Safe(r) Space and Code of Conduct Policy

Last Updated: May 18, 2023

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 the agreed code of conduct.


The Nextfest Arts Company encourages the following behaviours.

  1. Acknowledge that we operate on Treaty Six and other Indigenous lands, we are all Treaty people
  2. Having an active role in the collective responsibility of maintaining a safe and inclusive space
  3. Engage in conversations about making our spaces (both physical and virtual) more inclusive whether it be in regard to language, behaviours, or other areas
  4. Engage respectfully and with focus when individuals or groups are speaking or performing.
  5. Assume positive intent from others, while being willing to listen and learn when the impact of your actions may not match your intent.
  6. Respect your own as well as each individual’s physical and emotional boundaries
  7. Seek explicit consent before engaging physically and/or sexually with an individual or group
  8. Avoid taking up accessible spaces or resources if you do not need them 
  9. Be responsible for your own actions, be aware that your actions do have an effect on others
  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


The Nextfest Arts Company considers the following behaviours unacceptable.  If any of these unacceptable behaviours are witnessed and/or reported, it will result in an investigation and/or being asked to leave and/or no longer participate. At the discretion of The Nextfest Arts Company, the ability to return to the festival again will be 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 is 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 diminishes 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


If any unacceptable behaviours listed above are witnessed or experienced they can be reported at

Concerns or reporting issues can be directed through these contact methods. Additionally, a number of our staff have undergone bystander training and can provide additional support.

If anyone is uncomfortable bringing their concerns forward through , they are invited to email the Festival Producer, Kena Leon, ( and/or Festival Director, Ellen Chorley, ( If the concerns are related to either the Festival Producer’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 ( and Bradley Moss (

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 with 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.


Any feedback on this policy can be directed to the Festival Director, Ellen Chorley ( and/or Artist Liason, Shyanne Duquette(