Ms. Forrester said CARAS should be commended for deciding to work with Good Night Out, and noted that Mr. Reid, whom she calls an “ally,” met with her to discuss the low involvement level of Juno Fest venues. Last year, Mr. Reid issued a statement denouncing Mr. Peters’ comments on the 2017 Junos broadcast, as did Minister of Canadian Heritage Mélanie Joly.
Darlene Rigo, manager of Vancouver’s Fox Cabaret, which did not participate in Good Night Out training, said the venue already has a protocol.
“We have a no tolerance policy to harassment of any kind, with a sign posted at the box office that makes it clear to anyone entering the club,” she said in an e-mail.
“As a former rape counsellor and anti-violence worker, I’m proactive about preventing [sexual misconduct] under my purview, and everyone employed at the Fox knows this. … I think that the folks with Good Night Out Vancouver are doing great work and I see our efforts as aligned with theirs.”
Good Night Out will put posters in every Juno Fest venue.
Viktoria Belle, founder of Toronto’s similarly focused Dandelion Initiative, echoes the challenges of Good Night Out Vancouver. Out of the 30 bars that signed up for anti-sexual-assault training in Toronto, Ms. Belle said, only three have completed it. Just one of those has done the requisite follow-up component.
“Everyone can agree that sexual assault shouldn’t happen,” Ms. Belle said. “But we are having challenges getting people on board to create the accountability we need to move forward.”
Ms. Forrester believes safe-space training should not be optional.
“You have to take WHMIS [hazardous materials] training to learn why toilet cleaner shouldn’t go in your eyes. You should also have to take sexual-misconduct training,” she said.
“My vision for this is that somewhere along the line, either provincially or at a municipal-level, someone will step up to make this training mandatory.”