The staff and board of directors of the Campbell River Art Gallery were sorry to hear about the experience Sherron Soo had when she visited us over Thanksgiving weekend.
She came to the gallery expecting a warm welcome and left feeling she was not respected as a person. We sincerely apologise to Ms. Soo for that.
Microagressions are real and harmful; they are subtle ways that people from minority groups are stereotyped, undermined, or belittled. They are insidious and can appear incomprehensible or even petty to those not impacted.
A core value it’s useful to remember is that when someone says a behaviour is hurtful or harmful, we believe them. No matter the reason, when we hurt someone, we listen, we understand why, and we show respect. When it is systemic we need to do that as both individuals, and also as organisations and communities. We thank Ms. Soo for her letter. By shining a light, it helps us all be more mindful and aware of how we impact those around us.
As a public institution we take our role in changing both narratives and actions around racism very seriously. We actively and intentionally strive to challenge racism throughout our work. Our exhibitions and programming are focussed on directly challenging racist narratives, examining colonial impacts, and encouraging difficult discussions on these topics.
The Gallery is committed to continuing our anti-racism work in every way we can – both through exhibitions and training, as well as learning and listening to visitors.
We want to remind Mirror readers that everyone is welcome at the Campbell River Art Gallery, no matter who you are and what you’re here for. If you think there are things we can do better, we want to listen. We hope that Sherron Soo gives us another chance should she ever be back in our community.
Executive Director Sara Lopez and Chair of the Board of Directors Darren Larose