Investigation concludes; dialogue with Theatre community begins

MONTREAL (Sept. 18, 2020) – The investigation into the very serious allegations against Winston Sutton of the Professional Theatre (Acting) Program has concluded. Effective today, Winston Sutton is no longer employed by Dawson College.

“I would like to acknowledge receipt of the complaints and the many messages sent to the College,” said Richard Filion, Director General of Dawson College. “To the people who came forward with concerns and complaints, I would like to sincerely thank you for your courage. Each has been read and carefully considered.”

In collaboration with the faculty of the Professional Theatre (Acting) department, our theatre community partners and our alumni, Dawson College is looking to the future and planning a course of action to ensure that a healthy culture prevails in the program and in the world of theatre.

“With humility, I would like to extend an invitation to the theatre community to work with Dawson College to create the changes that are called for,” said Mr. Filion. “Our objective is to identify and adopt the best practices and policies for teaching theatre.”

Outreach efforts have begun. Andréa Cole, Dawson’s Dean of Creative and Applied Arts, said that later this fall, “the College looks forward to hosting and participating in discussions and events that will address the issues and identify approaches to create a safe and healthy environment.

“Together, with the wider theatre community, our goals will include the development of concrete plans for renewed educational engagement with current social issues, as well as the promotion of safe and open communication for all, no matter the venue,” she said.

The discussions will be broad and will encourage a wide variety of voices to be heard. “Together, we can build a new positive culture in theatre, for the students in our program and for our graduates in the theatre community,” Mr. Filion said.

“I would like to reaffirm that Dawson College is committed to the well-being of its students and employees,” Mr. Filion said. “We seek to foster a culture of respect and an environment conducive to learning and growing.

“Clearly, what happened to some of our theatre students is in stark contrast to the values of Dawson College. We are committed to moving forward to prevent this from happening in the future. To those who have been hurt, I would like to offer our sincere and heartfelt apology and our commitment to change. Your complaints and messages are already leading to changes and are serving as a foundation for the way we move forward.”

Media contact:

Christina Parsons
Communications Office
Dawson College 514-949-9183

Last Modified: September 18, 2020