Canada Council Contributes to Respectful Workplaces in the Arts Initiative
In April 2018, the Canada Council made a tangible commitment to fostering healthy, respectful and harassment-free workplaces in the arts by supporting the work led by the Cultural Human Resources Council (CHRC) to develop a series of initiatives intended to equip the cultural sector with the tools, practices and training it needed to build and maintain respectful workplaces.
One year later, with the first phase of the project complete, the hard work carried out so far has paid off and the progress made is undeniable.
These resources are now available to some 1,750 arts organizations across Canada under the Respectful Workplaces in the Arts initiative.
Tools for arts organizations
Though a shift in the culture of any workplace isn’t necessarily easy—or quick—to achieve, the Respectful Workplaces in the Arts initiative has made great strides. The Council’s support has contributed to the creation of various tools by the CHRC:
- a human resources management toolkit, Workplace Harassment and Violence, which was developed in September 2018 to provide advice and guidelines for developing policies and procedures to tackle workplace harassment; and
- the websites, respectfulartsworkplaces.ca and its French-language counterpart milieuxdetravailartsrespectueux.ca, offer invaluable resources packed with useful information, videos and tools for employers and cultural workers.
What’s more, consultations conducted as part of the initiative have set the stage for the development of a new code of conduct and for the potential development of reporting and investigating mechanisms in regard to workplace harassment situations in the arts.
The second phase of the project, supported by Canadian Heritage, is underway in 2019; efforts will focus on training and workshops, with trainees being coached by human resources experts. The trainees will then facilitate workshops on harassment, drawing on the tools and resources now available.
As set out in its principles, the Council will continue to champion respectful workplaces by effecting positive change and providing support through its activities.