Theresa Sokyrka started playing jazz on Sunday nights at Lydia’s Pub in Saskatoon in 1999.
It’s where she was first put into place by a group of male musicians.
“The narrative was you can only play once in a while. You can’t play too many songs in a row. People don’t want girls in jazz,” Sokyrka said.
Despite being a professional musician for 17 years now, including a stint on Canadian Idol in which she placed second, Sokyrka said a misogynistic environment still exists in the Saskatoon music industry.
“I look back on these 17 years, and my whole career has been walking on eggshells to not be called a diva because a promoter wouldn’t pay me.”
Sokyrka is one of the dozens of women who have joined a recent movement to break down the power structures in the Saskatoon music scene.
They say the scene is dominated by white cisgender men that are “bros,” perpetuating a culture that favours toxic masculinity and excessive partying.
These women are calling out how this creates an unsafe environment and refusing to silence their voices to make the men in the scene feel more comfortable.