Canadian music orgs sign creative sector conduct code
A coalition of Canadian music organisations has signed the country’s Creative Industries Code of Conduct, an industry-wide initiative dedicated to preventing and reducing harassment, discrimination, bullying and violence.
Canada’s creative industries launched the code of conduct in 2018, following the widespread bullying, harassment and discrimination allegations made in the wake of the #metoo movement.
On Saturday 16 March, it was announced that 42 music community groups are now signatories of the code at the Allies in Action event, hosted by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) in London, Ontario.
The newly rebranded Canadian Live Music Association says it is “proud to join our allies in the music community” in signing the behaviour code, which commits signatories to improving and implementing policies to enhance safety and wellbeing within the music community.
It was also announced that Unison Benevolent Fund has committed to hosting education and training resources on its website free of charge. The resources are intended to enable community members to identify, confront and prevent harassment, bullying and violence in any workplace.
“Signing the Code is a way for Canadian music community groups to affirm our dedication to our shared values, and to reinforce those values with action”
“Signing the Code is a way for Canadian music community groups to affirm our dedication to our shared values, and to reinforce those values with action,” says Jackie Dean, chief operating officer of CARAS. “Through the work of the Education, Training and Safe Support Committee, I’m very pleased that we will be able to offer all members of the Canadian music community the resources to help make all of our workplaces safer.”
“Canada’s live music industry is doing its part to ensure that every live music space is a safe place through our recently launched Raising the Bar program,” comments Erin Benjamin, president and chief executive of the Canadian Live Music Association.
“Raising the Bar addresses safer spaces, harm reduction and event safety at live music events, and will work to complement both the ethos and practical implications of the Canadian Creative Industries Code of Conduct. We are all in this together, and we are vigorously working to supplant systemic issues with positive change.”
Terms of the code of conduct in both French and English, as well as additional resources, can be found on the readthecode.ca website, launched in June 2018. More information regarding names of signatories and how to sign up to the code is available here.
UK festivals sign anti-sexual harassment charter
More than 60 members of the UK’s Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) have signed up to a charter of best practice aimed at promoting increased awareness of sexual assault.
The ‘Safer Spaces’ campaign – launched by AIF with guidance from Rape Crisis England and Wales, Girls Against, Safe Gigs for Women and the White Ribbon Campaign – aims to connect with music fans in the run-up to this summer’s festival season by emphasising participating festivals’ “zero tolerance” for sexual assault at their events.
Additionally, next Monday (8 May) more than 25 UK festivals, including Bestival, Parklife, End of the Road, Standon Calling, Kendal Calling, Boomtown Fair and the soon-to-end Secret Garden Party, will ‘black out’ their websites for 24 hours, directing visitors to click through to information about the Safer Spaces campaigns, and share an animated gif encouraging festivalgoers to play an active role in promoting safety.
Several festivals in Europe and Australasia have experienced incidents of multiple sexual assaults in the past 12 months, including Putte i Parken and Bråvalla in Sweden, Schlossgrabenfest in Germany and Falls Festival in Australia. Following the incidents at Falls Festival and a similar assault at Unify Gathering, Australia’s St Jerome’s Laneway Festival instituted a hotline (1-800 LANEWAY) for its attendees to report incidents of “disrespectful behaviour”.
AIF’s charter of best practice commits the festivals to:
- A zero-tolerance policy towards any form of sexual harassment at their events
- Provision of confidential welfare services to any victim of sexual assault
- Ensuring staff and volunteers are trained to deal with issues relating to sexual violence
- Taking a “victim-led approach” to sexual assault incidents
“It’s really positive to see event organisers commit to training and strategies aimed at preventing sexual assault and rape at festivals”
“This campaign is building upon the positive measures that are already being taken by our members,” says AIF campaign manager Renae Brown. “We are reiterating that we have a zero tolerance towards any form of sexual harassment or assault at our events.
“Our members already take very seriously their responsibilities as event organisers, and by taking guidance from Rape Crisis England and Wales, Girls Against, Safe Gigs for Women and the White Ribbon Campaign we are aiming to tackle these issues in both a sensitive and impactful way – pushing awareness of sexual safety to the fore while ensuring all those working on site are properly trained and that UK festivals continue to provide the safest, securest and most enjoyable environment for their customers.”
Adds Rape Crisis’s Rebecca Hitchen: “It’s really positive to see event organisers commit to training and strategies aimed at preventing sexual assault and rape at festivals, as well as making sure those who do experience these crimes get access to appropriate support. Zero tolerance to sexual violence and encouraging festivalgoers not to be bystanders when they witness assaults are strong and crucial messages.”
AIF represents more than 60 independent British festivals.
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