REACHES GENDER PARITY GOAL
FOUR YEARS AHEAD OF SCHEDULE
FESTIVAL TO SHOWCASE 50% FEMALE / FEMALE-FRONTED ARTISTS AND 57% FEMALE INDUSTRY PRFESSIONALS TO SPEAK AT THE CONFERENCE
PLAY YOUR GENDER DOCUMENTARY TO BE SCREENED ON OCTOBER 14th AT THE CONFERENCE
Toronto, ON – August 23, 2018 – A goal was in place – BreakOut West committed to 50/50 gender parity at the annual conference and music festival by 2022 as partners in the Keychange Initiative. However, that goal was surpassed, with the event seeing gender equality for this year in Kelowna, BC. The conference and festival, taking place from October 10-14, will see 57% female industry speakers and mentors, and BreakOut West performers across the weekend festival will be balanced by 50/50.
“We have had gender balance at top of mind for a number of years and we have been very close year to year,” comments Robyn Stewart, Executive Director, Western Canadian Music Alliance. “We believe strongly in the importance of the role model, and always seek to find diversity in the industry leaders and artists we engage. It is also exciting to see so many of our partners and funders prioritizing the importance of diversity in their support.”
Adds Christine Rogerson, President, Western Canadian Music Alliance, “As an organization, we are proud to be leading the way in prioritizing the recognition and inclusion of women in our conference through a goal of gender parity. Women are accomplishing amazing things in this industry every day and it is important that our conference acknowledges their talents and models that opportunity for the next generations of musicians and industry professionals.”
BreakOut West was one of over 100 international music festivals and conferences that pledged to reach gender balance by 2022, through the Keychange initiative – an international campaign which invests in emerging female talent, whist encouraging festivals to sign up for the 50/50 by 2022 goal.
“We’re thrilled that BreakOut West has joined in with our gender balance pledge for 2022, and that they have already achieved their goal this year,” says Vanessa Reed, Chief Executive, PRS Foundation. “I’ve been really impressed by the interest from Canadian festivals in this international movement and I’m glad that the Keychange project is providing a way for people to work together and share ideas about inclusion and gender equality. I hope Break Out West’s involvement with Keychange will inspire more Canadian festivals to join in and that the respect for this project will continue to influence change.”
Keychange will be presenting an industry mixer on the first day of the conference to help ignite business collaborations and success among female professionals. The mixer invites women attending BreakOut West to connect further over the weekend, and will feature a short presentation with Keychange partners, Francine Gorman of the PRS Foundation, and Charlie Wall-Andrews of the SOCAN Foundation.
BreakOut West will also host a special screening of the documentary, Play Your Gender, which features JUNO Award-winning musician, Kinnie Starr, on a quest to find out why only 5% of music producers are women, even though many of the most bankable pop stars are female. The film will be screened on Sunday, October 14th at the Kelowna Innovation Centre.
“In 2011/2012, I was approached to make a documentary on Kinnie Starr,” reflects Starr. “But I started in music before the internet (and social media’s relentless demand for extroversion), so I’m not a big believer in shedding all privacy to build my ‘brand’. A film about myself just sounded way too draining. I suggested instead that a film on gender inequity would be more captivating, and more interesting to create. My goal since before I was doing music, has been to uplift women and Indigenous people, so making a film where I was able to present many women and also some of my favourite Indigenous artists was a good fit. Now in 2018, gender parity is mainstreaming in conversation. That’s a win for society. I’m so grateful to my collaborators, Sahar Yousefi, and Stephanie Clattenburg, for co-creating Play Your Gender, and positioning us as a small part of a massive momentum.”
Festival wristbands are available HERE. Festival-goers can redeem their online purchase of wristbands, prior to the festival, at Milkcrate Records, and Tourism Kelowna Visitors Centre. Tickets to the Kick Off Concert can be purchased online in advance, or at the Kelowna Community Theatre box office, one hour before showtime on the day of the show. Information about the festival and conference can be found at breakoutwest.ca and on the BreakOut West 2018 mobile event app, powered by GoLive. Available at Apple and Google Play, the app will be the place to catch announcements as they roll out through the summer. Search BreakOut West 2018 to download the free app to get the latest updates and sneak peeks.