PEI

'It's just important to make a stand': Music P.E.I. signs on to national code of conduct

Music P.E.I. was one of 42 music industry groups across the country that signed the Canadian Creative Industries Code of Conduct during Juno awards week.

'Everyone needs to take responsibility'

Rob Oakie wants Music P.E.I. to be part of ending discrimination and harassment in the music industry. (Angela Walker/CBC)

Music P.E.I. was one of 42 music industry groups across the country that signed the Canadian Creative Industries Code of Conduct during Juno awards week last week.

Music P.E.I. executive director Rob Oakie said discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying have been issues in the music industry for a long time.

"It's something that needs to be dealt with," said Oakie."We have to do something about these things."

"I don't think there's any industry that's free from it but certainly in the music industry, it's a different kind of industry for sure. A lot of the activities take place at night, quite often in either bars or clubs or theatres."

Oakie said the national code is more like a policy framework for organizations to develop their own codes, something Music P.E.I. has already started on.

Raising awareness

The association will get access to training and education as part of signing on to the national code.

"Everyone is affected by it and everyone needs to take responsibility for it. We're just trying to develop some devices to try to make sure that it doesn't happen, or if it does happen then it's dealt with quickly."

Oakie said the code will apply to Music P.E.I. staff and events, and that other members of the industry in the province — in particular promoters and venues — will be encouraged to follow it.

It is too early to say exactly how the code will work, but Oakie suggested Music P.E.I. was willing to use what influence it can.

"You'd want to offer education, but also say if you're not going to deal with people fairly, we're not going to deal with you," he said.

Oakie said the #MeToo movement has been a positive force for change. 

"And thank goodness, it's definitely time," he said. 

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With files from CBC Radio: Island Morning

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