Civil Debates 5: Online Freedom of Speech

Civil Debates 5: Online Freedom of Speech


civil-debate-1-bannerOnline freedom of speech has become a hotbed issue in the digital, interactive era. What is harassment? How does that impact our Charter rights to freedom of speech? Are there limits? Should there be limits?

Join us on Monday November 21st at 730PM at the Theatre Centre as we invite the community to an open public debate on the following resolution:

Be it resolved that freedom of speech is absolute and therefore must be protected online.



    • 2016 Governor General Award nominated playwright Donna Michelle St. Bernard
    • 2016 Siminovitch Prize Protégée and performance artist Shaista Latif
    • 2016 Governor General Award nominated playwright Brad Fraser
    • Lawyer: Abby Deshman
  • Moderated by SpiderWebShow Creative Catalyst and NAC English Theatre Associate Artistic Director Sarah Garton Stanley.

Attendees will be given an opportunity to weigh in on the resolution through a moderated Q and A that follows the debate, and through before and after polls that seek to discover if the debate impacts or further polarizes audience opinion on the resolution.

howlround_-logoAs an additional element of audience engagement, the debate will be Livestreamed by US-based Howlround on Members of Howlround will be present at the debate and we invite attendees to stick around for adult beverages afterwards to meet the team behind Howlround “a knowledge commons by and for the theatre community”. You will not meet any cool people if you stay home and watch the livestream – although we welcome an American digital audience to our fifth debate.


civil-debates-post-it-boxVenue – BMO Incubator @ The Theatre Centre:  1115 Queen St W, Toronto.  Doors at 7PM, Debate at 730 PM. Civil Debates is a Pay What You Can event.

Hashtag: #CivilDebates

Facebook Event: Click Here

Civil Debates was launched in 2013 by Praxis Theatre and The Theatre Centre as a public forum for artists to gather and engage in conversation of current social/political events and topics. Civil Debates 5 is presented by SpiderWebShow Performance and The Theatre Centre. Previous Debate topics were: 1 Creative Cities, 2 Arts Boards, 3 Idle No More, and 4 Ethical Funding.




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About the Author

Michael is Artistic Director of SpiderWebShow, which he co-created with Creative Catalyst Sarah Garton Stanley. He was previously Executive Director and Transformation Designer of Generator, where he led the transition from a fee-for-service model named STAF, to the current capacity-building model it operates on. Since 2003, he has run Toronto-based Praxis Theatre, with which he has directed 14 plays and curated several festivals while writing for and running performance-based websites. He teaches regularly at The National Theatre School and Queen's University, where SpiderWebShow is currently in residence.