Diversity and Inclusion
Bass Coast is a thoughtfully curated boutique music and art festival. A safe and inclusive experience.
Bass Coast’s diversity and inclusion practices are grounded in the acknowledgement that our festival takes place on the occupied, traditional and ancestral territories of the Nłeʔkepmx and Syilx. As such, all of our endeavours to create a more equitable, safer festival experience happen on a foundation that relies on systems of exploitation, dispossession and violence.
Bass Coast is dedicated to examining how these systems show up across the Bass Coast process; within our teams, in our online spaces and at our events.
This page is a living document and will grow and adapt as we do. This work is a lifelong process. The work that needs to be done is so much more than items on a list.
Applications Getting to know our community
- In 2019 Bass Coast requested demographic information on all applications including: artist, workshop, art grant, staff, volunteer, and customer surveys.
- Bass Coast collected this information with the aim of being accountable to accurately representing the members of its community. We believe that part of being accountable and making change in the face of systems of exclusion and privilege is using data to measure and evaluate initiatives in this area.
- Bass Coast recognizes the inherent sensitivities and responsibilities in asking marginalized people for information concerning their identities and lived experiences.
- Forms asking for demographic information make use of check boxes as well as an open ended text box which allows people to describe their identities in their own words.
- Data alone cannot speak for the embodied experience with our event, and also are open to receiving feedback through other informal channels.
- Forms will include a clear explanation about why the information is being collected and how it will be used and will offer the option to opt out of answering.
- Bass Coast will review data collection practices regularly and will be open to adapting forms based on feedback.
- The data will be used to inform a critical assessment of how Bass Coast is performing in the areas of diversity and inclusion across the entire performance roster and team.
- Respectful Collection of Demographic Data, Sarai Rosenberg.
- Collecting Demographic Data, Canadian Council for the Arts
- Capturing data on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Globally, Stonewall.
Hiring and Recruitment
- Job postings are written and reviewed to ensure the use of inclusive, unbiased, ungendered language.
- Postings are transparent about which positions are paid, and which are volunteer.
- Postings are shared across multiple platforms, including using industry and non industry channels to attempt to reach a broad pool of applicants.
- It is current practise to use contacts and relationships as means to directly seek out and encourage those from historically underrepresented groups to apply directly for positions.
- If the pool of applicants responding to a job posting is not large or diverse enough, the application deadline is extended, the posting is reviewed for potential barriers and it is reposted.
- In the off-season and outside of the event, Bass Coast is a remote workplace that allows for flexibility in scheduling around work-family balance and caregiving responsibilities.
- Harm Reduction reserves a set number of spots for people with no-prior formal experience or training in harm reduction as a means to recognize the value of lived experiences and skill building.
- Bass Coast recognizes that the management and board of directors remains predominantly white, despite our efforts to increase diversity across the festival. It is clear that our current leadership does not fully reflect the community that we work and play with. We do see changing this as a priority issue.
- Look at establishing hiring targets for groups that are significantly underrepresented in this industry and in the workplace more broadly, including groups not currently designated in provincial employment equity legislation.
- The Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI)
- BC Human Rights Tribunal, Human Rights and Duties in Employment.
- CUPE, Employment equity: a workplace that reflects the community
Programming With Diversity in Mind
- Electronic music is rooted in and nurtured by Black culture. Bass Coast acknowledges that we would not be here without the creativity, contributions, and active participation of Black, Indigeneous, and POC artists, musicians and dancers.
- In 2019, Bass Coast started to collect detailed demographic data about the artists booked to play. We will continue to use this data to better critically look at strengths and gaps in our programming choices.
- Bass Coast has always dedicated space in the program for local talent, aiming to reduce a number of barriers to under-represented artists getting booked. This is an area Bass Coast will continue to invest in to ensure artists creating art for their local communities are represented at the event.
- Bass Coast recognizes that forging reciprocal relationships with marginalized and underrepresented communities on both the smaller local scale and within the broader music industry is critical to our events. These relationships will take time, humility and care to foster and maintain. Bass Coast is committed to continuing our work in this area.
- Bass Coast continues to expand musical curation to ensure a diversity of artists and influences, with an intentional desire to work with artists who represent authentic, reciprocal relationships to the intellectual and cultural property of BIPOC artists.
- Bass Coast aims to utilize official social media platforms to amplify BIPOC artists throughout the year.
- Bass Coast recognizes that the curatorial team is comprised of three white men and one white woman. Moving forward, an official paid advisor of colour will be hired to review, suggest, and advise on the diversity of the curation.
Over the years Bass Coast annually donates has given back to various communities connected to the festival or event including:
- Cold Water Indian Band
- Lower Nicola Indian Band
- Nicola Valley Foodbank
- Merritt Cold Weather Shelter
- West Coast Environmental Law
- Merritt Arts Walk
- Merritt Mountain Bike Association
- Black Lives Matter Vancouver
- Conayt Friendship Centre
- Legal Rights Centre
In 2019, Bass Coast expanded harm reduction services to include local community experts from ASK Wellness Society Merritt.
- Bass Coast will continue to ensure we support and amplify the work of equity seeking groups and nonprofits doing work to eradicate injustice and inequality through sharing time, knowledge, and our platform.
- Fundraising for community causes will continue to be built into future events and activities.
- Bass Coast will explore options to support community and racial justice in our banking and investing choices.
Please learn more about the organizations we support though the links above.
Conversations of Cultural appropriation
- In 2014 Bass Coast released a statement establishing a ban on headdresses at the festival that was picked up by press agencies, sparking a global conversation about cultural respect in the dance music community.
- Since 2014, Bass Coast has encouraged our patrons to take on the research to educate themselves on this issue through our “Conversation on Cultural Appropriation” piece.
- Bass Coast recognizes the ongoing work of leaders and activists who attend the event, as well as other community members who share knowledge with us about these issues and expresses gratitude that they continually show up.
- Between 2016 - 2019, 8 workshops have been hosted at the event relating to topics of appropriation, cultural safety, and decolonization / unsettling music festivals.
- List item
- Bass Coast aims to continue to advance the “Conversation on Cultural Appropriation” for our patrons through the creation of educational media in collaboration with others on the subject.
- Moving forward, Bass Coast will ensure clear comprehension by vendors about the events values around cultural appropriation with a goal of shared understanding and continued education.
Media & Representation
- As part of our mandate to prioritize consent culture, anyone featured in photos on Bass Coast’s media channels has the right to request removal of said photo from the public eye./ from public spaces.
- Bass Coast has listened to previous concerns about a lack of diversity in our marketing and made changes.
- Bass Coast includes acknowledgement to the shared traditional territories of the Nłeʔkepmx and Syilx to our digital space and press releases since 2014.
- Bass Coast’s communication teams will continue to critically examine the images used to market the festival, inspired by these words by Zainab Muse: “Photographs design cultural experiences. Sometimes they exclude and sometimes they create inclusion.”
- While the event continues to support the ethos that “We are all Bass Coast”, there is no one experience of Bass Coast. This means that it is a top priority to further diversify the storytellers who capture the festival.
- Zainab Muse, How To Promote Diversity at an Event by Diversifying the Photographers Covering It
Training and Education
- Bass Coast provides space and opportunity for staff, managers and board members to participate in yearly professional development opportunities related to privilege, anti-oppression, harm reduction and power-based violence.
To date trainings have included:
- Cultural Safety and The Rave
- Bystander Intervention
- Sexual Violence Prevention
- Overdose Management and Naloxone Administration
- Anti Harassment & Respectful Workplace
- All festival volunteers are offered on-site bystander intervention to help create an event where all festival representatives have the skills to interrupt potentially unsafe situations they may encounter and to promote a community of care.
- Medical and security teams lead with non-violent crisis intervention, as a means to maintain patron safety and consciously minimize or eliminate police contact for people who may be perceived as vulnerable due such intersecting factors as gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, intoxication, and / or mental health status.
- Bass Coast has created a mandatory course for all volunteers and staff that provides an overview of the traditional Indigenous lands the festival is held on, as well as an introduction to inclusive language. This will be implemented prior to our next festival.
- Bass Coast will further prioritize training on systemic racism, white fragility, and the ways to dismantle it.
- Bass Coast has had accessible camping on site since 2010.
- There are accessible showers and washrooms on site.
- Elevated viewing platforms and ramps have been created at stages.
- Caregivers are supported through discounted passes.
- Bass Coast will make annual improvements to the personal hygiene facilities. We have heard community feedback and agree that the accessible shower facilities must be fully functioning throughout the event.
- Bass Coast will continue to make improvements on accessibility resources by collecting community feedback
Where we are at
Over the past four years Bass Coast has intentionally made space within the music industry for women. This has taken place not just on the stage but also behind the scenes at the management level. The organization/event has increased our internal and external capacity in preventing and responding to issues of harassment and violence against women and marginialized genders and sexualties at our event. Our values around safety, inclusivity are clearly communicated in our Code of Conduct.
Bass Coast has also invested in relationships with Indigenous communities connected to our event and the broader music industry. In 2014, after consultation, we made the decision to ban feather headdresses, becoming one of the first mass gatherings to take this stand.
As the opiate crisis continues to take the lives of people who use drugs, Bass Coast has established a strong Harm Reduction program rooted in pragmatic strategies that seek to reduce the risks and stigma faced by people who use drugs. We have been able to equip our community with skills and language to better talk about contaminated drug supply at a time when stigma and shame continues to deeply harm and even kill people who use drugs.
Where we want to go
Bass Coast acknowledges there is a long road ahead, with much work to be done particularly in the areas of programming and hiring. In addition to the actions includes in the realms above, we commit to:
- Establishing an inclusion advisory committee to help form the next steps.Initiating a survey to hear from our community about issues of equity, safety and representation in relation to our events, with further actions created as a result.Build specific goals and targets for upcoming years.
Bass Coast have been actively listening to our community and to the conversations happening across the industry and the globe. We can see that there are no quick remedies to or no shortcuts to this challenging systemic racism, (re)learning history, unpacking how privilege and oppression shows up in the music industry, our workplaces and our lives. We recognise that the data we do collect does not account for the full picture of how Bass Coast looks, sounds, feels, and is experienced by historically and currently marginalized peoples. There is also no way to quantify the deeply personal, lifelong responsibility each of us have to examine how we have benefited from and upheld systems of white supremacy.
- As a team, Bass Coast remains inspired by and grateful to those who have shared their knowledge, lived experience, and art with us over the years, helping to shape and transform our festival and community for the better.
We want you to know that we are invested in learning, listening, and amplifying.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org