Interdisciplinary artist, educator and producer Chancz Perry joined SK Arts as a Program Consultant with an equity and inclusion focus. As an artist, a prior SK Arts grant recipient and a Person of Colour with complex social identities, Chancz is uniquely positioned to serve in his new role at SK Arts with the program team as we work on strategic goal around addressing systemic barriers.

In a sit-down interview, Chancz shared that his motivation for joining the agency comes from an intersection between his background, his desire to take his career in a new direction and his genuine interest in being part of SK Arts' work. He highlighted the agency's legacy–supporting the arts for 75 years–and its push towards equitable funding and recognizing cultural variety in an artist's career. 

Chancz Perry. Image courtesy of the artist.

“I feel like I have been able to reap the benefits of SK Arts over the years through LIVE Arts, Arts Award nominations and several grant programs like IA (Independent Artists), Artists in Schools grants, and so many other ways. I am excited to help reach a more diverse range of artists and play a role in getting funding distributed in a more equitable way.” shared Perry.

Chancz has been part of the Saskatchewan arts community since 2010. While he did not plan to stay in the province initially, he credits the welcoming nature of the people in Regina and the various opportunities that enabled him to pursue a flourishing and fulfilling career in the arts. He also found a community actively working to shift into a more inclusive environment—which further piqued his interest. He has now been part of the Saskatchewan arts community, representing the province on a national and international level for over 14 years.

Chancz credits being in Regina with learning about and supporting Indigenous cultures more wholistically.

“Regina allowed me to form a significant connection with Indigenous communities, something I didn’t have back home. The people here are just so warm and welcoming. I felt really welcomed and wanted to continue to support different communities. I could sense that decolonization was happening, and I wanted to be part of that.”

Ready for a Shift

Chancz has been a program coordinator at Globe Theatre and, more recently, Dance Saskatchewan and says that his move to SK Arts is illustrative of a shift in his career. He is happy his new role allows him to work with artists in various artistic disciplines, something he could not do in previous coordinator roles.

“SDA (Saskatchewan Drama Association) and Globe are more theatre; Dance Saskatchewan is dance... so I am excited to be able to work with all artists from various disciplines and have a bigger budget to work with in the grant allocation process,” said Perry.

Chancz praised SK Arts' progressive approach to varying assessment models, sharing that he is excited to see the outcome of the newer processes and be a part of making the community better. Recently, the agency ran the Equipment Purchase Fund, awarding grants using a lottery model to help artists purchase equipement that will enhance their artistic careers. 

Additionally, the Building Arts Equity: BPOC Program and Share and Connect: Indigenous Community Arts programs were launched using a participatory granting model for development and a peer assessment model for funding distribution.