CODE OF ETHICAL AND
PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT (Revised July 1991)
Board of Directors – The Board of
Directors is elected by the membership of the Association
and is responsible for establishing policies that govern the
Association, oversees that these policies are followed, and
delegates responsibilities to the Executive Director and Committees.
Executive Director – The Executive
Director is hired by the Board of Directors and is responsible
for management of the day-to-day operations of the Association,
hiring and supervision of the staff (paid and volunteer),
development of programs, presentation of proposals for implementing
policies, and plays an active role in the creation of new
policies or alterations to existing policies and the carrying
out of these policies.
Committees – Committee Chairpersons
are appointed by the Board of Directors and all members of
the Committees must be approved by the Board. The Committees
are responsible for collectively carrying out the initiatives
as set out by the Board within the terms of reference and
within established budget guidelines and for making recommendations
to the Board for implementation of these initiatives.
Special Interest Groups – Special
Interest Groups do not have a mandate within the Association,
but have aligned themselves with the Association for the purposes
of convenience of meetings, etc. Special Interest Groups may
not use the name of the Association to further their own interests
and must adhere to all of the stipulations of this Code. Alignment
with and usage of the name of the Association in connection
with Special Interest Group activities must be cleared on
every occasion by the secretariat and/or the Board of Directors.
Responsibility to the Association –
All individuals involved with the Association (Board of Directors,
Executive Director, Staff, Committee Members and Special Interest
Groups) should act with the best interests of OAAG foremost
and in accordance with its bylaws, policies, purpose and goals.
All individuals must carry out their own responsibilities,
in relation to OAAG, ethically and morally and without allowing
their activities to serve their own end above the common good
of the Association. As the history of OAAG activities to date
clearly indicates the drive towards, and effectiveness of,
united action by its members, the most important element in
the Association’s Code of Ethical Conduct must be the
agreement by members that the common good of the whole takes
precedence over the individual interest of the parts.
It is recognized that members of the Board and Committees
are usually employees of the Association’s member institutions
and have loyalties to their own institutions, as well as to
the guiding principles of OAAG. These individuals should accept
responsibility for loyalty to OAAG without compromising their
own principles. It is understood that individual member Galleries
have their own constitutions and bylaws, and that this Code
of Ethical Conduct cannot take precedence over them. Each
member institution should establish its participation in OAAG
as a high priority in its own operation and should allow their
employees a reasonable amount of time to dedicate to such
Board/Committee Membership – All members
of the Board and Committees must be members of the Association.
It is necessary that all Board and Committee members agree
to acquaint themselves with the Association’s purposes,
policies and practices and to accept a share of responsibility
and workload that will be carried out conscientiously and
Membership in OAAG implies the provision of resources and
assistance to other members, where possible and feasible,
in the interests of mutual support.
Conflict of Interest – All individuals
will refrain from any acts or activities that may be perceived
as a conflict of interest whether personally, on behalf of
his/her institution of employment, or in the interests of
a 3rd party. In addition, all individuals have an obligation
to reveal any potential conflicts of interest and to resolve
such situations immediately. This conflict of interest extends
to such areas as personal relationships, relationships to
the funding bodies and acts resulting in personal gain.
Confidentiality – While individuals
are involved with the Association and even after their length
of service has terminated, it is expected that any information
that is of a confidential nature will be kept confidential.
Members shall also respect the confidentiality of other members’
operational information (especially financial), and will not
use it without prior knowledge and permission of the other
members in question.
Integrity/Professionalism – It is
taken for granted that in the furnishing of information of
any kind or participation in activities, members of OAAG will
act with integrity and professionalism not only towards their
own institutions, but also toward OAAG and its members institutions,
professional colleagues and the general public.
Before any member considers expansionary plans of any kind
for his/her institution, due consideration for, and consultation
with neighbouring institutions should be given in an effort
to obtain their cooperation and good will.
Any individual member or member institution proposing policy
changes that might have repercussions throughout the whole
art gallery community, or wishing to communicate with the
rest of the membership, will advise and consult with the Board
of Directors before taking this action. The influence of OAAG
as an organization will not be used without thorough investigation
into all of the circumstances surrounding any request for
support or assistance.
Discrimination – All individuals involved
with OAAG will refrain from any practices that may be deemed
discriminatory on the grounds of race, creed, colour, national
origin, language, age, gender, sexual orientation, political
affiliation, marital status, disability or family status.
Remuneration – Members of the Association
are entitled to receive remuneration from OAAG for services
performed (i.e.: presenting lectures at seminars, authoring
publications, etc.). Any individual receiving such payment
has the option of waiving their fees or donating them back
to the Association. However, payment is not extended to the
Board of Directors and Committee members performing activities
considered to be within ‘normal duties.’
OAAG endorses the following Codes of Ethics, that are recommended
for the guidance of the membership for their individual organizations:
- The Canadian Art Museum Director’s Organization
- Canadian Museums Association (CMA)
- Association of Cultural Executives (ACE)
- Professional Practices in Art Museums by the American
Art Museum Directors, 1971
Breach – Any breach of ethical conduct
must be addressed openly by the Board of Directors and immediate
action taken to resolve the situation. Depending on the situation,
the Board of Directors may suspend or terminate an individual’s
involvement with the Association. Any questions of conduct
will be addressed with consideration and promptness.
OAAG MEMBERSHIP POLICY
The present membership consists of public institutions, organizations,
and individuals in the following categories:
Art Gallery Member (Institutional)
Affiliate Gallery Member (Institutional)
Associate Organization Member (Institutional)
Application to Membership – Prospective
members shall apply in writing to the Board, and supply sufficient
information to allow the Board to determine the category of
membership to which the applicant may be admitted. Members
shall be admitted by resolution of the Board. [Bylaw 2.03]
All applications for membership are processed by the OAAG
office, reviewed by the Membership Committee which makes its
recommendations to the Board of Directors.
Fees – Each member shall pay the fees
and levies set by the Board from time to time [Bylaw 2.04].
Voting Rights – Each member has one
vote exercised by the member or by a designated representative.
No member in arrears in payment of fees and levies set by
the Board may vote at a members’ meeting. Certain voting
rights may be reserved for OAAG Art Gallery Members.
Any three Art Gallery members may require, at a members’
meeting, that a resolution before that meeting may be ratified
by a majority of votes cast by the Art Gallery members present
at the members’ meeting before becoming effective. Any
three Art Gallery members may require, at a members’
meeting, that a special resolution before that meeting be
ratified by at least two-thirds of the votes cast by the Art
Gallery members present at the members’ meeting before
becoming effective [Bylaw 2.05].
Holding Office – As a member of OAAG
you are entitled to hold office on the Board of Directors
within the guidelines of the OAAG Bylaws [Bylaws 4.01 to 4.12].
The Board may establish Committees and fix the term of office
and the terms of reference of the Committees. The members
of these Committees need not be directors, but must be members
of OAAG [Bylaw 5.09].
Each ART GALLERY and AFFILIATE GALLERY member institution
should establish its participation in OAAG as a high priority
in its own operation and recognize the leadership and commitment
given to OAAG by staff members through release time from their
Resignation – Members may resign by
giving written notice to the Board to the attention of the
President. A member who has resigned shall remain liable for
payment of fees outstanding at the time written notice was
given to the Board [Bylaw 2.06].
Termination – A member may be removed
from membership by Board resolution if fees and levies payable
by the members are more than 60 days in arrears. A member
may be removed from membership by a members’ resolution
passed by at least two-thirds of the votes cast, at a members’
meeting of which notice specifying the intention to pass the
resolution was given [Bylaw 2.07].
Records – The OAAG office is required
to keep a register of members, that alphabetically lists all
persons who are, or have been within ten years, members of
OAAG and the addresses of every such person while a member
Art Gallery and Affiliate Gallery members are required to
submit to the OAAG office, their respective Annual Return
forms as defined by OAAG with current information pertaining
to their institutions.
Reimbursement of Expenses Incurred
The Directors and Committee Members shall serve without remuneration
provided that the Board may by resolution, from time to time,
pay for out-of-pocket expenses out of the funds of OAAG, to
any Director or Committee Member who performs any special
work or service for, or undertaken any special commission
on behalf of OAAG. However, payment is not extended to the
Board of Directors and Committee Members performing activities
considered to be within ‘normal duties.’ [Bylaw
OAAG shall reimburse according to the current schedule, reasonable
living expenses (travel, meals, accommodation, conference
fees, etc.) to Board Members who are conducting business on
OAAG’s behalf. Such expenditures should be economical
in nature. Public transportation (i.e.: air, train, etc.)
should be booked in sufficient time to take advantage of the
lowest applicable economy rates. When traveling by automobile,
the rate of reimbursement should be in line with the level
of reimbursement in the current schedule (guided by the schedules
used by the Ontario Arts Council and the Ministry of Culture
Board and Committee Members may claim for travel expenses
related to attending meetings at the office of the secretariat.
Early in the year, after receiving a schedule of meetings,
each Member should submit an estimate of their travel expenses
for the entire year. It is noted however, that some Members
may wish to request that their Institution absorb some of
these travel expenses.
Board members’ attendance is required at OAAG Annual
and Fall General Meetings. Therefore OAAG will cover their
expenses for travel, accommodation and meals according to
rates established in the OAAG Expense Claim Form. Board members
are not required to pay for lunches or other refreshments
served at Annual and Fall General Meetings.
If a director is also participating in an OAAG program scheduled
to take place on the same day as an Annual or Fall General
Meeting, any additional expenses incurred for that attendance
will be covered by OAAG, and the director will not be required
to pay a registration fee for the program.
Directors who elect to attend a program (i.e.: a focus session)
scheduled on the same day or successive days as an Annual
or Fall General Meeting are required to pay the registration
fee and may not charge OAAG for additional expenses incurred
by extending their stay.
Anyone requiring reimbursement should submit an Expense Claim
to the secretariat within one month. All expenses must be
supported by receipts.
OAAG cannot assume any costs for Board or Committee Members
to attend non-OAAG conferences unless the individual has been
designated by the Executive to attend.
Remuneration for Services Performed
OAAG will recognize its own professional members as contributors
to OAAG activities. Members of the Association are entitled
to receive remuneration from OAAG for services performed (i.e.:
presenting lectures at seminars, authoring publications, etc.).
Any individual receiving such payment has the option of waiving
their fees or donating them back to the Association.
Honoraria in kind or cash should be paid for services rendered,
regardless if a participant is a member or not.
POLICY ON OAAG'S
INTERVENTION, ENDORSEMENT OR ASSISTANCE TO INDIVIDUAL INSTITUTIONS
The following procedures have been adopted for OAAG Board
Members and Staff to follow when an Institutional Member wishes
to bring a concern specific to that Institution before the
OAAG Board for assistance or intervention. (Oct. 15, 1990)
1. When an individual staff member, usually the Director,
of a member institution asks for professional advice regarding
a matter concerning their particular institution, they may
contact the Executive Director in confidence. Advice may be
given with discretion, in an informal, confidential manner
or the Executive Director may advise contact with other members
who are willing and able to share some specific or relevant
experience or expertise.
2. When staff of a member institution, usually the Director,
want OAAG to take some action on their institution's behalf,
their request must be addressed in writing to the President
of OAAG who will bring the matter before the Executive Committee.
Written requests for OAAG's intervention:
a) should make it clear that there is a consensus between
the staff and Board of the petitioning member institution
on the matter of attention;
b) must include a clear, concise case history of the matter
c) should state clearly how they wish OAAG to be involved.
3. Member galleries that have representatives on the OAAG
Board are free to enlist OAAG help or intervention in the
same manner as any other member. A request for OAAG intervention
or action may be presented by the Executive Committee to the
OAAG Board on their behalf. It is understood that Board members
will declare any conflict of this kind if it arises and remove
themselves from discussion or voting on any issue that directly
affects them individually or their institution of employment.
4. A Board member may submit related material for OAAG intervention
or assistance to support their request. If they wish the secretariat
to circulate such material on their behalf, a request to do
so must be made through the President or the Executive Committee.
5. If OAAG is called upon to offer an evaluation or endorsement
for one of its member institutions, a letter stating the relevant
facts may be drafted by the Executive Director for approval
by the Executive Committee. If there is any question that
the requested evaluation or endorsement may not reflect the
professional opinion of a majority of Art Gallery Members
in OAAG, the Executive Committee must have approval from the
OAAG cannot directly support any request for funding from
its member institutions to any government agency dispensing
grants or subsidies for which other Art Gallery Members also
POLICY ON CONFIDENTIALITY
OF INFORMATION RECEIVED BY OAAG
In matters pertinent to the public gallery community or to
the gallery membership in general, OAAG staff and Board members
will accept only those communications that they can fully
disclose and discuss with the Executive Committee of the Board
of Directors, and upon their discretion, the entire Board
of Directors and any suitable advisors that they may wish
to call upon. (Nov. 18, 1991)
Also refer to Confidentiality section in Code of Ethical
and Professional Conduct.
GUIDELINES FOR SPECIAL
(Developed by the Policy and Planning Committee, 1990-1992.)
Mandate and Function
1. Special Interest Groups (SIGs) function as specialized
groups of common interest within the structure of the Ontario
Association of Art Galleries (OAAG). All individuals involved
with SIGs will act with the best interests of OAAG foremost,
and in accordance with OAAG's bylaws, policies, purposes,
goals, and code of ethical conduct in a spirit of good faith
and mutual respect.
2. SIGs have aligned themselves with OAAG for the purposes
of peer support, common goals and values, affirmation, and
strength in association. They do not have an individual mandate
within the Association, but exist in a symbiotic, mutually
beneficial relationship within OAAG. SIGs are working groups
which help to identify and address issues related to areas
of specialization within the public gallery professions.
3. Alignment with and usage of the name of OAAG in connection
with SIG activities must be approved in each instance by the
Board of Directors on the advice and recommendation of the
4. Publications and projects undertaken by a SIG acting in
OAAG's name must adhere to professional and ethical standards
subscribed to by OAAG such as copyright legislation, ISBN
signification, contracts and agreements, use of the OAAG name,
and financial accountability. SIGs must consult with OAAG
before undertaking projects and publications (see also #18).
5. SIGs will have a broad representation throughout the province,
with primarily an Ontario perspective. They are open, democratic
groups that are responsive to their membership. SIGs are a
forum for the sharing of information and the discussion of
issues within the membership and for the promotion of professional
6. SIGs further the mission of OAAG by helping to promote
and shape the public gallery professions and by acting as
networking agents for information exchange. A SIG may also
advise OAAG on matters which concern its area of specialization,
or related individuals or institutions.
7. OAAG may call upon SIGs for advice on matters where OAAG
intends to make representation, formal or informal, to provincial,
national, or international organization, or to any other individual,
body, or government agency.
8. OAAG may support advocacy efforts on behalf of the SIGs
within its available resources, and when these efforts are
in concurrence with the well-being of the general membership
as a whole.
9. Each SIG shall report to the Board of OAAG through the
secretariat which will act as a liaison between the SIG and
OAAG. An alternative avenue of appeal may be made through
the Policy Committee.
Formation – Membership
10. Each SIG member must be an individual member of OAAG.
There are three categories of OAAG individual membership open
to interested SIGs, two paid and one complimentary. They are:
- Colleague (paid) – open to paid
professionals working full time in Art
Gallery or Affiliate Gallery member institutions.
- Colleague (complimentary) – open
to paid professionals working full time
in Art Gallery or Affiliate Gallery member institutions
paying annual fees in excess of $300.00, and who is named
by the director as the member institution’s complimentary
- Friend (paid) – open to any interested
individual, other than those
qualified as colleagues, who supports the aims and objectives
The designated representative named to OAAG by Art Gallery
and Affiliate Gallery member institutions functions as the
vital connection for the all-inclusive relationship between
OAAG and the gallery. Therefore, it is not advisable for the
SIG member to also be the designated representative of an
Each OAAG/SIG member must indicate on the appropriate membership
form their SIG of affiliation for administration and communication
Formation – Acceptance to Membership
11. A motion from the Membership Committee to the Board of
Directors is required to accept a SIG or suspend a SIG. The
secretariat will review SIG applications for completeness
before presenting them to the Membership Committee for approval.
The Membership Committee’s motion to accept a SIG will
state that all conditions of membership are met. SIGs will
be formally recognized within OAAG through majority approval
of the Board and ratification by the membership at a subsequent
spring or fall General Meeting as appropriate.
A written request for constitution within OAAG shall consist
of the following:
a. a copy of the group's current mandate or statement of purpose
b. a copy of the group's current objectives and bylaws
c. names of the executive group (updated as necessary)
d. a list of current members, all of whom shall be OAAG members
in good standing
e. a projected budget, including goods and services in kind
12. OAAG may promote membership in SIGs from time to time
through information in DATELINE, including advertisements
and a short article (up to 200 words). The publication deadline
is the first of the month preceding the month of publication
(i.e. September 1st for the October issue). Standard publication
guidelines apply to all submissions, including those from
SIGs: the final decision to publish and/or edit submissions
resides with OAAG. OAAG acknowledges that the copyright resides
with the SIG or with the author/originator, and all submissions
must conform with copyright legislation. The editor must notify
the writer of changes and get sign-off approval prior to printing.
13. OAAG may assist with the distribution of recognized SIG
newsletters in lieu of other institutional or volunteer administrative
support as follows:
a. by providing mailing labels of the OAAG/SIG members from
OAAG's computer database at a possible nominal charge
b. by providing piggyback mailings of newsletters recognized
by OAAG with scheduled mailings of DATELINE, frequency to
be mutually agreed upon, from time to time. A sufficient quantity
of newsletters to distribute to the entire OAAG/SIG database
of members, plus approximately 20 copies for the OAAG Resource
Centre, must be provided by the SIG. Prior consultation with
the secretariat regarding postal weight restrictions and mailing
deadlines is necessary.
Copies of current mailing lists shall be kept at the OAAG
14. SIGs may charge fees to offset expenses incurred in conducting
normal business operations of the group such as production
and mailing of newsletters, conference calls, administration
costs, etc. Fees shall be collected by the SIG on its own
15. SIGs may wish to plan meetings in conjunction with OAAG
General Meetings to facilitate back to back attendance for
a greater number of participants. OAAG will help SIGs publicize
their meetings to the entire OAAG membership, provided notice
is given in accordance with the publication/meeting schedule,
usually 4 to 6 weeks. Meeting information should include group,
date, time, venue, agenda, special speakers or topics, cost,
and what the cost includes. Any fees charged will be administered
by the SIG. SIG and OAAG meetings should run consecutively,
rather than concurrently, to accommodate mutual members. Early
consultation with the secretariat about meeting plans is advised.
16. OAAG may support SIGs through award recognition and will
support SIG conferences, projects, and workshops whenever
possible and as resources permit. Any SIG meeting costs incurred
over and above those agreed upon by OAAG shall be borne by
17. To maximize communications and coordinate efforts, copies
of SIG minutes, newsletters, membership lists, plans for projects,
budgets, and reports shall be filed with the secretariat two
weeks prior to June 1st of each year for the OAAG Annual General
Meeting. Changes to the SIG executive committee, membership,
or operations shall be reported to the secretariat regularly.
A formal written report shall be made at the OAAG Annual General
18. In accordance with OAAG’s bylaws, all proposals
for independent fundraising activities and grant submissions
by SIGs shall be tabled and approved by the OAAG Board in
advance of submission, in order to ensure maximum cooperation
and minimum conflict or competition. OAAG shall bear no financial
liability for grants and projects undertaken by SIGs subsequent
to OAAG notification and approval, other than as stated above
or as agreed later in writing.
Benefits of SIG Formation and Membership
- Identification with the larger umbrella organization and
subsequent visibility and credibility.
Increased communication and mutual affirmation.
- Shared common goals and values.
- Strength in association.
- Access to professionals as they enter the field and join
- Coordinated advocacy, communications, fundraising/grant
- A wide network of professional colleagues for consultation/assistance.
- Direct communication with your provincial umbrella organization,
OAAG, and a stronger voice in its affairs.
- Database membership and mailing lists.
- Access to DATELINE to publicize activities and initiatives.
- Piggyback mailing privileges.
- Coordinated meetings to benefit members and attract new
- Current record of reports and meetings/activities at the
- Recognition through awards and endorsement of the parent
- Peer support and validation as professionals.
STANDARDS FOR ART GALLERIES
OPTIMUM CONDITIONS FOR WORKS OF ART
The following are guidelines based upon general consultations
with experts in the field and are not meant to be definitive.
Rather, they reflect the recent trend toward more realistic
standards that are more attainable in North America, given
our unique climate. Practicality and consistency are most
important considerations. Standards at such institutions as
the National Gallery may be more stringent and individual
institutional demands should be considered when borrowing
or lending works. In some cases, it may be possible to achieve
more stringent standards in specific galleries or discreet
spaces. Special environmentally controlled display cases may
also be desirable to meet demands. These conditions must be
maintained in both art exhibition and art storage areas.
A range of 19°C to 22°C, depending upon the season
is practical and economical. 19°C to 20°C in the
winter is easier on most Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning
(HVAC) systems, with 21°C to 22°C in summer. Daily
fluctuations should not exceed plus or minus 1°C –
1.5°C. (While 19°C may be chilly for people, it
is also desirable in order to attain more ideal levels of
Changes from season to season should be made as slowly
and gradually as possible.
2. Relative Humidity
The more stable the relative humidity, the better for preservation
of works of art. The optimum range year round is between
45% and 51%. A range in the low 40’s is more realistic
since it is nearly mechanically impossible to achieve 50%
in winter here.
HVAC instruments have a control capacity of only 3% and
are unable to detect finer percentages in fluctuations.
Daily fluctuations should not exceed plus or minus 3%.
The changeover rate of at most 5% per month is difficult
to achieve and it may be necessary to aim for about 1% per
day. Aim for 45% as acceptable.
A relatively recent concept of “Lux Hours”
permits exposure of works of art at higher levels of light
for short periods of time, especially if works are infrequently
displayed. As a guide to light intensity, the following
maximum standards are acceptable for incandescent or U.V.
filtered bulbs, or natural daylight.
- maximum of 50 lux on sensitive objects (paper, textiles,
- maximum of 150 lux on paintings and polychromes
- maximum of 300 lux on insensitive objects (stone, bare
- maximum of 75 u watts/lumen ultraviolet radiation
Note may be made on labels that levels are increased at
the request of the artists for contemporary work, if applicable.
Light and climate should be monitored with professionally
recommended equipment and recorded in order to recognize
daily or seasonal fluctuations, and to make adjustments
as required. A list of equipment sources is attached.
Theft and Vandalism
Suitable mechanical devices for prevention, electronic devices
for detection, and central station monitoring for response.
Controlled key access to security areas, and personal staff
supervision during open hours.
Suitable safe practices for prevention, electronic devices
for detection, safe (non-damaging) methods and devices for
extinguishing and central station monitoring for counteraction.
6. Care and Handling
The improper physical handling of artworks leads to many
usually avoidable mishaps. Objects should be moved or handled
as infrequently as possible and in such manner as to prevent
bumping and jostling. When works are being moved, undivided
attention is required. Each task should be assigned to a
specific individual (i.e. coordinator/router, supervisor,
carrier(s), door opener/holder, etc.) Avoid haste. The hands
of the mover(s) should be clean, or gloves worn. Be sensitive
to the physical nature of objects.
A staff member whose major area of responsibility includes
the maintenance of the aforementioned conditions, and whose
training includes post-secondary museology training, or
equivalent experience in the care and handling of works
NOTE: SECURITY REQUIREMENTS ARE SUBJECT TO THE STANDARDS
OF THE UNDERWRITERS LABORATORIES OF CANADA, THE ONTARIO
BUILDING CODE, AND MUNICIPAL CODES, AND AS SUCH, ARE RECOMMENDED
PRACTICES THAT SHOULD BE USED WITH CARE.
8. Air Cleaning
Level of dust removal – 95% of particles 1 micron
in diameter; 50% of particles between 0.5 and 1 micron in
Reference: Canadian Conservation Institute, Technical Bulletin
OF ART GALLERIES ANTI-RACISM, ACCESS AND EQUITY POLICY AND
HUMAN RIGHTS COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE
This policy, approved and adopted by the Ontario Association
of Art Galleries at the meeting of the Board of Directors
on 10 May 2002, replaces the Cultural Equity Policy.
A: STATEMENT OF COMMITMENT
The Province of Ontario is made up of people from diverse
communities and equity-seeking groups.1 The Ontario Association
of Art Galleries recognizes that the changing nature of the
population has implications in terms of delivering and/or
providing access to its services, programs and activities.
We recognize that barriers to services exist for members
of diverse communities and equity-seeking groups, and we are
committed to acting as a positive force in eliminating these
To achieve this, the Ontario Association of Art Galleries
- ensure that diverse communities have equitable access to
its services, resources and decision-making;
- be non-discriminatory and promote the goals of anti-racism,
access and equity;
- take reasonable steps to ensure its services, programs and
decision-making reflect the community it serves; and
- encourage our member organizations to effect the goals set
out in this policy by adopting a similar policy.
The Ontario Association of Art Galleries prohibits discrimination
or harassment and protects the right to be free from hate
activity based on age, ancestry, citizenship, creed (religion),
colour, disability, ethnic origin, family status, gender identity,
level of literacy, marital status, place of origin, membership
in a union or staff association, political affiliation, race,
receipt of public assistance, record of offences, sex, sexual
orientation or any other personal characteristic by or within
 For the purposes of this policy, equity-seeking groups
include Aboriginal/First Nations people, women, people with
disabilities, racial minorities, the socio-economically disadvantaged,
lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered persons.
Anti-racism: a set of practices and systems designed to eliminate
racism. Racism includes racist ideologies, prejudiced attitudes,
discriminatory behaviours, structural arrangements and institutionalized
practices resulting in racial inequality as well as the fallacious
notion that discriminatory relations between groups are morally
and scientifically justifiable.
Access: the ability of or extents to which communities or
residents can attain needed services and achieve full participation
in the planning, development, administration and delivery
of those services. Access includes client access and organizational
Equity: practices designed to remove systemic barriers to
equality of outcome by identifying and eliminating discriminatory
policies and practices.
Discrimination: the act of treating a person unequally by
imposing unequal burdens or denying benefits, rather than
treating a person fairly on the basis of individual merit.
Discrimination is usually based upon personal prejudices and
stereotypical assumptions related to at least one of the grounds
set out in this Policy. It is not necessary to have an intent
to discriminate under the Code. Workplace rules, policies,
procedures, requirements, qualifications or factors may not
be directly or intentionally discriminatory but may nonetheless
have an adverse effect. This may create barriers to achievement
Harassment: a course of conduct of comments or actions that
are unwelcome or should be known to be unwelcome. A person
has the right to be free of humiliating or annoying behaviour
that is based on one or more grounds in the Code.
B: POLICY AND ACTIONS ON ANTI-RACISM, ACCESS AND EQUITY
The Ontario Association of Art Galleries is committed to achieving
representation of the diversity of the Ontario community on
its Board of Directors by ensuring that it has an equitable
and transparent nominations process, that this process is
communicated to all members, and that members are committed
to outreach beyond the current membership if necessary to
achieve this goal.
The Ontario Association of Art Galleries, through the standing
nominations committee, will continue to encourage and seek
nominations to the Board of Directors from its general membership
and the visual arts community. The call for nominations is
announced in an open forum during OAAG's annual general meeting
followed by elections.
The Ontario Association of Art Galleries is committed to achieving
representation of equity seeking groups on its staff by ensuring
that members of equity seeking communities have equitable
access to employment. This includes recruitment, selection,
staff development, performance evaluation, retention, promotion,
Any prejudicial concerns regarding hiring, termination, or
staff development will be dealt with as outlined in section
C of this policy.
The Ontario Association of Art Galleries is committed to
maintaining an environment where all individuals are treated
with dignity and respect and are free from all forms of discriminatory
treatment, behaviour or practice. Discrimination, harassment,
violence, and any other form of discriminatory practices will
not be tolerated by the Ontario Association of Art Galleries.
Discrimination does not have to be intentional. It can result
from practices or policies that appear to be neutral but,
in reality, have a negative effect on groups or individuals
based on race, religion, gender, and so on.
The Ontario Association of Art Galleries will ensure that
any complaints are swiftly processed as outlined in section
C of this policy.
The Ontario Association of Art Galleries is committed to ensuring
that its services and programs are accessible to diverse communities.
This involves review of current outreach, communications,
program planning and evaluation, to ensure goal is being met.
Every effort will be made towards ensuring wheelchair accessibility
within the administrative offices and to the resource centre.
OAAG programming, general meetings, and workshops will be
held in accessible spaces where possible and diseminated information
regarding these events will include accessibility information.
In addition, the Ontario Association of Art Galleries will
take into consideration provision of services to disadvantaged
individuals, low-income persons, families in poverty, and
Programs and workshops are organized by the Ontario Association
of Art Galleries on a cost-recovery basis. Whenever possible,
substantially-reduced registration fees for students and those
claiming special circumstance are offered.
Training and Education
The Ontario Association of Art Galleries is committed to ensuring
that those involved in the delivery of services and programs
have the knowledge, understanding and skills to work with
and provide services to members of diverse communities, particularly
All full-time employees of the Ontario Association of Art
Galleries will be given an introductory package with this
policy and asked to sign a letter of compliance to this policy.
Information and Communications
The Ontario Association of Art Galleries is committed
to ensuring that all of its communications, including information
on its services and programs, are accessible to diverse communities.
The Ontario Association of Art Galleries will diseminate
information on its programming and services in a manner that
will reach the largest numbers as well as making the information
available on its website. OAAG will also investigate the feasibility
of producing its texts in both official languages and do so
C: HUMAN RIGHTS COMPLAINT PROCEDURE
Complainant: the individual alleging the discriminatory
treatment or behaviour
Respondent: the individual against whom the allegation of
discrimination is made.
Employee: for the purpose of this policy, the term employee
includes employees, volunteers, contractors and consultants
working with the Ontario Association of Art Galleries.
Avenues of Complaint
Complaints will be dealt with by the Executive Director. Where
appropriate, the Executive Director will consult with the
President of the Board of Directors and the Personnel Committee.
All situations in which the Executive Director has been named
in a complaint will be dealt with directly by the President
of the Board of Directors in consultation with the Personnel
Right to Complain
Individuals have the right to complain about situations they
believe to be discriminatory or harassing in nature.
This policy prohibits reprisals against employees because
they have complained or have provided information regarding
a complaint. Alleged reprisals are subject to the same complaints
procedures and penalties as complaints of discrimination.
Reporting a Complaint
Although individuals may first choose to make a verbal complaint,
a written summary of the incident will be required.
Complaints should be reported as soon as possible. If the
complaint is delayed beyond three months, the complainant
should outline the reason for the delay in reporting the incident(s).
A letter of complaint should contain a brief account of the
offensive incident(s), when it occurred, the person(s) involved
and the names of witnesses, if any. The letter should be signed
and dated by the complainant.
Within three working days of receiving a complaint, the Executive
Director and/or President of the Board of Directors must initiate
the investigation process.
As soon a possible after receiving the complaint, the Executive
Director will notify the individual(s) being named in the
complaint. All individuals named in the complaint have a right
to reply to the allegations against them.
Individuals named in the complaint as witnesses will be interviewed.
Settlement and Mediation
With the consent of the complainant and the respondent, the
investigator may attempt to mediate a settlement of a complaint
at any point prior to or during an investigation.
Every effort will be made to reach a settlement satisfactory
to the complainant and the respondent.
All individuals involved with a complaint must ensure the
matter remains confidential.
The investigator will release information only on a need-to-know
basis. Whenever possible, investigation reports are presented
in a summary format without the names of witnesses.
Findings and Recommendations
Once the investigation is complete, the investigator will
prepare a written report summarizing investigation findings.
The individual(s) who filed the complaint and those named
in the complaint have the right to review and comment on the
investigation findings with the Executive Director or the
President of the Board of Directors.
A response to a founded complaint could include remedial action
- requiring the respondent to provide a verbal of written
- giving a verbal or written reprimand with a copy to the
respondent’s personnel file;
- dismissal of the respondent.
If the findings do not support the complaint, the Ontario
Association of Art Galleries might:
- make a recommendation for training or better communications;
- recommend that no further action is necessary.
It may be that no action is taken against the respondent,
but there might be a need for some management or systemic
A person who is found to have made a frivolous or vexatious
complaint may be subject to disciplinary action.
Complaints should be reported within three months of the incident.
If the report is made after three months, an explanation of
the delay should accompany the complaint.
Complaints will be dealt with in a timely manner.
When remedial action requires discipline of an employee, a
record of the disciplinary action will be placed on an individual’s
personnel file. All other records of the investigation will
be kept separate and apart from the personnel file.
Ontario Human Rights Commission
This internal procedure is available to individuals to resolve
complaints of discrimination. Parties also have recourse to
the Ontario Human Rights Commission, however, once a grievance
is filed with OHRC, the internal procedure is not an option.