Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance (GVPTA)

Programs + Initiatives


Conference Backgrounder

Pan-Canadian virtual conference:
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in the Cultural Sector: The Role of Cultural Organizations 

Online June 15–16, 2022  |  FREE (Presentation materials online)

Along with our co-hosts at the Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO), GVPTA presented a FREE, virtual conference to bring together artists, arts practitioners, and cultural workers as well as researchers interested in EDI within the arts, culture, and heritage sector throughout Canada. 

The event aimed to foster communication between researchers and practitioners in order to generate new knowledge about and actions toward improving equity, diversity, and inclusion in cultural settings, and specifically within cultural organizations. The dialogue was intended to provide cultural organizations with tools and to offer researchers a better understanding of experiences in the field. This compendium of experiences and research results will contribute to the development of new knowledge rooted in the practice of EDI within our industry.
Session themes included:
  • Organizations: Initiatives and case studies that explore equity, diversity, and inclusion
  • Communities: Understanding community context to strengthen the sector
  • Governance: Strategies for rethinking equitable and impactful policies and practices

Click the Learn More button below to be routed to the conference website for further information, or read the programming overview below. 

Programming Overview

Click the session titles below to open the session description, presenter details, and related interpretation information (including French, English, ASL, LSQ, and captions). Sessions presented via Zoom webinars.

Wednesday, June 15
Thursday, June 16


This project was supported in part by funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).
SSHRC logo

Additional support for this conference was provided by the Province of British Columbia and the BC Arts Council. 

This conference is organized by representatives of Université du Québec en Outaouais and the Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance. 

UQO logo
SSHRC logo

2021 Making a Scene Forum: Seizing Opportunities

The Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance's annual conference was re-imagined for 2021 as a digital forum to discuss what post-pandemic, post-now can look like for the theatre industry. Knowing what we know now, after more than a year of reacting, how do we step into possibilities and opportunities with intention? ASL interpretation and Zoom auto-captioning were provided.

View Session Recordings

Sessions were recorded and are viewable through GVPTA's YouTube channel. Click the links below to access each session's recording.

If you missed registering for the conference, but have found the recordings valuable, please consider making a charitable donation to GVPTA to support our efforts to produce more learning opportunities.

  • Humour and Laughter in Storytelling and Community, with Cheyenne Rouleau, Debbie Courchene, Donna-Michelle St. Bernard, and Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg. Moderated by Jivesh Parasram. View the recording.
  • Live + Live-Streaming: Hybrid Performance for Hybrid Audiences and the (@#$%^ Exciting!) Future of Vancouver Theatre with Adam Grant Warren, Christine Quintana, Derek Chan, and Keely O'Brien. View the recording.
  • Sharing Power, Sharing Leadership with Anjela Magpantay, Anoop Gill, and Sean Guist. Moderated by Chelsea Haberlin and Fay Nass.View the recording.
  • Community Caring for Community with Lisa Cooke Ravensbergen, jaye simpson, and Shanique Kelly. Moderated by Siobhan Barker. View the recording.
  • Access Needs: A conversation for all of us with Adam Grant Warren, Ladan Sahraei, and Siobhan Barker. Moderated by Amy Amantea.View the recording.
  • Performing Arts Town Hall on BC’s Restart Plan with Haley Miller, Office of the Provincial Health Officer, BC Ministry of Health); Dr. Mark Lysyshyn, Vancouver Coastal Health; Don Parman, Actsafe Safety Association; and Lisa Houle, WorkSafeBC. Moderated by Kenji Maeda. View the recording.
  • The Future of Dramaturgy with Daniela Atiencia, Davey Samuel Calderon, Jessica Schacht, and Renae Morriseau. View the recording.
  • Theatre Marketing in the Digital World with Rick Chung and Sophia Cheng. View the recording.
  • Gesturing Beyond the House Modernity Built with Dr. Vanessa Andreotti, Azul Carolina Duque, and Kyra Royo. View the recording.

The Making a Scene Forum microsite contains session descriptions and speaker bios, social media links, and more.

View the session descriptions:

Read speaker bios:

2021 Making a Scene Forum was supported by the following sponsors and funders:

PACT logo
Actsafe logo
IATSE Local 168
BC Arts Council & Province of BC logo
City of Vancouver Cultural Services logo


2019 Making a Scene Conference

Over 200 individuals from the theatre community took part in conference activities at SFU Woodward's Goldcorp Centre for the Arts (May 28, 2019) and The Post at 750 (May 29 & 30, 2019).

Primary programming included a range of engaging, honest, and challenging panel discussions, presentations, breakout sessions and networking opportunities. Many participated in conversations that were at times difficult, uncomfortable, and made you vulnerable, and we are grateful to all of those who took part and enabled these discussions to take place within a safe space. We look forward to continuing to work together with you all to explore these important issues further, and to support and strengthen our community and our sector. 
Standalone workshops included Intimacy Direction with Siobhan Richardson and Beginner's QLab.

The closing event was Ephemera 2: An Archiving Party, presented in partnership with Rumble Theatre, Theatre Replacement, and SFU Library, to help create a time capsule for the performing arts that is now housed in SFU Library's Special Collections.

The 2019 event was co-hosted with SFU Woodward's Cultural Programs and sponsored by PACT, Front Row Insurance, and Ecclesiastical Insurance

Photo credit: Alisha Weng

Primary Conference Programming

Tuesday, May 28, 2019 | SFU Woodward's Goldcorp Centre for the Arts

The conference kicked off with a keynote by director, playwright, and actor Kim Senklip Harvey from the Syilx, Tshilqot'in, Ktunaxa and Dakelh Nations. Kim has posted her full keynote to her blog hereConference programming featured a diverse range of breakout sessions, workshops, and presentations, bringing up questions, conversations, and learning relevant for the theatre community. 

A handout was provided at the panel "Working with Designers: Strengthening the Relationship Between Designers and Producers". Didn't get a copy? Download the Working With Designers Tips Sheet here

Following afternoon programming, appetizers were provided (courtesy of GVPTA) at the Charles Bar, prior to evening programming in the theatre. Yours, Mine, and Ours: Much Ado About Something (When Storytelling and Copyright Collide), was a panel discussion presented in partnership with Artists' Legal Outreach. Theatre artists Erin Pike and James Long (Theatre Replacement) were joined by lawyer Martha Rans and moderator Jivesh Parasram (Rumble Theatre) for a discussion on navigating art, copyright, and the threat of legal action. 

Intimacy Direction Workshop with Siobhan Richardson

Add-on / standalone workshops

Wednesday, May 29 - Directors & Choreographers - 6-hour session (FULL); 9:30am–4:30pm

Thursday, May 30 - Broadly open to directors (theatre, film & television), choreographers, actors, dancers, teachers - 4-hour session; 9:30am–2:30pm

Participants gained a greater understanding of the role of an Intimacy Director and learned how to begin to incorporate best practices in rehearsal.

Beginner's QLab Workshop 

Add-on / standalone workshop

Wednesday, May 29, 2019 - 10:00am–12:00pm | The Post at 750
Facilitators: Candelario Andrade, video designer; Mishelle Cuttler, sound designer 

This interactive session introduced participants to the fundamentals of QLab software to run sound and video in theatre. Facilitators covered all the basic functions of the software, then create a showfile from scratch as they illustrate some of what is possible with this powerful tool. For beginners. All theatre artists, including designers, directors, performers, stage managers and technical directors welcome. 

Conference Delegate Rate: FREE | Standalone Workshop Rate: $20 | ADC / PGC / Equity / PACT / GVPTA Member Standalone Workshop Rate: $15
Subsidy options available.

Ephemera 2: An Archiving Party (Closing Event)

Ephemera 2: An Archiving Party (Closing Event)

Thursday, May 30, 2019 (FREE) | The Post at 750

Performance is unique and ephemeral, to be experienced in the moment. But once it has passed, what remains? What can we do with the material detritus that represents the path and process of our creative works, from initial idea to development to performance?  Following their successful event in 2018, Rumble Theatre and Theatre Replacement with Simon Fraser University partnered with GVPTA to present Ephemera 2: An Archiving Party. 

Guided by Melissa Sarlin, Head of Special Collections and Rare Books at the SFU Library, members of the performing arts community were invited to a collective time capsule, a paper trail contributing to a physical repository which will be incorporated into SFU’s Special Collections. As a group, we organized, structured, catalogued, and preserved detritus of past performances, celebrating our shared memories and our history.
Conference Backgrounder

Conference Background

Since 2000, GVPTA has produced the annual Making a Scene conference, which has been essential to building and maintaining a community that fosters support, understanding and a common goal of strengthening the local theatre industry. Through presentations, working sessions and opportunities for social gathering, the conference has offered attendees the chance to delve into discussions with colleagues, friends and new acquaintances, all of whom are passionate about theatre.

Making a Scene typically happens in person each spring. Anyone who is interested in theatre and the performing arts is invited. Whatever your connection to theatre – on stage, back stage, or off stage – you are invited. Whether you are an arts administrator, thespian, artist of any kind, designer, technician, critic, educator, student, volunteer, or theatre enthusiast – you are ALL invited.

Visit the tabs above for archival information about past conferences. 

Note that there was no conference in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.