Accessibility & Inclusion Statement

Access is an act of love and community building. Growing Room Literary & Arts festival is on a journey to create the most inclusive and accessible festival events that we can.

We believe ableism and lack of access are deeply tied to colonial systems of oppression—systems that we are actively trying to reject, unlearn, and fight against. This work is ongoing. Our commitment is to grow, learn, and work with the community, in order to be transparent about our abilities and limitations and to improve with every yearly festival.

We acknowledge our own limitations, which means that Growing Room 2020 is not able to accommodate every need or incorporate every access recommendation; we understand that access needs are different for everyone, and that these needs can also change and be different every day.

Growing Room is working with Creating Accessible Neighbourhoods to do accessibility audits of all of our venues and the systems that make up our festival, and to implement their recommendations. We acknowledge that inaccessibility includes (but is not limited to) physical, invisible, and systemic barriers.

Below is our access information for all of our events, so that you can decide for yourselves if the event and/or festival at large is right for you. However, you know your needs best. If you have accessibility requirements, questions, or concerns, please contact Meagan Joy Black at

While we are on this journey of learning, we welcome all accessibility feedback.

All accessibility information for Growing Room 2020 will be updated by January 31, 2020.

WHO TO CONTACT: If you have an access request, or would like to ask questions and offer feedback about the accessibility of Growing Room Literary & Arts festival, please contact Meagan Joy Black at

ASL: We have partnered with Wavefront Centre for Communication Accessibility and will be providing ASL interpretation for events by request. The line-up will be announced in mid-January, the schedule will be available on January 28, and registration will open February 4, 2020.

To request ASL interpretation at an event, email Meagan Joy Black at The deadline to submit your request is February 15, 2020.

PRIORITY AND ASSIGNED SEATING: We offer early entry and assigned priority seating for people with invisible disabilities, low vision, and/or chronic pain. We can arrange this onsite by speaking with the event volunteers, or contact Meagan Joy Black at to plan in advance.

FINANCIAL ACCESSIBILITY: All of our readings and panels are Pay-What-You-Can or by-donation, which you can do when you register for events online or in person. While our workshops require a registration fee, we set aside two free spaces for every workshop for folks who request it. Our opening night is also a ticketed event, though we will also have free admission spots set aside as well. To request free registration for a workshop or free admission to our opening night event, please email Meagan Joy Black at

ACTIVE LISTENERS: Active Listeners are vetted volunteers who are present at every festival event should attendees need to speak with something regarding any feelings or issues that may come up over the course of the festival. Active Listeners will have a list of community resources with them at all times and there will be two listeners available at each event. If need be, the Active Listeners additionally act as a liaison between festival guests and the festival organizing committee. The wellness of our community is of the utmost importance to us, and having these wonderful volunteers present strengthens our ability to serve the community better. Read more about our Active Listeners here.

CLOSED CAPTIONING: All film screenings at Growing Room are closed captioned.

SCENT: Growing Room asks that all artists and attendees refrain from wearing scented products at all of our events. We do not enforce this policy, nor do our venues have permanent scent-free policies in place. Of note, both Emily Carr University and The Beaumont Studios contain artist working spaces which may contain scents.

WASHROOMS: All of our venues have all-genders washrooms available.

OVERSTIMULATION: If you experience overstimulation, fatigue, exhaustion, distress, or are in need of a quieter space for any reason, please speak to one of our festival volunteers. They will have Stim toys, relaxation devices, and other resources such as the location of quieter spaces, and will assist according to the need. Our Active Listeners will also be available to assist.

AN IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT ALCOHOL: Please note that drugs and alcohol are not permitted on the premises of the Native Education College and Emily Carr University. Failure to respect the wishes of the venues may result in you being asked to leave your event.


GETTING THERE: Driving and transit directions TO BE UPDATED JANUARY 31, 2020.