Firegrove Studio, a women of colour led production company, announced its soft launch on International Women’s Day on Monday. The company is led by three Ottawa based creatives: Adrienne Row, Mailyne Briggs and Hingman Leung. Their goal with the company is to create content and support other content creators who will bring diverse perspectives and stories to Ottawa’s media scene.
Briggs said she felt it was important to have a space that amplifies creative voices from women of colour.
“The representation of women of colour both on the camera and behind it is lacking,” Briggs said. “Often you see a lot of white men and women who have the capital to start these companies. By virtue of knowing other people that look like them and have the same experiences as them, they just pull them in. When we go into these spaces, we want to feel like we can be part of this larger network.”
Leung also felt that a more diversified body of people in media will help to reflect everyone’s reality.
“The fact that a lot of the content that I see out in popular media doesn’t reflect the Ottawa I live in and the reality I see,” Leung said. “I wanted to work with people who understand that reality and create a space where we can drive this change towards better representation.”
Firegrove’s business model is not just about representation. The company also seeks to emphasize fun and joy in their work.
"We wanna foster a community, environment and business model that is predicated on joy and enjoying what we do,” Row said. “Giving the platform for the community and for future generations to say that they can do these things.”
Leung said she hoped that centering fun in their work would help to make their business a people-focused company. Long days and difficult personalities may be unavoidable, according to Leung, but that doesn’t mean spaces where people feel respected should not exist.
Row hopes Firegrove Studio will foster an environment of respect for everyone.
“We are showing that the people we know,” Row said. “It’s really going to be diverse work. We all come from different backgrounds and have different education experiences. Firegrove is meant to be diverse and so is our body of work.”