The Swallows' Return
Following the publication of last year’s report by the Conseil des Montréalaises, Montréal, une ville festive pour toutes (Montréal, a festive city for all) in which it talked about the security of women and young cisgender and transgender women at Montréal’s outdoor events, the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal is reaffirming its resolve to make the public’s well-being and safety a priority during the city’s summer events, including festivalgoers and anyone who might feel vulnerable, such as seniors and members of the LGTBQ + community.
We are therefore pleased to announce that the Festival, taking place from June 28 to July 7, is again renewing the Swallows’ (Hirondelles) initiative: on-site mobile security teams especially trained in the needs of women and people in situations of vulnerability. This year, for the first time, the initiative also extends to the Francos, June 8 to 17, as well as the other Groupe CH festivals.
“Although the festival’s success is, of course, due to its artists, it is also, and above all, thanks to the presence of the public,” said Jacques-André Dupont, President and CEO of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal. “It is therefore obvious and important to make the safety of all festivalgoers one of our top priorities so that they can enjoy the event in ideal conditions “
They are called Swallows because their vivacity, traveling spirit and protective character is reminiscent of the swallow. The name is also a nod to the Parisian ‘Hirondelles’, the French bicycle policemen from the first half of the 20th century, so-called because of their cloaks and Hirondelle brand bicycles.
Recognized around the world for the safety and vibrancy of its outdoor sites, the Festival is going to reinforce its positive image with the public and increase the presence of these safety officers. Available, ready to listen, they will guarantee the sites are a place of peace and respect.
Signs and directions have been redesigned to make rest areas and safe zones more noticeable, as have the pink armbands of our safety officers and posters indicating their presence. They will also be given luminous bracelets for better visibility in the dark. We will also ensure an improved collaboration between members of the medical teams and the swallows.
It should not be forgotten that the Festival has always advocated an approach based on the proximity of its employees with festivalgoers. In addition to the swallows’ initiative, several measures are already in place:
• Festival employees from different departments are constantly walking the site on the lookout for festivalgoers in need, which means that a festivalgoer in a situation of vulnerability is always but a few steps away from help.
• 50% of the reception and security teams are female
• Through training, festival staff are required to be proactive and alert in all situations, especially when vulnerable people are involved.
• Traffic lanes are set up in places where there are potential crowds to allow people access to safe zones on our site.
• Rest zones allow people to stay away from crowds if and when the need arises.
• Several safe and quiet zones provide shelter for those who need it. There will be the two first-aid trailers and a single-sex space that will be identified on the site.
• In particular, reception and security staff are sensitized to vulnerable people and different types of needs. A measure made all the more important as the event garners a large diversity of festivalgoers, whether they are Montréalers of all sorts or tourists
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