This is a time of transformation at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection and across the cultural sector. Museums and galleries are mindful of their responsibilities to be more welcoming, accessible and reflective of all visitors and their experiences. This is an opportunity to reflect and act on our values and our mandate as the “home of the art of Canada” in the context of diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion.
AREAS OF FOCUS:
We have a responsibility as a public institution to listen, learn and be responsive to the needs of our diverse audiences. We commit to providing opportunities for participation and to elevate the voices, perspectives and opinions of people from within all of Canada’s diverse communities—through representation in the art we exhibit and acquire, the education, public programs and services we provide, and the people who are engaged in these enterprises, from artists and curators to staff and volunteers (Board of Trustees, Foundation Board, and McMichael Volunteer Committee).
Equity refers to the process an organization engages in to ensure that people with marginalized identities have the opportunity to grow with, contribute to and develop within an organization. At the McMichael, we aim to provide new opportunities for contemporary artists, especially focusing on those from Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) communities. New exhibitions challenge, question and expand discussions on themes such as equity, gender, participation, community belonging and access to resources. Internal and external education, professional opportunities and practices are essential to creating an equitable environment.
While accessibility is governed by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities (AODA) legislation and provincial laws, there also needs to be constant attention and resources dedicated towards becoming more inclusive for those with different abilities. The McMichael will work to eliminate barriers that prevent the full participation of all people and will share and promote best practices to help enable access for all.
Inclusion has to do with people with different identities feeling and/or being valued and welcomed, and their experiences being leveraged. “Diversity is being asked to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.”* Inclusion requires intentionality—i.e., heightened awareness of the impact of our words and actions. Through respectful collaboration, training, and feedback we will listen and learn to model and promote an inclusive environment.
In Fiscal 2022, the McMichael will concentrate on achieving the following:
An ongoing focus is to recruit Board of Trustee and Foundation Board members, staff and volunteers who reflect the diversity of the community and embrace the values of McMichael.
Representation, Outreach, Partnerships and Community Engagement
We are engaging in partnership(s) with communities and/or consultants in the area of DEAI, and are involving community organizations and stakeholder individuals in the process of improving our diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion initiatives. We are integrating best practices from the sector.
Knowledge Creation and Dissemination
We are continually learning and will keep focused on sharing knowledge with the public.
Staff and volunteers will receive mandatory training and educational opportunities to improve understanding and appreciation of diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion.
We will review our programs, exhibitions, and admission practices to ensure they are accessible in terms of language, abilities, education or income.