Balancing Act supports artist caregivers working in the performing arts in Canada by advocating for greater equality, accessibility, and inclusion in the workforce.
Balancing Act was founded in 2019 by Theatre Direct in order to affect change and increase access to employment for caregivers working in the performing arts, who are often challenged by rehearsal and production schedules that lack flexibility, an inability to attend networking events and performances due to caregiving responsibilities, and barriers to childcare due to low incomes. Traditional models of arts production and aesthetic value, in conjunction with lack of awareness and stigma, means that many voices are not around the creative table, populating our stages, or engaged in arts work.
The pandemic has propelled the notion of the care economy into the forefront of all aspects of society, including the arts sector. Challenges faced by caregivers in the performing arts have been exacerbated, as more people are caring for children, the elderly, and those with illness.
Neworld Theatre’s Artistic Director Chelsea Haberlin is part of the Balancing Act’s Steering Committee, which serves as a consultation body, offering guidance and assisting with outreach from a multiplicity of perspectives and experiences. Neworld Theatre has also joined Balancing Act’s LEVEL UP! Program as a partner in the Pathways to Agreement strategy area, which seeks to explore supportive conversations between engagers and artists/arts workers regarding caregiving needs and provisions.