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Anti-Racism, Access and Equity Policy and Human Rights Complaints Procedure

This policy was approved by the Board of Directors of Toronto Beach Chorale, and signed by then president, Peggy Rintoul, on July 21, 2010. A Declaration was provided at that time to the City of Toronto regarding that declaration.


The City of Toronto is made up of people from diverse communities and equity‑seeking groups.1 TORONTO BEACH CHORALE recognizes that the changing nature of the population has implications in terms of delivering and/or providing access to its services (e.g. programming, activities, etc.).

We recognize that barriers to services exist for members of diverse communities, particularly for equity‑seeking groups, and we are committed to acting as a positive force in eliminating these barriers.

To achieve this, TORONTO BEACH CHORALE will:

  • 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; and
  • take reasonable steps to ensure its services, programs and decision‑making reflect the community it serves.

TORONTO BEACH CHORALE 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 the organization.

1 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 access.

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 and opportunity.

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.



TORONTO BEACH CHORALE  is committed to achieving representation of the diversity of the Toronto 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.

Toronto Beach Chorale provides a transparent nominations process by:

  • Allowing any member to apply for the nomination process
  • Announcing the nominations process at rehearsals at least 3 weeks prior to the AGM and through email announcements asking for nominations. All members are required to give an email address at sign up to ensure all messaging is consistently delivered.


TORONTO BEACH CHORALE 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, termination.

Toronto Beach Chorale has no employees.

TORONTO BEACH CHORALE 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 TORONTO BEACH CHORALE.  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, etc.

  • Toronto Beach Chorale provides a member information section on their website, which outlines these principles; a member receives a link to this by email at the beginning of each season.
  • The Chorale has a coordinator for Member Recruitment & Development who provides a contact point for issue points and policy clarification.
  • From time to time the chorale engages professional singers and musicians for a specific performance. The criteria for the engagement is based on availability, knowledge of the specific work, experience and ability. Engagement is determined by the musical director, who is aware of the Chorale’s anti-discrimination policies.


TORONTO BEACH CHORALE 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.

  • The Chorale performs in an accessible venue; the venue is wheelchair accessible for the concerts and washrooms.
  • The Chorale seeks to offer a variety of programming to appeal to a wide selection of preferences.
  • The Chorale has a mandate to support our local communities in Toronto’s East End, preferably by bringing music to an event. A position on the Executive Committee has been assigned to Community Outreach to ensure opportunities are explored and brought to the Executive Committee for evaluation.

In addition, TORONTO BEACH CHORALE will take into consideration provision of services to disadvantaged individuals, low‑income persons, families in poverty, and equity‑seeking communities.  (For example: free events, pay-what-you-can events, etc.)

  • The Chorale seeks to keep its costs low in order to make the concerts more accessible.
  • Free concert tickets are distributed to seniors, disadvantaged youth and other marginalized groups using available local agencies to achieve a fair distribution.

Training and Education

TORONTO BEACH CHORALE 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 equity‑seeking communities.

  • Toronto Beach Chorale is dedicated to ensuring members receive the best musical training. The Chorale hires a professional music director who is also experienced in the diversity needs of our community.

Information and Communications

TORONTO BEACH CHORALE is committed to ensuring that all of its communications, including information on its services and programs, are accessible to diverse communities. 

  • Toronto Beach Chorale supports a website that describes the activities and programs of the choir. The website is regularly updated throughout the season.
  • The Chorale also communicates using a wide variety of media sources to get information out to a diverse array of neighborhoods.



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 TORONTO BEACH CHORALE.

Avenues of Complaint

Complaints will be dealt with by the President.  Where appropriate, the President will consult with the Conductor / Artistic Director and/or the Coordinator for Membership Recruitment and Development.

All situations in which the President has been named in a complaint will be dealt with directly by the Past President of the Executive Committee, in consultation with the Coordinator for Membership Recruitment and Development.

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 five working days of receiving a complaint, the President and/or Past President of the Executive Committee 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.

Final Decision

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 ranging from:

  1. requiring the respondent to provide a verbal of written apology;
  2. giving a verbal or written reprimand with a copy to the respondent’s personnel file;
  3. dismissal of the respondent.

If the findings do not support the complaint, TORONTO BEACH CHORALE might:

  • make a recommendation for training or better communications; or
  • 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 activity.

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.