Safer Space Intensive
Local non-profit Good Night Out Vancouver is a recent recipient of an “Amplify” grant through Creative BC to prevent sexual harassment and assault in the entertainment sector in BC, announced as part of Prevention of Violence Against Women Week.
According to statistics Canada, 15% of the 600,000 reported sexual assaults that occur yearly in Canada happen in bars, restaurants, music venues and other commercial spaces where people often gather. In a pilot project this summer, data collected by Good Night indicated that of all harassment reports received, nearly 10% took place at a music festival.
Good Night Out hopes to change this, through this Safer Space Intensive Prevention and Response Program. Good Night Out will work with select venues, festivals and artists over three months to collect patron feedback, audit the spaces, create policy and implement prevention and response measures to protect both patrons and workers in the industry.
Other than WorkSafe Policy, there are no national or provincial guidelines on how event organizers or operators can build sexual violence prevention into their space or festival infrastructure, making it hard to know where to begin. Music Festivals in particular have come under fire in recent years, for not doing enough to protect patrons from harassment, groping and drugging.
This Safer Spaces Intensive program hopes to fill the gap, and dive deeper into prevention than is covered in Good Night Out’s traditional venue training. The program utilizes existing research on sexual assault and mass gatherings, and translating that knowledge into tangible tools for venue operators and event organizers, staff, volunteers and patrons to implement in time for the season of music festivals and outdoor events.
Stakeholders were selected that represent venues and festivals of varying sizes, genres and experience with safer space programming. Enrollment in the program is intended to be a proactive and preventative investment, and not a sign that there are safety concerns at any of the events.
The stakeholders participating in the inaugural class of this program are:
100% of the funding for this program comes from the recently renewed, Amplify granting program. If the evaluation and response to the Safer Spaces Intensive Prevention and Response program is positive, Good Night Out will seek funding to host it again.
As stated on the Creative BC website: “Through Amplify BC, the Province is investing in B.C. artists’ career development, live music events, support for B.C.'s music companies, and development of the music industry. “
For more information, please contact:
Stacey Forrester, Good Night Out firstname.lastname@example.org