In November 2021, we shared an update on our justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion work including the founding of our cross-department Diversity Working Group (DWG), staff and musician town halls, diversity training, re-release of our recording dedicated to the music of Joseph Bologne, and collaborations with artists and community members who are Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Colour (BIPOC).
We have continued this work through the winter and spring and wanted to share another progress report.
Recent actions and commitments:
- In consultation with Bloom Consulting, we continue to refine our diversity, equity and inclusion framework, which seeks to make clear for ourselves: the need, purpose, principles and goals of our DEI work at Tafelmusik. We have developed this with the participation of the entire organization, and it has illuminated the significant and long-term work required at the personal, interpersonal and structural levels, to include more racial diversity in our organization.
- We were thrilled to welcome baritone Jonathon Adams, actor Amanda Cordner and stage director Jordan Laffrenier who contributed to concert programs Bach B Minor Mass and The Gull, the Raccoon and the Last Maple.
- We presented three online Tafel Talks featuring guest panelists and moderators from Toronto and beyond. These lively panel discussions navigated a range of intriguing topics, including Baroque Feast, with panelists Laura M. Carlson, Farzam Fallah, and Samantha Medeiros; Music in the Key of Green, with panelists Abigail Richardson-Schulte, Kathleen Reilly, and Maryem Tollar; and Remix Culture, with panelists Jennifer Jenkins, Mathieu Lussier, and SlowPitchSound.
- Workplace Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification rating achieved, helping us identify areas of accessibility improvement
- Re-launched our website, designed to better highlight and make available content, collaborations and programming featuring BIPOC artists and community partners
- Music by composer Louise Farrenc programmed in one 2022/23 main season concert as well as featuring Brazilian male soprano Samuel Mariño
In April 2021, we shared an update on our justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion work including the founding of our cross-department Diversity Working Group (DWG), staff and musician town halls, diversity training, re-release of our recording dedicated to the music of Joseph Bologne, and collaborations with artists and community members who are Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Colour (BIPOC).
We have continued this work through the summer and fall, and wanted to share another progress report, as well as additional milestones in progress.
- Hired Bloom Consulting to consult with the Diversity Working Group and Tafelmusik leadership to refine our diversity framework and three-year action roadmap. To date this work has included:
- Six meetings with the DWG
- Two leadership meetings
- Four dialogue sessions with the board, staff, orchestra, and choir
- Re-released Tafelmusik’s digital recording of The Music of Joseph Bologne in June 2021 to better centre his name, face, and achievements. The re-release was undertaken with consultant Marlon Daniel, and included the commissioning of a new portrait of Bologne by Toronto painter Gordon Shadrach. A Tafel Talks panel discussion also took place, alongside the ongoing development of educational content about the composer and his music
- We developed and have shared our public Patron Code of Conduct
- Welcomed new board and staff members of racially diverse backgrounds who are aligned with Tafelmusik’s core values
- We remain committed to increasing the amount of content and contextual events developed featuring the perspectives and talents of BIPOC artists
Milestones in progress:
- Finalize priority goals for Tafelmusik to integrate equity, diversity and inclusion across the organization, and launch our action plan in collaboration with the Board, staff and musicians
- Re-launch our website and use design to better highlight and make available content, collaborations, and programming featuring BIPOC artists and community partners
- Program music by Joseph Bologne in one main season concert and complete a Listening Guide and video for our website as evergreen educational materials
- Update programming, HR, and vendor policies
- Develop and track metrics to assess and report on our progress
To stay accountable to you, our community, we will issue another progress report in spring 2022.
In June 2020 we shared a statement on Black lives matter, recognizing our privilege and lack of perspective on the experiences that Black, Indigenous, and people of colour face every day.
We still have a long way to go, but wanted to share a progress report on the actions and commitments Tafelmusik has undertaken to date, as well as our goals for the remainder of 2021.
Actions/commitments to date:
- At the direction of the Tafelmusik Board, founded a cross-department Diversity Working Group (DWG) in July 2020
- DWG met nine times to examine biases and help advance Tafelmusik as an organization firmly rooted in equitable practices. The DWG’s meetings culminated with the development and proposal of a 3-year action roadmap that was presented and approved by the Board in February 2021. This roadmap includes:
- An organizational Justice, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Vision Statement
- Concrete actions to be taken over the next three years in the areas of talent recruitment, anti-oppression, staff and artist training, and programming selection
- Began holding staff and musician town halls to facilitate and encourage conversations around justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion
- Senior management purchased and completed Rachel Ricketts’ Anti-Racism training
- We are working towards a re-release of Tafelmusik’s digital recording of the music of Joseph Bologne. Originally recorded and released in 2002, and re-released in 2013, our existing recording used a title and artwork which contributed to and facilitated the erasure of Joseph Bologne and his legacy. Read our disclaimer statement about this here. Our forthcoming re-release is intended to better centre his name, face, and achievements (expected June 2021)
- We have committed to increasing the amount of content and contextual events developed featuring the perspectives/talents of Black, Indigenous, and people of colour
Goals for the remainder of 2021 include:
- Hire a Black, Indigenous, or persons of colour-led firm or individual(s) to consult on and make recommendations on improvements to our policies and training
- Update our recruitment processes, anti-oppression policies, vendor review, and programming processes
- Re-release digital recording of the music of Joseph Bologne (see above)
- Develop and share a public patron code of conduct
- All staff and musicians to complete justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion training
- Develop and track metrics to assess and report on our progress
To stay accountable to you, our community, we will issue another progress report in fall 2021.