Equity Guiding Principles

  • The Foundation recognizes the inherent dignity and the equal rights of all human beings, as outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The Foundation is committed to ensuring that all individuals who apply to, work with or otherwise interact with the Foundation 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, the Foundation 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), the Foundation recognizes the inherent rights of Indigenous peoples to self-determination and to “freely pursue their own economic, social and cultural development” without discrimination. The Foundation also acknowledges the rights of Indigenous peoples to own and control their own heritage and artistic products and actively challenges and resists cultural misappropriation.
  • The Foundation 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 promote reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.   
  • In keeping with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, the Foundation 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. The Foundation 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, the Foundation 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, the Foundation is committed to eliminating any barriers to employment at the Foundation 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
  • The Foundation acknowledges that while all Torontonians 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, the Foundation 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 Foundation is further committed to ensuring that:

  • The Foundation's workforce and all of its decision-making bodies—including its Board of Directors, advisors and juries—reflect the diversity of the arts labour force and the population of the City of Toronto.
  • The Foundation's employment and assessment processes are bias-free and safeguard that no person is denied employment, award opportunities or benefits for reasons unrelated to merit.
  • The Foundation's programs, its services and its premises are accessible to all Torontonians including people of colour, who are Deaf, have disabilities, are living with mental illness, Indigenous, 2SLGBTQIAP, newcomer or refugee, and who are living or  working in all areas of the city (including residents of the City of Toronto’s Neighbourhood Improvement Areas).
  • The Foundation's awards assessment juries 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.
  • The Foundation'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 Foundation personnel and volunteers.
  • The Foundation 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 Foundation Equity Framework

Equity at Toronto Arts Foundation & Toronto Arts Council: A Brief History
Equity Guiding Principles
Equity Priority Groups

Key Equity Policies and Practices
Implementing Equity