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Equity and Diversity

The Ontario Arts Council continues to implement equity strategies

In 2012, following the internal equity audit undertaken by the Ontario Arts Council (OAC), OAC developed a draft equity plan. This draft plan was made public for feedback and validated by Ontario artists, arts organizations, partners, funders and arts communities with 872 respondents to our online survey, as well as 89 individuals who participated in 11 focus group meetings held between January and April 2013.

The final equity plan was made a part of OAC’s 2014 strategic plan: Vital Arts and Public Value – A Blueprint for 2014-2020. This will guide OAC’s decision-making over the next five years. At its core are the vision, values and objectives stated below, that OAC hopes to achieve through its initiatives and activities:

OAC Equity Vision

We are inspired by and value Ontario’s artists, who help shape our thriving and diverse society and express the richness of our stories, histories and cultures. Therefore, as a public agency, funder and employer, OAC will lead and be responsive and inclusive in supporting diverse artists, artistic practices, arts communities and our own organization.

Values

Leadership: OAC will integrate equity principles into its policies, practices, programs, partnerships and services; continue to address systemic barriers and historical challenges; and develop and adequately resource annual equity plans within the context of the current strategic plan.

Inclusiveness: OAC will foster a welcoming, barrier-free environment and build relationships with communities not traditionally involved with OAC.

Responsiveness: OAC programs and services will meet varied needs of the diversity of artists and arts organizations from across the province.

Diversity: OAC board, staff, applicants and assessors will reflect the diversity of the public as defined by the Ontario Human Rights Code and Section 35(2) of the Constitution of Canada.

Objectives

OAC is committed to attaining the following specific objectives over time, as resources allow:
  1. Provide fair and equitable access to OAC funding, services and partnerships, with special focus on artists and arts organizations that continue to face systemic barriers and historic challenges.
  2. Enhance diversity in OAC staff, board, hiring committees, peer-assessment committees, vendors and suppliers.
  3. Make OAC communications vehicles accessible and reflective of Ontario’s diversity.
  4. Help develop the capacity of diverse artists and arts organizations that continue to face systemic barriers to achieve their goals and strengthen their ability to succeed.
  5. Meet or exceed the requirements of all applicable equity and human rights-related legislation.
  6. Strengthen OAC’s work culture through the application of equity and diversity principles in internal communications and staff contribution to decision-making.
  7. Continually increase OAC’s knowledge of effective equity and diversity practices to enhance individual and organizational performance.
  8. Allocate adequate human and financial resources to pursue equity and diversity objectives.
  9. Regularly track, measure and report on OAC’s progress toward achieving its vision of equity and diversity.