So you want to talk about sexism?

Last night when I heard of a friend’s partner getting a Chalmers grant I was curious to see who the other recipients for this year were. The Chalmers grants are distributed through the Ontario Arts Council. “Chalmers Professional Development Grants provide financial assistance to individual professional artists and arts professionals so they can reach their next level of artistic or career development.”

Here are the results of the 2005 recipients for both professional development and for arts fellowships – I’ve rearranged the data out of curiousity:

2005 Chalmers Recipients (Male)

  • Grossman, Ben, Elora, $22,000
  • Hoolboom, Mike, Toronto, $45,000
  • Nemerofsky Ramsay, Benny, Toronto, $40,000
  • Oswald, John, Toronto, $37,800
  • Pitman, Walter, Toronto, $3,700
  • Quirt, Brian, Toronto, $24,000
  • Thomas, Jeffrey, Ottawa, $32,500
  • Acquaah-Harrison, Kobèna, Toronto, $10,500
  • Belluz, Scott, Toronto, $7,300
  • Vaillancourt, Laurent, Hearst, $14,930
  • Basilières, Michel, Toronto, $18,000
  • Bendtsen, Tom, Toronto, $12,000
  • Cockburn, Daniel, Toronto, $25,000
  • Leonard, Craig, Toronto, $17,000
  • Lopes, Damian, Barrie, $38,300
  • Manzano, Jorge, Toronto, $29,000
  • Monahan, Gordon, Meaford, $25,000
  • Kumar, Ravi, Mississauga, $6,700
  • Nandy, Manjusri, Pickering, $5,300
  • Wilson, Lee, Newmarket, $5,000

419,030 / 20 = average 20,951.50

Highest Grant awarded $45,000

Lowest Grant awarded $3,700

2005 Chalmers Recipients (Female)

  • Dey, Claudia, Toronto, $14,200
  • Gibb, Camilla, Toronto, $27,400
  • Mills, Sonja, Toronto, $28,400
  • Robertson, Suzanne, Toronto, $25,000
  • Aplin, Julia, Toronto, $7,500
  • Johnston, Amanda, Toronto, $9,000
  • Lochead, Christina, Toronto, $11,200
  • McDonald, Sheona, Toronto, $11,000
  • Peerbaye, Soraya, Toronto, $14,500
  • Such, Jennie, Toronto, $9,000
  • Bartley, Wende, Toronto, $18,000
  • Firth-Eagland, Alissa, Brantford, $15,000
  • Norris, Jude, Toronto, $20,000
  • Heti, Sheila, Toronto, $34,000
  • Ivanochko, Sasha, Toronto, $25,000
  • Phillips, Paulette, Toronto, $15,000
  • Schogt, Elida, Toronto, $25,000
  • Valcin, Nadine, Toronto, $16,700
  • Headley, Charmaine, Toronto, $10,000
  • Nowacka, Malgorzata, Toronto, $5,500
  • O’Shea, Meagan, Toronto, $2,250
  • Tankus, Edith, Toronto, $10,500
  • Terry, Rebecca Hope, Toronto, $8,750

362,900 / 23 average 15,778.26

Highest Grant awarded $34,000

Lowest Grant awarded $2,250

* one recipient not included (Burchell, D., Toronto, $6,000)

The discrepancy between the male and female recipients was $76,130.00 – I would say the gender scales at the Ontario Arts Council are a bit off balance.

Now – when you think that feminists need a sense of humour, or if you think that this is all just about who was most qualified – please take this into account. This is not about individual discrimination. There are systems in place that keep women down in sweeping gestures. If you look at these numbers and think it’s an accident or a coincidence – think about why you would leap to that conclusion.

Stepping off soap box and back to work now.

6 thoughts on “So you want to talk about sexism?

  1. The worst is when you look at the number of women there are getting grants – like specifically in Theatre and Film. If you take a gander at the number of women who are directing and getting plays produced in Canada compared to men it’s fucking DISMAL!

    To quote the Nightwood Theatre website “Straw Polls are showing that the majority of students graduating from professional training programs are women and yet only 18% of the country’s Artistic Directors are women; only 17% of plays produced professionally in 2003/2004 were written by women, and only 21% had female directors. These stunning results, 20 years after the original report, show only minor percentile increases to the Fraticelli findings.”


  2. gotta love the OAC, eh?

    when anger flares up over a seemingly “small thing”, it is often the result of a culmination of multiple things that we ignore, deny, laugh off, and participate in until we snap.

  3. Terrible. But I don’t hide from the bad news. So thanks for sharing it!

    See you soon! Bring patches! 🙂

  4. I was curious to see/hear what was going to come from backinblakk in regards to this particular topic, because, I hope I’m not phrasing this the wrong way, you walk the line, so to speak. I was hoping for a video, but this was an intersting post as well.

  5. Clearly, since this kind of (or any kind of) imbalance doesn’t exist in a vaccum…

    I would say it would be a fucking miracle if women received more money than men
    not say

    Technically, if men were being discriminated against, if men were being denied funding on the basis of their gender, it would be sexism.

    Because women have historically less access to financial resources, as artists and in many other professions, i would say you could argue this isn’t sexism – in the literal sense – but indicative of the kind of social imbalance that sexism is part of…

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