Inspired by Viola Desmond’s historic stand for her rights on the first floor of a Nova Scotia movie theatre in 1946, TIFF’s 2023 focus centres on the important concept of “Taking Up Space” with a special emphasis on empowering Black women. TIFF has joined forces with the Nia Centre for the Arts to present a compelling public exhibition titled Here To Stay at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, set to open on November 8. This art exhibition, along with various art activations, will enhance the Viola Desmond Day in-cinema event, breathing life into the atrium. Here To Stay will be on display from November 8 to December 10 at TIFF Bell Lightbox.
Viola Desmond Day 2023 will also feature the official unveiling of the Viola Desmond Cinema plaque, and members of Viola and Wanda’s family will be present for this event. In 2022, the cinema introduced two dedicated seats, with each seat bearing the name of one of the sisters. During the inaugural event in 2022, TIFF CEO Cameron Bailey announced the commitment to name TIFF Bell Lightbox’s largest cinema the Viola Desmond Cinema, alongside a $2 million fundraising campaign to champion Black women creators and via TIFF’s Every Story fund.
This year, TIFF is proud to announce a lead gift from NBCUniversal as the presenting partner of the Viola Desmond Cinema campaign, building on their commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in film as a founding fund partner of Every Story.