Overview

Good Women Dance Collective (GWDC) is committed to creating and maintaining respect for diversity, dignity, inclusion, and equality.

GWDC operates under a Safe(r) Space Policy which covers all GWDC spaces and events.

The aim of this Policy is to create an environment in which everyone involved in GWDC feels welcome, respected, and able to fully participate in our events and activities.

GWDC strives to create spaces that are free of as many barriers as possible to participate and enjoy our events and spaces. Although we recognize that no space is fully “safe” for anyone, we all are responsible for creating the safer spaces we desire by reducing risks and preventing harms.

It is also important to note that this Policy exists within a legal framework that includes the Alberta Human Rights Act, Canadian Human Rights Act, and Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

GWDC reserves the right to assess and manage circumstances and situations in the best interest of our collective vision towards creating safer spaces. We believe in accountability and spaces of support. During all activities related to The Good Women Dance Collective, all staff, contractors, freelancers, dancers, choreographers, board members, volunteers, donors, sponsors, patrons and any other people involved in the activities of GWDC, will adhere to the code of conduct within the Safe(r) Spaces Policy.

Copies of this document will be available online at the GWDC website and upon request in hard copy.

Feedback and Input

GWDC is continuously learning, and we are committed to operating with purpose and accountability  to our communities and supporters. We welcome and encourage input and feedback from the GWDC community on the development of the GWDC Safe(r) Space Policy.

If you have comments or suggestions for helping GWDC to develop as a Safe(r) Space, please send them to info@goodwomen.ca.

 

Safe(r) Space Commitment

GWDC strives to provide a space for continued growth and development of its artists, while offering opportunities for dialogue and engagement between artists and the public. Harassment, discrimination, and abuse are all things that undermine this goal and make people feel uncomfortable and unsafe. GWDC is dedicated to working collectively with community members to create a space where everyone feels welcome, respected, and able to fully participate in our events and activities. We encourage everyone to make the following commitments:

ENCOURAGED BEHAVIOURS

  • We will be aware of those around us.
  • We will always practice consent and remember that consent one day doesn’t mean consent everyday.
  • We will listen to, respect, and accept each other’s physical and emotional boundaries.
  • We will communicate in a positive, respectful, and inclusive manner.
  • We will listen to each other.
  • We will be mindful and compassionate towards others in the room.
  • We will not make assumptions about another person’s gender, pronouns, sexuality, disability, ethnic identity, or life experiences.
  • We will be true to what we can or can’t do physically and/or emotionally at any given time and communicate this with the choreographer and/or room as needed.
  • We will communicate our needs and boundaries to the group, who will trust and respect the truth of those boundaries.
  • We will, to the best of our ability, seek out support when we are in need.
  • We will be responsible for our actions.
  • We will be active participants in creating an inclusive space.
     

UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOURS

To ensure this environment is maintained, the following behaviours towards participants, professionals, and staff, as well as anyone visiting our venues or attending our events, are deemed unacceptable:

  • Harassment – meaning any single incident or repeated incidents of objectionable or unwelcome conduct, comment, bullying or action by a person that the person knows, or ought reasonably to know, will or would cause offence or humiliation, or adversely affects the person’s health and safety, and includes conduct, comment, bullying or action because of race, religious beliefs, colour, physical disability, mental disability, age, ancestry, place of origin, marital status, source of income, family status, gender, gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation, and a sexual solicitation or advance.
  • Abuse – covering both verbal and physical abuse, including sexual assault, which results in an individual or group feel intimidated or unsafe.
  • Discrimination – verbal and physical expressions of discrimination of any kind is unacceptable and will be challenged. This includes, but is not limited to: racism, ageism, homophobia, biphobia, acephobia, transphobia, sexism, body-shaming, slut-shaming or ableism. Similarly, prejudice based on ethnicity, nationality, class, gender identity, gender presentation, language, ability, asylum status, political or religious affiliation will not be tolerated.
  • Violence- the threatened, attempted or actual conduct of a person that causes or is likely to cause physical or psychological injury or harm, and includes domestic or sexual violence.
  • Retaliation – taking an adverse action against an individual as a consequence of reporting, for expressing an intent to report, for assisting another individual in an effort to report, for testifying or assisting in a legal proceeding, or for participating in the investigation of what they believe in good faith to be a possible violation of our Safe Space Policy or the law. An adverse action may include, but is not limited to, discipline, termination or demotion.

Reporting a Complaint

We encourage you to contact GWDC staff if you witness or are subject to harrassment, abuse, or discrimination during any of our events or activities.

We are committed to taking all reported issues and concerns seriously and they will be addressed as efficiently as possible. As we are a small staff, we may not have the expertise or authority to mediate all conflicts or provide advice on conflict or crisis resolution. However, we will assess and manage circumstances and situations in the best interest of our collective vision towards creating safer spaces, potentially working with relevant professionals and/or organizations.

APPROACHING THE OFFENDING INDIVIDUAL DIRECTLY

You may choose to respond without immediately involving GWDC staff (though you can contact GWDC staff at any time) by advising the person engaging in the offending behaviour that their behaviour is unwelcome and asking them to stop it immediately.

GWDC supports this option only if you do not feel that your health, safety, and wellbeing is in danger.

REPORTING PROCESS

If you feel that you are being, or have been, subjected to conduct in violation of this Policy, or if you know of or suspect the occurrence of conduct in violation of this Policy, you should promptly report it to us.

Any person may file a report by:

  • through our online form.
    • Individuals reporting through the online form can choose to remain anonymous.
    • All reports are visible by Ainsley Hillyard, Collective Artist and Maggie Barton Baird, Board President.

This Policy is not intended to discourage anyone from exercising their rights pursuant to any other law (e.g., contacting police, human rights complaint, etc.).

INVESTIGATION PROCESS

After an incident is reported, the incident will be investigated and a plan will be developed to address the issue. All investigations will be handled on a case-by-case basis. If contact information is provided, we will work closely with the person who reported the information, following their wishes as closely as we reasonably can. GWDC will endeavour to restore a safe and positive environment.

CONFIDENTIALITY

GWDC will respect the confidentiality of all parties to the best of our ability. We will endeavour to not disclose the names of the complainant, the alleged perpetrator, or any witnesses except where necessary to investigate the incident or to inform the involved parties of investigation results and actions taken. GWDC may also consult with Good Women Dance Collective Board of Directors and professional experts (such as mediators, doctors, and lawyers). In these instances, we will strive to maintain confidentiality and anonymity where possible. In certain circumstances, GWDC may be required by law to disclose information.

RETALIATION

Retaliation in any form by an individual against someone who reports a potential violation, or who assists in an investigation, will be considered a violation of this Policy and will not be tolerated. Anyone who feels that they have been the victim of, or threatened with, retaliation should immediately report to GWDC using the process above.

GWDC will, to the extent that it is able, protect the individual who made the initial report, and anyone else who gave information as part of the investigation, from any form of retaliation by peers, co-workers, co-participants, or otherwise as a result of them having made a report or having provided evidence as part of an investigation into the reported violation. 

RESOLUTION PROCESS

GWDC commits to taking all complaints seriously and taking action to restore a safe and positive environment.

GWDC will strive to use positive and restorative practices to support with the resolution of an issue. The individual(s) addressed in the complaint is expected to accept responsibility and repair the harm in an environment where everyone is supported and treated with integrity and respect. The goal of the actions will be to reinforce respectful relationships, build empathy and compassion, and strengthen acceptance of responsibility.

GWDC recognizes that, in some circumstances, positive and restorative practices might not be sufficient to address inappropriate behaviour. If positive and restorative practices have not been effective or if they are inappropriate for the situation, GWDC may use disciplinary measures, including expulsion from events, classes, or cancellation of contracts and exclusion from future GWDC events and initiatives. Individuals expelled from events, classes, or other activities may not receive a refund. 

Accessing Support

Below are a few Edmonton based resources that may be helpful to you:

Edmonton Distress Line: 780-482-HELP (4357)

The Edmonton Distress Line is a 24-hour supportive listening service that provides confidential, non-judgmental and short-term crisis intervention, emotional support and resources to people in crisis or distress.

Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton (SACE): (780) 423-4121 or online www.sace.ca

SACE provides free services for people who have experience sexual violence or are supporting someone who has experienced violence, including: 24-hour support and information, counselling, and court support.

Alberta 211: Dial 211

211 is a free, confidential service that provides information and referral to a wide range of community, social and government services, 24-hours a day in 170 languages. They can help you find counselling/support groups, health care, legal services, and much more.

Edmonton Non – Emergency Police Line: (780) 423-4567

For police concerns of a non-urgent nature such as a minor accident, general complaints, late reporting incidents call the police non-emergency number.

If you have questions, comments, or suggestions regarding the Safe(r) Space Policy, please send them to info@goodwomen.ca.

 

GWDC Reporting Form