Accessibility at Artfest Kingston

Artfest Kingston will celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday as an all access event for people with disabilities.  Artfest Kingston has taken steps to ensure that everyone who attends can experience the workshops, concerts and vendors who make up the festival.  To guide us along, we have engaged the services of Vanessa MacDonald, our Accessibility Coordinator, who has worked to ensure the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) is fully implemented.  The AODA outlines how all facilities, services and activities are accessible and barrier free.  The goal of Artfest Kingston is to exceed AODA expectations and make the festival as enjoyable as possible.

Artfest Kingston staff and volunteers are trained in support requirements for people with disabilities, and will be familiar with the newly developed Artfest Kingston Accessibility Policy.  This policy is available on our website (www.artfestontario.com) in brochure format, enhanced visual format, and in our Artfest Kingston Event Manual.  A designated tab on our webpage explains our initiatives, policies and services available at the festival to people with disabilities. 

Artfest Kingston takes place in the beautiful City Park, accessible by Kingston transit and a few blocks from Kingston’s downtown.  City Park is an ideal venue with mature-tree shade and the cool breeze of Lake Ontario to combat the heat.  City Park’s wide paved pathways make navigation of mobility devices and service animals easy.  

At the festival there will be four information tents located at the City Park entrances.  These information sites will include rest areas to prepare for the day’s events and volunteers to provide festival programs (available in large print format) and the Artfest Kingston Accessibility Policy brochure.

In the centre of the festival will be a large site map to show visitors how to get around.  Coloured symbols spray-painted on pathways and signs at varying heights will also identify where to find support services and activities.  Art activities are located just off the pathways in large tents with sheets of plywood for stability.

Volunteers wearing orange shirts and ‘Ask Me’ buttons will be seen throughout the festival, ready to answer any questions.  We are also building partnerships with Kingston’s disability community to utilize their expertise to increase accessibility features.  Artfest Kingston will also seek the feedback from the disability community to make sure the festival continues to reflect what the community requires.

There will be an Accessible Services Area Tent designated for use people with disabilities and those requiring dedicated services (such as nursing mothers).  This area will be identified on the map in our marketing material and signposted throughout the festival.  The Accessible Services Area Tent will be located at the centre of the festival and accessible from all paths.  In the Accessible Services Area Tent will be a list of supports available, large print menus of food vendor items, volunteers to arrange for food and craft purchases, a curtained area for changing and tube feeding, electrical outlets for recharging battery devices, and a calming area to regroup. Visit our website (www.artfestontario.com) for complete details.

Service animals will have a shaded area and watering station alongside the Accessible Services Area Tent, as well as twelve watering stations throughout the festival.  These areas will be indicated by Animal Water signs using graphic symbols and words in large print.  An additional six accessible rest areas will be available around the festival, providing tables, chairs, shade, and animal watering stations.  

Artfest Kingston is proud of its festival and connection to the City of Kingston.  A top priority for the festival is to provide a sense of place and belonging to all who participate, creating an event for people of all abilities.



Artfest Kingston Accessibility Policy DOWNLOAD

ARTfest Kingston Accessibility Policy is structured upon:

·      Dignity - To provide support in a way that maintains self-respect

·      Independence - To provide an environment where a person can act without unnecessary interference

·      Integration - To provide service so everyone receives it in a similar way

·      Equal opportunity - To ensure all goods, services or facilities are accessible