Response to parliamentary committees and external audits

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Response to parliamentary committees

Response to the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage:
Gender Parity on the Boards and Senior Leadership Levels of Canadian Artistic and Cultural Organizations (PDF format)

On February 7, 2018, the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage (the Committee) passed a motion to undertake a study on gender parity on boards of directors and in senior executive positions of Canadian artistic and cultural organizations. The Committee’s objective was to invite witnesses to share their experiences and their observations on their respective workplaces. Therefore, on May 1, 2018, the Committee began its study, which continued until December 2018. The Committee held four meetings at which it heard from 18 witnesses, including representatives of Canadian cultural and community organizations, academics and specialists. The Committee tabled its Report on January 29, 2019, which includes 10 recommendations emphasizing the importance of the federal Government’s commitment and involvement for increasing gender parity in Canadian artistic and cultural organizations, including by gathering more data about it and establishing mentoring programs. The Government Response was tabled on May 28, 2019.

Throughout 2019–20, the Department of Canadian Heritage undertook a number of actions that address recommendations in the Committee’s report.

Recommendation 1

That the Department of Canadian Heritage, in collaboration with the Canada Council for the Arts, collect data and conduct a study on gender parity at the senior leadership and board levels of artistic organizations.


In Budget 2019, the Government allocated $1 million over two years to support Canadian Heritage’s efforts to integrate Gender-based Analysis plus (GBA+) in program design and improve the collection of disaggregated data and strengthen reporting requirements for a number of programs in order to better support gender equality and diversity in funding allocations.

In 2019–20, the Department began exploring best practices and options for systematic data collection pertaining to the composition of boards of directors and senior management positions in arts and cultural organizations. This work continues in 2020–21.

More information on how these funds have been used is available in the supplementary information table for Gender-based Analysis.

Recommendation 4

That the Department of Canadian Heritage, in collaboration with educational institutions, develop cultural leadership programs and scholarship opportunities to encourage young leaders in the arts sector to gain international experience.


In 2019–20, Canadian Heritage maintained its role in supporting leadership development in the arts and heritage sectors through the Young Canada Works program. One component of this program provides financial assistance to employers for internships in artistic practice, cultural management or arts administration for recent college and university students.

Recommendation 5

That the Department of Canadian Heritage support the development of harassment and gender parity policies within artistic and cultural organizations.


Canadian Heritage in partnership with the Canada Council for the Arts has made a combined investment of $552,000 in the “Respectful Workplaces in the Arts” initiative. This project, led by the Cultural Human Resources Council is delivering tools, training and guidance to as many as 1,750 arts and cultural organizations. A total of 61 workshops on Maintaining Respectful Workplaces were delivered during 2019–20.

Response to audits conducted by the Office of the Auditor General of Canada (including audits conducted by the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development)

There were no audits in 2019–20 requiring a response.

Response to audits conducted by the Public Service Commission of Canada or the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages

There were no audits in 2019–20 requiring a response.

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