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Red Dress Productions

Red Dress Productions (RDP) creates multidisciplinary artworks. Much of our work includes elements of social-engagement that dilutes the barriers of artistic and social convention between participant/audience and performer/artist. We’re interested in the tensions between the fleeting and the permanent; the traces we leave on our built enviroments and the narratives within them; and making art that emerges from  consideration and engagement with the everyday. Our current concerns span site-specific, and place-based practices, as well as interdisciplinary approaches to creation
across a spectrum of artistic disciplines, as a well as across a spectrum of social location and dis/ability.

In 2017, Fire Service Women Ontario approached RDP to engage women firefighters in a creative exploration of their work. RDP facilitated twelve  creative writing/recording workshops with 30 women firefighters in Toronto, Hamilton, and Waterloo. The wealth of audio material was edited and shaped by RDP artists to create Where There is Smoke -- an audio-immersive installation featuring a multi-dimensional collage of women firefighters with a diverse range of experiences of being one (or a few) amongst many. Where There Is Smoke disrupts any presumed single narrative of women firefighters who represent 3% of firefighters in Ontario. By making space for these stories that intersec labour, art, and equity, we hope audiences consider the 6000+ women employed during the Second Word War era in this place, the Small Arms Building, as carpenters, welders, and tool and dye makers, and how their labour shaped the development of what we now call Mississauga.

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