Canadian Musician - March/April 2023 - Page 43

Kourkoutis : Well , I think Ebonnie pretty much touched on the soul and heart of all the reasons why it ’ s important , creating more diversity and opportunity . Having a voice , having representation , and having space within our industry is important . And I think for producing and engineering specifically , it ’ s going to create more room for diverse storytelling , and it ’ s going to create a more diverse pool of creativity ; it ’ s only going to enrich our community . So obviously , I feel very passionately about this , and I have seen things changing quite a lot in the last five years . Whereas , five years ago , I was interviewed about this very same thing , and I think I could count the number of women that were doing production and engineering in Toronto on one hand . It was me and someone else that I was aware of . And since then , it ’ s quite amazing , because this conversation has started , and it ’ s created more visibility and shone a light on what people are doing . And it ’ s starting to build a community — we ’ re all finding each other . It ’ s not that we weren ’ t doing this before , it ’ s that we weren ’ t out there . We weren ’ t visible . So , I think moving forward , a big part of what ’ s going to create this shift in equity is visibility and representation . I think that ’ s the first step .
Stewart : Liana , let ’ s bring you into the conversation . So , you
RS work directly with musicians as well as industry , and so , from your area of the industry , what is your big why , and what is the most important part of equity ?
White : I definitely agree with everything that Ebonnie and
Hill said , so I don ’ t have much more to add . I was scratching off my list as they were talking . For one thing in the union sphere , we ’ re always about equity and inclusion and creating workspaces for anybody . But that said , of course , unions have been the same : white , male , etc . More and more women are coming in , and I would say there ’ s a good majority of 50 percent if not more , of our local leaders are now female . We ’ ve seen that happen , which is great , and it ’ s encouraging . When the outside can see female or people of the BIPOC category , when you see that equity and diversity in those positions , then when people are on the outside looking in , they can see themselves in those positions .
So , when you can see yourself in a position , then you can strive towards that position , be it no matter what you ’ re doing in whatever field . I ’ ve been working with the AFM / CFM for 27 years , in various capacities over those years , of course , but as a biracial female , you feel like you have to work three times as hard as everybody else . When you ’ re in a more minority scope , be it just as a female or otherwise , I feel like you almost have to have this feeling of having to prove yourself more . And I think the more that we fill these spaces , with diversity and inclusion , perhaps , those coming into these fields afterwards will not feel that pressure of ‘ I ’ m kind of on the outside , I have to work harder to prove myself .’ Not to say that you ’ re not working hard to begin with , but I felt that I had to really strive to work harder for my seat at the table .
Stewart : It sounds to me that you ’ re all very generous with your time . And I think that ’ s so wonderful . I think that women in the industry also feel tired at times , because we are trying to make these changes . And there ’ s a lot that ends up being giving of your time , the limited time we have . So , I really love that ,
and I love how generous you are . I was on a call recently this week and about change and about how a lot of things that we ’ ve learned are ingrained . And at this point , it was really about music , like the music you fall back to from your childhood . And then you step back and look and go , ‘ this is all male .’ I think we ’ re probably in a similar age bracket . But when I was a kid , a lot of the music I was exposed to was male . And so , you know , that just being one example , but a lot of the things we do or areas that we think were disparaging in