The Province is taking action to support respectful and inclusive work environments for workers in British Columbia’s creative sector.
Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, made the announcement of a new Diversity, Gender Parity and Respectful Work Culture Fund at the Women on Top conference in Vancouver.
“The #MeToo movement has elevated awareness that abuse, discrimination and harassment are serious problems globally,” said Beare. “Our government is deeply committed to ensuring that the people working in B.C.’s creative industries are protected. And that’s why I’m implementing new measures to promote safe, respectful workplaces for workers in the creative sector, in partnership with our provincial agencies, Creative BC, the B.C. Arts Council and Knowledge Network.”
This funding is aimed at supporting immediate steps in B.C creative industries on this issue. The $175,000 fund will be used to deliver respectful work-culture training for the board and leadership levels of creative industry associations and regional film commissions.
Creative BC will administer the fund, which will also pay for the development of toolkits, training, education and workshops to promote safety, diversity and equity in the creative sector. Eligible organizations can apply for grants of up to $15,000 for respectful workplace training.
“We all deserve to go to workplaces that are free from harassment and bullying. By creating safe, respectful work environments, we can help boost productivity and innovation across all industries,” said Mitzi Dean, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity. “This partnership is a great example of how we can work alongside industry, to create healthier, more equitable workplaces for everyone, and especially women and people who identify as LGBTQ2+, or with other equity-seeking groups.”
The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture is also working with its agencies to create policies and strategies aimed at promoting respectful workplaces. As part of the initiative, Creative BC and the B.C. Arts Council are changing contract requirements for grant applicants. Organizations must now commit to ensuring their workplaces are free from bullying and harassment to qualify for funding. Knowledge Network has also published a new Respectful Workplace Statement of Expectation for its producers.
Susan Jackson, chair, B.C. Arts Council –
“We are very pleased with this new government plan, which will enhance our efforts to promote safe, equitable, respectful work environments for artists. This partnership will play a key role in supporting the creativity and vibrancy of B.C.’s arts community.”
Prem Gill, CEO, Creative BC –
“Creative BC is working at the provincial level to drive meaningful action and positive impacts relevant to the issues of respect, diversity and equality in B.C.’s creative industries. As signatories of jointly developed national guiding principles for funders, and partners with industry on relevant strategic initiatives, we are dedicated to collaborating at all levels toward constructive change.”
Rudi Buttignol, president and CEO, Knowledge Network –
“We commend the actions taken by the provincial government to promote safe workplaces in B.C.’s creative sector. Knowledge Network is committed to supporting a respectful, equitable and safe working environment for our employees, and those we work with, in the independent production community.”
- Creative industries in B.C. contribute more than $5 billion to the economy each year.
- Creative industries in British Columbia include:
- The motion picture industry
- Music and sound recording
- Interactive and digital media
- Book and magazine publishing
- The sector supports more than 90,000 full-time workers, and employs thousands more in part time or contract positions.
- The arts and culture sector includes:
- Artists and cultural organizations in dance, media arts, literary arts, museums, music, theatre and visual arts
- Unincorporated collectives in various art forms
- Indigenous artists and organizations
- Arts festivals
- Arts training institutions
- Community arts organizations and arts presenters across B.C.
- B.C. has the highest concentration of artists in Canada, supporting more than 24,800 professionals in communities throughout the province.
B.C. Arts Council: http://www.bcartscouncil.ca/
Creative BC: https://www.creativebc.com/
Knowledge Network: https://www.knowledge.ca/