Self-Identification Data Collection

Self-Identification Data Collection in Support of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion


Creative BC invites all applicants, clients, employees, board members and contractors to self-identify. Our purpose in collecting this information relates to improving equity, diversity and inclusion within our staff, our workforce, and more broadly, within the creative sector we serve. 



Why we place a priority on consistency 

Beginning in the summer of 2020, Creative BC now asks all funding program applicants (individuals as well as projects/initiatives) to voluntarily self-identify via a set of standardized questions to share information on gender, Indigenous identity and race, disability, and sexual orientation. 

Creative BC has previously collected information on identity factors, however it was incomplete, sometimes was collected in different ways, and therefore lacked comparability. To address these concerns, and to measure our progress effectively, all programs are now using the same questions and categories of responses, which are closely aligned with the way similar data is collected by Stats Canada. 

The purpose of consistency and alignment is to harmonize with other data sources and to support comparability with provincial and national benchmarks, which will in turn facilitate our accountability. 

Why self-identification data collection is important 

The collection of self-identification data is driven by our own commitment to support a broad spectrum of voices and to ensure that we bring stories forward from many for whom there have been historic barriers to access resources. 

Our collection of this data is in alignment with our Mission Statement as an organization: 

Creative BC serves to unite and champion the success of BC’s diverse and distinctive creative sector. 

It is also in alignment with our commitment to diversity and inclusion

Additionally, we are committed to taking a leadership role in this area and to ensuring that provincial and federal governments’ data collection and reporting connects with our own, so together we can advance B.C. and Canada toward a culture of true equity, diversity and inclusion. 

A harmonized self-identification data collection process allows Creative BC to monitor the equity performance of its programs and design new measures that achieve greater equity, diversity and inclusion in the creative industries. 

What questions are included in the mandatory self-identification form? 

Creative BC will ask people to identify based on or as: 

  1. Gender – Man, Non-Binary, Woman 

  1. Race 

  • Indigenous person to Canada (First Nations, Non-Status, Metis, Inuit), with opportunity share specific Nation 

  • Black 

  • White 

  • Person of Colour, with opportunity to share specific identity 

  1. Person with a Disability - are you person with a disability? 

  1. LGBTQ2S+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Two-Spirit, +) 

Completing the self-identification form is required, however all questions offer a selection "Prefer not to respond." 

Privacy and Collection of Information 

The self-identification information is collected, used, disclosed, retained and disposed of in accordance with the Privacy Act and B.C. Personal Information Protection Act the Access to Information Act. The information will be managed in accordance with provincial policies, directives and guidelines on information management and protection of personal information, and with Creative BC's retention and disposition schedules. 

Management of this information is the responsibility of Creative BC’s Privacy Officer and Director of Business Operations. Contact can be made at   

Choosing to self-identify or not will have no consequences for an application. In funding opportunities where Creative BC may offer special consideration for members of a designated equity group, applicants will be asked to provide their consent separately to use their self-identification information for that purpose. 

Appropriate privacy notices will be provided and consent obtained when the voluntary self-identification information is collected. 



About the questions 

  • These questions are a first step and they do not currently include all identities, however we have provided fields to share more information and we value learning more about what could be added in the future. 

  • The questions, response options, and related definitions are primarily based on staying very close to material and terminology that is being used in the federal government so that questions are consistent, answers are consistent, and data can align for comparison. 

  • Should the terminology used elsewhere change, specifically that used by Stats Canada, or if future consultations indicate a need for revisions, then Creative BC may also change the terminology or wording in the questionnaire. Your input is welcome within the form.

1. Why am I being asked to complete the self-identification questionnaire? 

The collection of self-identification data is a central piece of Creative BC’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI). This data provides information on the diversity of the population applying for and receiving Creative BC funds and those working with and for the organization. This information increases Creative BC's capacity to monitor progress and to ensure EDI  is achieved in our programs. We want to use it to recognize and remove barriers, and to design new measures to achieve greater EDI in the creative industries. 

2. Who is required to complete the questionnaire? 

All applicants and co-applicants for funding, as well as employees and increasingly everyone that uses our services, are required to respond to self-identification questions regarding gender, race, disability, sexual orientation and also to inform the process. However, revealing personal information is not mandatory and all questions have an option of “Prefer not to respond”. 

3. Can I identify in more than one group? 

Yes, for the Person of Colour section, a primary identity can be selected OR there is an option in the form indicating “multiple visible identities” and it includes a field where you can specify. 

4. Why were these questions (or this terminology) chosen? Can you clarify what is being asked? 

The questions are primarily based on the current standard used by Statistics Canada in census questionnaires, and wording from the Employment Equity Act. 

While the Statistics Canada census covers these five dimensions (age, gender, Indigenous identity, people of colour, and disability), Creative BC has substituted a question on sexual orientation for that of age, the latter of which may be included at a later date. 

  • GENDER: The gender question prompts the user to indicate the identity (or term) that best describes them at the present time. The question does not ask about sex assigned at birth or sexual orientation. This is because “gender” refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviours, expressions and identities of girls, women, boys, men and gender diverse people. It influences how people perceive themselves and each other, how they act and interact and the distribution of power and resources in society. Gender is usually conceptualized as a binary (girl/women and boy/man) yet there is considerable diversity in how individuals and groups understand, experience and express it. “Non-binary” refers to a person whose gender identity does not align with a binary understanding of gender such as man or woman. 

  • INDIGENOUS IDENTITY AND RACIAL IDENTITY: As with all questions, for each of the following there is an option of “prefer not to respond”: 

  • The Indigenous identity question asks the user if they identify as an Indigenous person to Canada (First Nations, Non-Status, Metis, Inuit) and it also offers an option to include a specific Nation. This question is about personal identity, not legal status or registration.  

  • The next questions offer people to identify as: 

  • Black; 

  • White; or as 

  • a Person of Colour, offering an option here to include a specific identity from a more detailed list and/or to provide multiple identities and/or to provide information relevant to the answer “no visible identity” 

  • DISABILITY: The disability question prompts the user to indicate if they identify as a person with a disability. The question refers to how the user personally identifies, not whether the user has ever qualified for a disability benefit under the Canada Pension Plan or other program. For the purposes of alignment and clarity we provide Stats Canada's notation: defined to include “physical or mental disabilities”. These may be disabilities such as recurring physical, mental, sensory, psychiatric or learning impairment that disadvantage employment or require accommodation in the workplace. 

5. I am not comfortable responding to these questions. What should I do? 

If you do not want to self-identify, you have the option to choose "Prefer not to respond" for each question. You must select this option and save your responses in order for your questionnaire to be marked as complete. Doing so fulfills the mandatory completion of the questionnaire. 

6. How will my information be stored? Who will see my information? Will peer reviewers be able to access this information? 

The self-identification information will be stored electronically in your Contact file within Creative BC’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform. Access is limited to Creative BC staff on a need to know basis. Your Contact self-identification information is part of your application, and is accessible to, and shared with a selection of team and/or jury members in an identifiable form. 

The information is collected, used, disclosed, retained and disposed of in accordance with the Privacy Act and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Information will be managed in accordance with Creative BC’s retention and disposition schedules. 

If you have further questions, please feel free to contact the appropriate Creative BC staff. 

7. How do I fill in the questionnaire? How will I know that the questionnaire has been completed? 

You will find the questions directly in your application. Once you have completed the questions, click on “submit”. If you have not completed the questions an error message will be displayed on the screen at the top of the page. 

8. Can I make changes to my questionnaire after it has been completed and submitted? 

No. Self-identification information cannot be changed. However, you may write the program analyst if you realize you have submitted incorrect information, and they can change your application if it has not already been reviewed. 

9. Will my responses be tied to funding decisions in any way? 

Yes. Our programs use weighted criteria by which special consideration for members of a designated equity group will be granted greater points in the evaluation process.