A Brief History
Women In Focus (WIF) was a project of the University of British Columbia’s Women’s Office Collective. In September 1974, recent graduate Marion Barling with Jeanette A. Auger began a media production training program under that name. Financed by the Secretary of State, Women In Focus launched a series of workshops to train women in audio-visual production through the newly established community cable station, Cable 10. The aim was to produce a series of half-hour cable shows reflecting women’s experiences. The result were 32 episodes covering a broad range of topics. The Women In Focus series was broadcast on Cable 10 in 1976 and made up the Women In Focus Audio-Visual Library available through the Women’s Office at U.B.C..
In July 1976, Women In Focus was evicted by the Student Administrative Committee, citing the amount of space they occupied as being “untenably excessive.” Women In Focus moved to #4-45 Kingsway in the Johnson Block, sharing space with the Women’s Research Centre of the B.C. Women’s Studies Association. It relocated to #6 at the same address as “The Women In Focus Production & Distribution Centre”, Vancouver’s first all-woman media production and distribution centre.
They were incorporated on July 4, 1977. Founding members were recorded as Marion Barling (Producer, Film & Video), Yvette Perrault (Community Organizer), Corinne Angell (Audio Technician), and Judi Morton (Journalist).
WIF expanded their distribution catalogue over the next few years to include international works by “feminist women”, In 1979 they opened “Women In Focus Gallery” where they held regular exhibitions of visual art and media.
WIF moved again in 1981 to 456 West Broadway, 2nd Floor, near Cambie Street where they operated until 1989. A 45% rent increase from their landlord, the City of Vancouver, forced them to move. Their final location was 857 Beatty Street.
Women In Focus Society was dissolved in 1992.
The Woman In Focus fond came to VIVO Media Arts Centre in March 1993 following dissolution of the Society.
This accrual includes:
WIF media productions (16mm film, video [multiple formats], sound-slide shows, photographs)
The WIF distribution collection (video [multiple formats])
Textual records related to WIF distribution activities
Textual records related to advocacy organizations and feminist, media and artist-run centres
The WIF publication library
WIF distribution and exhibition catalogues
Misc. textual records
Additional organizational records (1974-1992) can be found at the U.B.C. Library Rare Books & Special Collections.
A draft of the WIF Finding Aid is currently under review.