Belle Cheung

Canadian arts and culture funding priorities and their relationship to articulations of race, diversity, and representation in theatre
Faculty of Arts
SSHRC Graduate Scholarships

Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

I spent five years working in Vancouver's arts and culture industry before coming back to my studies. I chose to pursue a graduate degree because it allowed me time to study questions that I had been asking myself over several years, and deconstruct them in ways and methods informed by critical theory. Ultimately, my goal is to create work that is meaningful, historically informed, and contributes back to the arts community so that it can be shaped for the future.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

I completed my undergraduate degree in UBC's Department of Theatre and Film, and had the opportunity to work with some great professors who inspired me to combine practice and inquiry in my studies. I chose to stay at UBC because my research topic is so specific to the Lower Mainland's history. The Geography program at UBC gave me the flexibility and depth to build a program tailored to my many different research areas.

What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?

I enjoy the flexibility of the Geography program, and the freedom to put together my own courses from different departments. The faculty has allowed me to frame my research interests in new ways and has exposed me to new study areas. UBC has enabled me to become a better scholar, and I continue to be inspired by the connections I have been able to make across different disciplines.


Learn more about Belle's research

My research looks at the relationship between Canadian federal and provincial arts and culture funding priorities, and the performance of diversity on stage in theatre, with a specific focus on British Columbia. I am particularly interested in how this relationship has shaped or contributed to discussions about diversity in theatre, and which communities and histories are being remembered and documented through the arts. My research examines discourses and articulations of race, representation, and culture within policy-defined "culture", and creates a historical and structural context for diverse theatre and how it is understood in mainstream Canadian arts and culture.