Kendrie Upton

 

Kendrie Upton

As the DGC BC's Executive Director, Kendrie Upton represents the organization in all facets of the industry. She's responsible for ensuring that Executive Board policies are implemented and that Members' needs are met. Kendrie is the key contact with federal, provincial, and municipal officials, the DGC BC's media contact and liaises with other labour organizations as well as sitting on the Executive Board of MPPIA (Motion Picture Production Industry Association). Kendrie also serves as a DGC BC Staff representative at all DGC National meetings. She has been very involved with the respectful workplace efforts that the Guild has engaged in both at the local and national levels. She currently chairs the cross industry Education, Training and Awareness Committee and serves as the co-chair of the MPPIA Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

Listening Tour Update

Dear Members,

As our national "Listening Tour" on Respectful Workplaces passes the halfway mark, I wanted to take this opportunity to provide an update to Members and - most especially - to those participating in our audit.

Interviews in Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal have now been completed, and one-on-one meetings in the balance of our councils are either scheduled or underway. As myself and Tim Southam described at the beginning of this undertaking, our intent in this audit is not to pursue individual complaints, but to take a snapshot of how, where and why our existing procedures work, fall short and even outright fail. For some of those who've courageously come forward to share their stories, this has been a difficult process.

I want all of you who've participated in this effort to know that the information we've gathered is already proving vital in giving us a clear of picture of the state of our industry, and - I want you to know, from me personally - that you have the sincerest thanks your Guild and your fellow Members.

Even as this work within the Guild proceeds, our team is making progress on other fronts as well. As the stakeholder group for English-language production announced following a recent meeting with Heritage Minister Melanie Joly, we've now completed a draft industry-wide Code of Conduct for the English-language sector that we hoped will be ready to be made public by the end of February. In Quebec, we are polishing the details for the one-stop shop reporting mechanism and the training group is working on providing some training solutions for the entire Quebec Cultural community.

As we push ahead in this effort, I often have to reflect on what a massive shift in culture we're seeking.

As much as we would like this to be a simple and straightforward process, there's really no way that this type of change can be accomplished without some level of discomfort. Societally speaking, when we seek to impact the status quo in any significant way the path is inevitably bumpy. Our Membership is vast and amazingly diverse and, as a result, the reactions to our approach will be equally distinct. Many differing perspectives and experiences are being expressed and those must all be counted and considered. This moment finds us mid-stride in the first of a succession of steps that it will take for us to right the enormous and ongoing wrong that exists within our industry. Deep examination of our dark truths cannot help but be challenging.

My deepest personal empathy is with those of you who have, or will, re-experience trauma as a result of this audit. It pains me that there's no way to avoid this and I'm truly awed by the courage and strength of our Members. I also know that my feeling that way does nothing to soften the impact of what we're asking of you.

All of that said, I truly believe that the National Executive Board is open to whatever outcomes this audit produces and the next steps that may result, including any number of interventions that promote accountability - from new reporting procedures to peer support groups to a comprehensive education and awareness campaign just to name a few of the possibilities. It's my faith in this commitment and in our ability to have a meaningful impact on the culture that drives me in this enormous undertaking and I cannot overstate my appreciation to those of you who are taking part.

I want to reiterate that I'm happy to speak to anyone who wishes to reach out. Please email me at kupton@dgc.ca.

Best - Kendrie