New Burlington Art Gallery exhibition shines a light on women in Canada’s food industry


On September 10, a new exhibit by journalist and cultural programmer Ivy Knight will become the latest addition to the How to read a ship exhibition at the Burlington Art Gallery. knight Jugs and cans: a harvest The exhibit features a collection of containers such as cans, bottles, boxes and more from women working in the food industry across Canada.

Holding the stories of women in many different roles within the food industry, such as cooks, bakers, restaurateurs and waiters, Knight was able to breathe new life into the stories by adding brightly colored threads crocheted around the containers. Since the pandemic wreaked havoc in the industry, women were among the majority of those who lost their jobs and businesses, which has had a major impact on progress towards gender equality within the industry. economy.

“10,000 restaurants in Canada have closed permanently since March 2020. Of the 48,000 workers in the retail, accommodation and food services industry who lost their jobs in fall 2020, 80% were women, ”says Knight. “This increase in unpaid work has already reduced women’s contribution to the economy. If this additional burden continues, more women will leave the workforce for good, reversing progress towards gender equality and reducing productivity in the economy.

With over 180 vessels contributing to the collection and hooked to represent the voices of those affected, the exhibition works to advocate for improved working conditions.

“As museums and galleries face growing demands for repatriation, racial justice and economic parity, the food industry has begun to challenge colonialism, racism and heteropatriarchal systems of oppression in culinary culture. As a writer, journalist and programmer, Ivy has built a career advocating for better working conditions, ”said Suzanne Carte, Senior Curator of AGB. “This collection of more than 180 containers becomes another form of editorial research. Her interview methodology reveals the truths of the systems inherent in the restaurant scene and highlights gender inequalities, uncovers sexual violence, and humanizes and normalizes recovery narratives.

The How to read a ship The exhibition will run from September 10 to January 9 at the Burlington Art Gallery.


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