Feb 2021

35//50 Statement

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An image of a theatre from the backrow. The spotlights are shining on a red carpet.


We proudly support the 35//50 initiative.


Representation matters. In order to create a more representative community, we must look to our arts leaders, mentors, and staff to create that change. 

We, as a leader in Edmonton’s arts community, will be a part of that change. This is why we are committing to shifting our organization’s training, education, staffing, and projects to ensure that we can help create an equitable, diverse, inclusive, and accessible future in the professional landscape of the arts. 

The Nextfest Arts Society is committed to the 35//50 Initiative, a coalition of IBPOC artists across Alberta who believe in representation and leadership as an actionable plan. Over the next three years, the 35//50 Initiative is committed to seeing our civic landscape more equitably reflected in our professional landscape: a minimum of 35% IBPOC and 50% women and gender minorities in paid, professional positions. Nextfest is committed to curating our festival along with the guidelines of 35//50 and gathering data over the next three years (and beyond) to monitor concrete progress in the percentages of IBPOC and women/non-binary artists we include in our curation and programming.  

Currently, The Nextfest Arts Society has five main contracts for administrative staff: Festival Director, Operations Manager, Marketing Manager/Artist Liaison (x2), and Graphic Designer. This staff is 100% women and/or non-binary and 60% IBPOC. The administrative staff oversees a group of curators who program emerging artists in each discipline.

The team of curators includes 100% women (cisgender and trans) and/or nonbinary folks, and 56% IBPOC curators.  A smaller team of one-night-only event curators produce our Nite Clubs and this team is 100% women and/or non-binary producers and 70% IBPOC producers.

Meaningful change is needed for the continued growth of our community. That is why we are grateful to the organizers of the 35//50 movement for challenging us and other arts organizations to uphold these standards. 

If we all work together, we can make changes that will create a lasting impact on a local and national stage.

Please join us as we bring the 35//50 initiative to life. 


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