Code of Conduct

Updated: March 4, 2017

Introduction

Furnal Equinox exists to bring furry fun, socialization and events to the Greater Toronto Area and beyond. To ensure everyone in the furry/anthropomorphic community can enjoy our events to the fullest, and to maintain a positive working relationship with our venue and the general public, we’ve implemented this Code of Conduct to establish standards of behaviour. Furnal Equinox’s Code of Conduct contains provisions that apply to every aspect and area of our events, activities, and promotions. Questions about policies for specific groups or areas (such as Dealers Den, Fursuit Lounge, or Art Show) should be referred to the appropriate department.

In case of any apparent conflict between the provisions of this Code of Conduct and any other policy enacted by Furnal Equinox, our Code of Conduct shall take precedence. Our goal is for everyone to have fun. Much of what is listed below relates to “serious/worst case” scenarios. Nearly all of it is common sense and is in place to provide a safe and enjoyable “furry-friendly” environment for everyone.

The convention committee, staff, and security team of Furnal Equinox have the authority to enforce this document throughout the convention. In case of dispute, appeals may be made to the convention Chairman, whose decision is final. If you have any questions, please reach out to Security (security@furnalequinox.com) or the Convention Chair (chair@furnalequinox.com).

By clicking the applicable checkbox on the pre-registration page or signing the statement upon registration, you (the attendee) attest that you have read this document, accept its terms, and agree to be bound by it.

1. Rule Number One: Anything that damages, interferes with and/or causes serious harm to our events’ operations or reputation is not permitted.

Our Code of Conduct is not an exhaustive list of dos and don’ts. Any behaviour that adversely effects and/or causes interference with the operations of Furnal Equinox – including but not limited to its relations and reputation with our community, municipality, venue, and/or the public – is strictly forbidden. This includes interfering with or disregarding instructions or guidance from Furnal Equinox staff during the performance of their duties.

2. Con Badges & Admission: Must without exception be worn and visible at all times while in convention space.

a) Worn/visible at all times: Your con badge is the only acceptable proof of admission into events and convention space, and must be worn at all times. Our convention is a private event, so all attendees must wear their con badge where it is visible to enter and remain in con space. Anyone not wearing their badge will be asked to display their badge, or may be told to leave.

b) Non-Transferable: Your con badge cannot be loaned, given, resold, or used by anyone else for any reason during the convention.

c) Photo I.D.: In order to complete registration and receive your con badge, you must present valid photo identification that proves your identity and age. This can include a driver’s license, Photo ID Card, or passport.

d) Minors: Minors (defined as convention attendees under the age of 18 by the convention start date) are identified by specifically-marked badges. All minors attending the convention must have the written consent of their parent or legal guardian to attend the con. In addition, any minor under the age of 15 MUST be accompanied at all times by a parent, legal guardian, or authorized chaperone while in convention space.

e) Disclaimer: All con badges remain the property of Furnal Equinox for the duration of the convention and must be presented for inspection by con staff and surrendered to CONSEC (convention security) upon request.

3. Our Rating: Furnal Equinox activities and event space are rated “PG” at all times.

Attendees must clothe, costume, and conduct themselves in accordance with our “PG” rating, including but especially in any area visible to non-attendees or the public. A good general guideline is “would the dress/behaviour be welcome in a public park or local library?” Please restrict any conduct that does not conform to this to the privacy of your home or hotel room.

If you’re not 100% sure, please ask BEFORE wearing clothing, exhibiting items, or behaving in ways that may be unacceptable in convention space.

Any display of item(s) including artwork and merchandise must be limited to “PG” or made to conform with our “PG” rating (such as stickers completely obscuring any explicit portion of artwork).

* The sole exception to our “PG” rating is an event or area which has been designated as adult only, as designated by previous arrangement only with Furnal Equinox. One example could be a ‘life drawing’ workshop involving a live model.
Access to such an event or area will be strictly controlled, and the adult content will be contained within the designated event/area.

4. Alcohol: NO alcohol EXCEPT where permitted.

a) Alcohol must only be in the possession of, and consumed only by, persons of legal drinking age (19 in Ontario) or older, and only when served by a venue bartender/waiter and consumed within that hotel/venue bar/restaurant, or when consumed in the privacy of your hotel room.

b) Alcohol is not served nor permitted in event space.

c) Alcohol may only be carried and consumed at the venue bar/restaurant or in hotel rooms.

d) Alcoholic beverages are permitted only to persons nineteen years of age and older. Anyone who provides/serves alcohol to a minor and any person under the age of 19 who consumes alcohol is breaking the law and may have their attendance privileges permanently revoked and/or be reported to the police.

e) Last but not least: Please enjoy responsibly. While we are all here to have fun, any individual who is intoxicated to the point where they pose a risk to themselves or others will be asked to leave, either temporarily or permanently, at staff discretion.

5. Smoking, e-cigarette and vaping: In accordance with the hotel policy, indoor smoking, e-cigarette and vape use is prohibited.

a) Attendees are further cautioned that the hotel reserves the right to charge additional fees if evidence of smoking in guest rooms is found. this may be in the hundreds of dollars.

b) In addition, rooms with balconies are NOT to be used as smoking areas in accordance with hotel policy. Please respect your fellow hotel guests and the venue by only smoking in designated areas (in front of the hotel).

6. Event Space, Hotel Rooms & Room Parties: Be considerate of our hosts and your fellow attendees.

Note: The term ‘Con Space’ defined as ‘any area within which the owners/operators thereof have granted permission to Furnal Equinox to host events in either a portion or the entirety thereof’.
In order to continue being welcome at our venue (without which Furnal Equinox cannot take place), we ask that all attendees treat the area, its employees, and its fixtures with all due care and respect.

a) Do not post any notices, advertisements, or affix/tape/glue/etc. anything to the walls, ceiling, doors, or floors of our venue without first securing permission from our staff.

b) Do not attempt to alter, misuse, damage or misplace any object within the venue space, unless expressly permitted by the venue and/or convention staff.

c) Attendees are further advised to immediately heed any request from venue employees. In case of disagreement, attendees and staff must first comply with the request, then notify us and provide details.

d) Pursuant to hotel policy, the renter of the room is ALWAYS responsible for their room’s condition and any use thereof. For safety and insurance reasons, all hotel rooms must be inspected daily by hotel staff, whether or not a ‘do not disturb’ sign is present.

e) Vandalism, damage or destruction of hotel/venue property may result in severe consequences including but not limited to revocation of attendance privileges. removal from the hotel. being held financially responsible. and/or civil/criminal prosecution.

The following lines pertain specifically to Room Parties, but do not omit nor nullify any other statement found within this Code of Conduct.

f) During nighttime hours (11:00pm – 8:00am), noise must not be audible in other hotel rooms.To help minimise noise, keep doors completely closed with a sign to knock.

g) Room gatherings/parties may not extend into the hotel/venue corridors for any reason – keep doors closed to limit the number of attendees.

h) Party hosts and participants are reminded of Rules #4 c) and 5 (providing alcohol to minors is illegal. smoking/vaping in hotel rooms is not permitted).

i) Furnal Equinox staff and security will do their utmost to intercede to help resolve noise/conduct complaints, however the hotel reserves the right to take immediate and independent action against any room occupants who are noisy/disruptive. Please party responsibly and show courtesy to your fellow hotel guests.

7. Weapons and ‘weapon-like’ items/props: No real weapons. Any prop/item that could be mistaken for a real weapon must be first be approved by security.

Important: Unless very obviously a non-realistic toy (to the casual observer at a quick glance and from a distance) ALL props that could be mistaken for actual weapons must first be inspected and approved by CONSEC.

a) No real firearms are permitted in convention space under any circumstances. Laser pointers and sights are also not permitted. Items that clearly do not resemble a weapon and are marketed as toys (e.g. Nerf guns, water guns) are not required to be peace-bonded but are subject to all other provisions.

b) No weapon/prop may be brandished, aimed at anyone or otherwise used/displayed in a threatening manner (unless by previous arrangement with CONSEC and in a designated time/space with clear rules – such as stage performance, NERF tournament, or staged photography)

c) Projectile launching devices (including NERF and water guns) may never be loaded or contain propellant of any kind.

d) Prop(s) carried within event space must immediately be presented for inspection upon request by Furnal Equinox staff. Failure to comply may result in loss of prop/attendance privileges.

e) Realistic props/replicas of weapons, such as those that resemble firearms, may be subject to additional restrictions such as ‘peace bonding’ by security. These must be brought in a bag or case to the security checkpoint for inspection prior to any carry, display, or use thereof.

IMPORTANT: For the protection of our attendees and our events, Furnal Equinox reserves the right to revoke any/all previously granted prop carrying privileges at any time. In case of disagreement, the attendee(s) who own/carry such MUST without question first secure the item(s) outside event space before appealing the decision to a security supervisor.

8. Harassment: ‘Costume’ does not equal consent and the universal ‘safe word’ rule applies, i.e. “‘No’ means ‘NO!'”

a) Behaviour towards another individual or group that is generally considered unacceptable and/or harmful, along with any conduct including but not limited to intimidation, threats, unwelcome physical contact, stalking, etc. will not be tolerated. If someone has stated they no longer wish to interact with you, stop.

b) Attendees are advised to IMMEDIATELY report any such incidents to CONSEC or to a staff member. Your safety is our highest priority. however, once the event is over, our options to address the issue are limited.

c) Furnal Equinox is NOT the place to start or continue disputes. Our staff cannot resolve interpersonal conflicts or pre-emptively ban someone from attending based solely upon such. Our events are gathering places where one can meet and share common interests with others. Behaviour that is disruptive and detrimental will not be tolerated.

d) Inclusiveness: We are committed to inclusivity in our events and providing a welcoming environment to all, regardless of race, colour, national origin or ancestry, creed or religion, sex or gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, or age. Any harassment or discrimination to any individual or group is unwelcome at our event.

9. Vendors and Advertising/Selling Goods and Services: Only by businesses/dealers that are registered as such by Furnal Equinox, and in designated areas.

Advertising and sale of goods and services may only take place in full accordance with Dealers Den and Artists Alley policies, summarized below:

a) Advertising and selling goods/services is permitted only by persons approved by Furnal Equinox, in designated areas.

b) Any and all applicable fees due to Furnal Equinox must be paid in full prior to any setup of advertising or sales space.

c) Compliance with all applicable local, provincial and federal laws governing the advertising and sale of goods and services remains the vendor’s sole responsibility.

10. Pets and Service Animals: Only service animals are allowed.

Pets are not permitted in event space for safety and allergy-related reasons, unless cleared beforehand by Furnal Equinox for specific events (i.e. Charity animals).

Service animals are permitted however:
a) Documentation (i.e. a physician’s note proving the attendee’s medical need for a service animal) must be carried by the owner at all times and presented to staff upon request.
b) The service animal is only permitted when accompanied by and under the constant control of its owner.
c) For safety reasons only actual (non-sentient) service animals may be leashed to someone else.

d) In the event that a service animal is present in the convention space, please respect the animal’s owner by not touching or distracting the animal without express consent of the owner.

11. Photography, the media, and you: Media (reporters, etc.) are not permitted in convention space unless authorized by Furnal Equinox. Photography is not permitted in certain areas.

Please refer to our Media Policy for full details. A summary is below.

a) Furnal Equinox remains a private event. Consequently, media/reporters are permitted in convention space ONLY after registering as media in advance of the event and obtaining a press pass from Furnal Equinox.

b) Furnal Equinox reserves the right to take photography and/or video footage for promotional purposes.

c) Attendees must behave responsibly when interviewed by or in the presence of any media. In the event that attendees are requested to be interviewed by an external media source (i.e. news reporter) and are uncomfortable or unable to comply, please seek the assistance of Furnal Equinox staff.

d) We reserve the right to deny entry to any/all media, and/or grant conditional entry subject to additional provisions including but not limited to continual escort/supervision by designated staff.

e) Photography is NOT permitted in our Art Show or Headless Lounge. No artwork or merchandise may be photographed without first obtaining consent from the artist/dealer.

f) Additional inquiries or requests regarding media, video, or press appearances at Furnal Equinox may be made to pr@furnalequinox.com. Requests made at the convention may not be returned immediately – please refer to the Convention Operations if there are any inquiries made during convention dates.

12. Limitation of Liability

Furnal Equinox aims to take reasonable care to ensure the safety of its attendees. However, attendees should be aware of their well-being at all times. Additionally, certain voluntary programming at the convention (fursuit events, parades, games) may present an additional risk of injury.

By registering for the convention and accepting a convention badge, you agree to release Furnal Equinox, Anthropomorphic Events of Ontario and its associated directors, staff and volunteers from any liability or claims arising from loss, damage, or injury, including death, that may be sustained by you or by your property arising from attendance at the convention.

This agreement is binding upon you, as well as your heirs, next of kin, executors and administrators.

Penalties

As stated previously, much of what is covered in our Code of Conduct relates to ‘worst case’ scenarios that we don’t expect to occur, but must be prepared to address.
We aim to welcome and bringing together as many people as possible to join in the furry fun and enjoy our events. while enforcing these penalties isn’t pleasant, we will not hesitate to do so to protect staff and attendees’ health and safety, or the disruption- and harassment-free environment we aim to provide.

Code of Conduct violations may result in one or more of the following actions taken against those responsible:

  • Warning issued by Convention Staff or Security.
  • Suspension of access to one or more areas of Furnal Equinox.
  • Temporary or indefinite revocation of attendance/participation in all Furnal Equinox activities and events without refund.
  • Further action taken by hotel/venue management.
  • Notification and involvement of law enforcement.
  • Civil and/or criminal prosecution.
  • Conclusion

    Thank you for your understanding! We appreciate your efforts to be considerate of others and uphold the positive reputation and values of our community while enjoying our event. Questions regarding this Code of Conduct, or Furnal Equinox’s operations may be directed to Security (security@furnalequinox.com) or the Convention Chair (chair@furnalequinox.com).