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Former Citadel Theatre artistic director expelled from Canadian Actors’ Equity Association

Former Citadel Theatre artistic director Bob Baker has been expelled by the Canadian Actors' Equity Association.
Former Citadel Theatre artistic director Bob Baker has been expelled by the Canadian Actors' Equity Association. Global News

A former artistic director of Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre has been expelled by the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association.

The association said it expelled Bob Baker’s membership on June 23, following the findings of a “disciplinary committee relating to a safe and respectful workplace complaint.”

READ MORE: Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre releases initial report about harassment, bullying concerns

The details of the complaint and final report are not publicly released, according to the association, in order to protect the privacy and identities of the complainants.

“Expelling a member from our association is serious action not lightly undertaken by the national council,” council president Scott Bellis said in a statement on the association’s website.

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“On behalf of council I would like those who have concerns about this decision to understand the following: since the launch of Equity’s Not in OUR Space! campaign, council has worked diligently to ensure that our members have the protections in place that are necessary for their safety, their dignity and their creativity. We aim to maintain respect as a cornerstone of our community and our art form.”

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READ MORE: Long-time executive director steps down from helm of Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre

Baker stepped down as the Citadel Theatre’s artistic director in 2016 after 17 years in the role. He trained in the Fine Arts program at the University of Alberta.

In January 2019, the theatre released an initial report into concerns surrounding bullying and harassment at the facility. It came after the board and management found in January 2018, “some former and current staff and artists held negative experiences with the organization.”

READ MORE: Citadel Theatre apologizes for past bullying and harassment

The Canadian Actors’ Equity Association said a possible appeal period for the decision has closed. Equity is national association that represents almost 6,000 artists who work in the performing arts industry in Canada.

Equity’s membership includes performers, directors, choreographers, fight directors and stage managers.