Women to the Front

  • Location: Museum London 421 Ridout Street North
    London ON N6A 5H4
  • Telephone: 519-661-0333

Guest Curator: Savanah Sewell
This exhibition pays respect to voices that are often missing from the story of the Canadian music industry. The influence of Canadian women in music is indisputable as they continue to dominate the charts, break records, and innovate. Who invited women to the front? The women

From the exhibition panel 
Welcome to Women To the Front (W2TF). This is a work in progress. This is a conversation that isn’t over. In fact, it’s just beginning. This exhibition pays respect to voices that are often missing from the story of the Canadian music industry. The influence of Canadian women in music is indisputable as they continue to dominate the charts, break records, and innovate. Take a look inside the layered and complex world of being a female in the music industry.

Who invited women to the front? The women.

The hope is you will walk through this exhibition and think about the experience women have each time they show up to a gig - whether that is as an artist or as a part of the crew. This space is an attempt to re-envision. What could it look like if we thought deeply, listened more, and acted with intentions of inclusivity and equality? Perhaps it would be different; maybe it wouldn’t. But if we could make some space and started to ask the right questions in order to provide support for those in the band who are traveling with a baby or for someone who identifies as non-binary, it would make all the difference. In order for us to move forward we have to work together and keep our eyes, ears, and hearts open along the way.

Many hands have lifted, typed, and recorded to pull this show off the ground. For that, I am forever grateful. Late nights, lots of research, and the support from the Junos Host Committee have been essential. There is one person who I can never thank enough and that is Alex Jaworiwsky. She’s been a force throughout this project. Thank you to Sara Helm for designing our incredible logo, Mandi Fields for filling in the blanks, and Ashton Patis and Marcy Thomas for helping me push this project to the front.

This is the only way I know how to produce a show: advance with musicians (or management), provide the backline, hire artists to create posters, make the merch, ask a pal to design the logo, chat with friends from the industry, call the local campus radio for support, and work with the best in the city to make the most kick-ass zine. All of these pieces are incorporated into W2TF.

The Podcast
Around the room there are 4 stations where you can stop and listen to conversations we’ve been having with folks from the highest levels in the industry, to grassroots leaders across the country. Thank you to our friends at Radio Western for lending us their studio each week to capture these interviews.

The Space
Please take a moment to enjoy the craftswomanship of our stage build. This was created and constructed by the talented Sherri Plewes, a master carpenter who has been building award winning set designs for 20+ years.

The beautiful furnishings have been provided by Back to the Fuchsia. Mary Hinton, co-owner of the shop who shares a love of quality vintage, antiques, and oddities. Go visit the shop in Old East Village.

The Posters
These commissioned works poke fun at the traditional band poster. We’ve all seen them, full of dudes, not a woman to be seen. Megan Arnold, Paterson Hodgson and Robin Henry illustrated and designed their interpretations of a poster you might see on your local light pole.

The Map
Touring Canada isn’t easy. The roads are long and never ending. From large venues to small, if you’ve toured this country, you get it. Our map highlights just a few of those who call the road home. Special thanks to Kim Sawyer, Justine Albrechtas, and Bailey Lowry for their research.

The Merch
All our merchandise was screen printed by Rezonance, a local indigenous youth program. The program seeks to support youth in pursuit of economic sovereignty and social enterprise via paid apprenticeship programs, workshops, and collaborative arts projects.

The Zine
The publication for W2TF has been meticulously crafted by zine enthusiast and artist, Jenna Rose Sands. The pages are full of content created specifically for this show.

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