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The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra condemns racism, discrimination and violence of any kind. We are listening to the voices of Black, Indigenous and underrepresented communities as they share the truth of their experiences. As we listen and learn from these perspectives, we seek to better understand, reflect and celebrate the diversity of our region, and this starts with committing to real, long-term change.
In 2019, the HPO formed a Diversity and Inclusion ad-hoc committee and adopted the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA) Declaration for Canadian Orchestras. The Diversity and Inclusion committee will oversee our commitments and share progress with our community on a regular basis.Through the mandate of our diversity committee, we commit to the following actions:

  1. We will participate in anti-racism training at all levels of the organization
  2. We will develop our artistic programming with a diversity of voices and perspectives
  3. We will engage in thoughtful collaboration with diverse communities to serve them in a meaningful way

We engage in this process with humility and dedication.


Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility Declaration (IDEA)

In May 2019, the HPO adopted the following  Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility Declaration (IDEA) provided by Orchestras Canada:

The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra is committed to inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility. Because we care about the vitality of our art form, we seek to better understand, reflect, engage, and celebrate our diverse community.

The full IDEA document created by Orchestras Canada may be accessed here.


Land Acknowledgement

The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra is situated upon the traditional territories of the Erie, Neutral, Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee and Mississaugas. This land is covered by the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, which was an agreement between the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabek to share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes. We further acknowledge that this land is covered by the Between the Lakes Purchase, 1792, between the Crown and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. Today, the City of Hamilton is home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island (North America) and we recognize that we must do more to learn about the rich history of this land so that we can better understand our roles as residents, neighbours, partners and caretakers.


Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra’s Commitment

Given the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the HPO is committed to reading a land acknowledgement at the beginning of our events to give time for reflection and to demonstrate recognition of Indigenous lands, treaties and peoples.

Action 79 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action calls upon the arts community, in collaboration with the federal government, survivors and Aboriginal organizations, to develop a reconciliation framework for Canadian heritage and commemoration. We regard the land acknowledgement as a first step in this direction with the goal of future artistic programs and collaborations to address this call to action.