To support a culture of respect, dignity and inclusivity, free from any form of harassment, a recent collaborative initiative brings together key investors in Canada’s creative industries from coast to coast to coast, who have all committed to these guiding principles on harassment. These 13 industry partners, all funders committed to the vibrancy of our creative sector, feel the industry’s commitment is critical to help support the change required to sustain a healthy ecosystem for talent to flourish.

The signatories also share an understanding that what’s needed is a cultural shift; that we must all work in partnership to support one another’s efforts towards making this shift happen; and that a key tool for change is education, as it is the means to awareness, empowerment, agency, and change.

“What started in the film and television industry, has expanded across all sectors and around the world. As funders of Canada’s audiovisual industry, we have a responsibility to ensure that a safe and respectful working environment is a standard across all productions in our country – and this is a responsibility that we all take very seriously,” said Christa Dickenson, Executive Director, Telefilm Canada. “Respect and dignity is at the core of Canadian values, and it is imperative that it be reflected in our cultural industries.”

You can view Canada’s creative industries’ guiding principles in full, right here:

The signatories are: Telefilm Canada, Alberta Film, Canada Media Fund, Creative BC, Creative Saskatchewan, Manitoba Film and Music, Newfoundland and Labrador Film Development Corporation, Northwest Territories Film Commission, Nova Scotia Business Inc, Nunavut Film Development Corporation, Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC), Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC), and Yukon Media Development.

Here’s a few of the signatories on why they made this commitment, and why now in particular:

Prem Gill, Chief Executive Officer, Creative BC:

“As the economic development agency for the creative industries in British Columbia, Creative BC is committed to working with industry stakeholders at all levels to ensure organizations in the creative industries are working towards a healthy workplace that thrives in a culture of mutual respect, dignity and inclusivity. Across Canada, the creative industries are taking a united leadership role to define a new, positive path and tools for people working in the industry. It is important these collaborative initiatives are launched as Creative BC and parallel funding organizations across Canada have a key role to play in shaping the future of respectful workplace culture within the creative industries.”

Carole Vivier, Chief Executive Officer & Film Commissioner, Manitoba Film and Music: “As funders, we have a role to play in shaping the culture of this industry. We are proud to be part of a global movement that is working to empower survivors and foster respect and inclusion in the workplace. The movement started with those who courageously shared their stories. We must now take up the torch and address harassment at all levels.”

Karen Thorne-Stone, President & Chief Executive Officer, Ontario Media Development Corporation: “OMDC is committed to fostering respectful workplaces in all sectors and companies we support. It has also been OMDC’s long-standing practice as an employer. We are proud to be part of a community of funders that is playing a leadership role in educating and requiring safe and respectful workplace commitments from our industry stakeholders. OMDC’s funding guidelines now require all applicants to confirm that they have guiding principles in place as well as a process for addressing issues and maintaining a respectful workplace for everyone.”

Dorian Rowe, Executive Director/Film Commissioner, Newfoundland and Labrador Film Development Corporation: “As the provincial film commission and also as the provincial government Crown corporation which invests in film and television productions, it was vital to the board and staff of the Newfoundland and Labrador Film Development Corporation to be at the forefront of industry efforts to address the challenges of workplace harassment. When Telefilm organized the national group, we agreed immediately to participate. We are proud to be signatories to the guiding principles which resulted, rather quickly, and we would like to acknowledge Telefilm’s strong leadership on this issue of utmost importance.”

The Honorable Ranj Pillai, Minister of Economic Development, Government of Yukon

“Everyone has a right to a safe, inclusive and respectful workplace. The Government of Yukon is committed to preventing and eradicating harassment in any form, and this is why in April 2018, we signed the Guiding Principles developed in partnership with Telefilm Canada. Harassment will not be tolerated in our own organization and in the companies we support. This is good for workers in the creative industries, good for the economy, and good for Yukon.”

While the work continues, and there is clearly much to do, it begins with commitment.