We are committed to creating a more diverse and equitable workplace for all our artists, staff, volunteers, third-party contractors and partners. We will align our policies, processes and workplace culture as we work together for greater equity, diversity and inclusion.
Charles C. Smith, Kevin A. Ormsby and Theresa Ruth Howard.
The National Ballet has engaged partners to provide expertise, guidance and support for our work in equity, diversity and inclusion. Charles Smith and Kevin A. Ormsby of Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario (CPAMO) have been involved since 2018. Their work includes:
- An environmental scan of the international dance sector
- The development of comprehensive, institution-wide policies related to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
- Multiple stakeholder meetings
- The creation and leadership of an internal, cross-departmental Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Task Force
In 2020, the National Ballet engaged Theresa Ruth Howard as a partner in our EDI work. An activist, consultant and former dancer, Theresa is the founder and curator of MoBBallet and is internationally renowned for her advocacy work to increase the presence of Blacks in ballet.
- Co-facilitates the Dancer Affinity Group with First Soloist Jordana Daumec
- Provides Anti-Bias Training for all Artistic Staff
- Advises the Artistic and Executive Directors on artistic matters related to our EDI work
Harrison James and Tanya Howard. Photo by Karolina Kuras.
To celebrate the lives and acknowledge the traditional erasure of Indigenous people from history, before each performance National Ballet dancers acknowledge - through a statement written in collaboration with Indigenous representatives in Toronto - that our creative home is on the traditional territories of the Anishinabek, Mississaugas of the Credit First Nations, Haudenosaunee and Huron Wendat. The acknowledgement also states that we support the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The statement is published in full in our house programmes and on our website.
Read Full Acknowledgement
A Code of Conduct and Ethics for All
In July 2019, the National Ballet implemented an institution-wide Code of Conduct and Ethics that must be reviewed and signed annually by staff, artists, volunteers and partners. It states clear expectations of appropriate behaviour in a respectful workplace, along with available reporting mechanisms and an investigative process.
Read Our Conduct and Ethics
EDI Task Force
The National Ballet formed an internal EDI Task Force in 2018 with representation from equity-seeking communities from all departments across the organization. The Task Force meets monthly to review EDI initiatives and to bring forward issues for discussion and action.
Anti-Bias and Anti-Racism Training
In the fall of 2020 all staff members, artists and Board members received anti-racism/anti-bias training. The sessions were led by Charles Smith and Kevin A. Ormsby of CPAMO and developed with the input of Theresa Ruth Howard. This training will continue on an annual basis.
In 2018, all staff received training surrounding sex, gender and sexuality to understand better the experiences, language and issues of the LGBTQ+ community from Canvas Arts Action.
Lunch and Learns
In December 2020, the National Ballet’s EDI Task Force launched a monthly discussion series for all artists and staff. Each month’s discussion centres around suggested books, videos or podcasts, offering opportunities for all to learn more and to discuss our work in dance within an EDI framework. Our reading so far has included three Canadian books: Desmond Cole’s The Skin We’re In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power; Until We Are Free: Reflections on Black Lives Matter in Canada by Rodney Diverlus, Syrus Marcus Ware and Sandy Hudson, editors; and Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death and Hard Truths in a Northern City by Tanya Talaga.
Equity Speaker Series
The National Ballet launched a Speaker Series in early 2021 to provide insights and learning opportunities for all artists, staff and members of the Board of Directors, as well as members from peer institutions and community partners. The Speaker Series launched in February with Black Ballet History by Theresa Ruth Howard of MoBBallet. In May, the series featured Seika Boye, a scholar, writer, educator and artist whose practices revolve around dance and movement. Ms. Boye shared a presentation about her archival exhibition It’s About Time: Dancing Black in Canada 1900-1970.
The National Ballet is grateful to the volunteers who serve on our Board of Directors and provide leadership and support to the company. With the assistance of the Governance and Nominations Committees, we are committed to diversifying the board to better reflect our wider community. Currently the board is 77% women and 18% identify as IBPOC (Indigenous, Black or Person of Colour) – this racial diversity has increased from 3% in 2017.
Our Board of Directors
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act
The National Ballet of Canada is committed to providing at barrier-free environment for all persons including patrons/customers, employees, contractors, job applicants, volunteers, suppliers, and any visitors who may enter our premises, access our information, or use our services. As an organization, we will meet and support the needs of persons with disabilities in a timely manner, and as set forth in the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2005) and all associated standards and regulations. The National Ballet of Canada will strive to ensure that all policies, practices, and procedures are consistent with the core principles outlined in the Act.
Commitment to Change
We are committed to change and know that there is much more work to do. We have set benchmarks for measuring and increasing diversity within the Board, staff and volunteers and are committed to broadening our recruitment strategies. We will add a Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion to our leadership team to ensure these values are front and centre in every decision, and will expand our community engagement partnerships and programming.