Respectful Workplaces

The Canada Council for the Arts believes there is no place for harassment, discrimination, sexual misconduct or abuse of power in any workplace. We are focused on supporting the arts sector as a whole in building capacity to deal with issues of discrimination, harassment and sexual misconduct and to provide respectful workplaces.

All successful grant recipients must sign a Grant Acceptance Form that includes a commitment to provide safe working conditions and to foster a workplace free from discrimination, harassment and sexual misconduct.

Failure to respect the commitment to provide a workplace free from discrimination, harassment and sexual misconduct could result in the Council initiating a process to review and potentially reverse a grant decision.

If a complaint is received by the Council, we proceed with care to protect the reputation and dignity of the parties involved, while requiring that grant recipients act to ensure working conditions without harassment or intimidation. 

Dealing with complaints of unsafe working conditions in organizations receiving core funding

  • When the Council receives a complaint of unsafe working conditions within a funded organization, it will ask the complainant to direct the complaint to the organization’s leadership (either Executive Director or Chair of the Board), with the Council in cc.
  • The Council’s requirement is that the organization can provide assurance that they have appropriate policies and mechanisms in place to deal with complaints and are applying these. The Council will verify this with the organization.
  • If the organization is unable to satisfy this expectation, the organization could be placed on Concerned Status.
  • The Council will also encourage the complainant to speak with a lawyer and/or a union or professional association.

Dealing with complaints of unsafe working conditions in project grant funded workplaces

  • When the Council receives a complaint of unsafe working conditions in relation to a workplace funded by a project grant, it will ask the complainant to direct the complaint to the recipient organization’s leadership, where applicable. The Council will also encourage the complainant to speak with a lawyer and/or a union or professional association.
  • For complaints related to grants received by individuals or groups, the Council will encourage the complainant to speak with a lawyer and/or a union or professional association.
  • Where a project grant recipient has breached the terms and conditions of the grant by failing to provide safe working conditions, the Council may review and/or reverse the grant.
  • The Council cannot ban applicants from applying for or receiving grants in the future.

Peer assessment committees

  • Information about past, substantiated claims of unsafe working conditions will only be discussed within the assessment process if the project grant application includes activities within a workplace and the applicant has not shown that they have appropriate policies and safeguards.

Limitations

The Council will only address and respond to complaints of unsafe working conditions in the context of an active grant. The Council’s capacity to act on complaints is limited to ensuring compliance with the terms and conditions of the grant in question.

The Council has no powers to investigate and cannot intervene in disputes between parties. This includes but is not limited to allegations of harassment or improper conduct outside of a workplace funded by a grant, contractual disputes, copyright infringement or other legal disputes. The Council will acknowledge receipt of such complaints but is unable to take action.

Complainants are encouraged to consult a lawyer and/or their union or professional association who may have additional avenues for the pursuit of a complaint or may be able to provide support and guidance.