VancouFur 2017 drops art show after failing to find new staff
We are very sorry to announce that VancouFur's Art Show has been cancelled for 2017 due not being able to secure adequate staff and leads for the department. We thank everyone who put time and effort into the department this year and we hope that it can resume in future years!
Artists who paid for panels in the show are being contacted to arrange refunds.
The news follows the resignation of art show lead Mesa and her partner Silvermink, following their attempt to get a fan alleged privately of attempted rape banned from VancouFur, which led to intense debate for several weeks.
VancouFur 2017 con chair Trapa was "reprimanded by […] the board, the staff, and the public" for chat comments which gave some the impression that the allegations might be disregarded – while also noting that the event's board had been informed, and would have the final say.
We are not the police. We are not here to decide guilt or innocence. We are here to put on a convention. Allowing accusations to become enough to ban someone is a slippery slope to a whole bunch of SJW bullshit and I want no part of it.
I encourage those who feel they've been hurt to go to the police, at con it may become a requirement that we call 911 when someone so much as makes the accusation. I'm okay with that. What I am not okay with, is us (as an organization) directly on indirectly defaming/slandering/or making libeleous statements by siding with someone who is simply making an accusation.
VancouFur's parent organization – the BC Anthropomorphic Events Association – gave a brief statement of progress after Canadian Thanksgiving, and subsequently declared that:
Harassment and assault are not acceptable at VancouFur and we do not want to condemn anyone that brings a claim to the convention or governing board. [… ] Neither the chair nor the organization is dismissing the specific concerns brought forward, or sexual harrassment/assault in general. […] Taking this seriously also means we understand the possibility that good intentions can sometimes do more harm than good, and the last thing we want is more harm to come […if one of our staff decided] to take action in a manner that could greatly aggravate the situation. These kinds of actions can occur from rushing to decisions or not taking the time to create clear guidelines.
The board also published a policy on criminal harassment and sexual assault after consulting with lawyers and members of the Furry Convention Leadership Roundtable, and in December announced the resignation of vice-president Faye Kat, who needed "a pretty serious break" three months into her new term. Trapa also resigned from the board in late October to "focus on his efforts as VancouFur chair".
VancouFur 2017 "Space Station Zebra" is to be held March 9-12 in Richmond, British Columbia, just south of Vancouver Airport.