CODE OF CONDUCT AND ETHICS

Adopted May 2, 2011

SAW VIDEO ASSOCIATION MISSION STATEMENT

The mission of Digital Arts Resource Centre (DARC) is to support ground-breaking artistic production, presentation and programming of independent media art. To this aim, DARC provides its members with affordable production services, technical equipment and training, and media presentation designed to create an atmosphere that will inspire production through the exchange of ideas around form, content and style.

Section A: Introduction

Our centre’s continued growth and success depends upon upholding our mission and mandate; enforcing policies that protect our staff and our members, conducting our business practices in a responsible and ethical manner; and maintaining the trust and confidence of our community.

For this reason, DARC has created a Code of Conduct and Ethics which describes the standards of conduct that we expect from members, staff, visitors and the Board of Directors, along with an outline of procedures to be undertaken in resolving issues of conflict or misconduct.

Section B: Our Principles and Values

DARC has key values that guide our organization and have been instrumental in the design of this document.

As an organization, DARC endeavours to:

Humanity and Equality

  • Actively promote access for all artists, regardless of age, class, gender, sexual orientation, race or ability. As members, employees and representatives of DARC, it is our obligation to treat everyone respectfully, regardless of age, gender, ethnic origin, culture, religion, sexuality, political beliefs, or physical appearance, while respecting their rights, dignity and right to self-determination.

Integrity

  • Avoid conflicts of interest;

  • Honour all laws, and contractual obligations.

  • Never disclose sensitive or confidential information;

  • Pay artists for screening their work.

  • Maintain artistic integrity by supporting freedom of expression and opposing censorship in all its forms;

  • Meet all commitments to arts councils, funding agencies, members, staff and our community;

  • Protect DARC’s assets and use them responsibly;

  • Maintain transparent jury process for the allocation of artists’ grants.

Excellence

  • Strive for continuous organizational improvement through planning, evaluation and development;

  • Foster a strong and vibrant artistic community through collaborative initiatives.

  • Strive to provide members with up-to-date tools and resources.

Accessibility

  • Provide a safe and welcoming environment for all staff, members and visitors;

  • Commit to providing members with economically accessible services;

  • Commit to removing social and physical barriers to the creation and appreciation of the media arts.

Section C: Standards of Conduct

1. Safety and Health

Conduct business in a way that most effectively protects the safety and health of all persons. All use of DARC’s facilities and assets must be conducted with regard for the safety of persons and property. This includes, but is not limited to, adherence to health and fire regulations, applicable laws, policy and direction from staff or Board of Directors (BOD), respect for individual ability and health, and the creation of exit plans and event procedures.

DARC is committed to adhering to regulations and guidelines presented in federal, provincial, and municipal laws; and to undertaking the periodic safety audits of our facilities.

2. Interacting with one another

All members, staff and visitors shall commit themselves to behaving in a courteous and professional manner while respecting privacy, safety, diversity and personal choice. In our actions, it is essential that we respect the perspective, experience and background of each individual who takes part in our centre.

3. Commitment to Diversity

DARC shall not discriminate in hiring, in issuing memberships or in any of its activities based on grounds prohibited by applicable law. These include, but are not limited to, ethnic origin, ancestry, place of origin, gender, age, marital or family status, disability, sexual orientation, religion, political beliefs, ability, appearance or citizenship. Furthermore, DARC will strive to create a workforce, programming schedule and governance which reflects the diverse community in which we operate.

4. Vulnerable persons

DARC will do its utmost to protect all vulnerable persons from harm by instituting procedures as required by law. Vulnerable persons include children, youth, senior citizens, people with physical, developmental, social, emotional, or other disabilities, as well as people who are victims of crime or harm. The vulnerability may be a temporary or a permanent condition.

Specifically where minors are concerned, as an organization which provides services, programming, resources and work experience to minors, it is the responsibility of staff, members and visitors to conduct themselves in a manner which is suitable to the presence of minors, respectful of their sensibilities, and in adherence to applicable laws.

5. Personal Conflict, Harassment and Violence

All members, staff, visitors, and volunteers at DARC will treat each other with respect for their physical and mental well-being. Violence and harassment cannot and will not be tolerated at DARC, in any capacity.

Violence includes but is not limited to any behaviour which intentionally threatens or causes physical harm to another person.

Harassment includes, but is not limited to:

  • Repeated contact (physical, verbal, or written) when it has been expressed that such contact is unwelcome

  • Sexual harassment

  • Issues of slander, libel, public humiliation, or interpersonal behaviour which violates the law

  • Any behaviour which can be clearly interpreted as a threat or action against the physical, mental or social well-being of another person and jeopardizes their sense of security and safety at SAW Video or in the community

  • Discriminating or demeaning behaviour

Staff members and volunteers must report all incidences of violence or harassment to the Director. In the event of violence, the police will be contacted and the Board of Directors will determine any further course of action. In the event of harassment, the Director will determine the course of action, which, depending on the severity, may include reporting to the police and/or notifying the Board of Directors. Please see DARC’s Anti-Discrimination and Harassment Policy for more specific procedures and responses.

When issues of personal conflict arise, if appropriate, the parties involved should first approach the problem on an individual basis and find resolution with respect for one another. In some situations a third party may be necessary in finding a resolution, and it is under these circumstances that the persons involved should contact the Director or the Board chairperson.

6. Materials and Performance

While DARC supports freedom of speech and artistic expression, programming and materials used in the context of the centre should be sensitive to the diversity, safety, and sensibilities of those who frequent it and live in our community. Materials include any media or documents used in workshops, instruction, or promotion.

7. Proper use of Facilities and Assets

It is the responsibility of all staff, members and volunteers to protect the property owned or entrusted to the organization from theft, destruction, infringement, neglect, or misuse. In addition producing members must abide by the DARC Equipment and Facilities Access policy.

The usage of DARC assets by staff must be responsible, limited, and recorded. DARC staff may use organizational assets for personal artistic purposes; however, these assets may not be used for outside contracts or be given gratis to a friend or relative.

8. Conflict of Interest

A conflict of interest is any situation where the personal interest of staff or board members interferes with the interests of DARC.

Guidelines for avoiding conflicts of interest when conducting SAW Video-related business:

  • Base decisions made for SAW Video on merit and in the best interest of the organization;
  • Do not take part in or influence any decision that might result in financial advantage for you, family, or friends.
  • Give and receive business-related gifts or hospitality only when there is a benefit to SAW Video, and never when it may compromise or appear to compromise the ability to make objective decisions.
  • Gifts should be suitably distributed within the community and never accepted based on personal benefit;
  • When acting as a representative for another organization, or when participating in political activity, it must be clear that you are not acting on behalf of or for SAW Video.
  • Do not abuse position, role or power in order to exert influence over any member, employee, or in outside business in order to obtain personal benefit or reward.

9. Sensitive or Confidential information

Sensitive information is proprietary, financial, business or personal information that requires confidentiality, and must be protected to ensure DARC’s assets, obligations and interests; and to preserve the privacy of members, staff and partners. DARC will not divulge confidential information relating to DARC, members, staff or partners unless approval from the individual (s) concerned is obtained.

10. Business Relationships

The way DARC conducts business with suppliers, services and partners is integral to our success and standing in the community, therefore it is essential that we interact with other organizations and businesses in a courteous, fair and professional manner, and never base business decisions on favouritism, prejudice or personal gain.

11. Finances, Accounting and Reporting

When incurring or approving business expenses, exercise prudence and sound judgment. Expenses must be reasonable and necessary for the business of DARC, in accordance with financial planning, policy and applicable bylaws. When conducting financial, accounting or reporting business, do not engage in practices which may jeopardize DARC’s status as a not-for-profit charitable organization.

Never establish undisclosed funds or accounts, and handle all cash and transactions in an appropriate and legal manner that avoids suspicion of infringement or impropriety. Ensure that all DARC documents accurately and clearly represent the relevant facts and relevant information of a transaction. These documents may include but are not limited to affidavits, payroll, sales reports, financial reports, invoices, charitable reports, HST filing, and tax accounting.

12. Donor Rights

As an organization with charitable status, DARC must outline the behaviours that dictate our ongoing relationship with donors. Donors have the following rights in interacting with DARC:

  • The right to be informed of the organization’s mission and purpose and to become a member of the organization if the donor so wishes;

  • The right to know the identity of the organization’s officers and members of the Board of Directors and to expect that they act with transparency, integrity and discernment in implementing the organization’s mission and purpose for the best interests of the community;

  • The right to have access to the organization’s annual financial statements and to easily obtain a copy;

  • The right to know how donations, directly or indirectly contributed to the organization are distributed, and to be assured that donated funds are used as intended by the donor;

  • The right to be treated with consideration and respect by the organization and to receive appropriate acknowledgment and recognition;

  • The right to confidentiality regarding personal information about donors and facts about their donations;

  • The right to expect that all relationships between the organization’s representatives and the donor, will be professional in nature;

  • The right to be informed of the exact nature of the relationship which exists between fundraisers and the organization;

  • The right to expect that the organization will not share or sell a mailing list which includes the donor’s name;

  • The right to ask questions of the organization and to expect prompt, truthful and complete answers in an easy-to-understand manner

While donors may expect rights and privileges such as those outlined above, donors may at no time be permitted to interfere with or influence DARC’s programming, mission, mandate or vision or the work produced by members through the centre.

13. Misconduct

Examples of misconduct include, but are not limited to: willful damage of property, theft, violence, harassment, falsification of information or accounts, breach of confidentiality, misuse of alcohol or drugs, abusive language or treatment, and exhibition of disruptive behaviour. Misconduct could lead to disciplinary action by the Director or Board of Directors as outlined in the final section of this document.

Section D: Compliance with the Code of Conduct and Ethics

In order to ensure the success of the Code of Conduct and Ethics, it is necessary that all staff and members have access to a copy of this document. This must be done at the time of membership purchase or renewal, or upon the commencement or renewal of employment. The Code of Conduct will also be posted on the website.

If at any time the Code of Conduct and Ethics is revised, notice will be given to all members and staff, and copies of the revised document will be made available, and posted online.

Consequences for Misconduct

Those who do not comply with the standards of behaviour and business conduct described in the Code of Conduct and Ethics will be subject to disciplinary procedures outlined in DARC’s policies, Bylaws, membership agreement, employment contracts, and in this document. In circumstances that require immediate intervention such as violence, theft, harassment or other security-related matters, the police will be notified.

Procedures for defining standards and resolving issues of misconduct or conflict

The DARC Board of Directors has the power to prescribe standards of conduct for its membership and staff, and to make decisions as to what constitutes grounds for disciplinary action.

Each grievance, conflict or occurrence of misconduct will be evaluated on an individual basis, considering all available facts and information. The Board of Directors will use the Bylaws, the Code of Conduct and Ethics, and its best judgement to determine the most appropriate and reasonable course of action needed to reach the best outcome for DARC, its members, its staff and the parties involved.

Available courses of action include, but are not limited to: mediation, the meeting of an executive committee, the calling of a special members meeting, outside consultation, or depending on the severity of the misconduct, the suspension or refusal of membership, termination of employment, or legal action.

Please consult specific policies i.e. DARC’s Anti-Discrimination and Harassment policy, for more details about guidelines specific to those issues.