Personal Information Protection Policy

The Okanagan Symphony Society, hereinafter referred to as the OSS, is committed to providing all members of the Society and its stakeholders with exceptional service. As providing this service involves the collection, use and disclosure of some personal information about the members and stakeholders, protecting their personal information is one of our highest priorities.

While the OSS has always respected the members’ and its stakeholders’ privacy and safeguarded their personal information, we have strengthened our commitment to protecting personal information as a result of British Columbia’s Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA). PIPA, which came into effect on January 1, 2004, sets out the ground rules for how B.C. businesses and not for profit organizations may collect, use and disclose personal information.

The OSS will inform all members and its stakeholders of why and how we collect, use and disclose their personal information, obtain their consent where required, and only handle their personal information in a manner that a reasonable person would consider appropriate in the circumstances.

This Personal Information Protection Policy, in compliance with PIPA, outlines the principles and practices the OSS will follow in protecting all members’ and its stakeholders’ personal information. Our privacy commitment includes ensuring the accuracy, confidentiality, and security of all personal information and allowing all members and stakeholders to request access to, and correction of, their personal information.

This Personal Information Protection Policy applies to the OSS as well as to any service providers collecting, using or disclosing personal information on behalf of the OSS.


Personal Information -means information about an identifiable individual, including, name, age, home address and phone number, e-mail addresses, social insurance number, marital status, dependents’ names, income, medical information and emergency contacts, education, employment information, banking information, workman’s compensation information. Personal information does not include contact  information (described below).

Contact information - means information that would enable an individual to be contacted at a place of business, and includes name, position name or title, business telephone number, business address, business email or business fax number. Contact information is not covered by this policy or the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA).

Members - means members of the Society as set out in Part 2 of the Okanagan Symphony Society Bylaws and for the purposes of this Policy includes stakeholders.

Privacy Officer - means the individual designated responsibility for ensuring that the OSS complies with this policy and PIPA.

Stakeholders - means donors, patrons, volunteers, contractors, employees and members of the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra and the Okanagan Symphony Youth Orchestra.

Policy 1 - Collecting Personal Information

 1.1 Unless the purposes for collecting personal information are obvious and the member voluntarily provides his or her personal information for those purposes, the OSS will communicate the purposes for which personal information is being collected, either orally or in writing, before or at the time of collection.

1.2 The OSS will only collect information that is reasonable and appropriate to fulfill the following purposes:

  • confirm and process memberships and verify identity;
  • process and collect membership dues and fees;
  • process requests for tickets and collect the purchase price of tickets, with or without the external services of a ticket agency;
  • provide various services and benefits to members;
  • provide information about programming;
  • develop, provide and improve programs and services;
  • maintain information about special skills and abilities of members;
  • conduct fundraising;
  • carry out procedures such as elections;
  • conduct member surveys in order to improve programs and services;
  • facilitate communication and provide information as requested by the members;
  • facilitate payroll for employees and members of the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra;
  • facilitate payment to contractors;
  • comply with obligations under the bylaws and at law.

Policy 2 - Consent

2.1 The OSS will obtain consent to collect, use or disclose personal information except where, as noted below, we are authorized to do so without consent.

2.2 Consent can be provided orally, in writing, electronically, through an authorized representative or it can be implied where the purpose for collecting using or disclosing the personal information would be considered obvious and the party voluntarily provides personal information for that purpose.

2.3 Consent may also be implied where a member is given notice and a reasonable opportunity to opt-out of his or her personal information being used for a particular purpose and the party does not opt-out.

2.4 Subject to certain exceptions (e.g., the personal information is necessary to provide a service, offer an activity or product, or the withdrawal of consent would frustrate the performance of a legal obligation), a member can withhold or withdraw their consent for the OSS to use their personal information in certain ways by indicating their intention to do so in writing to the OSS Privacy Officer.  A member’s decision to withhold or withdraw their consent to certain uses of personal information may restrict our ability to provide a particular service, activity or product. If so, we will explain the situation to assist the member in making the decision.

2.5 The OSS may collect, use or disclose personal information without the member’s knowledge or consent in the following limited circumstances:

  • When the collection, use or disclosure of personal information is permitted or required by law, such as the list of Board of Directors’ members, minutes of Annual General Meetings and Board meetings, assignments of voting or other rights;
  • When the information is permitted or authorized under properly registered bylaws of the Society so that the Board of Directors can properly manage the Society;
  • In an emergency that threatens an individual’s life, health, personal property security and consent cannot be obtained in a timely way;
  • When the personal information is available from a public source (e.g., a telephone directory);
  • When the OSS requires legal advice from a lawyer;
  • For the purposes of collecting a debt;
  • To protect the OSS from fraud;
  • To investigate an anticipated breach of an agreement or a contravention of law.

Policy 3 - Using and Disclosing Personal Information

 3.1 The OSS will only use or disclose a member’s personal information where necessary to fulfill the purposes identified at the time of collection or for a purpose reasonably related to those purposes such as:

  • to contact the member’s directly about services or activities that may be of interest;
  • to contact the member’s directly in case of emergency.

3.2 The OSS will not use or disclose a member’s personal information for any additional purpose unless we obtain consent to do so.

3.3 The OSS will not sell members lists or personal information to other persons unless we have consent to do so.


Policy 4 - Retaining Personal Information

4.1 If the OSS uses a member’s personal information to make a decision that directly affects the member, we will retain that personal information for at least one year so that the member has a reasonable opportunity to request access to that personal information.

4.2 Subject to Policy 4.1 the OSS  will retain a member’s personal information only as long as necessary to fulfill the identified purposes or a legal purpose as defined in Policy 1 of this document.

4.3 Stagnant documents containing personal information will be held for a period of two years from the date on which the individual ceases to be a member (unless it is required by law that they be retained for a longer period of time) and then will be destroyed by shredding of papers or deletion of electronic records. 


Policy 5 - Ensuring Accuracy of Personal Information

5.1 The OSS will make reasonable efforts to ensure that a member’s personal information is accurate and complete when it is disclosed to another organization where it may be used to make a decision about the member.

5.2 A member may request correction to their personal information in order to ensure its accuracy and completeness. A request to correct personal information must be made in writing and provide sufficient detail to identify the personal information and the correction being sought. A request to correct personal information should be forwarded to the Privacy Officer or other individual designated for this purpose.

5.3 If the personal information is demonstrated to be inaccurate or incomplete, the OSS will correct the information as required and send the corrected information to any organization to which we disclosed the personal information in the previous year. 


Policy 6 - Securing Personal Information

6.1 The OSS is committed to ensuring the security of the members’ personal information in order to protect it from unauthorized access, collection, use, disclosure, copying, modification or disposal or similar risks.

6.2 The following security measures will be followed to ensure that the members’ personal information is appropriately protected:

  • the use of locked filing cabinets;
  • physically securing offices where personal information is held;
  • the use of user identities, passwords, encryption, firewalls on computer equipment;
  • restricting employee access to personal information as appropriate (i.e. only those that need to know will have access);
  • shredding papers and deleting electronic records containing personal information when the appropriate retention time period has passed;
  • initiating investigative measures where there are reasonable grounds to believe that personal information is being inappropriately collected, used or disclosed;
  • physically destroying or completely erasing a discarded computer or other memory storage device;
  • contractually requiring any service providers to provide comparable security measures.

 6.3 Confidentiality and security are not assured when information is transmitted through e-mail or other wireless communication.  A member should notify the OSS Office in writing if communication with the member through these means is not wanted.

6.4 The OSS will use appropriate security measures when destroying a member’s personal information by shredding documents and deleting electronically stored information.

6.5 The OSS will continually review and update our security policies and controls as technology changes to ensure ongoing personal information security.


Policy 7 - Providing the Parties Access to Personal Information

7.1 The members have a right to access their personal information, subject to the following limited exceptions which include situations where disclosure would:

  • put another person’s safety at risk;
  • harm an investigation or legal proceeding;
  • conflict with solicitor-client privilege;
  • reveal someone else’s personal information;
  • reveal confidential business information.

 7.2 A request to access personal information must be made in writing, provide sufficient detail to identify the personal information being sought and forwarded to the Privacy Officer or the individual designated by the Privacy officer for such purpose.

7.3 Upon request, the OSS will also tell the members how we use their personal information and to whom it has been disclosed if applicable.

7.4 The OSS will make the requested information available within 30 business days, or provide written notice of an extension where additional time is required to fulfill the request.

7.5 A minimal fee may be charged for providing access to personal information. Where a fee may apply, the OSS will inform the member of the cost and request further direction from the member on whether or not we should proceed with the request.

7.6 If a request is refused in full or in part, the OSS will notify the member in writing, providing the reasons for refusal and the recourse available to the member.


Policy 8 - Questions and Complaints:

The Role of the Privacy Officer or designated individual

8.1 The OSS will appoint a Privacy Officer who is responsible for ensuring OSS’s compliance with this policy and the Personal Information Protection Act.

8.2 The members should direct any complaints, concerns or questions regarding OSS’s compliance in writing to the Privacy Officer. If the Privacy Officer is unable to resolve the concern, the member may also write to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of British Columbia.

Contact information for OSS Privacy Officer or designated individual: The Executive Director of the OSS