SPECTRA TALENT CONTEST REMOVES ALL BARRIERS IN 2013
Toronto is easily one of the most Queer-tolerant cities in the world. And Toronto's arts community has always been a safe haven for LGBT performers.
Despite this, the vast majority of successful, mainstream, creative works produced in our great city are mostly heterocentric.
For example, how often do mainstream dance companies showcase romantic pas de deuxs with two male dancers? How many transgender performers have achieved mainstream recognition? Have you ever heard a loving duet on the radio sung by two women? (sorry, but Katy Perry's alcohol-induced, experimental same-sex smooch doesn't count).
Yes, LGBT-identified performers are being hired for gigs, but very few of them get to fully express themselves through their art. Thanks to Buddies in Bad Times Theatre and InsideOut, Queer actors, directors and film-makers are getting the recognition they deserve.
Spectra was designed to provide the same opportunity for the remaining performance disciplines -- singers, musicians, comedians, dancers and carnival acts.
Spectra's acceptance of LGBT creative expression doesn't mean we've closed the door to heterosexual performers. In fact, we've always welcomed straight allies with open arms and were delighted when a straight ally (Kathryn Fudurich) won our vocal contest in 2012.
After all, it would be hypocritical for us to push for representation for one segment of the arts community while denying the same to another.
Spectra was also created to provide a safe environment for cultural expression. To that end, we're thrilled that 50% of the performers in our 2013 season are non-European.
In 2013, Spectra can now accommodate physically disabled performers, despite the fact that our performance venue isn't wheelchair accessible. If a performer using a wheelchair wishes to participate in Spectra, they can do so by submitting performance videos which will be played at our monthly showcases for evaluation by our Judges and live audience. Spectra's workshops and master classes are held at the 519 Community Centre which is fully accessible.
Finally, Spectra has removed all financial barriers for performers and audience members. Cover at our monthly showcases is pay what you can, and performers wishing to partcipate in our programs are not charged (a $10 refundable registration fee applies). Thanks to a grant from the Toronto Arts Council, Spectra will be able to give all our performers free workshops and master classes.