Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Statement

Oakville Improv Theatre Company (OITC) knows that the current structure of many arts organizations grants power, privilege, and access unequally. In order for our theatre company to truly reflect our community and remain vital, we have to ensure that everyone has equal and safe access to every aspect of its work: From administrator to volunteer – from performer to audience member. Everyone must be able to play a part free from discrimination and harassment and be able to be treated with respect and dignity, allowing them to contribute fully.

As an improv company, we are determined to be open to the generous spirit of artistic collaboration. We recognize and value each person’s unique voice, as described in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights  (illustrated: https://www.un.org/en/udhrbook/). Our work, on every level, must be free from any form of harassment or discrimination; that hope is upheld by law in our province, under The Ontario Human Rights Code (The Ontario Human Rights Code | Ontario Human Rights Commission (ohrc.on.ca)).

We strongly believe equity, diversity and inclusion is about creating a culture that embraces the uniqueness of individuals and is representative of the world’s population.

Equity means that people of all identities are treated fairly. Their individual rights, responsibilities and opportunities are not dependent upon identity.

Diversity consists of the conditions, expressions, and experiences of different individuals. It encompasses the unique qualities and characteristics that we all possess.

Inclusion is the cultivation of an environment in which all people are respected, where their differences are embraced, and where they all have access to the same opportunities.

We value equity, diversity, and inclusion because every person has a right to equal treatment, and we are strengthened by diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences. Building an equitable, diverse, and inclusive theatre company is collaborative and requires those in positions of privilege to be allies to those who are marginalized.

Our goals are to foster a diverse and inclusive environment by continuous and active engagement of our improvisors, students, volunteers, employees and audience members to remove barriers faced by equity-seeking groups. We will create, support and maintain a learning, performing, and work environment that is free from discriminatory and intimidating behaviour. We will continuously address issues related to equity-seeking groups that include, but are not limited to, those represented by race, sex, age, physical disabilities, sexual orientation, gender identity, neurodiversity, and socioeconomic status. In the spirit of reconciliation, we will also strive to develop and enhance existing Indigenous relationships.

We act by maintaining an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee that not only includes members of equity-seeking groups, but also their allies. We will actively work to recognize, develop and promote initiatives towards equity, diversity, and inclusion in our curriculum, hiring policies, and organized events. These efforts will be data driven and guided by evidence of successful approaches that act to remove barriers to inclusion. We will provide allyship, mentorship, and sponsorship to ensure that all members of our theatre company are treated in a fair and ethical manner and are supported in their path to success.

All employees, contractors and volunteers of Oakville Improv will be treated as individuals according only to their abilities to meet job requirements, and without regard to factors such as race, colour, ancestry, creed (religion), place of origin, ethnic origin, citizenship, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity), sexual orientation, age, marital status, family status, disability, receipt of public assistance, or any other factor that is legislatively protected within the province where the employee works. Any kind of discrimination or harassment based upon these factors is neither permitted nor condoned, and above all, will not be tolerated under any circumstances.