VIVO Media Arts Centre Archive > Working Women In Focus

Working Women In Focus


“As women artists, it has become clear to us that images of women and women’s lives have always been made and defined from a male perspective. Women have been consistently discriminated against in the media/visual arts, grossly misrepresented in its images, and witheld from the opportunity of obtaining the skills, knowledge and distribution necessary to effectively influence others with their own images and analyses.”

Women In Focus Production & Distribution Centre Catalogue 1979


Working Women In Focus showcases media produced by British Columbia’s first all-woman production and distribution centre, Women In Focus.  Women In Focus video productions – through their examinations of sexism in the educational system, misogyny, gender stereotyping, sexual harassment and patriarchal systems of power – exposed the underlying causes of inequity in the workplace and the domestic space.

In addition to these chosen works, Women In Focus itself represents a shift in the media industry. Women in 1970’s Canada were impacted by new feminist perspectives, communications and media literacy theories, and the introduction of portable video technology and mandated community cable stations. Women In Focus, and other communications and media activist initiatives in the 1970’s, played a critical role in training, producing and distributing the audio-visual work of women, creating a new space for a generation of women within broadcast and other forms of media production.

For this exhibit we have included event documentation, interviews, and narrative works produced by Women In Focus from 1974-1980. The majority were produced at the facilities of Cable 10 in 1974 and 1975 and broadcast as a series in 1976.


This project was realized as part of the National Heritage Digitization Strategy of Canada thanks to the generous support of a private donor. / Ce projet a été réalisé dans le cadre de La Stratégie de numérisation du patrimoine national du Canada grâce a un don généreux d’un donateur privé.

VIVO would  also like to acknowledge and thank Simon Fraser University Archives and Western Front for their generous sponsorship of Women & West Coast Labour.

Development of this project was supported by the BC Arts Council Early Career Development program. VIVO’s programs are supported by operating assistance from the BC Arts Council, Canada Council, and City of Vancouver.