Equity Guiding Principles

  • TAC recognizes the inherent dignity and the equal rights of all human beings, as outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). TAC is committed to ensuring that all individuals who apply to, work with or otherwise interact with the Council are treated with fairness and respect and accorded equal opportunity.
  • In accordance with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Canadian Human Rights Act, the Ontario Human Rights Code, and the City of Toronto’s Human Rights and Anti-Harassment/Discrimination Policy, TAC actively opposes any discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion or creed, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, family status, physical or mental health disability, linguistic background, social class, receipt of public assistance, and conviction of an offense for which a pardon has been granted.
  • In keeping with the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), TAC recognizes the inherent rights of Indigenous peoples to self-determination and to “freely pursue their own economic, social and cultural development” without discrimination. TAC also acknowledges the rights of Indigenous peoples to own and control their own heritage and artistic products and actively challenges and resists cultural misappropriation. TAC is further committed to incorporating the principles and recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action into its programs and operations and to actively promoting reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.   
  • In keeping with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, TAC is committed to eliminating any barriers that prevent a person with a disability from fully participating in its programs and operations because of his or her disability, including physical, architectural, attitudinal, technological, information or communications barriers and/or discriminatory policies or practices. TAC is further committed to actively challenging the stigma faced by people living with mental illness or disability.
  • In keeping with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, TAC recognizes freedom of conscience and religion as a fundamental right, acknowledges and challenges religious discrimination in Canadian society—including Islamophobia and anti-Semitism—and encourages diversity of thought and belief in its programs and operations.
  • In accordance with the Employment Canada Act, TAC is committed to eliminating any barriers to employment at the Council that may be experienced by historically disadvantaged groups, including the four groups that have been formally designated as Employment Equity groups by the Federal government: women, people with disabilities, Aboriginal peoples, and members of visible minorities.
  • TAC acknowledges that while all qualified artists and arts organizations deserve equal access to its programs and services and to opportunities within the broader arts sector, certain groups in society have been historically disadvantaged as a result of systemic biases or other barriers related to race, culture, ethnicity, disability, geography, language, gender, sexuality or other personal and protected characteristics.

In accordance with the City of Toronto Grants Policy: Anti-Racism, Access and Equity Policy and Guidelines, TAC supports and implements proactive policies and measures to ensure:

  • equity of opportunity and equity of access to its programs, services, operations and decision-making processes;
  • the removal of real or perceived barriers denying artists access to city resources;
  • an equitable division of funds to Toronto’s diverse arts sector; and
  • that the Council is fully inclusive and accessible to all qualified Toronto artists and arts professionals.

The Council is further committed to ensuring that:

  • TAC’s workforce and all of its decision-making bodies—including its Board of Directors, arts discipline committees and grant review panels—reflect the diversity of the arts labour force and the population of the City of Toronto.
  • TAC’s employment and assessment processes are bias-free and safeguard that no person is denied employment, grant opportunities or benefits for reasons unrelated to merit.
  • TAC’s application programs and processes, its services and its premises are accessible to all qualified Toronto artists, including artists of colour, artists who are Deaf, have disabilities or are living with mental illness, Indigenous artists, artists who self-identify as 2SLGBTQIAP, newcomer and refugee artists, young and emerging artists, and artists working in all areas of the city (including residents of the City of Toronto’s Neighbourhood Improvement Areas).
  • TAC’s peer assessment committees and grant review panels are selected for the necessary knowledge, skills and expertise to assess the full spectrum of cultural expressions, artistic practices and aesthetics represented in the City of Toronto, including Indigenous arts, culturally specific art forms and Deaf and disability arts practices.
  • TAC’s management, staff and board members are knowledgeable about equity and access policies, practices and legislation and implementing equity is viewed as both an individual and shared responsibility of all Council personnel and volunteers.
  • TAC maintains a safe, equitable and anti-oppressive environment where:
    • cultural difference is respected;
    • each person feels empowered to contribute to decision-making and have their voices heard and input valued; and
    • exclusion, marginalization, injustice, harassment, discrimination and violence are not tolerated.

Toronto Arts Council Equity Framework

Equity at Toronto Arts Council: A Brief History
Equity Guiding Principles

Equity Priority Groups
Equity Priority Policy
Representation and Peer Assessment

Equity Steering Committee and Framework Implementation
Increased Weighting of Equity Implementation Score in Operating Grants