The Corporation of the City of Kitchener is committed to providing and maintaining a work environment that is based on respect for the dignity and the rights of everyone in the organization. It is the City of Kitchener’s goal to provide a healthy and safe work environment free of any forms of bullying, uncivil or disrespectful behaviour, and from discrimination and harassment. As part of the City of Kitchener, the Kitchener Market Code of Conduct is designed to ensure a safe and inviting environment for municipal employees, vendors and their staff, performers and members of the public who visit the market.

These policies reinforce the City’s legal obligation under the Ontario Human Rights Code, the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Accessibility for Ontarians to ensure our spaces are healthy, safe, and accessible for all.

Discrimination and Harassment

By participating in the market as a performer you and any members of your performance group must work to reflect and embody the above goals. As such, it is unacceptable for any performer to engage in any form of:

  • Discrimination
  • Harassment
  • Bullying
  • Rude or aggressive conduct

Performers who are found to be engaging in these behaviours may face repercussions up to and including expulsion from the market if the incident is deemed sufficiently serious by the market management team. Please see the ‘Protocol and Consequences for Breaches of Code of Conduct’ section below for more details on these protocols.

Likewise, performers should not feel they need to tolerate unacceptable behaviour towards them from members of the public, vendors or other performers. Performers who feel that they have been subject to discriminatory or harassing behaviour should address their concerns immediately in person or in a timely manner by phone or email to the Kitchener Market team. The Kitchener Market team will work to resolve these issues and deploy corrective actions that prevent the performer from continuing to be a subject of said behaviour.

Conflict Resolution, Accountability and Consequences

The Kitchener Market wants to provide a welcoming environment for all participants however we recognize that there is bound to be occasional conflict.  It is in everyone's best interest to resolve these conflicts as quickly as possible and without creating offence or bad feeling whenever possible. Performers are expected to follow the following good practices for a healthy community.

Conflict with another performer, vendor, or City of Kitchener staff member: When conflict arises, if you think it's possible to resolve the conflict directly with the other party without creating further upset then approach them at the earliest possible time. If you feel it would be best to have mediation, then let the Market Manager know as soon as possible that there is a conflict you wish to have resolved.

Conflict with a visitor: If there is a conflict with a visitor, try to hear what the visitor is saying and not react personally. If you feel you can't address the concern immediately, get the customer’s name and contact information and get back to them. If you feel that the visitor is making a complaint that you just cannot mediate, direct her/him to the Market Manager or encourage the customer to speak with an on-site City of Kitchener staff member. If a customer is expressing some concerns about another performer or vendor, encourage him/her to have a word with the Market Manager and do not engage visitors in a conversation about other performers or vendors. It's not for us to speak about the practices of others just as we wouldn't want to be spoken about. Customers can also be directed to the Market Office where a staff member will be available to address their concerns.

Rude and aggressive behaviour at the Market: Rude and/or aggressive behaviour directed towards other performers, vendors, customers, City of Kitchener staff and volunteers will not be tolerated under any circumstances. Any concern or complaint regarding Market management should be addressed with the market coordinator or manager in a respectful and professional manner. It is recommended to set a date and time to discuss the matter outside market hours. 

Performers also do not have to tolerate aggressive or rude behaviour from members of the public. If a member of the public is aggressive or rude and you are unable to politely resolve the situation yourself, seek the assistance of a market staff member or security who will take on resolution of the situation.

In all cases of aggressive behaviour, the participants involved will be given a single verbal warning informing them that they must cease the behaviour or leave the facility for the remainder of the day. This includes members of the public, performers vendors and their staff. Individuals who do not cease the behaviour will be asked to leave and may be walked out by a market staff member of member of security, even if this means ending their performance for the day.

Protocol and Consequences for Breaches of Code of Conduct

Should a performer be found to breach the code of conduct, the Kitchener Market team will adhere to the following protocols. All corrective actions will be recorded on a vendor's file 

  1. Verbal Warning: City of Kitchener staff will verbally inform the performer of the unacceptable behaviour/non-compliance as soon as it occurs, and expectations of how and when the behaviour should be changed.
  2. Written Warning: If the performer continues to behave in an unacceptable fashion, City of Kitchener staff will follow up with a written email or letter.
  3. Escalation: If the behaviour continues, consequences for unacceptable behaviour will be decided on a case-by-case basis by the Kitchener Market management, up to and including temporary market suspension, or permanent expulsion.

As noted in earlier sections, if the unacceptable behaviour is deemed sufficiently serious, or a potential risk to the health and safety of other individuals at the time of occurrence, the Kitchener Market Team reserve the right to forego the three-step approach above and expel the individual from the market at the time of the behaviour until at least the end of the day.

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