multicultural Act, the Massey Commission, and Canada Council for the Arts – are not only related in that they are part of Canada’s attempts at crafting a single cohesive culture, but they are also an intertwined web built around the colonial narrative of Canada’s two founding nations. With cultural institutions firmly rooted in colonial structures, Canada’s cultural policy and the bodies responsible for administering and facilitating the creation of culture have the power to craft the Canadian identity through the arts, a major component of culture that simultaneously reifies cultural identity while obscuring systemic racial marginalization and social hierarchies at the same time.  2.4 Equity and Official Languages: An Inherent Contradiction  The Canada Council for the Arts recognizes equity and official languages as ongoing commitments for the organization. Both commitments are supported by official policies, lay out their respective reporting structures, and how they fit into the context of the Canada Council as an organization and within the larger context of the Canadian government.  The Canada Council’s most recent equity policy, effective as of April 1, 2017, outlines the values, legislative contexts, and processes that support the implementation of equity in the 27  arts, and provides definitions that inform policy, program development, strategic initiatives, communications, and human resources management (Canada Council for the Arts Equity Policy, 2017). The Equity Policy aims to ensure that all artists have equal access to Canada Council programs and are represented in the arts. The policy outlines the tools and practices intended to accomplish these goals, such as tracking and monitoring funding to specific artists and arts organizations within specific demographics, utilizing a self-identification process, implementing targeted funding mechanisms, strategic program design in granting programs, and the selection of peer assessors. In addition to advocating for equity at the artistic level, the policy outlines the Council’s commitment to participating in research, consultation, and outreach to ensure competency in understanding and implementing the practice of equity across the organization. The Canada Council’s Official Languages Policy supports the ongoing commitment to Canada’s two official languages and their populations. Official Language Minority Communities (OLMCs) are “groups of people whose maternal or chosen official language is not the majority language in their province or territory” (Official Languages Policy, 2016), defined as English speakers in Quebec and French speakers in all other provinces. The policy’s value statement emphasizes the institution’s commitment to bilingual leadership and recognizes English and French as a “fundamental value” of the Canada Council. The policy details the tools and practices implemented in “support of linguistic duality and OLMC individuals, groups, and arts organizations,” which include five areas: respect for linguistic duality in the assessment of applications, peer assessment, granting program assessment criteria, regular dialogue with stakeholders, and provisions in granting programs to acknowledge official languages (Official Languages Policy, 2016).  28  Notably, each policy includes an explanation of their legislative contexts and obligations.  As a “federal institution, the Canada Council has a legal obligation to take actions which support the commitments the federal government has made in the [Official Languages Act].” The Canada Council’s Official Languages Policy outlines the areas where the organization must abide by the federal Official Languages Act (OLA): “communications with and services to the public; language of work; participation of English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians; and advancement of English and French.” In contrast, the Canada Council’s Equity Policy makes the distinction that all activities – including ones aimed at equity – are governed by the following: Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (1982), the Canadian Human Rights Act (1985), the Canadian Multiculturalism Act (1988), the Employment Equity Act (1995), and the Official Languages Act (1969). The Equity Policy recognizes existing power structures and systemic discrimination in the Canadian arts system, which have resulted in the unequal distribution of resources that have “prevented many Canadians from fulfilling their cultural capacity and being meaningfully engaged in the arts” (Canada Council for the Arts Equity Policy, 2017). However, although the Equity Policy is “interconnected with public policy goals affecting human rights, minority protections, and international agreements,” it is not supported by legislation aimed at cultural equity and exists primarily in equality legislation that applies to all Canadians, regardless of race, ethnicity, or culture.  The legislative contexts of the Canada Council’s Official Languages Policy and Equity Policy are vastly different and illustrate the depth to which bilingualism is legislated in the Canadian government. The Multiculturalism Act advances “multiculturalism…in harmony with the national commitment to the official languages of Canada” (Canada, Minister of Justice, 1985, p. 4). The Canada Council has a legal obligation to the Official Language Act which ensures that 29  English and French are the only two language choices that Canadians can make if they are to be officially recognized by a federal institution (cultural or otherwise), whereas equity is only one part of human rights legislation that applies to all Canadians, aimed at ensuring equality without addressing the systemic racism and inherent power structures that exist in the formation of Canadian policies. This distinction is important, as it has an indirect impact on the way cultural policy is carried out when there are legal obligations to the English and French languages but there are no legal obligations aimed at implementing equity for visible minorities when considering the inherent power structures that exist in policy.  While the Multiculturalism Act of 1988 encourages and protects the use of cultural languages other than English and French, the objectives simultaneously call for the strengthening of the official languages. Canada’s cultural policy goes one step further by supporting language as a cultural marker, recognizing the arts as divided into two linguistic groups (Jackson, 1999). Similar to the Royal Commission on Biculturalism and Bilingualism which used the choice of language as a pivotal anchor, the Canada Council uses language and the use of the language in the arts to delineate two categories within which artistic mediums fall: linguistic and non-linguistic art forms. The linguistic arts, such as theatre and literature, are constituted as art forms where language is considered essential. Non-linguistic art forms are ones where language is not crucial, such as dance, music, and the visual arts (Official Languages Policy, 2016). By separating the arts into linguistic and non-linguistic forms, the Canada Council supports the Multiculturalism Act, the Official Languages Act, and the Royal Commission on Biculturalism and Bilingualism in making language a defining marker for culture and the arts. The Official Languages Policy “recognizes the important role [of] the arts in promoting linguistic duality and the vitality of OLMCs,” and recognizes linguistic duality only in the 30  context of English and French, despite an equity policy that recognizes the diversity of cultures and backgrounds of Canadian artists, and a multiculturalism policy that encourages and protects the use of languages other than English and French. Committing to linguistic diversity not only assigns higher social status to linguistic arts in English and French but hides the fact that these policies continue to indirectly perpetuate the colonial order. Mahtani explores multiculturalism and the hyphenated identifier that labels many racialized Canadians. She argues that they are socially required to primarily identify with their ethnicity, such as being Italian-Canadian or Somali-Canadian. She writes that these hyphens “operate to produce spaces of distance, in which ethnicity is positioned outside of Canadianness” (2002, p. 78). We can use the same lens to understand why linguistic duality is limiting for racialized artists. For racialized artists who use English and French to express their own lived experiences of Canada, linguistic duality is a “hegemonic discourse” that makes it “impossible to identify as Canadian within the country, in spite of the country’s diversity, given that when one questions national borders, one also questions the boundary markers of race and ethnicity” (Mahtani, 2002, p. 80). Non-white artists feel the effects of multiculturalism when they are racialized by a policy that tells them their ethnicity makes them different in Canada. These same artists then see their socially-marked difference erased in their work by a cultural policy that applies sameness to all artists, so long as art is expressed in English or French. Linguistic duality fails to recognize the colonial intersections of language and culture, where many individuals – such as Indigenous artists who had their languages erased by colonialism, or children of immigrants who no longer speak their mother tongues – can only communicate their cultures in English or French, but present nuances to Canadian identity despite using the official languages as their language of communication. Difference, then, becomes harder to speak of when language is the marker. The work of 31  racialized artists become an embodiment of multiculturalism, where the policy has “constructed specific socio-spatial boundaries between the identifications of ‘Canadian’ and ‘not-Canadian’” (Mahtani, 2002, p. 77): their difference – as Canadians – is expressed in English or French, within an established social hierarchy and a policy that aims for and manages their diversity at the same time.  As Paquette et al. reminds us, “rooting Canada’s cultural policy in its colonial history and foundation and can help us identify some of its contentious grounds” (2017, p. 280). Investigating the Canada Council commitments through this perspective helps us see another context for identifying some of the issues and allegations of racism and white-washing faced by the arts in Canada (Gomez, 2009; Paquette et al., 2017; Tator, Carol; Henry, Frances; Mattis, 1998; Yhap, 2009). At its core, the Canada Council’s two ongoing commitments to equity and the official languages are contradictory, attempting to acknowledge both Canada’s colonial legacy and perhaps well-meaning intentions of multiculturalism and the presence of cultures aside from the English and French in today’s climate of reconciliation and equity across Canada. The commitments replicate multiculturalism in that they have come to signal the presence of diversity, with a corresponding Official Languages Policy that reinforces the social status of English and French languages, culture, and art. The Canada Council claims that the ongoing commitments to equity and official languages “support a vital and diverse ecology that enriches the lives of Canadians” (“Commitments,” n.d.), but unknowingly highlights the contradictory legal and policy environments in which arts policy has been constructed and applied to artists and arts organizations. Like multiculturalism, the Canada Council’s two ongoing commitments have erased social hierarchy and race, and instead drawn focus to equality and equivalency rather than the legislative obligations that arts policies must abide by. This has resulted in a cultural 32  policy that uses the language of diversity as a “containment strategy” (Ahmed, 2012, p. 53) to neutralize difference and create an equal playing field out of unequal ground through linguistic duality. Kevin Mulcahy asks “by whom are a people told who they are?” (2017, p. 238). This is an important question to consider when considering the arts in Canada, and which forms and types of art receive funding and become mainstream, in light of the effects of cultural policy and the effects of settler colonialism. The next section uses a case study outside of Canada’s official languages to explore complexities around multiculturalism, bilingualism, and cultural production that questions Canadian identity and the official language(s) of artistic expression.   2.5 The Official Language(s) of Artistic Expression: A Case Study  Multiculturalism and bilingualism policies resulted in an inherent contradiction at the core of the Canada Council’s simultaneous commitments to equity and official languages. The Canada Council’s Official Languages Policy uses language and the use of language to classify the arts in two ways: linguistic arts and non-linguistic arts. Theatre relies first and foremost on storytelling, with a second emphasis on bodies and representation of stories, and is considered by the Canada Council to be a linguistic art form. In committing to a definition of linguistic diversity that is partnered with the Official Languages Policy, cultural policies uphold Canada’s colonial legacy despite the implementation of equity commitments that apply across the entire organization and every granting program for artists across Canada. Within the theatre ecology of the Greater Vancouver region, one institution is uniquely positioned to explore the contradictions in multiculturalism, cultural expression inside and outside of Canada’s official languages, and how this contradiction contributes to complexities in 33  Canadian identity and the notion of diversity in theatre. Located in Richmond, a suburb of Vancouver, the Gateway Theatre was established in 1982 and is considered Richmond’s regional theatre company. Gateway Theatre’s Pacific Festival, a festival series produced by a Canadian theatre company in Chinese with English surtitles, is a unique place-dependent example of how multiculturalism and bilingualism policies have failed to capture and represent a significant portion of Canada’s population, and the success and engagement that is possible when programming Canadian content outside of “Canadian” theatre’s traditional definition of plays in English and French. In this section, I present the 2015 iteration of the Pacific Festival as a case study for examining not only the effects of multiculturalism and bilingualism policies, but also how Canadian theatre can struggle to exist outside binary policy definitions. This case study focuses primarily on the use of a non-official language in a place-dependent cultural institution and is not an examination of the funding priorities of official language policies in the arts. The Greater Vancouver area was transformed in the 1990s when immigrants from Hong Kong dominated migration to the Vancouver area, with an overwhelming majority choosing to settle in Richmond (Waters, 2003). Today, almost 55% of Richmond’s population self-identifies as Chinese, and almost 45% of the population identifies Cantonese, Mandarin, or another Chinese dialect as their mother tongue (Statistics Canada, 2017). Colloquially, Richmond is recognized as one of the most Asian cities outside of Asia, and a place where Chinese-Canadians or recent immigrants from China can live without the need to use English in daily life. Situated in a city so transformed by Chinese immigration and migration, the Gateway Theatre did not begin programming culturally diverse theatre until 1996, fourteen years after the company was incorporated. Out of 142 productions staged over its 33-year history, only 8% of the company’s productions can be considered culturally diverse. Between 1996 and 2013, only twelve culturally 34  diverse productions were staged (see Appendix B) which included some inclusion of non-white artists or content. Of these twelve plays, nine were written by Asian playwrights and focused on Asian or Chinese characters, content, or storylines. Simon Johnston, a white playwright who explored the immigration experience to Canada in his work, wrote the other three plays. In contrast to this, the company has staged popular musicals Annie and The Sound of Music each three times and works by Charles Dickens four times. These three examples alone account for more productions staged than the total number of culturally diverse productions in the company’s entire history. It was not until 2012 when Jovanni Sy was appointed the new Artistic Director that the company made a commitment to programming culturally diverse theatre that is inclusive of its community. Upon his appointment, Sy created Gateway 2028, a new artistic vision and direction for the company. Central to this plan is “Phase 1: Celebrating Diversity,” a commitment to connecting Richmond’s demographics and Gateway’s composition (“Gateway 2028: An artistic vision for the Gateway Theatre,” n.d.). It’s important to note that at the time of writing this chapter, Sy has announced his intention of stepping down as the Artistic Director of the Gateway Theatre in February 2019, and the Gateway 2028 plan is no longer available on the organization website. The Gateway Theatre launched the Pacific Festival as a pilot project in August 2014. The Pacific Festival was one of the first attempts at producing professional theatre in Chinese with English surtitles in Canada. The festival presented three contemporary plays from Hong Kong over two weeks, with a limited run of four performances for each show. The plays were in Cantonese with English surtitles and aimed at a target audience of Cantonese and Mandarin speakers throughout the Lower Mainland. In addition to programming and creating Cantonese and Mandarin plays, Gateway aimed to invest in artistic development, work with local Chinese 35  writers in playwriting workshops, pair overseas Chinese artists with Chinese-speaking Canadian actors to explore performing in Cantonese and Mandarin, and create opportunities for Chinese and Hong Kong actors in the Lower Mainland who may not have access to acting opportunities due to language barriers (“Gateway 2028: An artistic vision for the Gateway Theatre,” n.d.). A main goal was for the festival to become the first play subscription series produced by a Canadian theatre company in a language other than English and French.  In 2015, the Pacific Festival presented three contemporary Hong Kong plays over two weeks, with a presentation of Hong Kong-based Chung Ying Theatre Company’s Cantonese translation of Tuesdays with Morrie as the Festival’s anchor show. The 2015 Festival achieved substantial success in engaging Richmond’s Chinese population: over 84% of festival patrons bought tickets specifically to see Tuesdays with Morrie (Appendix C). The show sold out each night, an occurrence that Sy acknowledged rarely happens with Gateway’s English-language programming, with patrons lining up prior to the sold-out shows to see if they could get last-minute tickets. That same year, the other shows in the festival also saw larger audiences per night than the shows in Gateway’s regular English-language programming. Audience data gathered from the 2015 Pacific Festival further illustrates its success (see Appendix C):  - Of the 53% who had been to the Gateway before, only 29.5% of them had attended one of Gateway Theatre’s English-language plays or musicals in the past. - 75% of the audience indicated an opportunity to see performances in Cantonese as their main reason for attending the Pacific Festival.  - 80% of audience members indicated they would consider attending a future English-language show at the Gateway. - An overwhelming 98.4% would purchase a ticket to future Pacific Festival shows. 36  - 83% would be willing to attend a Pacific Festival show if it was not in a language they spoke fluently, but was surtitled in English or Chinese  Sy emphasizes that the Pacific Festival’s “mission [was] to try to create an environment that was more aligned with community” given Richmond’s demographics. His intentions for the Pacific Festival were “always to do three things: to do plays in Chinese and Cantonese with English surtitles; to do plays in Mandarin with English surtitles; [and] at the same time it was always essential … to not ignore that there were Chinese very much like myself who primarily live in English.” Aside from aligning the Gateway with its community, he succinctly captures the diversity of Richmond’s mostly Chinese population, illustrating the differences between Hong Kong immigrants, newer immigrants from Mainland China, and “second, third, [and] fourth generation Chinese-Canadians who primarily lead their life in English and culturally lead their lives in English.” Sy recognizes that the Chinese population in Richmond is far from a homogenous monoculture and emphasized that the Gateway could not “think in terms of [the Pacific Festival as] this magic bullet that will get Chinese people out.” He knew the Gateway would have to change its approach to programming in addition to its actual programming to connect with the Chinese audience in Richmond. It was important to not only program Chinese-language work, but also “important within [the] English language programming to program works that are themed along the Chinese diaspora.” Sy defines “theatre [as] community and community [as] theatre.” For a theatre company situated in such a unique place, it should recognize that Richmond’s relatively bi-cultural community and the largely Chinese population may prefer to engage with local culture in their own language and varying immigrant and 37  diasporic experiences that are still parts of the Canadian identity and experience, and respond to the community with the work they program. Sy points to the “really interesting cultural disconnect between Gateway when [he] first arrived in 2012 and who was coming to the Gateway, [versus] the way the city actually looks” as one of the reasons he was first drawn to the opportunity at the Gateway:  I mean, I hate being overly simplistic but at the same time I don't want to ignore the obvious. Richmond is almost half Chinese-Canadian. And that's not at all even close to being represented in the shows we do (at least in 2012) or the um, the way the audience looks.  Sy explores the challenges and dichotomies of working in a city like Richmond, where the city was “a really strange example of a majority group being set aside as a minority group in cultural expression,” calling it a “really strange inversion” where most of the Gateway’s content was not geared towards the majority Chinese community and their own audiences skewed mostly white. The introduction of the Pacific Festival was “unchartered [territory],” and under Sy’s leadership, the Gateway was “trying to find similar kinds of data for how to approach a very distinct cultural group with their own ideas of what they want from an artistic exchange, very different ideas about how they purchase, [and] how they value art.” The resources and approaches required to produce the Pacific Festival were vastly different from arts festivals previously programmed in not only Richmond but also Canada, and Sy summarizes the difficulties they faced as trailblazers in attempting to attract and cater to a specific subset of the Canadian population when such work had not been done before:  We didn't know if the price points would be the same [or] how the advertising would work. We tried a lot of different things and we hypothesized and we worked a lot on anecdote. But I can't say we had hugely robust data driven decisions because we're the first ones doing it. We just had to learn on the fly and that was a painful process. But a valuable process.  38  The Pacific Festival acknowledges not only the largely Chinese population in Richmond with its language programming, but also explores cultural differences that exist around art and the value of art for recent immigrants and Chinese-Canadians. To minimize the impact that the Festival may have on their regular and long-time subscriber base, the Gateway marketed the Pacific Festival as a “separate brand idea,” where the English and Chinese programming were deliberately sold as two separate entities for two separate audiences:  We even gave a new name to the English language series. We referred to it internally and externally as the Gateway Signature Series. That means English language. And we didn't want our established patron base - who are now the "Signature Series subscribers" - to think that anything was changing. So that's why we gave [the Pacific Festival] a festival format. That’s why we gave it a separate name, why we don't tend to cross-promote because we've discovered there's very little intersection between our signature series and our Pacific Festival patrons.   Sy’s arrival in 2012 signaled change for the Gateway, and his comments illustrate the very careful and almost risk adverse approach the organization used in attempting something new. In taking such a risk, the Gateway also needed to nurture their long-time subscriber base, most of whom were not Chinese and likely regarded the presentation of theatre in a language other than English or French as foreign, where they were not the target audience despite the festival being part of a Canadian theatre company. Sy “knew that there would be very little uptake even with the surtitles affording accessibility,” and admits that the Gateway “never thought [they’d] get more than 3% [of crossover] and [they] didn’t.” Knowing that they would likely post a deficit with the Pacific Festival, the Gateway did not expect their regular subscriber base to attend the Pacific Festival, but instead placed their hopes on Chinese-Canadian audiences being introduced to the Signature Series:  We can see it going the other way – when we introduce [Chinese] people in through the Pacific Festival brand, most of them are bilingual and can understand English. It’s our 39  hope that the Pacific brand is the filter to further populate the Signature Series with Chinese-Canadians who really like theatre and don’t care whether it’s in English or Chinese. But we knew that there wasn’t going to be that kind of migration the other way around.   The 2015 Pacific Festival illustrates a unique catch-22 for the Gateway: in programming culturally-specific work that targeted the city’s majority population by inviting them to a publicly-funded cultural institution, they simultaneously alienated the status quo who have been defined by public funding policies as the majority culture that makes up Canadian theatre. In some ways, there is an expectation here for recent immigrants and Chinese-Canadian patrons to assimilate and adapt to theatre of the status quo, in hopes that a Chinese-friendly introduction to theatre would result in their participation in Gateway’s English-language Signature Series. On the other hand, a publicly-funded cultural organization was fulfilling a need and gap that existed where a large portion of the Canadian population in this city was not being served or represented in the arts. It’s important to mention here that language has been an ongoing hot topic issue in Richmond. In three separate incidences in 2013, 2015, and 2017, Richmond city council debated whether a by-law should be passed which would require all new commercial signs in the city to include an official Canadian language (Ghoussoub, 2017). The signage debates have elicited racist responses about Chinese-only signs, and concerns were also raised that such a by-law would violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and infringe on an individual’s freedom of expression. In September 2017, Richmond city council passed a policy encouraging signs to be at least 50 percent in English, but chose not to enact a by-law (Mcelroy, 2017).  Though the series was intended to target a mainly Hong Kong audience rather than Richmond’s growing Mainland Chinese community, audience data gathered shows that the apparent divide in programming and audiences cannot be attributed to language (or the idea of 40  English and French versus Chinese) alone. While audience data shows that 79.3% of the audience who came to the 2015 Pacific Festival speak Cantonese at home, 61.2% also indicated that they would prefer to receive service in English. When asked which language they would prefer to read information about next year’s Pacific Festival, 41.5% of the audience chose English and 33.5% chose traditional Chinese, illustrating a small gap between the two languages. The majority of the audiences who came to the 2015 Pacific Festival were easily functional (if not fluent) in English despite attending the festival because it was presented in Chinese. While there is no way to know from the audience data, perhaps the preferencing of a particular language in these scenarios can be interpreted as a deliberate choice and divide between public and private domains. Receiving service or reading information about the Pacific Festival can be interpreted as a public domain, an interaction with a cultural institution that should be conducted in an official language. Attendance at the Pacific Festival, where someone has deliberately chosen to attend because of their interest in seeing, hearing, and experiencing diasporic stories, can be interpreted as a more personal experience. The experience of speaking or hearing a mother tongue is emotional, tied intricately to personal and familial histories. Despite linguistic abilities in an official Canadian language, the use of Chinese in this case signals a sense of belonging and diasporic connection that has roots in more than one place.  While part of the Festival’s success can be attributed to the use of language, there are more complex identity politics at play. The Pacific Festival questions the representation of Canadian identity in the arts, what should count as Canadian content, and who is being remembered and represented in cultural production. In exploring the ways that the Festival serves Richmond and questioning how the language of cultural expression in Canada is decided, Sy addresses the inherent contradiction of multiculturalism in the arts in Canada: 41  I was talking in 2005 about the whole barrier of language. We think about Canadian theatre in terms of English and French. And there are Canadians who like to receive culture in languages other than English and French, even if they can speak English and French, they have a preference. Who’s to say what the official language of artistic expression is?  An examination of the official language(s) of artistic expression would be remiss without recognizing that language and place are inherently tied to each other. Canada’s cultural policy references the vast landscape of the country, its physical geography, and scattered population centres as challenges in producing and disseminating a cohesive cultural expression and identity (Jackson, 1999).  In the case of Gateway Theatre, the success of the Pacific Festival cannot be attributed to language alone but also to the unique place that Gateway Theatre occupies within Richmond. Here, I turn to studies on transnationalism to frame the Pacific Festival as a product of a unique place-dependent phenomenon and consider the role and responsibility that cultural institutions have in reflecting changes in identity formation and constructions of culture, citizenship, and belonging. Transnationalism refers to the relationships between political, socio-economic, and cultural processes that transcend nation-state borders as a result of globalization (Featherstone, Phillips, & Waters, 2007; Mitchell, 2003; Ong, 1999). It emphasizes the relations between things and on movements across things, [forcing] a reconceptualization of core beliefs” (Mitchell, 2003, p. 2) in areas such as migration, identity, and space. A large part of transnationalism focuses on globalization, the changing nature of production, consumption, capital and labour flows, and the development of new networks (Mitchell, 2003; Ong, 1999). For the purposes of this case study, I refer to Aihwa Ong’s definition of transnationality, defined as “the condition of cultural interconnectedness and mobility across space” (1999, p. 4). I focus here on 42  transnationalism as the hypermobility of people and their culture, the changing flows of networks and consumption, and the impact this has on cultural identity formation within multicultural Canada.  Katharyne Mitchell reminds us that in order to examine “cultural expressions of in-betweenness, or disruptions of national narratives, [we] must examine the broad global economic context in which these transnational processes [occur]” (2003, p. 3). Richmond’s demographics are a direct product of the Business Immigration Programme, a federal immigration policy started in the 1980s, which initially targeted wealthy Hong Kong immigrants and encouraged them to bring their businesses and investments to Canada (Ley et al., 2010; Mitchell, 2003; Ong, 1999). Ong emphasized the privileged use of migration to “accumulate capital and social prestige in the global arena” (1999, p. 6). By employing methods such as family dispersal and the acquisition of multiple passports, Ong’s flexible citizens were more aligned with world markets, acquiring capital, and the strategic use of migration than with loyalty to a particular nation or the moral meanings behind citizenship (1999, p. 119). Building on Ong’s study in 2003 and 2009, Johanna Waters questioned the relationship between transnationalism, integration, and belonging over time. Waters’ definition of flexible citizens is more complex and empathetic, painting a picture of citizens who, though engaged in daily transnational practices, have meaningful intentions towards permanent settlement and participation as they spend more time in Canada (2003). Waters suggests that the hypermobility of the Chinese diaspora has been overemphasized, perpetuating the idea that Chinese migrants cannot be assimilated – and perhaps do not want to be assimilated – into local society because they are seen to reside only temporarily in Canada and do not wish to participate in a “Canadian” way of life. Richmond’s colloquial reputation of being one of the most Asian cities outside of Asia has also earned its 43  citizens a reputation of not wanting to assimilate to “Canadian culture,” and the “transnational mobility of the immigrants made them appear as ‘sojourners’ to many of the older Vancouver residents, who then questioned their allegiance to the neighborhoods and to the nation” (Mitchell, 2003, p. 4). In both her studies, Waters claims that the flexible citizenship narrative of hypermobility has obscured the experiences of settlement and rootedness, and suggests that immigrants do demonstrate a localized conception of identity and sense of belonging (2003, 2009).  These particular studies are pertinent to the Gateway Theatre given the unique role that this institution and its history of whiteness occupies in an otherwise now mostly racialized city, and questions the role and responsibility of the cultural institution in responding to and welcoming its changing demographics and community. Though Waters highlights the gap in transnational literature that downplays the role and importance of the ‘host’ country in facilitating immigrant settlement, both Ong and Waters’ research on flexible citizenship focuses on the role and responsibility of the individual to integrate into Canadian society and does not offer insight into a reverse relationship where the institution can play an important role in facilitating identity formation and community building. Sy’s acceptance that non-Chinese audiences would not attend the Pacific Festival illustrates a common-held expectation that immigrants and newcomers are the ones responsible for assimilating and adapting to the majority culture. Mahtani reminds us that it is “crucial not to conflate questions of demographic, ethnic, and racial diversity with issues of cultural representation” (2002, p. 68) but at the same time explicitly reminds us that multiculturalism is part of Canada’s laws and constitution, which makes it a significant commitment that cultural institutions should consider in their work. Arjun Appadurai (1996) argues that “transnational flows of people, goods, and knowledge become 44  imaginative resources for creating communities” (Ong, 1999, p. 4), and can change the way citizens identify with a place.  Traditionally, “Canadian” theatre has been defined as whether the play is in English or French, whether the story takes place in Canada, or if it is written by a Canadian playwright (regardless of the content, locale, or main story arc in the play). It can be argued that the 2015 Pacific Festival, which included one local production and three international productions, could be seen as the opposite of Canadian since the anchor show travelled to Vancouver from Hong Kong and the majority of artists involved were not Canadian citizens. Instead, I propose examining the context in which the work is produced as a factor for deciding whether a work is “Canadian.” Nina Glick Shiller and Ayse Çaǧlar call for cities to be imagined within specific localities that consider migrants and their networks as main actors in urban transformation, and remind us that the diasporic identity is transnational and therefore capable of making contributions that restructure and change cities and institutions (2009). Glick Shiller and Çaǧlar advocate for approaches that would “examine opportunity structures…of settlement and transnational connection, as well as the base that they provide for employment, remittance flows and investment, and various modes of transnational activity and identity” (2009, p. 186). The Pacific Festival is an example of a transnational cultural production that resulted from the “literal movements of people and goods across the borders of the nation-state” (Mitchell, 2003, p. 10), and can be seen as a response to multicultural change that uses the arts to foster a sense of belonging. The Pacific Festival adopted a different approach in employing cultural mobility to draw Richmond’s Chinese-Canadian audiences to the institution and emphasizes the region’s long history of migration and present migratory networks between Hong Kong, China, and British Columbia. Instead of asking why Chinese audiences were not engaging with the 45  Gateway’s static English-language programming, Sy chose to program a festival that personified the networks, relationships, and multi-placed identities that immigrants and Chinese-Canadians had formed both inside and outside of Canada.   While using cultural mobility and cultural objects to reshape Canadian cultural institutions could be seen as a loss of national and cultural identity, cities are “made and shaped from their transnational linkages and flows” (Kong, 2014, p. 274). Lily Kong’s research on the relationship between transnational mobility and its effect on creative cities is especially pertinent for the Gateway Theatre and the context of the Pacific Festival. On a historical level, the Pacific Festival’s anchor play Tuesdays with Morrie mimicked the circuits once traveled by Cantonese opera troupes from China to North America in the 1990s, a parallel that cannot be ignored given British Columbia’s long history of Chinese migration and the role that these troupes played in the creation of an ‘Asian-Canadian’ identity in Vancouver’s early Chinatown (Ng, 2015). In an “age [where] the state and capital are directly engaged in the production and destruction of cultural values” (Ong, 1999, p. 243), what is the message being sent if publicly-funded institutions are not recognizing the minority group that makes up the majority of the population? Culture is “a contingent scheme of meanings tied to power dynamics” (Ong, 1999, p. 243) and in programming for the Chinese community, the Gateway Theatre recognizes the community as a regular and prominent part of the city’s history and present culture. By programming in a language other than English and French, the Gateway created a space and artistic programming that recognized this “Other” culture as an integral, rather than additional, part of a city’s culture and a nation’s history. In this particular study, bilingualism in Canadian theatre does not mean English and French, but rather English and Chinese in a way that represents a significant category of Canadian people and their history.  46  In a city that has been so heavily influenced by Chinese migration in the present and since its inception, the Gateway Theatre and the Pacific Festival are unique examples of how a Canadian institution can utilize the migration of people, histories, and transnational practices to facilitate the creation and recognition of a local identity in the arts. This unique identity differs from but also supports nation-building cultural policies that recognize multiculturalism and difference in Canada. Transnational practices “have the additional benefit of enhancing sensitivity to cultural differences through the exchange of ideas and social norms, spread of cultural diversity, and impact of movement and diversity on artistic work” (Kong, 2014, p. 284), and illustrates the power of culture and the arts in fostering understanding and addressing discrimination. In utilizing transnational practices of cultural mobility, the Gateway Theatre recognizes the Chinese community as an essential and primary part of the city’s history and culture, and in doing so, represents and archives this history in a Canadian cultural institution. Transnationality encourages a “wider net in order to capture the nuanced cultural changes associated with…new networks, transactions and socio-cultural interactions” (Mitchell, 2003, p. 15), and new ways of imagining the nation. While the Pacific Festival may not be work that falls under the Canada Council’s Official Languages Policy, the work remains culturally relevant for the Gateway Theatre in engaging with the community around them.    47  2.6 Conclusion  This chapter explores the establishment of federal multiculturalism and bilingualism policies, and the roles these policies played in the formation of Canada’s cultural policies. History has shown us that federal policies have played a large role in crafting a cohesive national identity and culture, a construct most evident when examining the arts through nation-building cultural policies. Canada’s cultural policy and its disseminating institutions have, in some ways, accomplished what multiculturalism set out to do: define a nation’s culture without the acknowledgement of race.  This chapter also explored the unique position of Richmond’s Gateway Theatre and the 2015 Pacific Festival as an example of the role that cultural institutions can play in responding to and representing the multicultural populations that make up their communities. For the Gateway Theatre, the decision to program the Pacific Festival was more of an ideological and artistic commitment than an initiative encouraged by public funding, as the theatre did not receive additional funding for the festival despite the extra work required in language translation, audience services, and other production costs. Cultural institutions can acknowledge their diverse demographics by inviting them to participate in a city or region’s culture by acknowledging that their cultures have a place within the cultural institutions that articulate Canadian identity through the arts. Theatres like the Gateway have a choice in how they wish to approach the topic of diversity in theatre: they can simply recognize diversity through passive acceptance in casting racialized bodies without changing their programming or inherent organizational structures, or actively participate in diversity through the use of language and acknowledging race in their communities. The Gateway Theatre chose to explore the nuances of Canadian identity and 48  question whether all Canadian culture had to be delivered in Canada’s official languages of English and French to remain Canadian. This choice resulted in an overwhelming response from their community. The Pacific Festival questions whether cultural institutions carry the responsibility of personifying Canada’s identity of being a welcoming, inviting, and multicultural society through the work that they commission and program, especially if the arts is meant to represent, activate, and engage with the community that the institution is situated within.  As an arms-length organization, the Canada Council for the Arts is governed with independence from the federal government in its operations and decision-making processes. If the legislation and obligations that govern the Canada Council are deeply rooted in this country’s historical commitment to colonialism, can arms-length really be arms-length? The arms-length principle is “one of Canada’s cultural traditions [and] it lies at the very heart of artistic freedom and freedom of expression” (Jackson, 1999). Funding from the Canada Council not only financially supports artists and arts organizations, but also deems them worthy of social and cultural status, recognition, and relevance. What is funded automatically becomes culturally-relevant, regardless of artistic excellence or actual cultural relevance. The funding of arts and culture becomes a political conversation, intertwined around the “redefinition of national identity” (Mulcahy, 2017, p. 238). Canada’s multiculturalism policy has not served to ensure equal access to funding for all artists (Off, 2009), fundamentally impacting cultural production in Canada to ask: which communities and histories are being remembered, represented, and archived? An examination of the Pacific Festival shows us that multiculturalism should not simply be a passive recognition that other cultures can exist within the social and cultural fabric of Canada or that the dominant culture has made room for minority groups, but that these 49  minority cultures can and should form a dynamic and important part of Canada’s cultural identity. 50  Chapter 3: Multiculturalism and the Language of Diversity in Vancouver Theatre  3.1 Introduction  In July 2015, a group of over 150 theatre artists came together as Real Canadian Theatre and signed an open letter addressed to the Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards Society, a non-profit organization in Vancouver that celebrates and recognizes outstanding achievements in the Vancouver professional theatre community. The letter expresses frustration and anger over the lack of diversity on the Jessies board and its various juries and accuses the Society of implicitly and historically recognizing only white theatre in Vancouver as excellent and professional. The letter reprimands the Society for its continued exclusion of artists of colour, and perpetuating systemic racism through white affirmative action (“React Open Letter to the Jessie Richardson Theater Awards Board of Directors,” 2015).  Since the 1980s, the Vancouver theatre industry has grappled with the disparity between their own lack of cultural diversity and the city’s diverse population (Wasserman, 2009). Over the last 38 years, the questions asked both by and of the industry have remained largely the same: why are most productions comprised almost entirely of white actors? Why is it so hard for actors of colour to be cast in local productions? How can theatres make progress in engaging audiences of all cultures and ethnicities? Why are the same plays repeatedly staged, and yet there are so few plays and actors on professional stages that reflect the cultural and ethnic changes that Vancouver has experienced (N. Aquino & Knowles, 2011; Hoffman, 2003; Mundel & Knowles, 2009; Wasserman, 2009)? 51  Common to almost all cultures around the world, the arts are considered an expression of culture, and have always been a powerful vehicle for communicating and understanding a nation’s values, priorities, and collective identity. Canada’s cultural policy recognizes the dependence of arts organizations and artists on public funding and acknowledges that the arts cannot survive without government intervention and support (Jackson, 1999). This dependence inevitably highlights the inherent power structure that governs cultural institutions and the artists they engage with and support. Artists and arts organizations rely on public funding governed by cultural policies that have a primary goal of funding Canadian content in support of a national identity, and artists and organizations that receive funding ultimately become the work that makes up a nation’s identity. While the arts can be seen as one of the ways in which a nation understands itself, there remains a relationship between cultural policy and the arts that has skewed the way Canada’s culture and identity has been presented in the arts.   As a nation, Canada’s multiculturalism policies were born out of settler colonialism and impacted the country’s cultural policies with contradictory commitments to both diversity and the two founding colonial empires. While we do not know if this was the intended goal of multiculturalism, Canada’s cultural policy and cultural institutions began as instruments of nation-building and social cohesion (Cohnstaedt, 2007). Although Li reminds us that “multiculturalism was not meant to be an ideology with the purpose of transforming institutions such as the Canada Council, or various national museums and art galleries” (1994, p. 377), multiculturalism nonetheless has had the effect of upholding the hegemony of the two founding language communities, ironically through a cultural policy that utilizes a discourse of diversity.  In this chapter, I examine how theatre in Vancouver has been shaped by multiculturalism and cultural policy, and how this impact is present in the ways that theatre artists utilize the 52  language of diversity in their work. Through interviews with theatre artists in Vancouver, I explore the ways in which they understand the term diversity in the context of artistic creation and their own every day lived experiences. I use Sara Ahmed’s method of examining diversity by concentrating on the language used to describe it. Ahmed attempts to “describe the world that takes shape when diversity becomes used as a description” (2012, p. 12). The language of diversity is not only the way diversity is described, but also the ways in which qualities, attributes, priorities, values, and commitments are expressed. Ahmed proposes examining institutions as the frame in which whiteness is upheld, where to “understand how “what happens” happens, we actually need to narrow (rather than widen) the frame: to think about words, texts, objects, and bodies … to explore what they do and do not do, when they are put into action” (2012, p. 50). My research here theorizes a localized example (Vancouver) of one particular discipline in the arts (theatre) as an institution and uses narratives to illustrate how artists have been shaped by cultural policy and multiculturalism in their construction and understanding of diversity. This chapter explores multiculturalism as a practice and its effects at a local level, examining what “actually happens on the ground in terms of the commodification of diversity as a “resource” and the political, commercial, and minority interests in its utilization” (Guo & Wong, 2015, p. 4). In examining how theatre as an institution has surreptitiously strengthened the colonial effects of multiculturalism, this research has broader implications for the way cultural policy can approach efforts around diversity. These narratives allow for another look at why theatre in Canada struggles with inclusion and representation, and continues to face accusations of whiteness despite policy changes to funding and equity.   53  This chapter begins by situating the city of Vancouver, its demographics, and the present-day theatre industry. A historical analysis of British Columbia and Vancouver’s theatre industry is offered as a means of situating current discussions alongside the past. I then explore how artists have defined diversity in theatre, and how this language has resulted in a continued othering of non-white theatre artists. This chapter closes with an exploration of how organizations approach diversity from opposing perspectives in creation and presentation, and the implications this can have for communities around them.  3.2 Situating Vancouver and Theatre as an Institution   Located in the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia on the unceded, traditional, and ancestral territories of the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, and Musqueam peoples, Vancouver is consistently ranked among one of the best cities in the world for livability and quality of life. Known for its rainforests, snow-capped mountains, outdoor trails, proximity to the ocean, moderate climate, and as the host city of the 2010 Olympics and Paralympics, Vancouver and its surrounding suburbs make up Canada’s third largest metropolitan area. Despite nature being one of the key cornerstones of Vancouver’s tourism industry, the city has rich arts and creative industries ranging from a thriving film industry (Vancouver is also known as “Hollywood North”) to annual film and theatre festivals, to a growing tech and start up industry. Vancouver is also considered one of Canada’s most diverse and multicultural cities, with almost 56% of the population having ethnic origins outside of Europe, and almost 50% of the population having ethnic origins from Asia (Statistics Canada, 2017). Vancouver’s diversity is evident in everyday life, from restaurants serving food from all over the world, to cultural celebrations and festivals 54  that take place, to languages spoken, with approximately 52% of households identifying as  visible minorities, and 88% of people identifying their mother tongue as a language other than English or French (Statistics Canada, 2017).  Despite the strength of Vancouver’s film industry, the theatre industry in the Greater Vancouver area is relatively small for the size of the population. The Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Association (GVPTA) lists a total of 66 companies (see Appendix D), though there are many other smaller companies comprising of a few actors and co-op arrangements that allow a group of actors to come together as a profit-share for the sole purpose of a specific theatrical production. Of the 66 companies part of the GVPTA, only a handful can be considered mid-sized to large organizations that program shows for a full season, usually running from September to May. A few companies produce festivals or shows during a specific time in the year (such as the summer months), but the overwhelming majority of companies on the list are small companies that produce only one or two shows during the course of the season with a limited number of core staff. Of the 66 companies listed, nine are presenting theatres which curate their season by inviting other companies to present their work at their venue, or a combination of presenting-producing where the company functions as both a venue and also produce their own shows each season.    We must also examine how the history of British Columbia theatre has been framed and documented in order to situate the current climate in Vancouver’s theatre industry as anything but a standalone occurrence. Edward Said’s concept of intertwined histories is useful here as “appeals to the past are among the commonest strategies in interpretations of the present” (1993, p. 3). The existing literature recognizes that the history of theatre in British Columbia and British Columbia’s theatre history have been produced by colonialism (Hoffman, 2003; Ratsoy, 2006; 55  Stanley, 2011; Wasserman, 2009). It’s important to note the difference between the two types of history. Hoffman acknowledges that British Columbia has a “theatrical history…but not a historical theatre” (2003, p. 5), differentiating between traceable and recorded incidences of theatre performances, and theatre that accounts for and represents the actual history of the province. The recorded histories of theatre in British Columbia have documented only the last 150 or so years, and divides this history into three periods: precolonial, the colonial, and the postcolonial (Hoffman, 2003). Despite categorization that includes a nod to post-colonialism, this history excludes the voices of non-white communities and their stories, often focusing only on the city’s visible theatrical development, ranging from the construction of major opera houses, theatre buildings, their opening dates, budgets, profits, build costs, and locations (Todd, 1979). Todd’s chronological account captured the growth of Vancouver from 1866 (when Vancouver was officially incorporated as a city) to 1914 as a stand-alone theatrical city separate from Victoria, Seattle, and San Francisco, and attributes the city’s successes to technological and economic advances such as the gold rush and the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway.  While successfully capturing the growth of the city’s opera houses, Todd’s account excludes the long history of the Chinese and Japanese population in British Columbia, ignoring the Cantonese opera troupes who made the trans-Pacific voyage from China to North America and the Pacific Northwest multiple times each year (Ng, 2015), the almost 15,000 Chinese men who built the railway throughout the province, and the Japanese men and women who settled on the banks of the Fraser River and supported the fishing industry. The almost half-century long documentation ignores the original presence and history of local Indigenous communities, their oral histories, and performative cultures (Hoffman, 2003) when the Greater Vancouver area is situated on the unceded territories of three First Nations. It is almost impossible to discuss the 56  growth of Vancouver as a city – and a theatrical city – without noting the presence and contributions of the Indigenous, Chinese, and Japanese communities. This exclusion of significant categories of people in the history of British Columbia theatre extends beyond the physical documentation of theatre. The dramatic canon of British Columbia has almost exclusively documented only European (“Canadian”) playwrights and European modes of theatre (Ratsoy, 2006). This documented theatre of British Columbia becomes the legitimate, professional, and established form of artistic expression, and artistic work outside this norm is considered “inferior or primitive” (Hoffman, 2003, p. 22). As colonial theatre was the only type of theatre documented in British Columbia for over 150 years, any alternative form of artistic expression, plays in different languages, or non-European plays were relegated to “community” or “amateur” status, including cultural performances (Fisher-Lichte, Jost, & Jain, 2014; Hoffman, 2003; Off, 2009).  Despite rapid demographic changes, Vancouver’s theatre stages and audiences remain almost exclusively white. Although many individual artists and organizations make diversity a priority in their work or mandates, most struggle to understand why individual attempts at diverse artistic creation fail to have any lasting impact on the industry. Over the last three decades, the Vancouver theatre “diversity conversation” has remained ever-present within the community and industry, moving from dormant concerns to a hot button issue. The conversation has so far focused on the actions of individual artists and arts organizations, rather than how nation-building cultural policies have resulted in a specific type of cultural production and dissemination. I argue that the 2015 open letter, while not a standalone event nor the first of its kind, can be seen as an effect of Canada’s multiculturalism, official bilingualism, and cultural 57  policies. I thus aim to move the conversation from the failings of individuals to the failings of cultural policy. David C. Jones is a Vancouver-based actor, director, producer, comedian, and filmmaker who collected demographic data of theatre productions in Vancouver in 2016 and 2017 (See Appendix E). Committed to seeing change in the lack of representation and diversity in theatre, Jones took on the project of documenting how the community was doing by keeping a tally of how many diverse actors he saw in productions over the course of each year.  Over the course of the last two years, Jones saw 215 plays, ranging from productions by larger organizations that program a full season, to smaller productions (some with only one or two actors) by smaller companies that only produce shows once a year. While Jones’ data is not a tally of every play that was produced and staged in Vancouver in each year and includes only the shows he has personally seen, it is a substantial (if not representative) sample and the data is illuminating for not only examining the demographics of theatre actors in Vancouver, but more importantly, the pervasiveness of whiteness. The data includes information on the total number of plays seen per year, whether plays had all-white casts or casts that included non-white actors, and the number of white actors versus what Jones categorizes as diverse actors overall throughout each season. Jones’ data accounts for non-white actors only when they appear in leading roles or roles with a significant story arc, and do not include non-leading roles such as friends of leads, chorus members, criminals, spouses, policemen, doctors, background entertainers, servants, hospitality workers, sex-workers, and magical people – that is, fantastical or non-human characters. Jones is careful not to count stereotypical roles as a significant role for non-white actors (hence the inclusion of categories such as criminals, policemen, doctors, and hospitality workers), since they do not represent significant creative opportunities and often result in non-white actors 58  becoming the token diversity hire. The data set below illustrates the breakdown of white actors versus diverse actors in 2016 and 2017.   Figure 3.1. Demographic data of theatre actors in Vancouver (2016, 2017). Source: David C. Jones unpublished data set.  Jones’ data here shows the disproportionate representation of white actors versus non-white actors seen on stage across the 215 theatre productions staged in 2016 and 2017. As noted in the previous section, Vancouver is considered one of Canada’s most diverse and multicultural cities, with more than half of the population having ethnic origins outside of Europe and Asia (Statistics Canada, 2017). This data here shows a shocking disparity between daily life in 59  Vancouver versus the arts and culture that supposedly represents the city and raises questions of which communities and histories are being seen and represented.  To “explain [an] institution is to give an account of how they emerge or take form” (Ahmed, 2012, p. 20). British Columbia’s colonial theatrical history illustrates the province’s colonial roots, and the current climate in which Vancouver theatre continues this legacy. Said’s intertwined histories questions whether the “past is really past…or whether it continues albeit in different forms,” exerting its influence over “present actualities and future priorities” (1993, p. 3). Multiculturalism can be said to have had an impact on how theatre history in British Columbia has been documented, resulting in histories and narratives that, at first glance, may seem unrelated. To fill the in-between gaps of examining how the “what?” happens and to illustrate how the history of theatre in Vancouver continues to manifest in the present, I turn next to how theatre artists have constructed and understood diversity.    3.3 Diversity as Difference and Inequality   I began each of my interviews by asking theatre artists to define diversity as they understood the term. With the amount of attention being paid to diversity (or lack thereof) in theatre, and with the Canada Council for the Arts making changes that tie the awarding of funding to the amount of diversity and representation in each organization (Nestruck, 2016), it’s not surprising that every artist was able to succinctly define the term or their own relationship to the term. The majority of the artists – both white and non-white artists – defined diversity as the inclusion of people who are different or excluded. One artist defined diversity as “working with artists who are either Indigenous or people of colour (POC)” and summarized it as “basically 60  people whose voices aren’t being heard.” Another posed their own understanding as a question: “who is systemically excluded and who is being systemically robbed of representation and voice?” Another equated diversity to the removal of barriers, of “having open doors” and creating work that is for “everyone who wants to participate.” An artist who identifies primarily as a director understands diversity as “people of a culture that are not [her] own.”  In addition to recognizing diversity as difference, artists who held some decision-making power either in their everyday roles or when they wore hats as directors or producers acknowledged – whether consciously or not – the power dynamic that exists in their own definitions for the term. Diversity was in part about the recognition of exclusion and the need for inclusion, but equally about the role that they occupied as artists with the means and influence to facilitate the inclusion of non-white theatre artists in their own artistic work. One artist delved deeper into the relationship between diversity and power, recognizing diversity in theatre as a constant rigorous analysis of who has power and who doesn’t have power, and questioning why the power structures that exist, do. Are they fair, and are they just?  The distinction made earlier that both white and non-white artists defined diversity as difference is important to understanding how theatre in Vancouver continues to use the language of difference and inequality to reinforce existing power structures. Ahmed tell us that “when things become institutional, they recede” (2012, p. 21). While all the artists interviewed – again, both white and non-white artists – were able to recognize that the industry was predominantly white and presented barriers for non-white artists, the prevalence of whiteness is considered not only the status quo, but the default which has become the institution that all artists must navigate. For non-white artists, they must learn how to navigate the difference placed upon them, and for white artists aware of the inequality, they must navigate the institutional structures to make room 61  for those who have been marked different. The whiteness of Vancouver theatre is so habitual that it is adopted by everyone in it, and “the very idea that diversity is about those who “look different” shows us how it can keep whiteness in place” (Ahmed, 2012, p. 33). What’s clear from each definition is that there is a collective awareness and recognition that the theatre industry in Vancouver is and has been overwhelmingly white. In recognizing diversity as a marker of difference and something that exists outside of the status quo, artists are able to highlight the power imbalance in the industry because of its whiteness, which includes their own subconscious (or, in some cases, conscious) participation as artists working within the framework of the institution. This inherent contradiction is not dissimilar to the discourse of multiculturalism: multiculturalism policy resulted in an ideology that recognized and accepted all ethnicities and differences, while simultaneously maintaining the original or foundational status of English and French in Canadian society. While one artist calls for diversity to be the “de-centralizing of Euro-centric cultural practices as the definition of Canadian art practice,” the act of defining non-white artists with racialized bodies as different (or, diverse) continues to relegate them, and more importantly their work, as the “other” (Haque, 2012; Mulcahy, 2017; Yhap, 2009). In drawing parallels between diversity, difference, and inequality, diversity undergoes a process of racialization – a representational and meaning-making process – where a “particular aspect of real or imagined human difference is selected to mark one group in relation to another … in essentialized and inescapable ways” (Stanley, 2012). Here, diversity is a socially-constructed identity dependent on race, and defined by socioeconomic and political conditions (Fanon, 1967; Omi, Michael; Winant, 1994).   62  3.4 The Language of Diversity and Othering in Vancouver Theatre  In the same way that diversity has been defined as difference, it has also come to signal the presence of minorities. Multiculturalism advocates for all cultures to be equal and equivalent, but relegates non-white ethnicities as “Others” (Haque, 2012; Mulcahy, 2017; Yhap, 2009). Critiques of Canada’s cultural policy echo critiques of multiculturalism by arguing that it has contributed to racism in the arts through the continued othering of non-European art and cultures. Literature on Canadian arts and cultural funding policies points out the country’s history of segregation in the arts. Scholars have highlighted the divide between professional arts and arts that are considered “heritage” and “ethnic” (Gomez, 2009; Off, 2009; Yhap, 2009), and have detailed accounts of racism in arts funding and arts organizations (Philip, 1987; Tator, Carol; Henry, Frances; Mattis, 1998). Carol Off’s examination of multiculturalism policies and the arts predicted that “multicultural, heritage, and folk arts have a stigma attached to them, and … [would be kept] out of the mainstream” (2009, p. 10). One non-white artist tells an anecdote about how other artists always insist on knowing her cultural background. As a result, she has made her work about challenging the stereotype and racism that she faces by writing stories “about people who are already here.” She likens her experience to the term “perpetual foreigners,” emphasizing that “their underlying message is that we don’t belong and we don’t have a place, that we haven’t made a contribution to society here.” Her statements here echo Winter’s analysis of multiculturalism in that ethnic minorities are cast as outsiders because they are juxtaposed against those who are naturally Canadian or become Canadian by identifying with the country’s history, struggles, and challenges (2014). As a result, she deliberately avoids certain roles that either implicitly or explicitly allude to certain cultures 63  or ethnicities because they limit her opportunities as an artist to roles or stories defined by race. For her, and many others, this is an active refusal of the burden that is often placed on people of colour to represent and speak for an entire race or culture with their own artistic work.  To one well-known non-white actor and playwright, he asserts the importance of seeing non-white artists in the institution of theatre, but also acknowledges the immense barriers that non-white artists face. As a non-white artist, “cultural decision-makers make decisions about [him]…and you experience resistance about being cast when you’re a person of colour.” He juxtaposes this to the ways in which “white artists experience a complete lack of friction,” and their seemingly easy ability to adopt any role or character as an actor without assumptions being made about their identities, histories, or who they are. He draws a relationship between the barriers and the career path of an artist, recognizing that the  Rate of attrition is high for any artist but compounded in a culture that is racist, sexist, ageist where if you don’t see your own experience as a part of mainstream culture, it is very hard to create within that environment.   As a craft, acting is a mimetic method of storytelling where bodies adopt characters, histories, and identities. This non-white actor faces barriers tied directly to his difference despite the fact that he is an artist who creates work within the same artistic methods and means as other white artists, again echoing multiculturalism and the highlighting of difference. The barriers become both external and internal, having a profound impact not only on the career path of a non-white artists in the amount of opportunities available to them, but also their ability to be artists in the institution. On a personal level, the inability to see other bodies or stories like his in mainstream culture continues the cycle of exclusion, both reifying white stories as ones that belong in mainstream culture and his overall sense of belonging in Canada. He is quick to point 64  out that many local theatre organizations take a “cosmetic approach to cultural diversity” and provide alibis for what happens in their organizations: “[they] may not be diverse in [their] playwrights or staff, but [they will] cast a person of colour as maid.” He equates this cosmetic approach to “covering up [the] racism” that is persistent in the industry, with organizations casting non-white actors only as a form of risk management rather than a true recognition of the exclusionary practices they employ. During our interview, he is quick to point out that the discussion of diversity in theatre (even by people of colour) is exclusionary and separates artists into two binary categories. He highlights the double standard that non-white artists are held to, and illustrates the inequality that non-white artists face when art is produced and measured by social processes and aesthetic values that are often mediated by race (Li, 1994). He says bluntly, No one asks a white performer, ‘hey why is your work so white?’ We write what we know…it’s inescapable.   Interestingly enough in another interview, a white playwright mused aloud that she had “seen non-white people write white people bang on because white is normative,” underscoring the ability of non-white artists to adapt and take on the qualities of the institution and whiteness simply due to their everyday lived experiences. She talks about feeling no discomfort when someone else – and here, the “someone else” is implied to be a non-white individual – gets her experience right and hopes that it would be possible for white writers to “achieve that kind of empathy.”  This white artist unknowingly interchanges empathy with double consciousness, a concept coined by W.E.B. Du Bois to illustrate how African-Americans see themselves from their own perspectives, but also through the eyes of the white majority in the United States (1903). Li reminds us that “art and cultural creations become racialized [because] they are systemically evaluated from the vantage point of a racially-based cultural hierarchy that upholds 65  the artistic standards and cultural values of the dominant group” (1994, pp. 368–369). In this context, the white artist is not aware that the non-white artist’s ability to adopt her whiteness is not empathy for her experiences or situation, but rather a product of race relations.  For non-white artists, everything they create is a cultural creation simply because they are diverse, and their work continues to be measured against Eurocentric ideals. Erika Fisher-Lichte et al. concludes that that this othering implies a notion of equality that requires the West to not only be involved, but also always used as the standard measuring device (2014), ultimately resulting in the unfair double standard where the work of artists of colour is judged immediately not for its artistic merit but for its difference.  The contrast between the last two aforementioned interviews is stark: the non-white artist recognizes the racially-based cultural hierarchy and knows that his body’s difference in a white institution defines his artistic work (and worth) regardless of whether it is his creative intent. In contrast, the white artist does not seem to recognize the social hierarchy in place, and almost refutes Li’s claims. In fact, there is an erasure of the social hierarchy and like multiculturalism, implies a sense of sameness that all writers – regardless of race – should be able to write the lived experiences of any individual through the embodiment of empathy rather than acknowledging the social and cultural hierarchies in place.  Another non-white artist who identifies solely as a playwright echoes the same sentiment of writing what she knows. Unlike the previously mentioned non-white artist, she prefers being identified as a non-white artist and does not feel “boxed in” by this categorization because it “means so much more to write stories that come from [her] cultural identity,” rather than being “just a writer.” She acknowledges that she has been lucky: her first professional experience in theatre was with a culturally diverse theatre organization. She confides that she is “afraid to look 66  elsewhere because [she is] afraid [she is] not going to have the same support and understanding” if she were to work with a theatre organization that did not have an explicit mandate of supporting culturally diverse artists. In addition to being selective about who she works with, she writes imagery that is foundational to her cultural values “such as cooking and being able to cook together” to make her difference explicit. She is deliberate about incorporating her own language in her work and using writing tools that “[teach] an outsider about a specific culture,” specifically referencing audiences (and perhaps the institution of theatre) who look different from her as a non-white artist, and furtively placing the difference back on the white institution. For this artist, self-othering is not a setback or a barrier, but a personal decision that she does not take lightly. She re-claims not only her work but her own body as an opportunity to re-assert herself within the institution of theatre in Vancouver. She summarizes it by saying  I am a product of [my culture] – would I be here if there weren’t culturally diverse-specific companies that gave me the opportunities to be where I am?    The narratives discussed thus far have come mostly from individual non-white artists who, because of their diversity, come up against the institution of theatre. As previously mentioned, individuals who represent an organization and have decision-making abilities hold up the institution of theatre because of the work they choose to program and the artists they employ. In speaking with theatre artists in leadership roles who have decision-making power, the juxtaposition of the institution versus the other is even more explicit. One administrator summarized the organization’s attempts at working with more diverse artists as the desire to step away from their own lens:  We want to see more people that look different on our stages. We want to have our audience reflected on our stages … But we also want to tell stories that aren’t just through the prism of the white Western lens”  67   As opposed to [making decisions] on behalf of cultures, to be able to include different voices is important to us.  While the organization very clearly recognizes their own lack of diversity, difference here is framed as an act of welcoming, where “those who are already given a place are the ones who are welcoming … [they are] the ones who are in the structural position of hosts” (Ahmed, 2012, p. 42). Diversity here is framed as all three qualities: difference, an imbalance in power, and an other that the status quo must accommodate by making space. Here, diversity is about making space and facilitating access rather than inclusion. The institution is literally and physically making space for non-white voices by giving them access to the inherent and already-identified structure of the institution, rather than moving towards inclusion through a willingness to change the processes that make up and define the institution. The institution is now doing its due diligence and inviting others to have a seat at the table, but this welcoming ultimately becomes a check box or cosmetic approach unless the organization is engaged in a process of self-reflection and changing their own organizational practices. While there is no set approach to what this inclusion can look like, it can include changes in leadership, governing structures (such as at the board level), ways of engaging with the community that are led by the community rather than the organization, or using non-Eurocentric approaches to art such as changes in language or types of plays. It’s important to note this organization is making steps towards these changes but to ensure that they are not identified, the specifics have not been included here. Ultimately, at the root of the difference between making space and inclusion is a question of power. Without a change in organizational practices, seeking out non-white bodies and voices for their different stories equates to what one artist says is “the establishment being like you can come in now… 68  [there is an] engrained condescension.” This notion of access versus inclusion will be explored further later in this chapter when examining organizational approaches to diversity.  Several artists who represent organizations spoke about how their organizations engage with individual artists by commissioning them to write new plays. Normally when artists are commissioned to write a play, the writing process is a long one that takes many months and often happens in different phases over multiple years. For some organizations, play commission is seen as a way of adding diversity to an existing Eurocentric theatrical canon. For one administrator, working with new playwrights is an opportunity to  Expand both what we’re creating in terms of art that we’re putting on stage but also who’s telling those stories. And it not being only – there are many Caucasian artists that are working with us – but we’ve been able to open those doors to non-Caucasian storytellers and artists who are telling the stories through a different lens.   Commissioning new work is a very direct way of addressing a lack of diversity. It addresses the “lack of” through explicit creation and support of diversity, but still simultaneously relies on a rhetoric of difference that uses Eurocentrism as a starting point and standard of measurement. While neither inherently good or bad, I argue here that the recognition of this starting point, where diversity is a synonym of difference, is vital to begin working towards a diversity discourse that does not rely on othering to become a part of the mainstream. For one non-white artist, he disagrees that artistic qualities – including stories told through a different lens – should be tied to physical appearance or race but sees affirmative action such as play commissions as the only way to “move the pendulum after a couple hundred years of supremacy.” When speaking about the work they commission, another artist says that “it just means that there’s no obvious barrier and there’s no assumptions on [our] part of what we’re looking for” when it comes to the types of actors or plays or playwrights they are looking to 69  work with. This organization chooses to take a colour blind approach – where artistic merit comes first – which begs the question: in an industry where whiteness is the default, does a lack of affirmative action result in a default whiteness?   This question of a default whiteness can be explored in ideas and narratives about how non-white actors are cast in theatrical productions, and whether non-white artists are cast in shows that do not explicitly address diversity. One artist, in speaking about her experience as a director with one of Vancouver’s larger companies, criticizes a popular and prevalent notion often held by white directors or organizations that non-white artists are hard to find or cast, or that non-white artists never attend auditions being held by the GVPTA or individual companies. As Ahmed reminds us, “the problem of whiteness is thus redescribed here not as an institutional problem but as a problem with those are not included by it” (2012, p. 35). The construction that non-white artists are the ones who choose not to attend auditions – which results in organizations having no choice but to hire the same actors – is a problematic one. This type of construction ignores the power dynamics already at play in defining diversity as difference and allows the institution to continue the status quo without questioning. In the eyes of this artist, the solution is not a difficult one:  You just need to stop casting your friends. Not that there aren’t inherent problems or to simplify the solution, but [non-white] actors may be less experienced or don’t audition well but that doesn’t mean they can’t [play the part].  Her comments illustrate the inherent power dynamic at play when a larger company is inviting non-white actors into their organization, and how the incorporation of diversity is often left to the goodwill of individuals rather than as a mandated objective of the organization. She reveals that she has heard that at certain organizations, “diversity is a nuisance and having to 70  [hold] auditions for this is a nuisance.” When she is a director, she works towards incorporating diversity in her work by focusing specifically on casting (who she casts), changing the framing (the context through which the story is told), and when she has the power, choosing the right play for the target audience. In her experience, she felt like changing the framing “was a way of manipulating the system” in order to cast a non-white actor, especially when she was exposed to viewpoints against diversity only because she was considered a “safe white person.” She is not only critical of the organization but also herself, where she admittedly recognizes that her past work had not always focused on providing adequate roles for people of colour.  Choices around casting carry implications for both individual artists and the institution in ways that may not initially seem significant. One non-white artist points out that larger organizations “don’t think about representation from a holistic point of view.” In his opinion, casting non-white artists as actors without making changes at the creative level (such as what types of plays are chosen, who the playwrights are, and which community’s stories are being told on stage) is simply the organization checking off a box: “it’s not about developing artists in [a] community of colour who can grow and have long careers.” Without a holistic approach to casting – one where the organization thinks beyond the simple representation of bodies on stage – there is very little long-term impact for non-white artists, and the institution becomes the sole beneficiary of such an act by checking off a box. Simply casting non-white artists for short-term contracts (and especially in roles as actors where they have no agency or creative decision-making ability) in an organization that predominantly operates in ways that uphold their current business operations – and in doing so, the status quo – renders non-white bodies as decorative prop pieces that only serve a short-term purpose, where diversity becomes a way of managing the other and the organization’s own image. For many artists working on behalf of or in roles 71  subject to decisions by larger organizations, the actions around diversity become notions of access and perceived space, rather than inclusion.  In this section, I have argued that artists’ conceptions of diversity have echoed multiculturalism beginning with the construction and continued process of othering for non-white artists. With roots in the Royal Commission on Biculturalism and Bilingualism, multiculturalism results an inherent hierarchy that is illustrated here through a vocabulary of “making space” and “opening doors” that is always relational to the dominant group, the power they hold, and the place they currently occupy in the institution. The use of diversity as difference and inequality allows for diversity to “[emerge] as a value-free, power-neutral indicator of difference and multiplicity” (Bannerji, 2000, p. 36). In analyzing the vocabulary of “making space,” we must also recognize that this is a space with meaning, and one that has been created out of and transformed by its race relations. Race and place are defined by interactions and differences, and transform with changes in identities, inequalities, conflicts, and other social changes (Neely & Samura, 2011). Brooke Neely and Michelle Samura (2011) provide several examples that illustrate these connections: Cheryl Harris’ study connecting white privilege with property ownership (1993), and Kay Anderson’s examination of the development and changes in Vancouver’s Chinatown as a racial discourse (1991). Both studies illustrate that we cannot disentangle the ideological formations of race from the material production and practices of space (Neely & Samura, 2011) because space, race, changes to social order, hierarchy, and identification are all closely related. Racial and spatial studies together help us locate and understand racial processes, and to recognize possibilities for changing existing power structures to see how people are already engaged in these resistance activities (Neely & Samura, 2011). A recognition of theatre as an institution that not only creates but lives in a racialized place – a 72  space defined by its race relations – allows an engagement with racial and representational issues already at play in the arts, and can take the conversation away from artistic practices and creation to an examination of theatre as an institution. Though the lines between theatre and theatre as an institution are not explicitly clear at the outset, theatre in Canada was built on the same pillars that physically and ideologically identified Canada’s cultural policies. Here, multiculturalism and the language of diversity are attempts to incorporate diversity into the ideological binary of Canadian identity (Bannerji, 2000), but also illustrate the depth, discrepancies, and nuances of Canadian identity that have transpired as a result of specific space relations evident in the arts.  3.5 Organizational Approaches to Diversity in Artistic Creation and Presentation   Vancouver is a city with few mid-sized and large theatre companies, and many smaller independent ones. One common theme I noticed in discussing diversity was the contrasting approaches that producing and presenting companies took to diversity in their work. While the previous section focused almost exclusively on individual artists, this section explores how institutions within the overall institution of theatre in Vancouver approach diversity, and the implications this can have for the artists and communities around them.  While there isn’t one true structure or approach for a theatre company, most companies are either presenting or producing companies (with some being a combination of both). For the purposes of this section, I will provide broad definitions while acknowledging that there are discrepancies and not all theatres in either category necessarily align themselves with these definitions. A producing company is a theatre company that either commissions new work from individual artists by providing financial and creative support, or purchases the rights for already-73  published plays and has sole decision-making power for all creative aspects of the production, including but not limited to set and costume design, creative direction, and most importantly, casting and context. Producing companies program a theatrical season in this way, regardless of whether they produce one show or eight shows a season. A presenting company is a theatre company that programs their season based on partnerships with other companies. Presenting companies curate their theatrical season based on their mandate and vision, and program their season by forming relationships with other theatre companies, many of which are often producing companies who may not have their own venue. Presenting companies often work with producing companies in two ways: the first, by inviting specific productions to be a part of their season by providing a venue for the play; the second, by participating as a co-producer through in-kind agreements such as the provision of space or financial support for a specific production that is also part of their theatrical season.  Because of the fundamentally different approaches in how these organizations create and put together their theatrical seasons, there is a difference in how they approach diversity. To examine organizational approaches to diversity in artistic creation and presentation, it is worthwhile to consider organizations as an unconscious embodiment of white privilege. White privilege “highlights the benefits that whites receive while overlooking the process of taking or appropriation, including the taking of land, wages, life, liberty, health, community, and social status” (Pulido, 2015, p. 812). Ahmed’s study of whiteness as a phenomenology is a philosophical questioning of one’s experience, specifically the experience of being a non-white body in a white institution “to notice institutional habits” (2007, p. 165). Examining whiteness as a habit sees whiteness as a process of reification, where “reification is not … something we do to whiteness, but something whiteness does, or to be more precise, what allows whiteness to be 74  done” (Ahmed, 2007, p. 150). This same context can be applied to studying theatre as an institution, where whiteness is “invisible and unmarked” only to those who inhabit the whiteness. Using whiteness as a starting point allows us to see that the institution is the “point from which the world unfolds” (Ahmed, 2007, p. 154). Institutions are formed by a habit of whiteness, where whiteness is not “reducible to white skin, or even “something” we can have or be” (Ahmed, 2007, p. 159), but instead is a continued process of reification that is and has been normalized over time. Alongside whiteness as an orientation point, I return here to the concept of diversity specifically as racialized groups – or Others – relegated outside of the institution. Artists often used the term “community” or “communities” in place of diversity, especially when speaking about spaces they do not occupy or relationships they do not currently have. In doing so, community is defined as groups separate to themselves within the status quo, again defined by race and social, economic, and political forces (Omi, Michael; Winant, 1994). Ahmed tell us that “race often appears under the euphemism of community…the implication is that the institution does not reach such communities – it does not include them” (2012, p. 35). Ahmed highlights the contradiction in the use of the term community, and how the institution uses the power dynamic to their own advantage: “the problem of whiteness is thus redescribed here not as an institutional problem but as a problem with those who are not included by it” (2012, p. 35) because it is the communities who perceive the institution as excluding them, rather than the institution’s active methods of exclusion that have resulted in the lines that have been drawn. Gomez uses the term “community theatre” to reference theatre groups that serve their communities in terms of representation, values, language(s), and practices (2009). Yet at the same time, her use of the term “community theatre” is deliberate: these types of arts organizations are often described with 75  the term “community” to distinguish them from professional institutions, and to ensure that they remain categorized as non-professional amateur groups that do not produce art that the majority dominant culture produces or consumes. Gomez tells us that non-Eurocentric artists have been “victims of the nationalist discourse on which Canadian cultural institutions have been founded, a discourse which inevitably sees Canada exclusively as Anglo-Saxon (or French) and has instituted European-centered concepts of culture, professionalism, and art” (2009). One artist, who is not tied to a larger organization, sums it up as “culturally specific work gets lumped into community specific work” rather than work that may be artistically professional “because of how you evaluate professionalism,” implying that non-white work is relegated to community because professional standards are still evaluated by Eurocentric values.  In examining how organizations approach diversity in artistic creation and presentation, both whiteness as a habit and continued othering become the starting orientation points in which to examine the institution. For one producing company, their approach to diversity manifests itself still as an inequality in power and is captured in the way they work with communities that are not their own, where the expectation is that the communities will conform to the way the institution operates. This company has   Actively gone out to certain communities – cultural communities – and said we want to increase the number of people we’re working with, with the intent of having more training for people that we will then hire and put in our shows. So it is an open door but we are [also] actively seeking different artists – new artists – to our company in that way. And then the hope is that we will increase the number of people that are…that do come to audition for us that are visible minorities and we would like to see that increase.   There is a lot to unpack in this statement. The producing company’s power is highlighted here not only because they can identify the cultural communities they have excluded in the past, but they also have the means to go into those communities to provide training in their own 76  methods and perception of artistic creation rather than in collaboration with the community they have just entered. There is an unspoken recognition that the people they work with must meet a certain artistic standard (their own) before they will hire them and “put [them] into [their] shows,” hence the training that would be provided. There is an unconscious use of selective vocabulary that differentiates between “people” in the cultural communities and “artists,” implying that there are steps to be made before people/artists can arrive at the open door of the institution. The implication here is two-fold. While it cannot be argued that non-white artists would benefit by acquiring skills and the ability to navigate the institution and status quo, thus resulting in more opportunities, it comes at the benefit and self-interest of the organization in “increasing the number of people…that do come to audition for [them] that are visible minorities.” The community here is being asked (or in some cases, not asked but told) that access is dependent on fitting the institution’s mold. When asked about whether these methods have worked, the response was that there has been in increase in the number of non-white artists they see at their audiences, but it would take several years for the organization to see long-term effects. The institution is doing the welcoming, but once again on their own terms and by their standards. Ahmed’s analysis of recruitment in whiteness exposes recruitment as both an act of bringing in new bodies and restoring the body of the institution at the same time. For non-white artists, this means that “some bodies are recruited more than others…those that can inherit the ‘character’ of the organization, by returning its image with a reflection that reflects back that image” (Ahmed, 2007, p. 158). Institutions look to replicate themselves in the bodies they recruit, regardless of whether they are white or not. For this theatre organization, the expectation is that the non-white artists being invited to participate in the organization should do so in the likeness of the organization’s whiteness.  77   For another administrator representing a different theatre company, the emphasis is on the source of the community:  It’s really about the source of community for me. In terms of the audience that might be interested in it. And also the source of community for the work. I think ‘authentic’ is also another really important word for us. Because it’s really about authentic voice. So when I say authentic, I mean that it is really coming from the voice of the community that the artist is embedded in.   This construction again emphasizes race and looks for non-white artists to produce an authenticity that is measured by what the majority assumes to be the experience of ethnicity. Here, the idea of a community being a racialized group is implied. While there is a recognition that a non-white artist should be able to create work however they wish, their work is essentialized and measured by the community that they are perceived be “embedded in” or occupy, regardless of whether that is their experience as a person of colour. In both of these examples, non-white artists face dilemmas where they must choose how they wish to convey their own experiences: they can be absorbed into the white mainstream through training provided by the institution meant to be in its own image, or produce work that the dominant majority relegates as the Other based on the institution’s idea of authenticity (whether it is truly the non-white artist’s lived experience or not).  Both examples highlight the complexities within their organizational approaches to diversity and community. This is not to say that current approaches are inherently wrong or flawed, but that there is a power dynamic worth highlighting and recognizing. For producing companies part of the status quo, community is an entity that exists separate to the artistic work that they currently do and is something is added to their current theatrical seasons, similar to Ahmed’s claim that “if diversity becomes something that is added to organizations like color, 78  then it confirms the whiteness of those who are already in place” (2012, p. 33). For both companies, diversity and community are confined to clearly demarcated incidences such as a “diversity slot” in their programming, or one play that they have commissioned from a non-white artist while the rest of their season remains unchanged. Because producing companies retain creative control over all aspect of a theatrical production, diversity here becomes about “changing perceptions of whiteness rather than changing the whiteness of organizations” (Ahmed, 2012, p. 34). On the outside, it appears like presenting companies define diversity as community in the same way as producing companies:  We also have words [in our vision] that are about being very proactive, about making sure that we are serving a number of communities. Not just one. That there isn’t just one audience, that there are multiple audiences.   So we open our doors, and we’re actively talking to multiple audiences, artists of multiple backgrounds. But this other piece now is about bringing – on a much more engaged level – other community organizations who have a constituency. So those organizations and their constituencies into the theatres and interacting with the theatres. Because it goes far beyond presenting their shows.  Community and access are still defined as entities separate to their current work who are welcomed through “open doors.” However, there is a clear distinction of “serving” a community. The same artist summarizes presenting as    A presenter has to work out here [holds arms out wide], like this really big picture a lot of the time…[Presenting] is really being connected to what people’s issues are, to what the trends are, to what people want. Which communities are not being served. We have the ability to serve them which is great. All of that. So we have a lot of resources which a lot of producing companies don’t have, especially independent companies or small companies…which is most companies.”    79   As with producing companies, there is an inherent power dynamic that allows the organizations to choose and select what they think an audience (or – a community they are serving) would like to see. The distinction here is that a presenting company has the ability to engage with the wider community because their mandates are often about engaging with other perspectives or issues, as opposed to producing companies who are financially, creatively, and artistically invested the creation of their own work. Another artist acknowledges the complexities that also lie within presenting. He expresses frustration that as a presenter, he is “a buyer, not a creator” who is “at the behest of other people’s work and whatever is available.” As a producer, he can ensure he chooses shows that are written by non-white artists, has creative control over casting to ensure that the shows meet personal or organizational goals for ensuring diversity.  In all cases of organizational approaches to diversity, there is a recognition that theatre must expand beyond its current presentations to attract more diverse audiences and communities that are not currently attending theatre shows. For both producing and presenting companies, this is an everyday reality. One artist expressed a desire for artists and organizations to move past the “if you build it they will come” notion where artists create work only for themselves because  It is so basic and so not the right conversation. You just built it! You didn’t even ask [them] so you can’t say ‘why aren’t you coming?’!   In another interview with an administrator representing an organization, she mused about a conversation that she had with a sponsor, where they discussed the Chinese community and how to engage the Chinese population as a potential market:  It just seems weird because that just is the community. Why are we talking about a community like they’re a subset of what is the whole? We’re not talking about four people that just arrived, you know what I mean? It is the community!   80  One artist bluntly defined diversity as “the way for arts organizations to survive,” implying the economic need for theatre companies to expand beyond Eurocentric canon in order to draw more diverse audiences to their shows. Both artists here illustrate the complexities in engaging with audiences and communities that are excluded from the status quo. In the first example, the institution assumes that what they are creating for themselves will also serve non-white communities. In the second example, the institution is determining ways of engaging with a cultural community rather than directly involving the community itself. Both examples illustrate the conclusions that have been made about cultural communities perceived to be outside of the institution, and creates further barriers for their participation, engagement, and involvement. Diversity, just like artistic content, is a marketable good and economic commodity used to attract specific audiences and has a “commercial value” (Ahmed, 2012) that becomes a product beyond social responsibility and goodwill. While affirmative action within the habit of whiteness may be necessary to disrupt whiteness, the previous section illustrated the responsibility and implications that this incorporation of diversity can have, where without proper recognition of inherent power structure, privileges, and histories, diversity in this model can serve to replicate and reproduce the institution’s habits.  In this section, I have attempted to highlight different ways in which organizations approach diversity, based on their own approaches in either artistic creation or presentation. This section does not serve to pitch creation or presentation against each other, but rather highlights the different approaches that influence the way diversity is defined through “community,” and underscores the responsibility that all companies have when considering their approaches to diversity in their programming. At a time when programming is considered a high-profile activity due to the industry’s lack of diversity, the selection of artistic content becomes a 81  conversation with audiences about an organization’s values and vision and extends far beyond the provision of entertainment. One artist sums up the importance of programming diversity for both producing and presenting companies: “programming is an overt discussion with potential audiences … it means everything is up for interpretation and [when] there’s nothing forthcoming from the organization [that says] here are our politics and this is what we’re doing, then it’s just wide open.” Another administrator considers diversity in programming “not just a welcome mat but knocking on the door and exerting the effort.” For producing companies, creative license and control can mean an inward-looking practice that serves to accomplish the company’s own artistic goals and carries an expectation of non-white artists conforming and learning the whiteness of the institution. For presenting companies, it can mean a bigger picture that relies on understanding and knowing what audiences beyond company leadership are looking to see on stage but can still essentialize non-white artists and their lived experiences through a dialogue and expectation of authenticity. There are, of course, inconsistencies to both scenarios but what is important to note is that while white privilege is the orientation point, both presenting and producing organizations in Vancouver are committed to noticing their own whiteness, which is important for “attending to what is habitual and routine … [so] that we can keep open the possibility of habit changes” (Ahmed, 2007, p. 165).   3.6 Conclusion  In this chapter, I have attempted to illustrate the impact that multiculturalism has had on the ways that artists and arts organization understand and construct ideas of ideas of diversity. For theatre artists in Vancouver, diversity has been defined as racialized difference and 82  inequality in power. This has resulted in a continued othering where white artists unconsciously or habitually continue to other non-white artists, and non-white artists either choose to other themselves to reclaim their own identities, or struggle with the difference projected onto them. Interviews have shown that the discourse of diversity is so deeply engrained that larger theatre companies, despite full awareness and recognition of their own whiteness and power, reconstruct a racialized space and place that continues to other cultural communities through the perceived power-neutral discourse of “making space” and the facilitation of access. Despite making space for non-white artists that gives them access to the institution (which inherently illustrates the power dynamics at play), larger organizations place expectations on non-white artists that either require them to conform to the institution’s whiteness in order to gain access, or essentialize non-white artists to their ethnicities through expectations that expressions of authenticity should reinforce and conform to the institution’s understanding of what an ethnic lived experience in multicultural Canada is like or should be. What is worth repeating is that this chapter is not a critique of how individual artists and companies have attempted to approach diversity in their work. Rather, I have attempted to illustrate the pervasiveness of the institution and how “institutional whiteness [is] reproduced through the logic of diversity” (Ahmed, 2012, p. 44) for all of these artists. Whiteness has been reproduced through power dynamics and a diversity discourse that, despite welcoming non-white artists and recognizing the organization’s own whiteness, still requires non-white artists to conform to the institution’s ideals and priorities. Interviews have illustrated an understanding of the necessity of diversity to disrupt the whiteness of the institution but seem to be rooted primarily in representation on stage – that is, representation limited to physical bodies on stage without further nuances around the politics of race, representation, or institutional structures. 83  This could be a limitation of my research in interviewing only artists who have roles with artistic and creative decision-making power.  The act of othering, with its seemingly neutral erasure of social hierarchy, “amounts to an informal yardstick…as to how culturally liberally and racially tolerant Canada is [and becomes] living symbols of a multicultural society, since they symbolize society’s endorsement of minorities’ preservation of their unique cultures” (Li, 1994, p. 382). Multiculturalism in the arts should not simply be a passive recognition that other cultures can exist within the social and cultural fabric of Canada, or that the dominant culture has “made room” for minority groups. Culture is “a contingent scheme of meanings tied to power dynamics” (Ong, 1999, p. 243), and in accounting for diversity in theatre as an institution, I hope to shed light on how racism and whiteness are “reproduced by receding from view, becoming an ordinary feature of institutional life” (Ahmed, 2012, p. 182) and the perspectives this can offer to ongoing debates and initiatives around representation in the arts.     84  Chapter 4:  Conclusion  4.1 What Kind of Representation?   Theatre is a representational medium, and most narratives in the interviews that I conducted with theatre artists focused on the inclusion of non-white bodies in an overly white industry. The politics of representation are complex and to discuss representation in theatre is even trickier, and some even consider it a limitation of the art form. Unlike dance which relies on the movement of the body to convey ideas and emotions, theatre as an artistic medium relies on the representation of physical bodies to achieve and embody its primary purpose of storytelling. This in itself is also representation. Examining representation in the arts requires us to ask ourselves what we want the arts to be: is it a service, a response, a creation, or a personal expression of ideas? Is it, can it, and should it be all of these things, and to whom? What responsibility do artists hold, and what standards should artists and cultural institutions be held to? More often than not, I found myself asking one particular question about my own research during the many hours of interviews: what kind of representation? Some artists spoke about physical representation in ensuring that there were diverse non-white bodies on stage. Others argued for the representation of cultures in histories, customs, artistic forms, and content in addition to visible representation on stage. Artistic and creative practices are subjective and performative not only for artists but also for audiences, and it must be recognized that it is nearly impossible to find a universal truth in representation. In considering representation in a representational art form, further research connecting the politics of race, identity and body politics, and performance theory would add to the nuances of examining representation and 85  diversity in theatre. Despite the multi-layered complexities, there is an argument to be made that in a country like Canada, accurate cultural representation in a representational art form is necessary and should be the responsibility of all artists.     4.2 Thirty Years of Unintended Whiteness  There are, of course, limitations to my research. This thesis is not meant to be a survey of diverse artists and their contributions and work, or to account for a historical timeline of diverse theatre in Vancouver (though such a study would certainly be informative). My research presents narratives of lived experiences to understand multiculturalism in practice in the performing arts. In interviewing a select number of participants and restricting the participants to artists who often hold roles with decision-making ability could have limited the narratives to ones that focus more on physical representation on stage than power structures rooted in ideology or politics. While I interviewed both white and non-white artists, it must also be noted that artists with decision-making ability, especially of the larger organizations in Vancouver, are almost always white. The narratives included here touch only briefly on the financial resources required for cultural production, and as previously mentioned, the arts in Canada is fiercely dependent on government funding for survival. When I began my research, I had initially hoped to examine the correlation between funding and the lack of diversity in theatre. Throughout my interviews and in examining policies closer in detail, I noticed many explicit similarities between multiculturalism and the use of language in both official policies and the conversations I was having with participants. I realized that this diversity discourse was not only an interesting thread to follow, but also an important historical and structural framework that needed to be established. My research focuses 86  on this structural understanding as the first step towards understanding how monetary distribution impacts diversity in Canadian arts and culture. In confronting the ideology of multiculturalism, Mayte Gomez argues for a “theatre community and a society in which all cultures are practiced in equal terms, artistically and otherwise” (2009, p. 43). This thesis heavily emphasizes the historical framework of multiculturalism and cultural policy as the main driver for the continued lack of diversity and unintended whiteness in Vancouver theatre. It would be unrealistic and foolish to assume that such deeply engrained colonial ideas and structures would be easily dismantled. Several artists interviewed spoke of the rigidity of the policy confines in which they must work and create their art, and critiqued its lack of nuance when reflecting on fluidities in identity and representation. Instead, I hope to highlight and advocate for three key shifts in approaching the idea of diversity in Canadian arts and culture.  The first is a move towards a national Canadian identity informed and constructed by local and regional identities and motivations. Currently, the Canada Council spans across all levels of government in supporting the arts and is one of the major cultural institutions that exists in creating and supporting a national identity. This thesis has illustrated the top-down approach that currently exists, beginning with roots in multiculturalism, to the way cultural policy has been formed, and the impacts felt by artists and arts organizations. While it is the individual artists, arts organizations, and cultural institutions from across Canada who apply for the grants, the decision-making power and awarding of financial and social capital still rests with peer jurors who are chosen by the Canada Council. At the federal level, the discourse is heavily entrenched in nation-building and crafting a singular cohesive Canadian identity. Instead, supporting diversity at the regional and local level would combat the hegemonic storying of the nation in federal policies and present a more accurate picture of Canada’s diversity and vast geography. I 87  make a distinction here between local and regional due to the geography of Canada, with concentrated urban centers and regions that have smaller communities across larger distances. Diversity in this context also does not necessarily mean cultural diversity and refers instead to the differences in communities across Canada. Every Canadian knows that the identities and values of Canadians on the East Coast vary from those on the West, as from Canadians in Central Canada. Here, I agree with Gomez’s assertion to “focus on what makes us different, not to separate us or to isolate us from one another, but to bring to the fore new cultural codes and practices so that they might challenge Canadian culture as we know it” (2009, p. 41).    The second shift is more theoretical, and suggests a departure from the term “arts and culture” towards a broader and more innovative conceptualization of culture that also includes art. The term “arts and culture” is inherently a power term, where a division between culture and art is implied. As Trepanier and Creighton-Kelly remind us, “for most Aboriginal people, ‘art’ does not have standalone without a cultural context” (2011, p. 15), and this is true for many other cultures around the world. The term “arts and culture” echoes the colonial power dynamic that capitalizes on difference, where art is assumed to be Eurocentric artistic expressions and values, and all other expressions of art or culture are relegated as culture (Off, 2009). Dismantling the Eurocentric core of arts and culture funding allows for other models of patronage in the arts beyond public funding and would help mitigate rather than exacerbate existing gaps that exist in funding for artists. Today, the Canada Council remains an arms-length organization that operates independently of the Canadian government. Despite the independent nature of the organization, its formation and deep roots in multiculturalism policy have inadvertently resulted in a privileging of Eurocentric models of art and artistic values that has not necessarily resulted in an objective and true Canadian identity. Despite best intentions and changes to funding programs, it 88  remains difficult for non-white artists to break into the mainstream when the core and foundation of cultural policies are so rooted in multiculturalism and Canada’s colonial history. Without shifts in our ideological and structural approaches to diversity, can we expect our art to become more representational and diverse? Will a seemingly collective consciousness about the necessity of diversity and renewed commitments be effective in the face of unintended whiteness that perpetuates the disenfranchisement and systemic exclusion of diverse artists and their work in mainstream Canadian arts and culture?  The third shift considers all the above – questions about what kind of diversity, a national identity informed and constructed by local and regional identities and communities, broader definitions of arts and culture – and calls for more innovative and transformative approaches to cultural policy to better meet the needs of and leverage the unique potential and role of diverse communities. It is undoubtedly important for arts and culture to be diverse and include non-white perspectives, but also equally important for this diversity to escape the tokenism and binary narrative of multiculturalism and bilingualism. As this thesis has shown, the arts in Canada depend on government and public funding for its survival, but what this also means is that arts and culture in this funding model is shaped and controlled by the gaze that holds the power and money. At its core, the problem of diversity in theatre is too closely tied to the politics of representation and results in diversity reduced to racialized representation. This trope reinforces the notion that adding colour is an acceptable and real solution, when in fact it simply continues to perpetuate the cycle of unintended whiteness. We cannot get to a “there” – one that is truly community-based and representative of a community – from a “here” that is inherently flawed and tied to representational politics about who the arts represents, and who the arts is representing to. 89  In May 2018, the Hong Kong Jockey Club and the Government of Hong Kong opened the Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and the Arts. Tai Kwun is a mixed-use heritage site that utilizes the contemporary and performing arts to cultivate an understanding and appreciation of Hong Kong’s local heritage, culture, and history. An example of innovative and transformative cultural policy, the Tai Kwun project not only revitalized three previous heritage sites through heritage conservation, but also established a completely sustainable financial model with a primary goal of reinvesting in Tai Kwun’s – and Hong Kong’s – local heritage and culture.  This type of cultural policy focuses on cultural tourism, and funds arts and culture as drivers for creativity and engagement with and by the community. The Tai Kwun approach programs high art – such as theatre, contemporary art, and dance – with the goal of supporting and sustaining local communities, their culture, heritage, and economies. Tai Kwun challenges cultural policies to think about the arts differently, and to conceptualize creativity in non-performative or representative contexts. In contrast to simply giving money to artists and individual organizations that do not have the means to sustain their own activities, the Tai Kwun model works within existing cultural communities and supports local arts and culture to further strengthen and highlight local culture and identity. In addition to programming art, Tai Kwun emphasizes local food culture and the livelihoods of individual artists and entrepreneurs. Performance of culture is just one aspect of arts and culture at Tai Kwun, and the multiple economies change the balance of arts and culture overall: instead of asking arts and culture to find ways to superficially represent specific cultural communities, the efforts are first and foremost grassroots, and focus on generating the tourism and economy necessary to support local artists. When culture is tied and rooted organically in a community, rather than simply representative of a community, culture becomes the main sustainable driver of creativity.  90  While this is inherently a place-dependent model and likely could not be applied in all contexts across Canada, cultural communities such as Vancouver’s Chinatown are well-positioned to adopt these innovative models to highlight the diversity that cultural communities can bring to local arts and culture. In Vancouver, Chinatown’s uniqueness lies in its rich potential for innovative creative industries, such as food culture or cultural multipliers that give back to the community. Financially sustainable models that rely on a combination of commercial use, food and beverage, and arts and culture would position these cultural communities to become independently sustainable and become the foundation for arts that are born out of a cultural community’s history and culture. The suggested approach here is not to fund only cultural art forms such as Cantonese opera: the goal is to build a sustainable and independent cultural economy grounded in a community’s culture and history, that can then sustain local arts and culture. In this form, community engagement and representation come from the community itself, and avoids the danger of simply representing – that is, performing a community.   4.3 Conclusion   In this thesis, I have examined the relationship between multiculturalism and cultural policy, and its resulting impact on the discourse in diversity in two distinct ways: through the examination of artistic expression in a language other than English and French, and the way that individual artists and theatre companies engage with the language of diversity in their work. I argue that a historical understanding of the relationship between multiculturalism and Canada’s cultural policy helps us understand Canada as a nation, and how Canada’s arts and culture have, so far, upheld the colonial structures that made the nation and continues to reaffirm itself in the 91  everyday practices and dialogue of cultural production. Notions of diversity have primarily been considered in English and French, whereas artistic expression in languages other than English and French present nuances to Canadian identity that so far remain unrecognized in policy despite the country’s demographics and history of immigration. In considering artistic expression in a language other than English and French, the case study explored in this thesis shows opportunities for Canadian cultural institutions to utilize local migration histories and cultural values to facilitate the creation and recognition of a local – but still Canadian – identity in the arts that is representative of a particular community. I argue that multiculturalism and cultural policy have shaped the way that contemporary constructions and understandings of the term “diversity” have transpired locally, to further add to frustrations and perceived inertia around the continued lack of diversity in Vancouver theatre. The discourse around diversity continues to equate the term to difference and inequality where whiteness is the standard measuring device.  These unconscious and unintended constructions of diversity have resulted in a cyclical and circular discourse where diversity continues to be restricted to the confines of multiculturalism and bilingualism, and becomes continuously reaffirmed as unintended whiteness – socially, creatively, and artistically – in tangible cultural production that is adopted as representations of Canadian culture. For the artists interviewed in this thesis, there is a balance between their own creative output and a commitment to representation in the arts. But the idea of representation in Canadian culture extends far beyond the scope of one single artistic medium, and despite this study’s focus on theatre, is a challenge that presents itself in every medium in the arts. More broadly, this thesis raises questions about the role of Canadian cultural institutions and cultural productions as accurate representations of “Canadian” identity, and questions which communities and histories are remembered, documented, and archived into mainstream Canadian 92  history through the arts. Previously disadvantaged by cultural policy’s colonial legacy, cultural communities have an innate power to pioneer new approaches to these very same cultural policies. They not only have the ability to truly engage these communities at a grassroots level, but also provide the foundation to become the drivers for new kinds of creativity that are so far not yet accounted for in existing policy frameworks. Here, I again adopt Trepanier and Creighton-Kelly’s phrase: there are many Canadian we’s. 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How is the term used and what does it mean?  2. What does diversity “in practice” look like? Do you use any specific language or tools to focus on or bring diversity to the forefront?   3. How do you articulate your own understanding of diversity in your work? How do you communicate that to your audiences?   4. Do you feel there is a relationship between funding for theatre projects and the kinds of works that are produced?   5. What does diversity on stage look like to you?   6. How do you feel diversity on stage impacts audiences? Do you have any personal experiences to share?  7. What are the challenges that funding organizations face when presented with so many different kinds of artistic work?   8. What kind of issues and actions are you seeing in response to the recent conversations around diversity? What kind of artistic impact have you seen?    100  Appendix B  : Culturally Diverse Productions at the Gateway Theatre (1995-2013)   1996 Fault Lines by Betty Quan 1997 Running Dog, Paper Tiger by Simon Johnston 2001 Mom, Dad, I’m Living with a White Girl by Marty Chan. A production from Edmonton’s Running with Scissors Theatre 2002 A Season in Purgatory by Michael David Kwan 2003 Funny-Faced Ogre by Asaya Fujita, Translated by Yoshi Yoshihara & James Roy 2004 The Butterfly Dream adapted by Yuan-Tzeng Hsia. In association with PANGAEA ARTS 2005 Tiger of Malaya by Hiro Kanagawa 2006 Rice Rockets/Yacht People by Simon Johnston 2007 Fish Eyes by Anita Majumdar 2009 Train by Maiko Bae Yamamoto 2011 The Forbidden Phoenix Book and Lyrics by Marty Chan; Lyrics, Music & Orchestration by Robert Walsh 2013 Sisters by Simon Johnston     101  Appendix C  : 2015 Pacific Festival Audience Data, Gateway Theatre  102  103  104  105  106  107  108  109  110  111  112  113  114  115  116  117  118  119  120  121  122  123    124  Appendix D  : List of Companies in the Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance  Alchemy Theatre Arts Club Theatre Company Axis Theatre Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival  Boca del Lupo Bright Young Theatre Carousel Theatre for Young People The Cultch Down Stage Right Productions Emerald Pig Theatrical Society Ensemble Theatre Company Evergreen Cultural Centre Fighting Chance Productions Firehall Arts Centre First Impressions Theatre the frank theatre company  Fugue Theatre Company Full Circle: First Nations Performance Gallery 7 Theatre & Performing Arts Gateway Theatre Hardline Productions Jericho Arts Centre ITSAZOO Productions Juno Productions Kay Meek Centre Little Mountain Lion Productions Massey Theatre Mitch and Murray Productions Monster Theatre Neworld Theatre The Only Animal Pacific Theatre Patrick Street Productions Pi Theatre Playwrights Theatre Centre Presentation House PuSh International Performing Arts Festival Realwheels Theatre Renegade Productions Inc rice & beans theatre Royal City Musical Theatre Ruby Slippers Theatre 125  Rumble Theatre Productions Sandbox Theatre Productions Savage Productions Shadbolt Centre for the Arts Shameless Hussy productions South Asian Arts Society Surrey Civic Theatres Theatre for Living (Headlines Theatre) Theatre in the Raw Théâtre La Seizième Theatre Obscura Theatre Terrific Tomo Suru Players Touchstone Theatre United Players of Vancouver Upintheair Theatre Urban Ink Productions Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre Vancouver Moving Theatre Vancouver TheatreSports League Vital Spark Theatre Wet Ink Collective Western Gold Theatre Society White Rock Players' Club   126  Appendix E  : Demographic Data, Theatre in Vancouver (2016, 2017)  127    128   129  130  131  132   

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