Code of Conduct
Last updated: September 22, 2023
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. This Code of Conduct is the established standard of behaviour for all attendees, including volunteers, staff, and external representatives.
Furnal Equinox’s Code of Conduct contains provisions that apply to every aspect and area of our events, activities, and promotions. Specific parts of our convention (eg: Dealers Den) may have additional policies that apply in addition to this code of conduct, and any inquiries should be directed to the appropriate department representative.
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. This code of conduct represents the standard of behaviour and courtesy towards our venue, other attendees, and the public 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 Chair or Vice Chair, whose decision is final. If you have any questions, please reach out to Nightingales (firstname.lastname@example.org) or the Convention Chair (email@example.com).
By clicking the applicable checkbox/button on the registration form or signing an agreement to attend Furnal Equinox, you (the attendee) attest that you have read this document, accept its terms, and agree to be bound by it.
1. 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 policy. Any behaviour that adversely affects or causes interference with the operations of Furnal Equinox, including but not limited to its relations or reputation within our community, municipality, venue, 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 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 or retrieve their badge. Attendees with lost badges should contact Registration for replacement under the replacement badge policy per the Registration FAQ.
b) Non-Transferable: Con badges cannot be loaned, given, resold, or used by anyone else for any reason during the convention. Attendees found sharing or swapping badges may be removed from the event without refund.
c) Photo I.D.: In order to complete registration and receive your con badge, you must present valid government issued photo identification that proves your identity and age. This can include a driver’s license, Government 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 Nightingales (convention security) upon request.
3. FURNAL EQUINOX ACTIVITIES AND EVENT SPACE ARE RATED “PG-13” WITH EXCEPTIONS IN DESIGNATED AREAS OR TIMES.
Attendees must clothe, costume, and conduct themselves in accordance with our “PG-13” rating, especially in any area visible to non-attendees or the public.
If unsure, please ask before wearing clothing, exhibiting items, or behaving in ways that may be unacceptable in convention space. You can reach out to Nightingales (firstname.lastname@example.org) for assistance.
Any display of item(s) including artwork and merchandise must be limited to “PG-13” or made to conform with our “PG-13” rating (such as stickers completely obscuring any explicit portion of artwork).
The exception to the “PG-13” rating is an event or area which has been designated as 18+, as designated by previous arrangement only with Furnal Equinox. Access to such events or areas will be strictly controlled, and the 18+ content will be within the designated event or area.
After 10 PM for each night of the convention, please see our Apparel Guidelines for what is considered to be appropriate; this is an extension of the section and the Code of Conduct.
4. RACISM AND BIGOTRY ARE NOT TOLERATED AT FURNAL EQUINOX
a) All attendees have a right to equal treatment without discrimination due to race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, or ethnicity.
b) All attendees also have a right to equal treatment without discrimination due to creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, family status or disability.
c) Acts of discrimination promoting, inciting, or advocating genocide, or hatred against an identifiable group via written or verbal statements, electronic media, or any other format are considered offenses under Canadian law. Any information will be shared with the appropriate authorities and may result in suspension or ban from future Anthropomorphic Events of Ontario events, and may include further legal ramifications.
d) Attendees have further protections granted under the Ontario Human Rights Code against discrimination based on protected grounds by goods/service/facilities providers (eg: dealers, panelists, etc).
e) Any attendees found to be in breach (once confirmed by convention leadership) immediately forfeit their registration and may be barred from attending future Furnal Equinox and by extension any event hosted by Anthropomorphic Events of Ontario.
f) Your fellow attendees are generally well-meaning. If you witness a potential violation, please assist others by discussing or asking questions (if you feel comfortable with them). Our community can grow stronger with public awareness, rehabilitation, and restorative justice while also supporting victims of hate activity.
g) Attendees who feel they or an identifiable group have been discriminated against are encouraged to speak to the Nightingales in person, by phone at 1–855-463-8779 during convention hours or via email email@example.com at any time
5. NO ALCOHOL EXCEPT WHERE PERMITTED. CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES PROHIBITED.
a) Alcohol may only be consumed by persons of legal drinking age (19 in Ontario) or older. Alcohol may only be served by venue staff and consumed within that bar or restaurant, or in your hotel room.
b) Smoking or vaping is only permitted in outside areas that are designated by the hotel. The hotel reserves the right to charge attendees for any damage caused by smoking.
c) Consumption or distribution of controlled substances is prohibited, notwithstanding consumption of personal prescriptions.
d) 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.
6. EVENT SPACE AND HOTEL ROOMS: BE CONSIDERATE OF OUR HOSTS AND YOUR FELLOW ATTENDEES.
Note: The term ‘Con Space’ is defined as anywhere a badge is needed to gain access.
We ask that all attendees treat the venue, its employees, and its fixtures and furniture with all due care and respect.
a) Do not post anything on the walls, ceiling, doors, or floors of our venue without first securing permission from our leadership.
b) Do not attempt to alter, misuse, damage, or move any object within the venue space, unless expressly permitted by the venue or convention leadership.
c) Attendees must heed any request from venue employees. In case of disagreement, attendees and staff must first comply with the request, then notify Director-on-Duty and provide details.
d) The renter of the room is responsible for their room’s condition. 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 property may result in severe consequences, including but not limited to revocation of attendance privileges, removal from the hotel, being held financially responsible, or legal prosecution.
7. COSTUME, COSPLAY, AND PROP POLICY
Attendees must be prepared to present any prop(s) carried within event space for inspection upon request by Furnal Equinox staff.
Laser pointers or devices with an exposed laser are not permitted. There may be authorized laser devices in use by our A/V team.
No knives or metal objects are permitted at any point.
No silly string or similar products are permitted at any point.
a) No weapons or prop weapons are permitted at any time except the following:
- Unloaded toy projectile weapons (including NERF and water guns) which are clearly toys. These must never be loaded or contain propellant or projectiles. Propellant or projectile “ammo” must not be on your person at any time in convention space.
- Plush, pillow, or soft foam props
- Prop weapons made from soft materials like foam, wood securely wrapped in foam or soft rubber, PVC or ABS piping, or soft plastic
b) Toy projectile devices, or replica weapons may not be brandished or otherwise used to cause annoyance or disturbance to others. Consideration under consent of all parties may be permitted for designated purposes such as stage performances, photography, or other circumstances under the discretion of Nightingales.
c) Props that resemble weapons or firearms will be subject to ‘peace bonding’ by Nightingales. These must be brought in a bag or case to the security checkpoint for inspection prior to being carried or displayed. Props deemed inappropriate or in violation of the above rules must be removed from convention space, but can be returned to a car, hotel room, etc.
d) Any items purchased in the Dealers Den/Artist Alley that would be in violation of the above rules must remain in its packaging (if any) and removed from the con space in a timely fashion.
e) Costumes impressioning or modelled after law enforcement or military are expressly forbidden within convention space, and may be considered unlawful use of military uniforms.
f) Attendees in breach of the Costume, Cosplay, and Prop policy will result in loss of those privileges, or forfeiture of registration and removal from the convention space.
8. HARASSMENT: A ‘COSTUME’ DOES NOT EQUAL CONSENT – “NO MEANS NO!”
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.
a) Furnal Equinox has a zero tolerance policy concerning any behaviour towards an individual or group that is generally considered unacceptable or harmful, along with any conduct including but not limited to intimidation, threats, unwelcome physical contact, stalking.
If someone has stated they no longer wish to interact with you, stop immediately.
b) Attendees are encouraged to report any such incidents to Nightingales or to a convention staff leader. Your safety is our highest priority, and we are committed to treating every incident or situation with respect and professionalism. Please do not leave your report until it’s too late; once the event is over, our ability to address the issue is limited. You may also request to speak to a female or male staff member if you feel more comfortable doing so.
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 these types of conflicts. Our events are gathering places where one can meet and share common interests with others.
9. VENDORS AND ADVERTISING
Vending is only permitted by businesses or dealers that are registered as such by Furnal Equinox within designated areas.
Advertising and sale of goods and services may only take place in full accordance with Dealers Den and Artists Alley policies.
10. PETS AND SERVICE ANIMALS
Only Service Animals Are Permitted.
a) Pets are not permitted in event space unless specifically cleared beforehand by The Westin Harbour Castle and Furnal Equinox, including animals for specific events (i.e. animals representing our Charity).
b) In the event that a service animal is present in the convention space, attendees must respect the animal’s owner by not touching or distracting the animal without the express consent of the owner.
c) Service animals are welcome in the convention space, with the following considerations:
i) Are only permitted when accompanied by and under the constant control of its owner or the owner’s support person.
ii) If the animal is not obviously identified as a service animal, or if the need for the animal as a service aide is not readily apparent, we may request documentation from a regulated health professional to confirm (i.e. a physician’s note proving the attendee’s medical need for a service animal). This note should not carry any personal information beyond the identity of the attendee, the need for the service animal and health professional information.
iii) In the event the service animal becomes a nuisance to other service animals or attendees (running free, growling, excessive barking), the owner will be asked to resolve the issue, and may be asked to temporarily remove the animal from the convention space.
iv) Owners of service animals or their support persons are required to clean up after their animals in the convention space. Any instances of urination, defaecation, or vomiting must be reported to Furnal Equinox staff and hotel staff immediately, as extra steps may be required for cleaning procedures.
Owners are responsible for any costs incurred due to damages.
11. PHOTOGRAPHY AND MEDIA
Media representatives are not permitted in convention space unless authorized by Furnal Equinox. Permission may be granted via completion of the Media Consent form, and explicit permission of the Content Management department. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
No artwork or merchandise may be photographed without first obtaining consent from the artist or dealer.
a) Furnal Equinox remains a private event. Media representatives are permitted in convention space only after registering as media in advance of the event and obtaining a Media Pass from Furnal Equinox.
b) Furnal Equinox reserves the right to take and use photography or video footage for promotional purposes. If you would prefer not to be in pictures or recordings, please inform our photographer or videographer immediately.
d) We reserve the right to deny entry to any media representatives or grant conditional entry subject to additional provisions, including but not limited to continual supervision by designated staff.
e) Additional inquiries or requests regarding media, video, or press appearances at Furnal Equinox may be made to email@example.com
Attendees are not permitted to sleep overnight in the hotel lobby, public washrooms, or convention space.
13. 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, performances, 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.
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 Nightingales
- Suspension of access to one or more areas of Furnal Equinox
- Temporary or indefinite revocation of attendance to all Furnal Equinox or Anthropomorphic Events of Ontario activities and events without refund
- Further action taken by hotel management
- Notification and involvement of law enforcement
- Civil or criminal prosecution
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.