Famous Five

How Critical Mass used cutting edge binaural recording technology to bring the Famous Five and their history-altering “Pink Tea” conversations to life.


By the mid 1920’s, Canadian women were subject to the law like men, able to be fined or imprisoned, but still unable to vote. That changed when five women banded together and mounted a challenge to the Canadian federal government, ultimately securing voting rights for all “persons,” men and women alike. These “Famous Five” are now remembered via monuments and an October 18th observance (Persons Day), but mere remembrances don’t inspire—not like tangible human experiences.

Working with a renowned playwright and professional actors, Critical Mass designed a binaural re-creation of the “Pink Tea Conversations,” the secret gatherings where the Famous Five first articulated their plans. Binaural sound creates a 3D auditory experience that feels uncannily real; in the “Famous Five” experience, listeners feel transported into the room where voices, clinking spoons, and threatening knocks-at-the-door loom on all sides. Now, a new generation can connect with the heroes of a generation long passed, and an old struggle for equality can inspire the heroes of tomorrow.