Bear Creek Folk Festival

Harassment Prevention Policy

The Bear Creek Folk Music Festival Society is committed to a healthy, harassment-free environment for all our volunteers, employees, contractors, artists, and guests. The Bear Creek Folk Music Festival Society has developed a society-wide policy intended to prevent harassment of any type, including sexual harassment, of anyone involved with the festival, and to deal quickly and effectively with any incident that might occur.

Definition of Harassment

The Bear Creek Folk Music Festival Society will not tolerate any form of harassment including but not limited to: verbal or physical abuse, threats, derogatory remarks, jokes, innuendo or taunts related to any employee’s race, religious beliefs, colour, gender, gender identity, gender expression, physical disability, mental disability, age, ancestry, place of origin, marital status, source of income, family status or sexual orientation.


The Bear Creek Folk Music Festival Society also will not tolerate the display of pornographic, racist or offensive signs or images; offensive jokes based on race, gender or other grounds protected under the Act that result in awkwardness or embarrassment; and unwelcome invitations or requests, whether indirect or explicit.


Anyone, including employees of the Bear Creek Folk Music Festival Society, its volunteers, guests, artists, customers, casual workers, contractors or visitors are subject to this policy and anyone who harasses another will be reprimanded in accordance with it. All harassment is prohibited whether it takes place within the festival’s premises or outside, including at social events, concerts, training sessions or other activities hosted or sponsored by the Bear Creek Folk Music Festival Society.


Harassment that is covered under the Alberta Human Rights Act occurs when an employee (or volunteer) is subjected to unwelcome verbal or physical conduct because of race, religious beliefs, colour, gender, gender identity, gender expression, physical disability, mental disability, age, ancestry, place of origin, marital status, source of income, family status or sexual orientation. Alberta human rights law prohibits workplace harassment based on these grounds. Harassment that is not linked to one of these protected grounds is not covered under the Act. The behaviour need not be intentional in order to be considered harassment.


Definition of sexual harassment

The Alberta Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on the ground of gender. Protection from sexual harassment is included under the ground of gender.


Unwanted sexual advances, unwanted requests for sexual favours, and other unwanted verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:

  1. submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s standing in the society; or
  2. submission to, or rejection of, such conduct by an individual affects that individual’s standing in the society; or
  3. it creates an environment which is hostile, intimidating, uncomfortable, or humiliating for the recipient


Sexual harassment may be physical, verbal, and/or non-verbal. Examples may include but are not limited to: unwelcome physical contact including patting, pinching, stroking, kissing, hugging, fondling, or inappropriate touching; leering, whistling, “dirty” jokes, pictures or pornographic materials, comments, suggestions, innuendoes, requests or demands of a sexual nature, repeated and unwanted social invitations for dates or physical intimacy.


Anyone can be a victim of sexual harassment, regardless of their gender and the gender of the harasser. All harassment is offensive and in many cases it intimidates others. It will not be tolerated within our society.


A) How to proceed if you are being harassed

  1. If it is possible and if you are comfortable in doing so, tell the harasser that their behaviour is unwelcome and ask them to stop.
  2. Keep a record of incidents (date, times, locations, possible witnesses, what happened, your response). You do not have to have a record of events in order to make a complaint, but a record can strengthen your case and help you remember details over time.
  3. Make a complaint. If after asking the harasser to stop their behaviour the harassment continues, or if you cannot or do not feel comfortable directly approaching the harasser, report the problem to one of the following individuals:
    1. Your Crew Coordinator or Team Leader, or the Safety & Security Team Lead (if possible)
      1. Any Crew Coordinator or Team Leader who receives a complaint should document the complaint with the dates, times, locations, possible witnesses, and what happened and immediately report to the Volunteer Manager
    2. One of the Administrative Team
      1. Producer
      2. Assistant Producer
      3. Volunteer Manager


If you are not comfortable speaking in person, you may send an email to any of the Administrative Team (contact information is included at the end of this policy).


You also have the right to contact the Alberta Human Rights Commission to make a complaint of harassment that is based on any of the grounds protected from discrimination under the Alberta Human Rights Act. The protected grounds are: race, religious beliefs, colour, gender, gender identity, gender expression, physical disability, mental disability, age, ancestry, place of origin, marital status, source of income, family status and sexual orientation. Visit the Commission’s website at for contact information. You can also report any incident of assault that has occurred to the police.


If you are informed of or witness to any form of harassment, it is expected that you follow the same steps in reporting.


B) Internal harassment complaint process

  1. Once an internal complaint is received by the Bear Creek Folk Music Festival Society, it will be kept strictly confidential. Appropriate action will be undertaken immediately to deal with the allegations.
  2. The Bear Creek Folk Music Festival Society or member of the Administrative Team will assign a designated person to handle the complaint. The designated person will:
    1. immediately record the dates, times and facts of the incident(s)
    2. interview the complainant about the incident(s) and ascertain what outcome you want
    3. explain the society’s procedures for dealing with the complaint and the difference between an informal and formal complaint and the understanding that choosing to resolve the matter informally does not preclude the complainant from pursuing a formal complaint if they are not satisfied with the outcome
    4. allow the complainant to choose whether to pursue an informal or formal complaint. If the designated person deems the accusation to warrant a formal complaint, they may elevate the complaint
    5. keep a confidential record of all discussions
    6. ensure that the complainant knows that they can lodge the complaint outside of the society through any relevant legal framework


Informal complaint process

If the complainant wishes to deal with the matter informally, the designated person will:

  1. give an opportunity to the alleged harasser to respond to the complaint and ensure that the alleged harasser understands the informal complaint’s process
  2. facilitate discussion between both parties to achieve an informal resolution which is acceptable to the complainant, or discuss with the alleged harasser independently the resolution which would be comfortable to the complainant
  3. ensure that a confidential record is kept of what happens
  4. follow up after the outcome of the complaint process to ensure that the behaviour has stopped
  5. ensure that the above is done as expediently as possible


Formal complaint process

If the complainant wishes to make a formal complaint, if the informal complaint process has not led to a satisfactory outcome, or if the designated person deems a formal complaint is necessary, the formal complaint process should be used to resolve the matter.


The designated person will:

  1. interview the complainant and the alleged harasser separately
  2. interview other relevant third parties separately
  3. decide whether or not the incident(s) warrant addition actions
  4. produce a report detailing the investigations, findings and any recommendations


Additional actions:

  1. If actions are necessary, consult with the complainant and determine what remedies, sanctions, or disciplinary measures seem most appropriate. Discipline may include suspension or dismissal.
  2. If appropriate, the incident will be documented in the harasser’s file
  3. no documentation will be placed on the complainant’s file when the complaint has been made in good faith
  4. follow up to ensure that the recommendations are implemented, that the behaviour has stopped
  5. keep a record of all actions taken
  6. ensure that the all records concerning the matter are kept confidential
  7. ensure that the process is done as quickly as possible


Regardless of the outcome of a harassment complaint made in good faith, the person lodging the complaint as well as anyone providing information will be protected from any form of retaliation by others. This includes dismissal, demotion, unwanted transfer, denial of opportunities within the society or harassment for having made a complaint or having provided evidence regarding the complaint.


Outside complaints mechanisms

A person who has been subject to harassment can also make a complaint outside of the society. They can do so through the Alberta Human Rights Commission, the police, or any body they deem most appropriate.


Sanctions and disciplinary measures

Anyone who has been found to have harassed another person under the terms of this policy is liable to any of the following sanctions or disciplinary measures:

  • verbal or written warning
  • adverse performance evaluation / reduction in wages
  • transfer
  • demotion
  • suspension
  • dismissal

The nature of the sanctions will depend on the gravity and extent of the harassment. Suitable deterrent sanctions will be applied to ensure that incidents of harassment are not treated as trivial. Certain serious cases, including physical violence, will result in the immediate dismissal of the harasser.


C) Responsibility of management

It is the responsibility of a crew coordinator, team leader or any other person within this society who supervises one or more people to take immediate and appropriate action to report or deal with incidents of harassment of any type, whether brought to their attention or personally observed. Under no circumstances should a complaint be dismissed or downplayed, nor should the complainant be told they must only deal with it on their own.


The Bear Creek Folk Music Festival Society is dedicated to providing a safe, healthy and rewarding environment for all our volunteers, employees, contractors, and artists, and guests. Harassment will not be tolerated within our society. If you feel that you are being harassed, contact us.


Contact Information


Bear Creek Folk Music Festival Society

The Bear Creek Folk Music Festival Society is a not-for-profit company incorporated under the Society’s Act of Alberta.


Administrative Team

Volunteer Manager:

Producer – Sarah Card:

Assistant Producer – Gordie Haakstad:


Alberta Human Rights Commission

The Alberta Human Rights Commission is an independent commission of the Government of Alberta. Its mandate is to foster equality and reduce discrimination. It provides public information and education programs, and helps Albertans resolve human rights complaints.


Hours of operation: 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday (holidays excluded)


Northern Regional Office (Edmonton)

800 – 10405 Jasper Avenue NW Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4R7

780-427-7661 Confidential Inquiry Line

780-427-6013 Fax


Southern Regional Office (Calgary)

200 J.J. Bowlen Building

620 – 7 Avenue SW

Calgary, Alberta T2P 0Y8

403-297-6571 Confidential Inquiry Line

403-297-6567 Fax



To call toll-free within Alberta, dial 310-0000 and then enter the area code and phone number.


TTY service for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing

1-800-232-7215 Toll-free within Alberta




Please note: The Commission must receive a completed complaint form or letter within one year after the alleged contravention of the Alberta Human Rights Act. The one-year period starts the day after the date on which the alleged contravention of the Act occurred. For help calculating the one-year period, contact the Commission.


The Commission will make this publication available in accessible formats upon request for people with disabilities who do not read conventional print.