Policies Code of Conduct
Current as of February 2023
Overview / Purpose
Edmonton Poetry Festival Society produces events that take place in Treaty 6 territory in amiskwaciy-wâskahikan aka Edmonton. The practice of oral tradition and storytelling is historically vibrant in Amiskwaciy-wâskahikan.
We gather to celebrate storytelling in community through the art of poetry.
EPFS believes everyone has the right to feel safe at any event they attend, regardless of their age, ancestry, cultural background, family status, gender identity or expression, marital status, mental or physical ability, place of origin, race, religious affiliation, sexual orientation or source of income, or any other prohibited grounds within the Alberta Human Rights Act.
This includes attendees, readers, poets, board members, staff, volunteers and anyone else attending an event produced by EPFS, including our annual Festival, and WORD*LAB. By attending or participating in an EPFS event, you agree to abide by our Code of Conduct.
Consent: A freely given, ongoing, active, and clear-minded agreement to engage in the activity in question. Agreement or a “yes” that is obtained through pressure, coercion, force, or threats, or by taking advantage of intoxication, impairment, or incapacity is not freely given consent. Silence or ambiguity do not constitute consent.
Additionally, there is no consent when:
- it is given by someone else;
- the person’s unconscious,sleeping,or lacks the capacity to consent;
- it was obtained through the abuse of position of power,trust,or authority;
- the person does not indicate “yes,” says “no,” or implies “no” through words or behaviours; and
- the person changes their mind and withdraws their consent.
Harassment: EPFS defines Harassment as any misconduct whether it is verbal, physical or sexual in nature that is likely to cause offence, fear or humiliation to any person. It is conduct or comment, either one time or repeating, that:
- Is demeaning, intimidating, threatening, or abusive;
- Causes offense and should have reasonably been expected to offend;
- serves no legitimate purpose for the environment;
- is a reprisal or threat of reprisal against individual for rejecting a solicitation or advance; and
- undermines authority or respect in the environment,limits opportunities for advancement, or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment.
Harassment includes conduct or comments, or the creation of a negative psychological and/or emotional environment that humiliates, excludes, or isolates an individual or group by focusing on their race, colour, place of origin, gender, age, marital status, religious beliefs, citizenship, mental and physical abilities, sexual orientation, or any other prohibited grounds within the Alberta Human Rights Act.
Harassment also includes bullying, which is a form of aggression that may include physical, verbal, or emotional abuse. It can include persistent, offensive, abusive, intimidating or insulting behaviour, abuse of power, and/or unfair sanctions which make the individual feel threatened, humiliated, and/or vulnerable.
Code of Conduct
Attending or participating in an EPFS produced event means:
- Respecting physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual boundaries;
- Respect others’ identities and backgrounds, including pronouns and names.
- Not assuming or making judgments on anyone’s gender identity, sexual preference, survivor status, health status, economic status, religion, background, beliefs, opinions, etc.
- using inclusive language, and listening and learning when language used may have been exclusive;
- Giving individuals and groups who are speaking or performing focus and respect;
- Assuming positive intent from others, but listening and learning when the impact of our actions may not match our intent;
- Being mindful of routes, facilities, and spaces that are designated for persons needing accessibility accommodations and avoiding utilizing or blocking them;
- If you witness or experience any harassment, abuse, or inappropriate behaviour, let the Active Listener know.
Individuals with a history of abusive or discriminatory behaviour, or behaviour that is otherwise deemed detrimental to the values and environment EPFS is committed to upholding, are not welcome to participate in any way with events produced under the EPFS umbrella. All decisions regarding programming, staff, board and volunteers are made in consideration of these concerns using the fullest extent of our knowledge.
We at EPFS believe survivors. We reserve the right to cancel any artist, without payment or other compensation, or dismiss a board member or volunteer, who we believe to have a history of abusive or discriminatory behaviour, or behaviour that is otherwise deemed detrimental to the values and environment EPFS is committed to creating. The safety of survivors is always our primary consideration, and any decision to cancel an artist will be made on a case-by-case basis in consultation with survivors when possible.
Violation of Policy
Violations of this Code of Conduct and the EPFS Safer Spaces Program will not be tolerated and may result in being removed from an event, and or/ banned from participating in future events.
Reports of violations to the Code of Conduct will be processed and resolved in accordance with the EPFS Safer Spaces Program.
Reporting a Violation
Edmonton Poetry Festival Society does not tolerate harassment, abuse, or discriminatory behaviour. Such behaviour is grounds for removal from an EPFS produced event and may result in being banned from future events.
If you witness or experience harassment, abuse, or discriminatory behaviour at an EPFS produced event, please follow the EPFS Safer Spaces Program process and use one of our available methods for Reporting a Disclosure or Complaint.
Forms and Links
Policy Review Tracking
Date Created: December 2022
Date Reviewed: February 2023