It’s safe to say that 2019 has been an amazing year for SExT! The year started with features in publications such as Occhi Magazine and GirlTalkHQ. The year only picked up from there as we gained a new cast member in March and received the award for Remarkable Innovation from ArtBridges/ToileDesArts!
We had some amazing local performances leading up to our second #SExTNationalTour in May, which is in partnership with the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR)! We also partnered with the Government of the Northwest Territoriesand theInuvialuit Regional Corporation to address the outbreak of gonorrhea and syphilis in the region. We had the opportunity to perform in 11 communities and cities for over 2300 youth across Ontario, Alberta, and the Northwest Territories. How amazing is that?!
Travelling across the Northwest Territories by plane, bus, and ferry was such an incredible experience that we will never forget. In between our performances we had so many wonderful experiences to make our trip truly special. From hanging out with Setsune (Grandmother) and hearing her stories and eating dough guts in Fort Smith, to visiting the Salt Plains, to seeing so many waterfalls and double-rainbows, all of it was amazing. We saw 72 buffalo and 19 black bears as we drove across the NWT. We got to visit hide camp in Yellowknife and go to dance parties and walk around Old Town and Pilot’s Monument. Director Shira Taylor and cast member Michelle were interviewed by CBC News! Our cast got to participate in a beautiful drum circle about feelings and healing. We got to drive the most northern Canadian highway from Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk and visit the Arctic Ocean! Some youth in Tuk taught us how to play Arctic Games and we had so much fun. We also got to visit the Midnight Sun Mosque in Inuvik, which is the world’s most northern mosque. Interwoven throughout all these adventures we had the chance to perform for youth across the Northwest Territories and hear their inspiring stories of resilience, challenges, and joy. We feel so honoured to have met everyone we did in the NWT.
Back in Toronto we performed several more local shows, attended the Toronto Pride Parade and got our dance celebration on, and celebrated SExT’s 5-year anniversary!!! Wow we are so thankful! We also spearheaded World Mental Health Week and World AIDS Day social media campaigns. We had additional media coverage in magazines such as YTGT (You Got This, Girl!) and Sex, Etc., who did an interview with cast member Lauren on her song parody Bodak Consent. Director Shira Taylor won CIHR Gold and the prestigious Gairdner Award for her research on SExT! We wrapped up the last year of the decade with some amazing performances in our home city of Toronto, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
This year was an epic journey. Thank you to everyone who supported us and we will see what awaits us in 2020. Whatever it is, we hope to continue to #RevolutionizeSexEd every step of the way, using the stage to tell stories that we can relate to. Thank you for taking this journey with us. Happy New Year!