Equity & Social Justice

Learning, listening, and building together

HFTco is invested in building inclusive structures in programming and promoting an anti-oppression framework. As a member of the Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals (CAFF), one of HFTco’s founding principles is that we shall promote and model inclusivity, diversity and multiculturalism, and will endeavor to incorporate them into all aspects of our organizations. Since 2019 and in consultation with Disability Justice Network of Ontario (DJNO) and Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion (HCCI), HFTco has taken action to ensure we are continually building toward a more equitable, more socially just organization in order to better serve all members of our community. Our programming aims to level the playing field for future artists and arts leaders by creating consciously accessible programs at both our annual festivals, while strengthening the artistic and producing skills of emerging artists from equity-seeking communities.

As a response to cultural inequity across our stages, and to better reflect the cultural makeup of our region, 25% of participation space (or two spots, whichever is higher) in all festival and artist development programming is reserved for BIPOC artists (Indigenous artists, Black artists, and other artists of colour). HFTco recognizes that festival stages in Canada and the United States have historically been dominated by artists of European/colonial descent, and we seek to support a broader cultural representation of our community in our flagship Fringe Festival.

We realized that this journey is a process for our organization, and that more can always be done. And as a community arts leader, HFTco takes our role seriously in taking actionable steps toward better equity and social justice. Read more below about some other initiatives we have launched in recent years.

Check back soon for details about our Safer Spaces Project, Fringe All-Access, the Community Curators Circle, the FringeXchange Program, the Youth Access Pass, and other initiatives.

Thank you to our sponsors…

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