The Gabriola Arts Council (the “Arts Council”) believes that everyone deserves access to the arts and that all expressions should have the same chance to flourish. The Arts Council holds itself responsible for providing its staff, board members and volunteers with an environment dedicated to equity and mutual respect; an environment that is free of discrimination and one in which equity, inclusion, and diversity play a central role. Through this policy, the Arts Council affirms its commitment to these principals within the organization and to create and nurture a diverse and inclusive arts community that encompasses our legal, moral, and ethical responsibilities.
This policy is in place to support the Arts Council and its community in bringing to life the principles of diversity, equality, and human dignity, and reflecting them back in our daily interactions and decisions. The Arts Council believes that these principles contribute to a sense of belonging and strengthen its community to enhance excellence, innovation, and creativity in all its domains.
It has been said that “diversity is being asked to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance, and equity redistributes space and resources so that the invited guests can also host their own parties”.
An approach that ensures individuals have access to the same opportunities. Equity recognizes that we don’t all start from the same place, because advantages and barriers do exist. It is a process that acknowledges uneven starting places and seeks to correct those imbalances. Equity also refers to a process which promotes fair conditions for all persons to fully participate; it recognizes that while all people have the right to be treated equally, not all people experience equal access to resources, opportunities, or benefits. The Arts Council commits to ensuring that people with diverse and marginalized identities are provided with equal opportunities to grow, contribute, and develop.
The presence of difference within a giving setting, where the differences typically refer to identities such as race, gender, ethnicity, religion, nationality, and sexual orientation. A person is not diverse. Diversity is about a collective or group.
The ongoing practice of embracing equity and diversity and taking action to create a supportive and welcoming environment such that individuals with different identities and backgrounds are valued, leveraged and welcomed within the Arts Council’s organization and community.
To provide informed, authentic leadership for cultural equity, the Arts Council strives to:
See diversity, inclusion and equity as connected to our mission and mandate and critical to ensure the well-being of our staff and the arts communities we serve.
Acknowledge and dismantle inequities within our policies, systems, programs and services, and continually update and report on organization progress.
Explore potential underlying unquestioned assumptions that interfere with inclusiveness.
Advocate for and support board-level thinking about how systemic inequities impact our organization’s work and how best to address that in a way that is consistent with our mission and mandate.
Practice and encourage transparent communication in all interactions.
Commit time and resources to expand more diverse leadership within our Board, staff, committees and advisory bodies.
Lead with respect and tolerance. We expect all staff and Board members to embrace these principles and to express them in workplace interactions and through everyday practices.
IMPLEMENTATION / COMPLIANCE
Demonstrating commitment and action toward a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive community requires reflection and active learning. This policy’s focus is on providing the education, resources, and support to meet the accountabilities and commitments outlined in this policy. All Board members and staff are expected to understand the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion and are responsible for the implementation of such within their scope of influence and authority.
The Arts Council, its Board members and staff are required to comply with all relevant legislation related to human rights and employment equity.
Formal complaints will be resolved through application of the appropriate Arts Council policies, bylaws, and processes