Canada’s performing, literary and visual arts organizations and artists have joined together in a broad initiative called “Respectful Workplaces in the Arts”. This cross-country, cross-sector project is designed to deal with and remove harassment in the sector – including sexual harassment, bullying, discrimination and violence.

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Respectful Workplaces in the Arts

Progress on CHRC’s national anti-harassment initiatives

Since the announcement of the Canada Council of the Arts funding to support “Respectful Workplaces in the Arts” for the performing, literary and visual arts, we have been hard at work hiring and otherwise liaising with creative consultants, legal and HR professionals, contractors and sector leaders in order to develop thorough, inclusive and effective anti-harassment resources. Specific updates and timelines for project deliverables follow:

Code of Conduct: A draft code of conduct for the live performing arts is being developed by a Working Group of sector volunteers, chaired by Barry Hughson, CEO of the National Ballet of Canada. It is to be put out for discussion in September and finalized by November.

Reporting Mechanisms: Jeanne LeSage of LeSage Arts Management has been engaged to undertake a report on existing reporting mechanisms for victims of harassment, and systems of investigation for employers. This report will include sector-appropriate recommendations on how to develop these mechanisms and systems of investigation in the performing, literary and visual arts.

Training Resources: New resources are being created! All will be available on the Respectful Workplaces in the Arts website over the coming 4 months. These include:

  • a guide to developing policies and procedures for dealing with harassment will be released in September, as a tool in CHRC’s HR Management Toolkit;
  • training videos from the points of view of the artist/employee, and of the Board/employer are to be released in November;
  • webcasts to explain compliance with provincial and territorial legislation around harassment – to be released in December.

As well, examples of training resources on harassment are being researched and collected for reference on the Respectful Workplaces website.

Consultations with equity-seeking groups: Country-wide consultations are being held with equity-seeking groups in September and October in Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, Moncton and Halifax. They will provide feedback on the draft Code of Conduct, training needs and resources around harassment, and suggestions for potential reporting and investigating mechanisms.

Website: The website for Respectful Workplaces in the Arts is presently being built, and is to be launched in the fall. It will be the gathering place for all that’s going on under the banner of the project Respectful Workplaces in the Arts (RWA).

Ad campaign: Respectful Workplaces in the Arts materials for the use of arts organizations are to be made available in September. Visual ads (for digital and printed use), video, and other media to which sector organizations can add their logo and share with their members will be included.

Further RWA updates to come in CHRC’s newsletters  and project-specific updates such as this one!