Volunteer Code of Conduct & Harassment Policy



RBC Bluesfest Volunteer Code of Conduct

As a volunteer at RBC Bluesfest/CityFolk, you are required to follow all expectations as outlined in the Volunteer Code of Conduct below and on our volunteer website. Together, we can all be part of an experience that is fun, safe, respectful, and fair for all volunteers.

Please consult RBC Bluesfest/CityFolk Volunteer Services staff prior to any action or statement which might significantly affect or obligate the festival. This might include: statements to the press or on social media, coalition or lobbying efforts with other organizations, and any agreements involving contractual or other financial obligations.

As a volunteer at RBC Bluesfest/CityFolk, you are a representative of the festival when you are on festival grounds, at a festival event, and/or wearing clothing identifying you as an RBC Bluesfest/CityFolk volunteer. RBC Bluesfest/CityFolk reserves the right to revoke on-site volunteer privileges without notice, or to prevent individuals from participating in future RBC Bluesfest/CityFolk-related events if any of the following behaviours are observed while representing the festival:

• Checking in to the site and not reporting for a scheduled shift;
• Unreported or excessive absences;
• Repeated tardiness.

• Failure to be effective at assigned tasks;
• Inappropriate behaviour or negative attitude;
• Unnecessary use of cell phone while on duty;
• Smoking while on duty.

• Inappropriate behaviours or requests directed towards artists;
• Insubordination (the act of willfully disobeying your superior);
• Breach of confidentiality;
• Theft of any kind (financial, property, etc.);
• Destruction of RBC Bluesfest/CityFolk property or damage to any part of the festival site;
• Engaging in self-promotion of any kind;
• Harassment, in any form (see “RBC Bluesfest/CityFolk Volunteer Harassment Policy” below).

• Possession or use of drugs and/or illegal substances;
• Consumption of alcohol or intoxication while on shift;
• Underage drinking;
• Excessive intoxication while attending a free show.

• Any other reason deemed applicable by Volunteer Services.

RBC Bluesfest/CityFolk reserves the right not to discuss details of a dismissal with the volunteer in question. Once a volunteer is dismissed, they must hand in their accreditation and leave the property immediately.


RBC Bluesfest Volunteer Services
Preventing and Resolving Harassment Policy and Guidelines

As stated in the RBC Bluesfest/CityFolk Volunteer Code of Conduct, as part of our zero tolerance policy, harassment in any form will not be tolerated and can lead to dismissal from the festival. Any person who feels that he or she has experienced harassment, including violence and/or sexual harassment, while volunteering at the RBC Bluesfest/CityFolk, may take the recommended steps or file a formal complaint under this policy as soon as possible.

Volunteer Services will investigate all concerns, incidents and complaints of festival harassment, including violence and sexual harassment, in a timely and fair manner, respecting the privacy of all concerned to the extent possible.

Harassment is a form of misconduct / improper behaviour by a volunteer that is directed at, and is offensive to, another volunteer, and which that person knew or ought reasonably to have known, would be unwelcome and cause offence or harm. It comprises objectionable conduct, comment, or display that demeans, belittles, or causes personal humiliation or embarrassment, and any acts of intimidation or threats, which detrimentally affects individual well-being or the volunteer environment.

It includes discriminatory harassment within the meaning of the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA) which is to harass an individual based on the prohibited grounds of discrimination, which are race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability, or conviction of an offence for which a pardon has been granted. For the purposes of this policy within the meaning of the CHRA, the terms Gender Identity and Gender Expression are included.

Complaint is a formal allegation of harassment submitted in writing to RBC Bluesfest/CityFolk – Volunteer Services by the volunteer.

The RBC Bluesfest/CityFolk festivals are committed to preventing harassment by providing all volunteers with a common understanding of appropriate and expected behaviour, by supporting initiatives to maintain a respectful festival environment, and by helping volunteers to identify and use the available resources to assist them when facing potential harassment situations.


Most festival conflicts can be resolved informally to the satisfaction of all parties. When a volunteer believes that he/she is experiencing a harassing situation, the volunteer should:

• promptly make his/her unease/disapproval about a person’s actions known to the alleged offender and to co-operatively resolve the issue; or
• inform or get advice from a supervisor, or other advisor such as onsite staff or TOERSA security, to help address the situation and keep a positive working relationship; and
• use of informal conflict resolution techniques when possible can help resolve the situation and prevent it from escalating to the point where filing a written complaint is necessary.

If all of the above are not successful, file a written complaint with Volunteer Services as soon as possible. You may obtain the Harassment Complaint Form on the Volunteer website and submit it to Volunteer Services Management (volunteers@ottawabluesfest.ca). Complaints must be made in good faith. A volunteer may also file a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) if the alleged harassment is related to one of the prohibited grounds of discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act.


If you have experienced harassment you may choose to file a formal written complaint against your harasser to Volunteer Services Management (volunteers@ottawabluesfest.ca) as soon as possible. Under these circumstances you would be informed that the alleged harasser will be provided with a copy of the complaint and with your permission you may be identified as the complainant. This would be discussed with you prior to any statement being released. You may obtain the Harassment Complaint Form on the Volunteer website, or by written request to the above email address.

All formal written complaints will be reviewed by an internal RBC Bluesfest/CityFolk committee to determine if an investigation is warranted. In the case of the complaint involving a minor, the parent or guardian of the minor will be informed.

The committee and/or an investigator will:
• determine the accuracy of as many details as possible;
• determine (from both parties) if there were any witnesses, as well as how the complainant responded at the time of the alleged incident;
• determine who was made aware of the alleged incident and whether anyone else is known to have reported similar behaviour by the same person; and,
• find out what resolution the complainant would prefer.


Substantiated Complaints:
If following investigation the complaint of harassment is substantiated, Volunteer Services will act promptly and fairly in taking appropriate measures, which may range from reprimand to dismissal from volunteering at RBC Bluesfest/CityFolk.

Written records of the complaint, investigation and any disciplinary action will be maintained in the personnel files of the parties involved in the complaint.

Unsubstantiated Complaints:
When an investigation of an allegation of harassment is unsubstantiated, all record of the complaint will be destroyed.

Frivolous/Malicious Complaints:
A volunteer who makes a frivolous complaint, malicious complaint, or a complaint in bad faith, may be subject to disciplinary measures up to, and including, reprimand or dismissal from volunteering at RBC Bluesfest/CityFolk.

Retaliation for Complaints:
A volunteer who retaliates against another volunteer for filing a complaint, may be subject to disciplinary measures by RBC Bluesfest/CityFolk up to, and including, reprimand or dismissal from volunteering at RBC Bluesfest/CityFolk. Additionally, any volunteer who is subjected to retaliation from another volunteer has the option of involving the authorities.

If you are in imminent physical danger, and are not able to find onsite support, please call 911.