We are saddened to learn of the sexual misconduct that took place in one of our fellow theatre companies, and with the subsequent allegations surfacing within our arts community.
Orpheus has proudly worked with The Gladstone to produce its annual Studio Show. We understand that they are seeking guidance to effectively deal with the offences, have been called on to improve their policies, and we look forward to seeing those improvements. Moving forward, Orpheus will ensure that its own policies are adhered to when operating out of The Gladstone, Meridian Theatres @ Centrepointe, and any other venue.
We unequivocally stand with the victim, and with all victims of sexual abuse, and will not tolerate such behaviour in our organization or the Ottawa theatre community as a whole. We are committed to providing an inclusive, safe space for all, and will continue to address our own issues, past and present.
Being a long established theatre company with a large membership base, we have certainly not been immune to such issues, and we acknowledge that we have not always responded successfully. While we believe that we have always worked positively with the best information available at the time, we recognize that there is always room for improvement, and we are striving toward it. This year, we have diligently renewed our dedication to providing a safe and equitable space for all. We voluntarily opened our doors for a workplace review to highlight areas for improvement ensuring that all members are represented equally and justly. We are implementing the recommendations of the report.
Additionally, Orpheus is currently reviewing its overall standards of practice, including amending our Policies & Procedures Manual and Code of Conduct, implementing workplace safety measures, and providing increased training and resources so that our Board and members may be more equipped to handle sensitive matters, or have the appropriate channels to report to. This remains a top priority, and we will enforce a zero-tolerance policy on abuse of any kind.
In times like these, we must all work together to improve our spaces and communities. We have a lot of work ahead of us to ensure that the theatre world is the safe and equitable environment it stands for. Orpheus offers its support to all in their efforts for improvement.
To the woman who came forward and shared her story, to the women who continue to subsequently come forward to share your own, you are brave and courageous. Thank you for being leaders in our community! May you find peace and happiness in your journey toward healing.
Board of Directors
Orpheus Musical Theatre