February 12 - 17, 2025

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“BIPOC“

Co-presented by

The word POC is an abbreviation of People of Colour. BIPOC was created to include Black people and Indigenous People and make sure that all skin tones were represented. It also aims to emphasize their historic oppression. Is the word BIPOC just another acronym to make Black, Indigenous and People of Color invisible? Each of our experiences with colonialism is different, so is combining us all into one erasing who we are?

We will discuss both sides of this controversial title.

Moderator

Powys Dewhurst: Media Producer
For 10 years he’s produced forward-facing industry development events, in collaboration with Canadian and US media organizations with a focus on training, access, funding, placements, mentorships, and screenings for diverse media creators, at Hot Docs Cinema, Ontario Place Cinesphere, Ryerson University, and Canadian Film Centre. He’s been a judge and speaker at industry events like CMPA: Prime Time, and Planet In Focus, and once debated the universe with Sidney Poitier over dinner, beer, and an interview. @powysdewhurst

Panelists

Roen Higgins: Educator, Coach, Speaker and Event Producer
From a hyper at-risk youth entangled in the system, to an active community change agent, Roen is a committed special needs educator, life coach, speaker, and event producer. She is known to flip words and paint pictures through her diction and uses her-story to help others “Elevate Impact”.  Her community service and creative accomplishments have been recognized by Montreal Community Care Awards, Black Theatre Workshop, and Fonds 1804.

ahdri zhina mandiela: Performance Poet and Theatre Director
ahdri zhina mandiela is best known for groundbreaking work like: dark diaspora... in dub, her one of a kind documentary film: on/black/stage/women, the prestigious rAiz’n the sun training program, and the much-buzzed rock.paper.sistahz festival, ahdri zhina mandiela has worked around the world as a performance poet and theatre director since the late 70’s.

Joan Digba: Writer and Producer
Joan Digba is a Nigerian born, British bred Canadian. Her cross-cultural experiences formed her ability to see everything from multiple perspectives. A writer with a background in commercial producing, Joan is an effective crafter of story able to assemble the best creative elements to shape a story from page to final picture

Claire Prieto-Fuller: Film Director and Producer
Claire Prieto-Fuller began her career in film and television in the late 1970s as a partner in Prieto-McTair Productions. She has produced, directed and production managed a variety of films and television productions in Canada.

In the years 2005-2006 she was Executive producer of Echo, a 78 episode documentary series for Sun T.V.  and Co-Producer on a feature film How She Move with Canadian Independent  Sienna Films. As a producer of the New Initiatives in Film program at the National Film Board of Canada in the mid-nineties, she helped launch the careers of many Women of Colour and Aboriginal women. 

Chris Creighton-Kelly Co-director of Primary Colours/Couleurs primaires
Chris Creighton-Kelly: is an interdisciplinary artist, writer and cultural critic born in the UK with South Asian/British roots who appreciates his audiences a lot.

For over 30 years, he has worked as an arts consultant for artists; arts organizations and institutions; government agencies in Canada and internationally. In 1989-91, Chris was a consultant to the Canada Council on issues of cultural/racial equity. His work launched the formation of two critical offices – the Aboriginal Arts Office and the Equity Office that have subsequently led the way in transforming the Council from a mostly European arts agency to one in which multiple art traditions and practices are funded. 

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