This Tuesday, November 24 marks the first ever All Access P.A.S.S. (Promoting Accessibility to Safe Spaces) panel event to discuss accessibility in Vancouver’s nightlife and entertainment industry. Presented by Zoe Peled and Good Night Out Vancouver, this event will provide a forum to simultaneously address accessibility, diversity, and gender terminology/conversations; currently not covered in the majority of staff training programs, manuals, or addressed to begin with.
We had a chance to ask Zoe to find out why this panel is such an important event to have in Vancouver.
I have worked in the nightlife/music industry for over five years. This has always been a community I’ve been very proud to be a part of. The music and arts community has a fantastic reputation. We are trend setters. We are unique. We look at new ideas, new formats, and acts.
That said, through some of my more recent work in the past years, it has become apparent to me how wildly inaccessible and heteronormative the industry is as a whole; and how many groups are being excluded and oppressed, in many different ways, and to many extents. To be a part of the industry, and committing to Vancouver’s cultural sector on a regular basis, I believe we have a responsibility (and I am included in that “we”), to consider and enrich the accessibility sector at the same time. Art and music are fluid. They change, they evolve, and the communities around them should follow suit.
They should attend the discussion to become aware. For a lot of people, these conversations have never been introduced to them, in any capacity. This is an open forum to learn new words, ask questions about terminology, look at situations, not be concerned about sounding a certain way, and above all: do all of this in a safe space.
If someone is completely new to all of this, if they don’t recognize any of the terminology, we welcome them even more.
The industry has a collective responsible to have these conversations. Managers and owners should be attending, and encouraging their staff to follow suit. In all, we have sent personal invites to over 40 venues, clubs, and groups.
We are not expecting every business to change radically overnight. That’s not realistic, for many reasons. We are asking them to be open to this discussion, to contribute to it, and most importantly – to consider those that are directly related to it.
Where: Venue Nightclub – 881 Granville St
When: Tuesday, November 24
Time: 7 to 11 p.m.
Cost: $20 in advanced or at the door
Please visit the event page on Facebook for more info.