Sylvia Spring

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Sylvia Spring

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1942-

History

Sylvia Spring is born in Galt, Ontario on July 14, 1942. She is a Canadian feminist writer, filmmaker, and activist. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts from the State University of New York at Buffalo in English Literature and Drama. After graduating, she wrote poetry and worked in advertising, journalism, radio, and television. In 1970, she produced Madeleine is…, the first Canadian English-language feature film directed by a woman since Nell Shipman in 1919. A segment of the film was released as a short feature under the name Madeleine and won an award at the Vancouver International Film Festival in 1970.
In 1979, she was appointed to the Task Force on Sex-Role Stereotyping in the Broadcast Media established by the Canadian minister responsible for the status of women. The Task Force was meant to examine the portrayal of women in popular media and developed guidelines for its improvement. Then, Sylvia Spring co-founded MediaWatch Canada, a watchdog organization dedicating to eliminating sexism in the media and became its first National Director. Sylvia Spring has spoken in national and international forums to raise awareness about the representation of women in the media. She has designed and facilitated workshops and lectures for agencies such as the Canadian Human Rights Commission, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), and the United Nations Educational, Social and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). In January 2000, as a communication consultant, she travelled to China with Bonnie Diamond, NAWL’s executive Director, to conduct workshops with grassroots Chinese women on the information dissemination techniques used by women’s group in Canada (Nawl.ca, consulted 2021-06-02).
In 1995, she produced Voices and Visions, a documentary series from the UN World Conference on Women held in Beijing, China. In 1996, she produced the documentary Breaking the Silence: Stories from AIDS Activists in Southern Africa. The documentary tells the stories of women working at the front lines of the AIDS epidemic. In 2000, she produced 20th Century Gals (According to Babe), which explored the women's movement of the 20th century. In 2005, she co-produced Our bodies...their battleground, a documentary about the sexual violence crisis facing women and girls in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Liberia.

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