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CENTRE DE RECHERCHEACTION SUR LES RELATIONS RACIALES
CENTER FOR RESEARCHACTION ON RACE RELATIONS COMMUNIIQUÉ
BROADCAST EXECUTIVE AND AWARD-WINNING PRODUCER RITA SHELTON DEVERELL TO SPEAK AT ANNUAL LECTURE ON DIVERSITY IN CANADIAN MEDIA - MP AND ACTRESS TINA KEEPER WILL ALSO JOIN CEREMONY TO HONOR FORMER CONCORDIA DEAN GAIL GUTHRIE VALASKAKIS For immediate release Montreal, February 11, 2008 ---
Dr. Rita Shelton Deverell, one of Canada’s most respected broadcasters, TV roducers nd directors, performers, actors and journalism educators, will be the keynote speaker at the third Annual Lecture on Diversity and Canadian Media. Her lecture is entitled, “Who Will Inherit the Airwaves?”. The event will take place on Thursday, February 28, 2008 from 6:00 to 8:30 pm at the Samuel Bronfman Building of Concordia University, at 1590 Dr. Penfield, Montreal.
A co-founder of Vision TV, Dr. Deverell has held several television executive positions including Director of News and Current Affairs for the Aboriginal Peoples television Network (APTN); producer/director of the TV drama series, Solo Flight: International, broadcast on OMNI, and producer and host of numerous award-winning Vision TV programs. She has also received numerous honors, including: the Canadian Black Achievement Award, membership in the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame, and an appointment in 2005 to the Order of Canada.
The lecture (at 7:30) will be preceded by a ceremony (at 6:30) to officially name the
Annual Lecture after the late Dr. Gail Guthrie Valaskakis, one of Canada’s leading experts on Aboriginal communication. Dr. Valaskakis was Chair of the Concordia’s
Communication Studies Department and Dean of the University’s Faculty of Arts and
Sciences; Research Director of the Aboriginal Healing Foundation and a CRARR director.
She was also a recipient of the National Aboriginal Achievement Award. Ms. Tina Keeper, MP (Liberal - Man.) and award-winning actress on the hit CBC TV series North of 60, will deliver a speech at the ceremony. Ms. Keeper, who has worked intensely in community development in Manitoba, is a member of the Order of Manitoba
and a recipient of the National Aboriginal Achievement Award. She is also Special
Advisor for Aboriginal Outreach to Liberal Leader Stephane Dion.
Other guests of honor include Mr. Paris Valaskakis, National Account Director with the Canadian Management Center; Ms. Vera Houle, Director of News and Public Affairs of APTN, and Dr. David Graham, Dean of Concordia’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Created in 2005 as a joint initiative between CRARR and Concordia’s Communication
Studies Department, the Annual Lecture aims to promote research and other initiatives
with the industry, government and the community on issues involving Canadian media and diversity. RBC, the Institute for Research and Education on Race Relations and the Wilfrid Laurier University Press are the event’s key sponsors.
Attendance is free. Due to limited space, seats may only be reserved for participants who register before February 26, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Information: Adrienne Gibson
Communication and Research Officer, CRARR: (514) 939-3342
#2 – NOT A DROP
March 8 principal photography begins on “Not a Drop,” a 1-hour docu-drama for OMNI 1 TV on the aftermath of Katrina and Aboriginal communities in Canada with serious water related problems. The team includes actresses Pamela Matthews and Stefanie Samuels, and two former APTN videographers. Rita is the producer/director/screenplay writer.
#3 – “Smoked Glass Ceiling” on OMNI 2
--06-Apr-08 SOLO FLIGHT - SMOKED GLASS CEILING PUNJABI 7-8pm. REPEATS MONDAY & THURSDAY
--16-Jun-08 SOLO FLIGHT - SMOKED GLASS CEILING ENGLISH 11pm-12am
--20-Jul-08 SOLO FLIGHT - SMOKED GLASS CEILING PUNJABI 7-8pm REPEATS MONDAY & THURSDAY
--25-Aug-08 SOLO FLIGHT - SMOKED GLASS CEILING ENGLISH 11pm-12am
February 29: a new translation of Rex's play "Weird Kid" opens in Magdeburg, Germany.
FEBRUARY 21, 2008
A Humber Theatre production
How do we perceive one another in our diverse urban culture? Set on a busy city intersection, people are rushing past each other, caught in the traffic of their own lives, assumptions and prejudices. Gradually, the masks come off and people are revealed in all of their pain, conflict and commonality.
This 50-minute performance was written by the third year graduating class of Humber’s Theatre performance program under the mentorship of award-winning writer Rex Deverell, The cast of seventeen young people, representing a typical cross-section of Toronto’s multi -cultural reality, with director Nina Lee Aquino, wove their own experiences together with original music and dance. The performance was supported by the work of students in the Humber Theatre Performance program.
THE PROCESS OF CREATION
In the Fall of 2007, the graduating performance class at Humber set off on an exploration into issues of diversity and inclusion. The production was commissioned by Humber College’s Committee on Diversity and Inclusion and Committee members, Sabra Desai and Gina Antonacci, met with the company early in the process to discuss equity and human rights issues with them.
The troupe began with a certain hesitancy. There were more questions than answers. There was some fear as to where the process would lead and how it would affect their own inter-relationships.
They reviewed their own experiences, interviewed other students, faculty, friends and family. Step by step they discovered how diversity intersected with their own lives. Finally the image of a busy city intersection became a vibrant and essential metaphor for the presentation.
The play took shape as a series of raw confrontations. The language at times emerged as violent and shocking, but under it was a search for commonality and kindness. As the process went on, the definition of diversity broadened from a euphemism for racial differences to the uniqueness of linguistic, religious, physical, mental, and class perspectives. The aspect of identity became important. How do we identify ourselves? How do we identify with others? Do we let the identity of our community impose itself on our self-identification. Are we privileged or are we victims? What is the story we tell ourselves about ourselves?
Rex is currently working on a production with Mixed Company's Cobblestone Youth Troupe: "Street Song" about a homeless young woman's first experiences living in shelters. The play will be touring in Toronto, May of '08.