BC Museums Week    Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Justice

BCMA Webinar: The Elephant in the Room: the Leadership Crisis in Canada’s Cultural Sector

May 21, 2021

In the past year, there have been high-profile resignations and departures at some of Canada’s largest art galleries, museums, and cultural institutions. And in addition to the stories of toxic working environments and systemic racism that have been publicized, it is an open secret that many other stories have not yet come to light.

It is undeniable that toxic leadership is common in Canada’s cultural sector, but what we can do about it? Join our cross-country panel as we discuss the leadership crisis in Canada’s cultural sector and explore how we can reject traditional leadership paradigms and create a more inclusive and just future.

This session will be facilitated by Sharanjit Kaur Sandhra, PhD Candidate (ABD) in the Department of History at UBC, co-curator of exhibits at the Sikh Heritage Museum (National Historic Site Gur Sikh Temple), Coordinator at the South Asian Studies Institute, and sessional History instructor at the University of the Fraser Valley. Sharanjit will be joined by Brian McBay the Executive Director of 221A, a BC-based non-profit organization that works with artists and designers to research and develop social, cultural, and ecological infrastructure, Devyani Saltzman a Canadian writer, curator, and arts leader with a deep practice in relevant, multidisciplinary, programming at the intersection between art, ideas, and social change, Jen Budney a researcher and instructor at the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Saskatchewan, where she has developed and taught courses on the social economy and public policy, as well as ethical leadership and democracy in public service and Armando Perla a cisgender Latinx queer settler and former asylum seeker to Treaty 1 territory also known as Winnipeg, Canada. Armando now lives on the traditional territory of the Kanien’kehá:ka nation (Tiohtia:ke/Montreal) and is a consultant, activist, and independent curator.

If we don’t address the elephant in the room, it’s not going to go away. This session is presented as part of BC Museums Week 2021.