Patron Perspectives on Equity

Did you know? “Indigenous peoples and people of colour are nearly two times more likely to say they do not participate in culture activities because the activities do not reflect people of all backgrounds” (Calgary Arts Development, 2017). We explored this issue with a qualitative survey of Edmonton theatre patrons from June to December 2021.

Click the button below to download the final report by April MacDonald Killins and Natércia Napoleão.

Public Event Research

Find us on Spotify

Have you heard that theatre is going through a major reckoning?

‘Letter to Audiences’ is a conversation brought to you by artists Natércia Napoleão and April MacDonald Killins about equity in theatre. Information shared is local to Amiskwaciwâskahikan (Edmonton) and discusses how arts patrons have agency and power to profoundly shift the theatre industry.

Podcast is approximately 40 minutes in length.

This podcast is now live on Spotify!

Get Involved Public Event Research

Letter to Audiences

This project brings together academic research, lived experience, and action-oriented community engagement in a podcast that audiences will experience for the first time as a roaming auditory experience in Old Strathcona during Found Fest 2021.

First up, we invite audiences to stop by and participate in our YEG Theatre Patron Perspectives on Equity survey. Click here to participate! Findings will be released at a later date through Common Ground Arts.

Have you heard that theatre is going through a major reckoning in regards to equity? Click here during the Festival July 8-11 to listen to Natércia and April’s pilot episode of a new podcast exploring equity in Edmonton theatre.
Podcast is approximately 40 minutes in length.

This podcast includes a discussion of marginalization and the experience of historically oppressed groups in the theatre. The conversation is solution-focused and seeks to engage listeners in a found experience of reflection that may lead to action.

Join Natércia, April, and a small number of other community members for a solution-focused conversation about equity in theatre. Each slot will be limited to six participants (including Natércia and April) to ensure everyone has space to share, reflect, and ask questions. We encourage artistic leaders and those with proximity to artistic resources to join us for these conversations to check in about lived experiences and ongoing challenges to equity in Edmonton theatre. Book your conversation slot on Saturday, July 10.
This will be a seated, outdoor, distanced conversation at a private location near the Found Grounds in Old Strathcona. We encourage all participants to be masked throughout the event. This location is wheelchair-accessible.

If you require or would benefit from any access supports to engage in the conversation, please contact April at

Click here to learn more about Natércia and April.

Special thanks to Common Ground Arts Society for seeing the potential in this project, Eric and the Walterdale Theatre, Chloe Chalmers, Brianne Jang, and BB Photography.

Public Event Research Stories To Action: 2020

Citadel Exchange

Tomorrow, I’ll be sharing a special report into my findings on anti-fat bias in the theatre. My work examining these new findings was commissioned by the Citadel Theatre and the full report can be viewed here.

Public Event Research Stories To Action: 2020

Stories to Action Podcast

Art by Matthew Cardinal (IG: @attillo_fs)

Stories to Action: Co-creating Inclusive Pathways to Professional Theatre Salon
A Livestream Event that took place over Zoom on March 26, 2021 at 5:30pm MST

This podcast was recorded during our live salon that took place as part of Azimuth Theatre’s Chinook Series, 2021. The salon was billed as an opportunity to further explore research conducted by April M. Killins, exploring equitable access to professional theatre in Edmonton.

The conversation starts with a presentation of research findings and ties into a panel discussion led by Barry Bilinsky, with theatre professionals whose experience speaks to the findings in April’s report.

Accessibility: The live event included ASL interpretation and the resulting podcast is closed captioned.

April MacDonald Killins
Barry Bilinsky
Carly Neis
Chris Dodd
Natércia Napoleão
Sue Goberdhan

The recorded podcast can be watched below, or by following this link.

Get Involved Stories To Action: 2020

Call for Submissions

March 2021 Update: THIS CALL IS NOW CLOSED



April MacDonald Killins is seeking panel participants for a virtual salon at the 2021 Expanse Festival, part of the Chinook Series by Azimuth Theatre.

This panel will bring together 4 theatre artists with a variety of lived experiences, to speak candidly about accessing the theatre community in Edmonton. This opportunity is open to any artist with experience facing barriers to inclusion. This is an open call to provide equal opportunity within the community.

Speakers will receive a $150 honourarium.
The salon will take place sometime between March 25 and April 4. We can work around reasonable scheduling needs.
This event will happen on an evening or weekend.
At least one prior conversation will be necessary with April, and perhaps one more with the full panel prior to the event.
The agenda with talking points will be provided to speakers at least two weeks in advance and open to feedback.

The chosen speakers will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • MUST self-identify with one or more groups that is typically underrepresented in Edmonton’s theatre scene
  • MUST be reasonably comfortable speaking candidly about their experience accessing theatre training and/or opportunities for emerging artists
  • MUST have experience specific to the Edmonton context
  • It is preferred that the panel achieve representation from a variety of communities, such D/deaf and disability arts, Black arts, Indigenous arts, queer and trans perspectives, etc. For this reason, candidates will be selected to complement and enhance the lived experience of the group


[Option #1] Fill out the questionnaire at this link: CLICK HERE

[Option #2] Call April at 780-666-0059 to discuss this opportunity over the phone


April has completed a year-long research project studying the accessibility of theatre training programs and opportunities for emerging artists. The discussion in this salon will be framed by her research findings which can be viewed here:

April is seeking these additional speakers to give meaningful voice to her research findings, and honour the experience of individuals while presenting action and solution-focused ways forward.

Research Stories To Action: 2020


Community response to our survey was extraordinary with 133 responses! Thanks to the Edmonton Community Foundation (ECF), every artist who requested a cash reimbursement received one. Support from ECF also allowed us to reimbursed artists who consulted on the research framework and helped examine our project through a variety of lived experiences.

Our biggest thanks go out to the artists who gave us 20 minutes of their time, and so many different perspectives. The volume and candor of your responses has created a powerful dataset that speaks truth to a multitude of experiences.

These community perspectives will be combined with findings from a set of interviews we conducted with theatre training programs through the summer of 2020.

Combined findings of this research, along with recommendations directly from community, will be presented to the 36 performing arts organizations in the YEG Performing Arts Accessibility Ad Hoc Group in January 2021. Shortly after that meeting, the report will be available to the public. Sign up here if you’d like to be emailed the report when it’s available.

Thank you again, for your participation in co-creating inclusive pathways to professional theatre in Edmonoton.

Get Involved Research Stories To Action: 2020

Artist Survey

In partnership with the YEG Performing Arts Accessibility Ad Hoc Group, our survey is now live! It will remain open until October 30th at 9:00 pm. 

This survey allows Edmonton’s theatre community to  speak directly to institutions, anonymously. More details are available on Theatre Alberta‘s website and below. You can also contact me with questions.

Research Stories To Action: 2020

Project Outline