Arts Network Ottawa aims to ensure that all employees, board members, contractors, artists, members, program participants, volunteers, and all those associated with the organization are aware that abuse, discrimination, and harassment are unwelcome and unacceptable in any and all organization spaces, including virtual spaces. Arts Network Ottawa will enforce a zero-tolerance for any violation of this policy.  

Arts Network Ottawa believes everybody deserves to be treated with dignity and mutual respect. Our objective is to provide a workplace that promotes fairness of opportunities and prohibits harassment, violence and discriminatory practices.  

By participating in Arts Network Ottawa programming, you are agreeing to abide by this policy. All employees, artists, cultural workers, trainers, participants, volunteers or anyone involved in our activities have the right to work in a safe and respectful workplace and must know the relevant procedure when it is necessary to report, without fear of reprisal.   

Harassment is any inappropriate, offensive, unacceptable or demeaning comment or conduct, occurring as an isolated incident or a series of incidents. It is behaviour that an individual knows, or ought reasonably to have known, to be unwelcome.  

Examples of harassment include deliberate or unintentional bullying, gestures, comments, improper jokes, racial slurs, or other behaviours which by their nature, create a hostile, intimidating, abusive or threatening work environment.  

Sexual harassment is any unsolicited conduct, comment or physical contact of a sexual nature that is unwelcome to the recipient. It includes any unwanted sexual advances (oral, written or physical), requests for sexual favours, sexual and sexist jokes, and the display of degrading or offensive material when:  

  • Such conduct might reasonably be expected to cause insecurity, discomfort, offence or humiliation to another person, or  
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with a person’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, or  
  • Submission to such conduct is made either implicitly or explicitly a condition of employment or participation in a program; or   
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for any employment or program admission decision.  


Anyone experiencing unsafe behaviour in an Arts Network Ottawa workplace, events or program is encouraged to come forward without fear of retaliation. Retaliation against any individual associated in any way with a complaint under this policy will be treated as harassment.   

Confidentiality is of the utmost concern. Arts Network Ottawa recognizes that it may be difficult to come forward with a harassment complaint because of concerns for confidentiality. All complaints received under this policy, as well as the names of the parties involved, shall be considered strictly confidential.   

  • If you believe that you are being harassed or become aware of harassment and you feel safe to do so you are encouraged to express your objection immediately to the person  concerned   
  • If the harasser persists or you are not comfortable with approaching the person concerned directly, you should report the incident and discuss it with an Arts Network Ottawa Manager and/or the Executive Director.  
  • The person to whom the incident is reported will inform you of your rights and responsibilities, as well as the options available, and will assist in determining how best to address the harassment, i.e. informally or through a formal complaint  

Should you decide to file a formal complaint, you should:  

  • Set down in writing, with the assistance of the Executive Director if necessary, the facts related to the incident or incidents such as the date, the type of harassment and the names of witnesses, if any,  
  • Sign and file the complaint with the Executive Director; and  
  • Cooperate with those responsible for investigating the complaint.  

Investigations must be completed within fifteen working days after date of receiving formal complaint, subject to such extensions as may be allowed by the Executive Director and/or President of the Board.  

Investigations may be completed by the Executive Director, member of the board or a third-party investigator.  

Upon receipt of a formal complaint and based on unbiased, and factual investigations, investigators are responsible for making recommendations on whether the complaint is founded by:  

  1. Informing the relevant parties of their rights and the confidentiality of the investigation  
  1. Gathering facts, conducting the interview, and maintaining appropriate documentation throughout the investigation; and   
  1. Preparing a report for the Executive Director, which is based on the relevant facts and provides recommendations as to the appropriate sanctions and/or remedial actions to be taken.  

The Executive Director is responsible for following up on the recommended sanctions and/or remedial actions provided in the report from the investigator.  


When a complaint is determined to be founded, Arts Network Ottawa will decide on measures and follow-ups to be taken. Disciplinary measures can range from a simple warning to termination or removal from Arts Network Ottawa programs.   

Questions about this policy can be directed to the Executive Director.