Safe Space and Code of Conduct Policy

Updated: May 14, 2018

Nextfest is for all to grow, learn and inspire each other for years to come!  We invite you to be part of the movement and celebrate!

This code of conduct has been constructed to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all persons involved with The Nextfest Arts Company, and develop a culture of mutual respect throughout the organization.

During all activities related to The Nextfest Arts Company, all staff, contractors, freelancers, curators, artists, board members, volunteers, donors, sponsors, patrons and any other people involved in the activities of The Nextfest Arts Company, will adhere to agreed code of conduct.

ENCOURAGED BEHAVIOURS
The Nextfest Arts Company encourages the following behaviours.

  1. Respect that we operate on Treaty Six land, we are all treaty people
  2. Take an active role in the collective responsibility of maintaining a safe and inclusive space
  3. Give individuals and groups that are speaking or performing your focus and respect
  4. Assume positive intent from others, while being willing to listen and learn when the impact of your actions may not match your intent.
  5. Respect your own as well as each individual’s physical and emotional boundaries, seek out support if you need it
  6. Seek explicit consent before engaging physically and/or sexually with an individual or group
  7. Be aware of accessibility and avoid taking up accessible spaces if you do not need them (ie. accessible seats, doorways)
  8. Be responsible for your own actions, be aware that your actions do have an effect on others
  9. Engage in conversations about making our spaces move inclusive whether it be in regard to language, behaviours or other areas
  10. Respect and use correct pronouns
  11. Use inclusive language

Inclusive language respects and promotes all people as valued members of society. It uses vocabulary that avoids exclusion and stereotyping and is free from descriptors that portray individuals or groups of people as dependent, powerless, or less valued than others. It avoids all sexist, racist, or other discriminatory terminology.– Queen’s University

UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOURS
The Nextfest Arts Company considers the following behaviours unacceptable.  If any of these unacceptable behaviours are reported, it will result in an investigation and/or being asked to leave, at the discretion of The Nextfest Arts Company. The ability to return to the festival again will be decided by The Nextfest Arts Company based on the severity of the incident.

  1. Abuse: including threats, attempts and action that causes damage or harm or injury
  2. Violence: the use of intentional force to cause physical harm or injury to an individual, group or property
  3. Harassment: any comment, behaviour or act that are known or ought to be known as unwelcome by an individual or group as they are offensive, embarrassing, humiliating, demeaning, or unwelcome
  4. Threats: any act, gesture or language that insinuates or directly communicates the intended harm of another individual, group or property
  5. Discrimination: any comment, behaviour or act that is humiliating, offensive, traumatic, disparaging or otherwise diminish an individual or group’s dignity and/or well-being
  6. Solicitation: any comment, behaviour or act that can be perceived as soliciting sexual favours, or placing sexual conditions onto any persons involvement

REPORTING
At each event during the festival, staff members will be wearing badges so they can be easily identified.  Concerns or reporting issues can be directed to anyone wearing a staff badge. Additionally, a sticker will be added to the badge of those staff that have undergone bystander training, and can provide additional support.

If anyone is uncomfortable bringing their concerns forward in person, they are invited to email the Festival Manager (maggie@nextfest.ca) and/or Festival Director (ellen@nextfest.ca). If the concerns are related to either the Festival Manager’s and/or Festival Director’s behaviour or the individual is uncomfortable addressing either of these people, concerns can be directed to either two board members. At this time, these board members are Mike Kennard (michaelkennard@hotmail.com) and Bradley Moss (brad@theatrenetwork.ca).

If anonymity is preferred, reporting can also be done online through an anonymous form on our website.

Following the reporting of an incident, the plan for investigation will be developed with the person it was reported to and based on the specific situation. The person the concern was reported to will engage with other Nextfest Arts Company staff or board not directly associated to the claim to develop a plan.

The Nextfest Arts Company will do its best to ensure confidentiality in all claims. It should be noted that under certain circumstances The Nextfest Arts Company would be required to disclose information to the Board of Directors of The Nextfest Arts Company, or by law to the police, legal officials or parents of any participants under eighteen.

FEEDBACK
Any feedback on this policy can be directed to the Festival Manager (maggie@nextfest.ca) and/or Festival Director (ellen@nextfest.ca).