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On December 14, 2015

Tickets are PWYW (Pay What You Want)


The Theatre Centre

Performance Dates

Monday December 14 – 7:30 PM

Civil Debates 4: Climate Change

Co-produced by Praxis Theatre and The Theatre Centre


Co-produced by Praxis Theatre and The Theatre Centre, Civil Debates was originally launched in 2013 as an opportunity to extend the online community Praxis Theatre had developed over the years via Within a face-to-face setting, we worked to bring those conversations into a physical space. We were enthused and encouraged by the intelligent and civil discourse that had developed online, particularly in the comments of posts about hot button issues.

We began to think that – as theatre companies – we should be doing this live in a space with human bodies.

And so, building on the success of our three previous debates on Creative CitiesArts Boards and Idle No More – Praxis Theatre and The Theatre Centre’s Civil Debates returns during the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris with a debate on the ethics of receiving arts funding from drivers of climate change.

The Resolution:

A carbon-based economy is destroying life on the planet. Therefore:

Be It Resolved That it is unethical for arts organizations to accept funds from corporations causing this destruction and these revenue sources should be phased out.


jason Ryle

Jason Ryle is the Executive Director at the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival. Jason oversees all aspects of the organization including programming, operations, finance, and the annual Festival. He sits on the Board of Directors for Vtape, an independent video distributor, and is a script reader for The Harold Greenberg Fund, which provides financial aid to Canadian filmmakers. As an award-winning writer, Jason has written for the Smithsonian Institution and numerous publications throughout North America. He made his first short film in 2005 and has been programming alongside imagineNATIVE’s Programming Team since 2002.


Arguing for the resolution (Side A):

Tommy Taylor001 Tommy Taylor is a Toronto based theatre artist, activist and fundraiser born and living in Toronto, ON. Recently, Tommy was the Green Party Candidate for Scarborough Southwest in the 2015 Federal Election. In 2013, he toured his award-winning, one-man show about his experience being arrested and detained at the 2010 Toronto G20 Summit, You Should Have Stayed Home: A G20 Romp!, across Canada. As a fundraiser Tommy has worked on behalf of multiple organizations including the UN Refugee Agency, Amnesty International as well as various political and environmental advocacy groups.


andreaAndrea Houston is a Toronto journalist and human rights advocate, who has covered a range of issues affecting LGBT people on local, provincial, national and international levels. Andrea is perhaps best known for breaking the 2011 story that Ontario Catholic schools prohibited students from forming gay-straight alliances (GSA) clubs. Her reporting played a key role in the passage of provincial legislation that mandated all publicly funded schools be required to allow GSAs if students want them. In 2012, she was named Honoured Dyke by Pride Toronto. Andrea co-founded #ENDhatelaws, a coalition fighting for an end to international anti-gay laws enforced in more than 80 countries. Most recently, Andrea is executive assistant to Ontario’s first LGBTQ critic, MPP Cheri DiNovo, working on legislation to make the province safer and more accepting for queer and trans people. In June 2015, Bill 77 passed in the Ontario legislature, banning so-called conversion therapy for LGBTQ youth.


Arguing against the resolution (Side B):

MaggieMaggie MacDonald is an artist, writer and environmental activist. Her recent theatre works include Young Drones, a rock opera created with The Bicycles and artist Amy Siegel (SummerWorks Performance Festival, 2014), and the space comedy No One Receiving (Rhubarb Festival, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 2014). She is also co-creator of musicals Paper Laced with Gold (HATCH 2012), and The Rat King (Lucille Lortel Theatre, NY, 2007). She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (UK), an alumnus of the 2012 Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference, and was a finalist for the 2014 Toronto Arts Foundation Mayor’s Award for Best Emerging Artist. She is also a campaigner specializing in research and advocacy against endocrine disrupting chemicals and environmental causes of cancer. On twitter:

Michael Healey - high res


Michael Healey is a playwright and actor. His plays include KickedRune ArlidgeProudThe Drawer Boy,Courageous, and Plan B. 1979, a play about former prime minister Joe Clark, is set for production in 2017.



Debate Format

Side A1 10 minutes

Side B1 10 minutes

Side A2 10 minutes

Side B2 13 minutes

Side A1 3 minutes

Questions from Floor: 25 Minutes


Audience Participation:

Photo by Praxis Theatre Artistic Producer Aislinn Rose during the Arts Boards Debate from the moderator's chair
Photo by Praxis Theatre Artistic Producer Aislinn Rose during the Arts Boards Debate from the moderator’s chair











Following the debate, the floor will be opened to 2-minute comments or questions from the floor.  If a question is directed at a debater, that person will have 2 minutes to answer. This will last 25 minutes maximum.

Attendees will be asked to register their opinion on their way in and out by secret ballot – to see if the debate shifted informed thought.

As always, and as the name implies, these debates will be civil and we invite apply your friendly intellect to a rigorous discussion of complex ideas.