THE ROLE OF UNIONS AND AGENCIES IN THE FIGHT FOR DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
The representation and inclusion of Black and racialized creatives in the entertainment industry is a conversation that needs to involve all representatives of the industry in order to be successful. Unions and Agencies help all creatives in that fight, being representatives of the collective effort, pushing for a more open conversation on what needs to be done. What has been done by the Unions and Agencies to make the industry more inclusive? What are the main issues they find amongst their members, and what do they see as the next steps for making the industry more balanced?
Furqan Mohamed, Writer
Furqan Mohamed is a writer from Toronto. Her work has appeared in Room Magazine, Maisonneuve, This Magazine, Toronto Life, among others. She is interested in all things popular culture, diaspora, kinship, and abolition. Furqan is a former Journalism Fellow at The Local, and her debut collection of poetry and prose, “A Small Homecoming,” was published by Party Trick Press last year. Her latest artistic work includes an episode of “Dreams in Vantablack,” streaming now on CBC Gem. She is currently culture editor for mimp magazine and is studying at the University of Toronto.
Warren P. Sonoda, Filmmaker, National President of the Directors Guild of Canada
BAFTA and CSA-winning, double Emmy-nominated filmmaker Warren P. Sonoda has directed over 100 episodes of television,11 feature films and over 160 music videos, sits on the boards of BIPOC TV & Film and the Canadian Film Fest, and is the first person of colour to be National President of the Directors Guild of Canada. He also failed Ryerson film school, twice.
Gugun Deep Singh, member of ACTRA Toronto and ACTRA National’s respective councils, currently ACTRA’s Executive Board’s Treasurer and senior Casting Associate for the D&I Committee’s; ongoing collaboration with Working The Scene in Colour
Gugun Deep Singh began his performing career in Grade Six in Mr. Catalfamo’s class, and never looked back. Life brought his family to California, where he balanced schoolwork with acquiring experience on and around sets and stages, but his return to Canada has been his best career move thus far.
Ryan Reid, Co-chair of the Diversity Committee, IATSE 873
Ryan Reid is co-chair of the Diversity Committee for IATSE 873, the Toronto-based local of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees which represents over 5000 members on television and film projects across the GTA. Starting his career as a stage carpenter and scenic artist for MuchMusic and Food Network projects, he has since contributed to productions such as The Boys (Amazon), DC's Titans (Netflix), Umbrella Academy (Netflix), Star Trek: Discovery (CBS) and most recently Jack Reacher (Amazon). He is also the co-founder of BLK_SPACE STUDIOS, which aims to provide affordable shooting, editing and meeting facilities to artists in and around the Parkdale community.