The Foundation for Canadian Comedy (CANCOM) is committed to promoting a safe, harassment-free, and discrimination-free environment that is conducive to respect, dignity, and professionalism for comedians, comedy workers, and industry stakeholders.

It is imperative that all parties feel safe and free from the threat of harassment or discrimination when working in comedy environments and interacting with other comedy professionals, including during professional development workshops and training.

Some of the definitions within this Policy are based on the Canadian Human Rights Code and provincial equivalents. It is CANCOM’s belief that protecting such rights will foster goodwill and trust within the comedy community. Mutual respect, understanding, and co-operation will help ensure behaviour that undermines a safe, harassment-free, and discrimination-free work environment is neither tolerated, nor condoned.


  • To create GUIDELINES to identify behaviour that is considered by CANCOM as not being safe, harassment-free, and/or discrimination-free.
  • To clearly communicate these guidelines to all parties and require them to be acknowledged by all parties.
  • To ensure that all CANCOM-affiliated producers, partners, collaborators, sponsors, or other industry stakeholders are aware of CANCOM’s commitment to promoting these guidelines.


This Policy is intended to apply to behaviour experienced by individual comedians, comedy workers, industry stakeholders, or groups of the aforementioned in the following environments:

-In work environments when they are preparing to perform, or engage in professional development, as well as during and after their performances and training, (e.g. Comedy Club, one-nighter venue, private function, theatre, festival, training centre, school, workshop etc)

-In work environments when they are not themselves performing, but attending a comedy performance, festival, event (in-person/online/hybrid), or industry function.

-In non-work environments in which they are expected to be, required to be, or cannot reasonably expect to avoid being in attendance in order to satisfy their work obligations. (e.g. school, training facility, hotel or condo provided by booker, vehicle in transit to engagements, etc)

The Canadian Human Rights Code prohibits harassment or discrimination based on the following grounds, and any combination of these grounds:

  • Age
  • Creed (Religion) • Gender identity • Gender expression • Family status
  • Marital status
  • Disability
  • Race
  • Ancestry
  • Place of origin • Ethnicity
  • Citizenship
  • Colour
  • Record of offences
  • Association or relationship with a person identified by one of the above grounds

The guidelines of this policy refer to the above criteria in identifying the following behaviour as not being safe, harassment-free, and/or discrimination-free*:


  • Behaviour that results in any individual, or group of individuals being or feeling unsafe physically or psychologically in the environments defined above. This can include unsafe actions against their person, any attempt at unsafe actions, or their perceived threat of such unsafe actions. Being made to feel “unsafe” means people are experiencing discomfort caused by another individual or group of individuals.


  • Behaviour involving words or actions that are known, or ought reasonably to be known, to be unwelcome, offensive, embarrassing, humiliating, and/or demeaning.


  • Behaviour that imposes extra burdens on an individual, or denies them certain benefits, whether it is intentional or unintentional. It may involve direct actions that are obviously discriminatory, or it may involve rules, practices or procedures that discriminate in subtle ways.

*A person who does not explicitly object to the behaviours identified above, or appears to be going along with them, is not necessarily implying that they consider the behaviours to be acceptable.

Upon reading this Policy description, objectives, and guidelines, please acknowledge you have done so, and are committed to promoting a safe, harassment-free, and discrimination-free environment that is conducive to respect, dignity, and professionalism for comedians, comedy workers, and industry stakeholders.


The CANCOM Comedy Symposium is produced under the IPA with ACTRA.

All incidents of discrimination and harassment on-set during or in direct association with the CANCOM Comedy Symposium by members and permittees fall under the policy guidelines of ACTRA and its respective branches, where additional processes are identified, (see below).

If you are in immediate danger, please call 911.

ACTRA National

HAVEN Helpline and LifeWorks

A national, bilingual critical incident reporting line available 24/7 to members and permittees


The above excludes UBCP/ACTRA members, who have separate resources:

UBCP/ACTRA members:

ACTRA Toronto:

For the Toronto Workshop, the Conflict Resolution Process, and Policy Steps and Timelines, are identified in the above link.

If you or someone you know is a survivor of assault, you can contact the HAVEN helpline for mental health counselling and support and/or to report an incident:


You can also reach out to ACTRA Toronto’s Special Advisor:


Complaints about incidents involving theatre/venue staff, employees, management, sub-contractors, or members of the public in attendance who are not consultants working as ACTRA members or permittees under the Symposium’s production agreement, will follow any guidelines provided by each respective venue, or communicate directly with the venue management team:

Grindstone Theatre, Edmonton

Gas Station Arts Centre, Winnipeg

Comedy Nest, Montreal

Comedy Bar East, Toronto

Should you experience harmful behaviour, or feel unsafe during or in direct association with the CANCOM Comedy Symposium, or you notice another person who may feel unsafe, and:

a) you are unable or not prepared to, address this behaviour directly with the person(s) involved, and/or

b) a complaint about these incidents cannot be resolved through any of the ACTRA or other resources identified above,

you can report it to the CANCOM Comedy Symposium Executive Producer, and acting CANCOM Board Chairperson, Adam Growe:

or CANCOM Comedy Symposium Diversity and Inclusion Peer Coordinator, Janelle Niles:

Complaints received directly by CANCOM will be taken to the Board for investigation and all possible efforts will be made to resolve the conflict as quickly as possible.

People who prefer to be anonymous can use HAVEN Helpline, 1-855-201-7823