ARCHIVED - National Arts Centre 2007-2008

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  Report Card 2007–2008
National Arts Centre

Factors and Criteria

Summary of Substantiating Data


Management (15%)

(a) An accountability framework, an action plan and accountability mechanisms are in place (5%)

The National Arts Centre (NAC) has a well-established accountability framework for official languages (OL), which describes the institution’s obligations, and the roles and responsibilities of the OL Champion, the members of the Senior Management Committee, managers, employees, Human Resources and Finance. The accountability framework also specifies that the Champion is responsible for reporting on activities every year to the Canada Public Service Agency and Canadian Heritage and indicates who is responsible for monitoring and following up on agreements with third parties and on partnership and funding agreements.

The NAC does not have an action plan as such for Parts IV, V and VI of the Act, but it does have an OL policy that describes the manner in which duties are to be carried out and the roles and responsibilities regarding Parts IV, V and VI of the Official Languages Act (the Act). In 2007, the organization presented its action plan on Part VII of the Act to Canadian Heritage.

The NAC has appointed a person responsible for all OL-related issues. This individual, who is the OL Champion, is responsible for Part VII and helps review all NAC publications. She is also the first responder and contact person for all OL queries and consultations. Furthermore, at the beginning of the calendar year, the OL Champion sent out to all employees as well as to the management team an information sheet describing the status of the organization’s OL achievements. The document provides an update on the organization’s successes and is used as a basis to identify areas for improvement.

The OL Champion meets at least twice a year with the NAC Senior Management Committee to present the progress made and the various audit and achievement reports.


(b) Visibility of official languages in the organization (5%)

The NAC strategic and tactical plans for 2007–2012 are in the process of being written and will include passages specifically addressing OL objectives.

The NAC 2006–2007 Annual Report still focuses on the four artistic disciplines embraced by society, i.e. music, English theatre, French theatre and dance, as well as the Community Programming for the Fourth Stage, Variety Programming and educational programs.

The 2006–2007 Annual Report includes a new separate section that  describes the organization’s OL achievements. 

The OL Champion presented various initiatives on OL at two management team meetings, held on January 31 and May 30, 2007. She specified the expectations in terms of service to the public, announced the project to review NAC’s internal policy and asked that the NAC activity reports include a separate section reporting on the institution’s OL achievements. Also, with the support of the President, all managers were asked to keep records on the positive measures and best practices for official languages.

In March 2007, the NAC participated in the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie in a more significant manner than in years past. For example, the NAC OL Champion was a member of the organizing committee, the director of the French Theatre was, for the second year in a row, the master of ceremonies, the music was supplied by a NAC brass quintet and a NAC booth was set up in the lobby where several attendance prizes of value were given out.

OL are not included in the internal audits. However, the person responsible for OL and the managers conduct regular visits to all NAC facilities to appraise the OL situation and the level of bilingualism of the services delivered by third parties. In October 2007, the Champion communicated verbally and in writing with the people responsible for Finance at the NAC to underscore the importance of including OL in the audit process. 

The Champion does not sit on the Executive Committee. However, she participates in all  Committee discussions and decisions regarding OL. She maintains direct and ongoing relations with the President. To ensure a comprehensive understanding of the status of OL, the same person is responsible for all parts of the Act.


(c) Complaints and follow-up (5%)

The NAC receives very few complaints regarding OL. When a complaint is submitted, it is forwarded to the OL Champion, who then ensures that the appropriate managers are personally involved in implementing sustainable solutions. In addition to the service involved, the Communications Director and the President are officially informed by the Champion when a complaint has been received and how it has been resolved. The Champion sends the relevant information to the other NAC teams in order to prevent similar problems from recurring. 




Service to the public—Part IV (25%)

(a) Bilingual services advertised to the public and sufficient bilingual staff (3%)

Bilingual services are advertised in Burolis, the white pages, the yellow pages, the blue pages as well as on the NAC Internet site.

A total of 92% of employees in bilingual positions serving the public meet the language requirements of their position (Source: System, Applications and Products [SAP], September 11, 2007).


(b) Observations on active offer and service delivery (15%)

According to observations of in-person service made by OCOL between mid-June and mid-July 2007 and between mid-December 2007 and mid-January 2008, an active visual offer was present in 100% of cases, an active offer by staff was made in 50% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 100% of cases.

According to observations of service on the telephone made by OCOL between mid-June and mid-July 2007, an active offer by staff or by an automated system was made in 100% of cases, while service in the language of the linguistic minority was adequate in 100% of cases.


(c) Service agreements delivered by third parties or in partnership provide for the delivery of bilingual services (2%)

The OL Policy sets out the requirement to respect the clients’ language of choice. It also provides for the inclusion of a language clause in contracts to ensure that communications with the public are in both OL.

Standard clauses are added to contracts as required and are presently included in telemarketing, food service, usher and travel service contracts. However, there is still no official mechanism for monitoring the availability and quality of the bilingual services offered by third parties and partners, or the processes for establishing contracts and agreements, but contracts are reviewed by the Director, Administrative Services.

Since the NAC is a relatively small institution, with activities concentrated under one roof,  the directors, managers and employees verify regularly to ensure that services are provided in both OL in the building.


(d) Policy on service to the public and bilingual services quality monitoring (5%)

In addition to having an official languages policy, the NAC has created a service-to-the-public guide that details the responsibilities of all employees with regard to service delivery, including OL obligations.

In 2007, the Champion issued two reminders to the management team about service delivery and emphasized the importance of active offer.

In order to ensure the availability and quality of the service offer in both official languages, the NAC issues periodic reminders to managers. It also sends out a service-to-the-public guide, bilingualism tools and the results of observations, and conducts a language evaluation of employees before they are hired.

The From Bonjour to Au revoir – Usual Expressions on the Telephone // Hello à Good-bye – Expressions usuelles au téléphone reference card, published by the Canada Public Service Agency (CPSA), is distributed to employees when they are hired.

The NAC’s English-French lexicon is updated monthly so that employees have access to a bilingual terminological databank.

All NAC employees work in the same building. Therefore, team leaders can easily verify that services are provided in both OL and are of appropriate quality.

The NAC uses telephone surveys and feedback forms to evaluate subscriber satisfaction with some of its programming. These surveys include questions regarding the equitable use of both OL during oral presentations.
There is also a mechanism for verifying activities pertaining to the writing and translating of promotional documents (pamphlets, programs, brochures, Internet, etc.).



Language of work—Part V (25%)

(a) Language of work policy and adequate bilingual supervision (12.5%)

The NAC’s OL Policy addresses language of work in terms of employees’ language rights with regard to personal and central services, work instruments, meetings, internal communications and supervision.

Measures are in place at the NAC to promote the use of both OL. For example, the NAC has implemented a language training program that provides small groups of participants with weekly French or English courses during work hours.

Team meetings generally take place in both OL, and employees are always encouraged to participate in the official language of their choice.

A total of 88% of supervisors in bilingual regions who must supervise employees in both OL are able to do so (Source: data from the OL Report, SAP, December 31, 2007).


(b) Use of each official language in the workplace (12.5%)

Since all employees work in the same building, the OL Champion is informed of any failure to apply the policy on language of work and she is consulted in specific cases. For example, she helped write a performance evaluation report for a Francophone employee whose manager is bilingual, but whose mother tongue is English, in order to ensure that the expressions and messages reflect French usage and that there were no unclear passages.

After releasing the results of the survey on employee satisfaction in terms of language of work, the NAC took the necessary measures to offer language training services to employees who want to improve their skills in English or French. The NAC is also working with IT Services to develop a training module on IT systems that would best meet the needs of Francophone employees.
Executive Committee meetings are not held in both OL. However, supporting documentation and minutes are always provided in both OL.

The survey conducted by Statistics Canada on behalf of OCOL, showed that overall, 81% of all Francophone respondents in the National Capital Region (NCR) "strongly agreed" or "mostly agreed" with the language of work regime.




Equitable participationPart VI (10%)

(a) Percentage of Francophone participation throughout Canada (5%)

In the National Capital Region, the workforce is 33% Francophone (Source: data taken from the OL Report, SAP, December 31, 2007).


(b) Percentage of Anglophone participation in Quebec (5%)

The entire NAC workforce is located in the NCR.





Development of official language minority communities and promotion of linguistic duality—Part VII (25%)

The NAC has a results-based action plan for the implementation of section 41 of the Act. The plan covers the period from September 1, 2007 to August 31, 2011. The action plan includes the following categories: make employees and senior management aware of the priorities pertaining to linguistic duality and the development of official language minority communities (OLMCs), consult OLMCs regarding their priorities as well as the organization’s initiatives, policies and programs, inform the OLMCs of the organization’s programs and services, coordinate activities and establish links with other organizations from all levels of government, coordinate contributions and program delivery to OLMCs and produce reports (including performance indicators on OLMC development).

The general planning of NAC activities takes into account linguistic duality by making sure that the concerts for young people and the Kinderconcerts ensure a good representation of English and French and by maintaining two separate theatre divisions in English and French.

In January 2007, senior management approved the insertion in the organization’s plans and activity reports of a separate section on OL (more specifically on Part VII).

The NAC has appointed persons responsible for the implementation of Part VII. The various NAC stakeholders responsible for liaising with OLMCs include the Assistant to the Artistic Director, the Community Programming Director and those responsible for youth programming. They act under the direction of the OL Champion, who maintains ongoing cooperation with Canadian Heritage, the Fédération culturelle canadienne-française (FCCF) and its member associations.

The NAC is planning to review its OL Policy to determine its impact on OLMCs and further reflect the commitment and obligations with regard to the promotion of linguistic duality, both within the organization and in Canadian society.


(a) Development of official language minority communities (12.5%)


The strategic planning of NAC activities pertaining to music, French theatre, English theatre and dance systematically take OLMCs into account. For example, NAC Orchestra tours include a major educational component that includes OLMCs, and the choice of areas visited aims to ensure the Orchestra’s visibility among the OLMCs. The programming for all Scene festivals includes events showcasing OLMC artists. The planning of the Zones théâtrales festival is focussed on increasing the profile of OLMCs, whereas the Community Programming at the Fourth Stage draws from OLMC members from the National Capital Region.

The NAC has taken a series of positive measures, including distributing educational material to all English and French schools in Canada, organizing specific educational activities in English and French schools as part of each NAC Orchestra tour, and putting on bilingual concerts for its youth audience.

Furthermore, the Champion, has helped the orchestra conductor for youth concerts to increase the use of French when presenting the pieces played by the orchestra in order to ensure more equitable use of both OL.

The NAC holds annual consultations when planning programming for upcoming seasons. The NAC regularly holds in-person or telephone consultations with the Association des théâtres francophones du Canada, the Association professionnelle de la chanson et de la musique, the Playwright’s Workshop Montréal, the National Theatre School of Canada as well as with the schools via the appropriate school boards.

The information from these consultations conducted by the directorates involved is sent to the OL Champion, who acts as a spokesperson with senior management. The directives given by senior management indicate the obligation to develop programming that takes OLMCs into account. The choices for the educational programs are subject to feedback from the schools.


(b) Promotion of linguistic duality (12.5%)


As part of the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie activities, the NAC organized a dictation for Francophiles and a dictation for Francophones to promote linguistic duality and make all employees aware of the organization’s commitment to bilingualism.

On January 31, 2007, the Champion gave a presentation to the Senior Management Committee on passive bilingualism in order to increase the use of the minority language in meetings.

The NAC took positive measures to promote linguistic duality aimed at Canadian society in general. It participated actively in the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie in March 2007, as a host, master of ceremonies and orchestra. It established a permanent process for checking the quality of translations and the writing of programs in order to ensure high-quality French. It also informed those responsible for the box office and the House Manager of their OL obligations.

The NAC educational site,, is completely bilingual. It is used a great deal in schools. The site gets more than 6,000 hits per day, including 2,500 in French. The school matinee program for the English Theatre and the French Theatre is still in place and continues to draw a large number of participants.

The NAC Orchestra tours are an opportunity for the NAC to fulfill its role as a national orchestra. The most recent tour took place in November 2006 in Quebec, which reached more than 7,000 young people. The vast majority of the educational activities were conducted in French, across the province, which was a challenge for the team of musicians and required a major effort to coordinate and organize the presentations in the regions.

The NAC is organizing separate pre-concert chats. There are twelve chats included on this year’s calendar (seven in English and five in French). The NAC has also made podcasts available online in both official languages.

The NAC also actively participates in developing the contents of Bulletin 41-42, published by Canadian Heritage. For each edition, a different NAC director is asked to share the best practices from all sections of the organization and to describe the initiatives and achievements of the NAC teams. The Bulletin is sent out to all members of management.

The NAC has included the promotion of linguistic duality in its Action Plan submitted to Canadian Heritage. The plan provides for a set of positive measures and was the subject of prior consultations with the relevant associations. The 2007-2009 Action Plan includes a mechanism for evaluating results and performance indicators.