2024 Okanagan Tattoo Show

The Okanagan Tattoo Show Code of Conduct

The Goal

To ensure that all members and non-members of the tattoo community are safe, protected, and welcomed, and to create environments that are free of harassment and discrimination. These ethical principles act as a reminder to each member and non-member of the tattoo community that they are responsible for their words, actions, and behaviours.

Scope & Applicability

This Code of Conduct will remain in effect for the duration of this and future tattoo conventions. The parameters of this document extend to include any associations or affiliations with respect to the convention, such as:

  • Private parties 
  • Public parties 
  • Dinners 
  • Afterparties 

This Code of Conduct applies to all participants, including artists, clients, vendors, bands, and public visitors. 

An Environment That Everyone Can Be Proud Of

Tattoo conventions are designed to provide tattoo enthusiasts and practitioners with a professional, informative, and accessible environment to learn about, create, and discuss the art of tattooing. As such, tattoo conventions should be safe, respectful, dignified, and free from all forms of harassment and discrimination.

An ideal tattoo convention atmosphere is one where individuals from diverse backgrounds and lived experiences can collaborate and interact in an affirming, positive manner. Examples of encouraged behaviours include:

  • Using language that is inclusive and welcoming
  • Respecting different viewpoints, experiences, and backgrounds
  • Practicing self-awareness  

Anti-Harassment Statement

This Code of Conduct strictly prohibits all forms of harassment and discrimination including, but not limited to, harassment and discrimination on the basis of: 

  • Race
  • Ancestry
  • Place of origin
  • Sex  
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity
  • Gender expression
  • Age
  • Disability

Any and all forms of harassment and discrimination (both physically and online) of, or by, artists, vendors, visitors, and clients will not be tolerated. Examples of harassment and discriminatory behaviour include, but are not limited to:

  • Offensive comments related to gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, physical appearance, political affiliation, body size, age, race, nationality, language, or religion
  • Unsolicited comments regarding one’s lifestyle choices, such as health, dietary practices, relationships, drug and/or alcohol use, and employment
  • Intentionally misgendering, use of incorrect pronouns, or use of rejected names (otherwise known as “dead” names)
  • Threats or incitement of violence 
  • Recording or photographing an individual without their knowledge to gain content for malicious or indecent purposes 
  • Deliberate intimidation
  • Participation in physical or online stalking
  • Continued one-on-one communication after requests to cease
  • Deliberate “outing” of any aspect of an individual’s personal identity without their consent

While it is not possible to identify all possible circumstances that may constitute as harassment, the above examples provide clear indications as to what is and what is not considered acceptable behaviour. 

Please note that all tattoos artists have the right to decline projects at conventions, however, declining a project based on a client’s skin colour, body type, or gender is not an appropriate basis for refusal and will not be tolerated. 

Sexual Harassment

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favours, and other verbal or physical conduct that is sexual in nature consitutes as sexual harassment when, for example:

  • It has been made evident that the behaviour/actions are not reciprocated
  • The behaviour/actions make someone feel afraid, embarrassed, uncomfortable, and/or ashamed

While it is not possible to identify all possible circumstances that may constitute as sexual harassment, examples of sexual harassment that will not be tolerated include, but are not limited to:

  • Unwelcome requests for sexual favours
  • Unwelcome sexual attention
  • Unwelcome, non-consensual physical touch
  • Unwarranted sexual images or behaviour in situations where they are not appropriate
  • Patterns of improper social contact, such as requesting or assuming inappropriate levels of intimacy with others  
  • Propositioning an artist, vendor, or client with sex in return for services
  • Lewd or derogatory comments or jokes about an individual’s body 
  • Sexual innuendos, such as “catcalls” or whistles 
  • Inappropriate or obscene depictions of sexual imagery in text messages, drawings, or emails
  • Persistent and repeated requests for dates or a relationship after being informed that the interest is unwanted

It is important to note that the intentions of the person exhibiting the inappropriate behaviour/actions matter less than the impact. Innocent or ill-intended, the negative impact that such behaviour/actions have on the recipient is why these behaviours/actions are considered sexual harassment.

Sexual Assault

Any unwelcome, non-consensual physical contact that is sexual in nature is considered sexual assault. Oftentimes, the behaviours associated with sexual assault are forceful, threatening, intimidating, or coersive. Examples of sexual assault include, but are not limited to:

  • Forced sexual acts
  • Forced kissing 
  • Unwanted sexual touching 

Important Note to Tattoo Artists: Occasionally, clients request that tattoos be placed in private areas of their bodies, which inherently makes them more vulnerable. As a professional tattoo artist, it is your responsibility to ensure your client’s safety and comfort by:

  • Asking for consent prior to touching any private area and maintaining ongoing consent throughout the duration of the tattoo
  • Touching ONLY the area of the body in which you are intending to tattoo
  • Having privacy solutions on hand to offer, but reminding the client prior to their appointment that should they wish to use additional privacy solutions, they are responsible for bringing them

Actively Discouraged Behaviours

While not all unfavourable actions are considered harassment or discrimination, the following behaviours are deemed inappropriate and therefore, are actively discouraged:

  • Conducting oneself in a way that makes others feel excluded or marginalized
  • Belittling someone’s ideas in front of others, both online and physically 
  • Being condescending, passive aggressive, or demeaning towards others

Reporting Harassment

Any individual who has witnessed or has been subject to any form of discrimination or harassment is strongly encouraged to report the incident immediately. This can be done via:

  • Flagging a volunteer wearing a red shirt at one of the two convention ink stations. Our volunteers have been briefed on how to handle a report in a safe, affirming, and confidential manner, and will direct the individual making the report to one of the available convention organizers.
  • Confidential email at rob.oktattooshow@gmail.com. Any reports sent to this email will go directly to Rob Jobe – show co-owner/operator

In your report, please include –

  1. Name of the reporter (your name)
  2. Names of all people involved
  3. When and where the incident occurred 
  4. What happened
  5. Any additional context (e.g. is the harassment ongoing)

In order to protect the responding team from abuse and burnout, we reserve the right to reject any report we believe to have been made in bad faith. Reports intended to silence legitimate complaints may be deleted without response.    

Enforcement Process & Consequences

Code of Conduct violations will not be taken lightly. Each report will be treated with the utmost seriousness and care. 

Reports of harassment will be promptly dealt with directly by convention organizers on a case-by-case basis. Each case will be reviewed by a panel comprised of the following individuals:

  • Rob Jobe (he/him), Tattoo Artist and Co-Owner/Operator
  • Deanna Paraschiv (she/her), Co-Owner/Operator
  • Terence Smith (he/him), Co-Owner/Operator

This panel will explore the report promptly to mutually arrive at a suitable response, which will be shared with both the reporting individual and the offender privately. This may include speaking with the parties involved and any witnesses, with a view to resolving the problem informally. The review of the complaint will be handled confidentially and will only be considered resolved once the complainant has indicated that they feel as though it has been resolved.

Participants asked to stop any harassing behaviour are expected to comply immediately. Consequences for violations of the Code of Conduct may include, but are not limited to:

  • Immediate expulsion
  • Mediation
  • A permanent attendance ban to the event and all future events
  • Law enforcement involvement

If an individual’s safety and security is actively being threatened, convention organizers reserve the right to take immediate action of which they deem appropriate.

We will respect confidentiality requests for the purpose of protecting victims of abuse. At our discretion, we may publicly name a person about whom we’ve received harassment complaints, or privately warn third parties about them, if we believe that doing so will increase the safety of our community members or the general public. We will not name harassment victims without their affirmative consent.

Commitment to Self-Improvement

No one is perfect – everyone fails to live up to standards from time to time. This Code of Conduct does not expect perfection. 

What is expected, however, is that all participants of present and future tattoo conventions own up to their mistakes and make a clear and conscious effort to improve. 

If you are made aware as having, consciously or otherwise, acted in a way that may make others feel uncomfortable or unwelcome:

  • Refrain from becoming defensive
  • Acknowledge your mistake 
  • Apologize
  • Pledge to do better next time


We firmly believe in building for our community, with our community. 

As such, we welcome and invite any and all feedback as it relates to this Code of Conduct. If you have suggestions on how we can improve this Code of Conduct to better serve artists, clients, vendors, and other public visitors, we want to hear it! 

Please direct all feedback to rob.oktattooshow@gmail.com

Open Source

We believe in empowering the tattoo community at large and making resources accessible to artists and shops that are committed to creating safe, affirming, and positive spaces. 

We encourage and warmly invite any tattoo shop or studio to adapt and implement this Code of Conduct for their own businesses. 

In recognition of the Indigenous origins and sacred nature of tattooing, and in the spirit of respect, reciprocity, and truth, the Okanagan Tattoo Show honours and acknowledges the land upon which we are situated. We acknowledge our presence on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded tm̓xʷúlaʔxʷ (land) of the syilx / Okanagan people who have resided here since time immemorial. Finally, we acknowledge all Nations–Indigenous and non–who live, work and play on the syilx / Okanagan lands, and who recognize, honour, and respect this territory.

What is tm̓xʷúlaʔxʷ?

tm̓xʷúlaʔxʷ means the land and everything that lives and interacts on it. It is an all encompassing word that expresses the intersectionality of land and nature.

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