B.C. government creates fund for respectful workplace training in arts industry

The $175,000 will be distributed to arts organizations by Creative BC

    1 of 1 2 of 1

      British Columbia arts organizations looking to combat workplace harassment and discrimination can now apply for a cash boost from the B.C. government.

      The new $175,000 Diversity, Gender Parity and Respectful Work Culture Fund will support training for leadership of B.C. arts industry associations and regional film commissions. 

      B.C. Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Lisa Beare announced the creation of the fund at Friday's Women on Top conference at Vancouver’s Sutton Place Hotel.

      “To do great work, you need a great workplace. One that is safe and respectful, a workplace that is free from discrimination and harassment,” Beare told the gathered crowd of film industry members.

      Beare said she hopes training administered through the fund will impact arts workplaces at many levels. 

      “These measures will help educate the industry on the importance of creating spaces that are safe for people to work in. It will empower those in the sector to speak out if they experience bullying, harassment, or assault at work. And it will reduce the risk, clearly identify expectations and ensure that those who come forward as listened to and respected," she said.

      The new grants will be administered by Creative BC. Creative industry organizations and regional film commissions in the province will be able to apply for grants of up to $15,000 to create workshops, toolkits, training and education around respectful workplaces. The grants will particularly be targeted for training at the board and leadership levels of organizations. 

      “We are dedicated to collaborating at all levels toward constructive change,” Creative BC CEO Prem Gill said in a statement.

      More than 90,000 people work full-time in B.C.’s creative sector, which includes the film, music, publishing and media industries. B.C. also has the highest concentration of artists in Canada. 

      B.C. Arts Council chair Susan Jackson says the new fund will promote equitable and respectful work environments.

      "This partnership will play a key role in supporting the creativity and vibrancy of B.C.'s arts community," she said in a statement.