Minister Joly Meets with Cultural Sector in Toronto to Better Support the Fight Against Sexual Harassment
TORONTO, January 17, 2018
Today, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, participated in two meetings: one hosted by the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT) and the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association (Equity), and the other by the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA). On January 5, Minister Joly requested the review of Canadian Heritage funding policies to ensure that organizations receiving funding promote safe and harassment-free workplaces.
During the two meetings today, the Minister discussed with various stakeholders the best ways to support the culture change needed to curb harassment and support a healthy work environment for all Canadians. Harassment is a problem within the cultural sector, as well as in other sectors, and stakeholders are aligned on the need to work together to address concerns and promote a healthy work environment for all.
The meeting hosted by PACT and Equity was attended by members of the theatre, dance and music communities and by representatives of the Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance. The meeting hosted by ACTRA was attended by members of the Directors Guild of Canada and representatives of the Canadian Media Producers Association, the Writers Guild of Canada and the International Federation of Actors.
These stakeholder discussions are part of a series of industry initiatives aimed at finding concrete solutions to ensure a healthy climate in the cultural sector.
The Minister reiterated her support for these shared approaches and committed to further development of practical solutions within the sector to ensure the health, safety and dignity of those working in arts and culture in Canada.
Canadian Heritage aims to find ways to support workers by investing in projects such as toolkits and sharing of best practices, in order to provide the cultural sector with the resources required to address workplace harassment issues.
“Each and every Canadian deserves respect. The #metoo movement is not a passing moment: it’s a call to action. As a Minister and as a woman, this issue is close to my heart, and I am committed to doing my part to tackle issues of harassment in the arts and culture sector. I extend my wholehearted support to victims, and I am confident that together we will find solutions to eradicate this serious problem. I would like to thank PACT, ACTRA and the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association for taking the lead on this important issue.”
—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage
The Canadian Actors’ Equity Association and the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres are committed to taking a leadership role in eliminating sexual harassment and bullying in professional Canadian theatre, from the implementation of the Not In OUR Space! campaign to jointly hosting today’s meeting of live performance industry stakeholders. This meeting is to discuss practical and supportive anti-harassment strategies in workspaces, to share initiatives and create a national, collaborative action plan for the live performance sector. We look forward to sharing outcomes and next steps following this meeting.
—Arden R. Ryshpan, Executive Director, Canadian Actors’ Equity Association and Sara Meurling, Executive Director, Professional Association of Canadian Theatres
“ACTRA welcomes Minister Joly’s willingness to work with the creative sector on an industry-wide response to sexual harassment, discrimination, bullying and violence. Representatives from across the industry have agreed to a zero-tolerance for harassment. Together we are committed to building effective solutions with our partners to combat abuse in our industry.”
—David Sparrow, National President, ACTRA
For more information (media only), please contact:
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage