Ghost River Theatre is committed to providing an environment that is free of discrimination and harassment, where all individuals are treated with respect and dignity, can contribute fully, and have equal opportunities.
Included in this code are an Anti-Harassment and Non-Discrimination Policy (page 1) as well as Reporting Procedures (page 4), detailed below. This code was created in association with the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association standards and the Professional Association of Canadian Theatre “Not In Our Space” leadership project, in additional consultation with other policies and similar Codes created in the Canadian theatre industry.
Under the Alberta Human Rights Code, every person has the right to be free from harassment and discrimination. Harassment and discrimination will not be tolerated, condoned, or ignored at Ghost River Theatre. If a claim of harassment or discrimination is proven, disciplinary measures will be applied, up to and including termination of employment.

Ghost River Theatre is committed to a comprehensive strategy to address harassment and discrimination, including:

  • providing an effective and fair complaints procedure
  • promoting appropriate standards of conduct at all times
  • ongoing assessment of risks surrounding each of our work environments, including administrative, rehearsal, production, and/or performance spaces

This code does not supersede an individual’s right to pursue a police report and/or investigation, or seek legal counsel.

If you have any questions about these policies and procedures, suggestions for improvement, or other concerns please email play@ghostrivertheatre.com to get in touch with our team or make use of our Reporting Form (which may be anonymous) at any time.

Anti-Harassment, Bullying, and Non-Discrimination Policy

The objectives of this policy are to make sure that artists, employees, board members, sponsors, participants, students, volunteers, and audience members of Ghost River Theatre are aware that harassment and discrimination are unacceptable practices and are incompatible with the standards of this organization, as well as being a violation of the law.

Who does this policy apply to?


All persons working or associating with Ghost River Theatre are expected to uphold and abide by this policy, by refraining from any form of harassment, bullying, or discrimination, and by cooperating fully in any investigation of a harassment or discrimination complaint.

Managers, instructors, Board members, and production directors have the additional responsibility to act immediately on observations or allegations of harassment or discrimination. Managers and those within supervisory and leadership positions are responsible for creating and maintaining a harassment- and discrimination-free organization and should address potential problems before they become serious.
What does this Policy include?

The right to freedom from discrimination and harassment extends to everyone working with Ghost River Theatre in any capacity, including all employees (full-time, part-time, temporary, probationary, casual and contract staff), as well as volunteers, co-op students, members, partners, interns and apprentices. It is also unacceptable for members of Ghost River Theatre to engage in harassment or discrimination with others outside of Ghost River Theatre, including sponsors, audience members, or others with whom Ghost River Theatre has professional dealings, such as students, instructors, performers, rental companies, or service providers.
This policy applies at every level of the organization and to every aspect of the workplace environment, including all operations and events that occur outside of the West Village Theatre, such as festivals, outside venues, meetings, travel, and other company parties or events.

This policy prohibits discrimination, bullying, or harassment based on the following grounds, and any combination of these grounds:

  • Age
  • Creed (religion)
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • Sexual orientation
  • Sex
  • Gender identity
  • Gender expression
  • Family status
  • Marital status
  • Mental, physical, developmental, language or learning Ability
  • Race
  • Ancestry
  • Place of origin
  • Ethnic origin
  • Citizenship
  • Record of offences (criminal conviction for a provincial offence, or for an offence for which a pardon has been received)
  • Association or relationship with a person identified by one of the above grounds
  • Any other similar grounds

What is discrimination?

Any form of unequal treatment based on the above grounds, whether imposing extra burdens or denying benefits. It may be intentional or unintentional. It may involve direct actions that are discriminatory on their face, or it may involve rules, practices or procedures that appear neutral, but disadvantage certain groups of people. Discrimination may take obvious forms, or it may happen in very subtle ways. Even if there are many factors affecting a decision or action, if discrimination is one factor, that is a violation of this policy.

What is harassment?

A course of comments or actions that are known, or ought reasonably to be known, to be unwelcome.
 It can involve words or actions that are known or should be known to be offensive, embarrassing, humiliating, demeaning or unwelcome, including any such words or actions based on a ground of discrimination identified by this policy.

Examples of harassment include:

  • Epithets, remarks, jokes or innuendos, including those related to any of the above grounds
  • Posting or circulating offensive pictures, graffiti or materials, whether in print form or via e-mail or other electronic means
  • Hostile or intimidating actions or remarks
  • If a person does not explicitly object to harassing behavior, or appears to be going along with it, this does not mean that the behavior is okay. The behavior could still be considered harassment under this Code of Conduct.
  • Sexual and gender-based harassment can include:
  • Gender-related comments about a person’s physical characteristics or mannerisms
  • Paternalism based on gender which undermines a person’s self-respect or position of responsibility
  • Physical contact without expressed consent and (in instances of creative application) applicable discussion or choreography
  • Suggestive or offensive remarks or innuendoes about members of a specific gender
  • Propositions of physical intimacy inside the work environment
  • Gender-related verbal abuse, threats or taunting
  • Leering or inappropriate staring
  • Bragging about sexual prowess or questions or discussions about sexual activities
  • Offensive jokes or comments of a sexual nature about an employee, audience member, volunteer, or Board member
  • Rough and vulgar humour or language related to gender
  • Display of sexually offensive pictures, graffiti or other materials including through electronic means
  • Demands for dates or sexual favours.

What is sexual solicitation?

This policy prohibits sexual solicitations or advances by any person who is in a position to grant or deny a benefit to the recipient of the solicitation or advance. This includes managers and artists, as well as co-workers where one person is in a position to grant or deny a benefit to the other. Reprisals for rejecting such advances or solicitations are also not allowed.

What is Bullying?

Bullying is classified as behavior that psychologically or physically hurts, manipulates, or isolates a person within the workplace or professional environment. It can involve a singular or repeated incident, or a pattern of behavior that is intended to intimidate, offend, degrade, abuse, or humiliate a particular person or group of people. While bullying is a form of aggression, the actions can be both obvious and subtle. It is also qualified as the assertion of power through aggression by those in a position of influence or authority. As part of the Ghost River Theatre Code of Conduct, bullying is a form of harassment that is under no circumstances to be tolerated, condoned, or ignored.

Examples of bullying include:

  • Spreading malicious rumours, gossip, or innuendo.
  • Excluding or isolating someone socially.
  • Intimidating a person.
  • Undermining or deliberately impeding a person's work.
  • Physically abusing or threatening abuse.
  • Removing areas of responsibilities without cause.
  • Constantly changing work guidelines.
  • Establishing impossible deadlines that will set up the individual to fail.
  • Withholding necessary information or purposefully giving the wrong information.
  • Making jokes that are 'obviously offensive' by spoken word or e-mail.
  • Intruding on a person's privacy by pestering, spying or stalking.
  • Assigning unreasonable duties or workload which are unfavourable to one person (in a way that creates unnecessary pressure).
  • Underwork - creating a feeling of uselessness.
  • Yelling or using profanity.
  • Criticizing a person persistently or constantly.
  • Belittling a person's opinions.
  • Unwarranted (or undeserved) punishment.
  • Blocking applications for training, leave or promotion.
  • Tampering with a person's personal belongings or work equipment.
  • If you are not sure an action or statement could be considered bullying, you can use the "reasonable person" test. Would most people consider the action unacceptable?

Procedure for Reporting a Complaint or Concern

If you feel comfortable and it is safe to do so, you may attempt to correct the issue directly by informing a harasser or abuser that their behavior is unacceptable and that it must stop immediately. 
Keep a record. Write down dates, times, any witnesses, what was said or done, when and by whom. 

Documentation is extremely important, especially if the harasser does not stop or if the issue requires a formal complaint.
If you are not comfortable communicating directly with the harasser or abuser, or if you have and the behavior has continued or not been addressed, you are encouraged to submit a complaint through our online Reporting Form (which may be anonymous). The content of this form goes directly to Artistic Associate Louise Casemore, and Board Chair Melanie Pituch.

In situations involving either the Artistic Associate or the Board Chair, alternate contacts can be found on the Reporting Form online. They include representatives from both the staff and Board of Directors.

NOTE REGARDING CONFIDENTIALITY: If requested by the complainant and lawfully possible, steps will be taken to keep the complainant’s identity confidential. Please note, should you choose not to identify yourself during the reporting of the incident we will not be able to contact you, and may not be able to enforce the policy to the fullest extent.

What happens after a complaint/concern has been received

A detailed investigation will be conducted, which may include interviewing the complainant, the alleged offender(s) and any other person who may provide information.  Information received will be held in the strictest confidence possible.
Alleged offenders will be informed that a complaint has been received, however the complainant will remain anonymous, unless otherwise discussed between the complainant and the panel.

Investigation of complaints and concerns

Reports will be handled on a case by case basis, beginning with a conversation between the complainant and a two-person panel made up of one board member and one staff member.
Upon submitting a complaint or concern, the complainant will be replied to in a timely manner of no longer than 2 business days. The complainant will be given an opportunity to choose between a selection of at least two different staff and board members to form the panel.
It is our hope to make this process as comfortable and unbiased as possible as we navigate the delicate nature of our community/work environment and the uniqueness of each situation.

The investigation will be conducted within 7 business days from the initial response.

The investigation may include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • further conversations with the complainant to gather information;
  • gathering external third party information/verification; and
  • contacting the accused to discuss the complaint.

Once the investigation is completed, the panel will provide to the Board a written report of recommendations to address the complaint, which may include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • disciplinary action of the person responsible for the violence (if an employee)
  • requirement to provide a formal apology
  • facilitation of appropriate mediation or counselling for those involved
  • suspension, termination, or removal of the individual or employee from their role or position
  • discussion with the aggressor regarding expected and appropriate workplace behavior and responsibilities
  • implementation of internal policies and/or measures to prevent the occurrence from happening again

Physical or sexual abuse will automatically trigger disciplinary action.

The complainant, the respondent and/or any affected parties will be informed of the outcome of the investigation and next steps. If applicable, there will be a follow-up put in place to monitor the working relationship of the parties involved.

Complaints that are found to be false will not be tolerated and will be considered a breach of this policy.
Notwithstanding the above, in any extremely urgent and/or life-threatening situation in the workplace or theatre, particularly with regard to serious violence, the most important and immediate concern is the safety and well-being of the affected person.  If there is imminent danger to a person’s safety, police, fire department or paramedics should be called.
If you have any questions regarding the above policy you may contact us at play@ghostrivertheatre.com

Anonymous Reporting Form