Toronto Blues Society | » Harassment, Discrimination & Racism Policy

Harassment, Discrimination & Racism Policy

The Ontario Human Rights Code is a provincial law that gives everybody equal rights and opportunities without discrimination in areas such as jobs, housing and services. The Code’s goal is to prevent discrimination and harassment. Under the Ontario Human Rights Code there are 17 prohibited grounds

The Toronto Blues Society is committed to providing an environment free from discrimination and harassment, where all individuals are treated with respect and dignity, can contribute fully and have equal opportunities.

Under the Ontario Human Rights Code, every person has the right to be free from harassment and discrimination. Harassment and discrimination will not be tolerated, condoned or ignored by the Toronto Blues Society. We agree to zero tolerance for such behaviour.

The Toronto Blues Society is committed to a comprehensive strategy to address harassment and discrimination, including:

  • providing training and education to its staff and board of directors to ensure everyone knows their rights and responsibilities
  • regularly monitoring organizational systems for infractions of the Ontario Human Rights Code
  • foster the goodwill and trust necessary to protect the rights of all individuals within the organisation and blues community
  • promote mutual respect, understanding and co-operation as a basis of interaction among the Toronto Blues Society and the community it represents
  • neither tolerate nor condone behaviour that undermines the dignity or self-esteem of individuals
  • providing an effective and fair complaints procedure
  • if a claim of harassment or discrimination is proven, appropriate measures will be taken
  • promoting appropriate standards of conduct at all times for Toronto Blues Society staff and board of directors, as well as for our volunteers, artists and industry representatives who attend or participate in Toronto Blues Society events. 
  • continue to foster diversity within our organization and blues community
  • ensure our values and policy is communicated to the blues community via the organization’s website, newsletter, communications and at events.


Blues and Anti-Black Racism

November 4, 2020 – The Toronto Blues Society is developing an Action Plan to ensure we address and take measures to prevent any systemic racism. Following consultations with various stakeholders a number of steps have been taken or are in progress including:

  • Research grants to support staff and contract consultants.
  • Programming of the Pioneer Profiles and other BIPOC artists.
  • Consultation with community leadership such as Diana Braithwaite, Anthony Morgan (City of Toronto) and others.
  • Recruitment of more broad representation & diversity on the TBS Board of Directors and Music Advisory Council in consultation with community leaders.
  • Development of new Strategic Plan for the organization spanning five years and including the broadening of representation & diversity.

[With Permission of the Blues Foundation.] The Blues is an African American art form, originally created as an artistic expression and response to the oppression, dehumanization, and hatred this population had to endure. The Toronto Blues Society stands with the musicians and members of our community past and present who speak truth through music. We will join the greater conversation for the eradication of racism in deference to the legacy of the Blues. “The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

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TBS logo and WBR artwork by Barbara Klunder

The Toronto Blues Society acknowledges the annual support of the Ontario Arts Council, the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council and the Department of Canadian Heritage, and project support from FACTOR< and the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage (Canada Music Fund) and of Canada’s Private Broadcasters, The Canada Council for the Arts, the SOCAN Foundation, SOCAN, the Ontario Media Development Corporation, and the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.