Otherworld and Production
Kindle Arts Society is the Non-Profit Society that consists of volunteers of Otherworld and other events, including the artists. Membership in the society is optional.
Email us at info@Kindlearts.ca if you are interested in volunteering.
Otherworld happens every year, and is operated by a production group, many of whom are repeat organizers. As an established event, with a known template and many guiding hands, we can reliably predict the organization structure will look something like this.
This is a blank org chart, is wildly unofficial, and was probably written by a pack of squirrels. It contains weird stubs and tiny outgrowths, and while it might superficially resemble the official org chart, it isn’t. The official Chart for a given year will have the names of the people who actually do these roles added, and will probably have additions, changes, deletions and tweaks.
Weirdly, the description below was also written by squirrels, because it’s not an official opinion or a set of rules, and it just describes a philosophy, the individual details of which may or may not be true for any given year.
Typically, each Lead position is filled by one or two co-Leads. They are usually responsible for the specific thing they are named for. Sometimes they have very small teams of 1-3 helpers, and this is good, because some of these jobs are a lot of work.
The 9 Orange Teams (Ice Sales, Parking, Greeters, Gate, Fire Perimeter, Sanctuary/Harm Reduction, and Leave No Trace) consist of a lead and a team of general volunteers, who are typically scheduled for shifts. They usually want more than forty volunteers in their team. Some of them schedule all of their volunteers at the same time, like Fire Perimeter, who think they can form a human chain around a blazing inferno twenty feet in height. Usually, they’re right.
The 2 Green Teams (Rangers and Fire Shows) have special requirements. You can learn more about BC Rangers at https://bcrangers.ca. As you might imagine, if you’ve joined the Fire Show, it’s probably because you are a fire performer. That is a special skill. You’re cool.
The Producer of a department is not the boss of the department. They are typically the person who agreed to learn about, try and recruit for, or do all of the jobs in their area if they get a no-show from their lead. They are there to provide support for those in their teams.
The Meetings Chair is responsible for helping conduct effective meetings, providing information about how the production model works, making sure everyone gets a chance to speak, have excellent conflict resolution skills, and are astonishingly not the boss of anyone.
The Board of Directors are five sacrifices that the community selected previously to slake the thirst of the laws of British Columbia. To become one, you have to be elected in a ranked ballot with the highest rating and consent of at least 50% of the community. In turn, the Directors consented to be ceremoniously lowered into a volcano. While in the volcano, they have to obey a shit-ton of rules, regulations, laws and other things most folks don’t have to worry about in order to retain the community’s status as a Non-profit, including some arcane laws on spending and taxation. They cannot pass resolutions without a majority consent of the board, so in addition to being legally responsible, they’re also covered in tar.
again, WILDLY UNOFFICIAL
Otherworld: so how can I help? Great ways to volunteer, from shifts to producers
Gate volunteers check off all of the boxes required for each participant to gain entry to the event. The gatekeepers check that you have your ticket, have signed a liability waiver, signed the code of conduct, and have a government issued photo ID that matches your ticket.
Our greeters enthusiastically welcome attendees to the event and provide important information. Greeters are the face of our creative, accepting, non-judgemental environment. If you’re warm and social and love chatting with people, this is a great volunteer position for you!
Smooth flow of traffic in and out of the event is essential. The parking team points attendees in the direction of designated parking areas and ensures that priority is given to those who need parking for organizational or disability access. The highest need for parking shifts is on Thursday and Friday.
Because there are no ins and outs, Otherworld offers bags of ice at cost to help keep your food cool. The Ice team is the only team that involves putting money in a box and giving people something out of another box, and it comes with the benefit of being particularly suited to people who think puns are very nIce.
The Fire Perimeter team sits or stands in a safety line around the temple and effigy burns until it is safe to approach them. The perimeter is a vital part of being able to burn things. If you’ve never sat perimeter before, consider giving it a go!
Sanctuary and Harm Reduction
The volunteers at sanctuary are those who assist individuals who for one reason or another may be having difficult experiences at our events. They create and support a calming space away from the Otherworldly chaos with pillows, blankets, and other comfort items. If you have a non judgemental, accepting and loving attitude and are oriented toward harm reduction, this is a great place for you to volunteer.
Leave no trace
LNT is one of our core values. While every attendee is responsible for their own garbage, we leave every place we attend better than we found it. Leaving no trace is exactly what it sounds like: we sweep the venue before, during and after our events, pick up garbage, and ensure we leave no MOOP (matter out of place) behind.
Rangers are usually identified by their blue shirts and patrol the event in pairs. From the BCRangers.ca website: “We volunteer some of our time as non-confrontational community mediators, encouraging and facilitating communication. We promote awareness of potential hazards, and carry radios to quickly relay information in case of emergency. We are not security guards, babysitters, nor fun-police, we are simply available, and only assist when needed.”
If this sounds like something you can contribute, we encourage you to do so. Volunteers for Rangers receive an annual training session from BCRangers.
Fire performers are welcome, and the fire show at the Effigy is often a rehearsed show.
Unique Ways to Help
Lots of the roles started as something people just naturally did because they already have the gear and the ability to do so, and they showed up one day and did it. Here’s some unique roles that you could fulfill:
Drone Photography – if you have a drone you can fly safely, shots of the event help understand how to plan events in the future.
Event Photography – print-quality photography with documented consent to use of the photographer and subjects is awesome.
Carpentry/Building – we build a limited number of foot-bridges and ramps.
If you have gear and are self-sufficient, feel free to get in touch to see if we can make something happen. The literal miles of street lighting provided by Mervatude is a great example of something we’d never think of, but every participant is happy to see, as is the drug testing.
Other Ways: Bring art, be gifts, do awesome
And as always, bringing art, coordinating weird events, or just doing something cool that people enjoy is always welcome. You can register a project if you like (this way to art registration), but you can also just show up and do the thing.
Team Lead Roles
The nine team leads (Ice, Gate, Parking, Greeters, Fire Perimeter, Sanctuary & Harm Reduction and LNT) have responsibility for gathering up a workable team of 20-40 individuals to perform the thing they do. It’s worth having a co-lead help you so you can split the workload.
Lead Roles – Doing a something specific
There are 29 leads who are a lead for getting a specific job done.
* If you don’t want to lead but do want to help out with that role, ask to be in touch with the lead for that area, or the producer for that area.
* Most of these positions benefit from a co-lead, and often have 1-3+ volunteers helping out with them.
* Some of these you can make it up as you go. Some have entire manuals showing how to do it.
- Art Parade: lead and organize a parade of folks to all the art.
- Site Signage: make all the signs.
- WWW & Survival guide: collect and prepare the event program / survival guide
- Event Map: use placement info to make the event map graphic
- Event Logo: design the logo for this year’s otherworld
- Communications: prepare newsletters and comms
- Training: coordinate training and certifications
- Volunteer picnic/event: host one volunteer picnic
- Volunteer tent: set up the volunteer info tent
- Volunteer tracking: coordinate a master list of volunteers
- Volunteer appreciation: source/make various volunteer swag
- Commissary: coordinate food deliveries and the once-a-night meals
- Transportation: get one truck to transport prod gear to site
- Porto Potty Decor: decorate portopotties, add string lights if necessary
- Snacktown: stock the volunteer tent with all-hours snacks and drinks
- Accessibility: identify/fix issues that prevent individuals from travel/usability
- Art project support: roam the event at setup and help artists solve small problems if possible
- Placement Design: Overall design of the site layout
- DPW: general construction-y help and placement of gear/installation
- Mutant Vehicles: review mutant vehicles for safety etc
- Structural Inspector: give things a shake and see if they are dangerously unstable
- Pyro: make pyrotechnic things happen during the burn
- Flame effects: inspect and assess flame effects
- Ranger lead: chosen from BC Rangers membership
- Grants verification: photograph every art project from the grants list
- Travel grants: steward the travel grants
- Grants: steward the grants program
- Subsidy tix: receive and respond to applicants for subsidy tickets
- Ticketing: receive and resolve issues with tickets and ticket inquiries
- Quarter: manage the storage and inventory
- Receipts and records: receive records and receipts and organize them
- Websites: update the website as required
Producer roles are about supporting a grouping of similar functions. They have larger time commitments. You should generally be comfortable answering questions and being in communication with the team leads across multiple departments, including your own, and the other producers.
Meetings Chair is responsible for organizing production meetings and producer meetings. The Chair is not the “boss” or the “do-arch” of the organization. A meetings chair should be familiar with how the current production model works, be comfortable conducting meetings where time is used efficiently and the important stuff gets said, provide advice and support to new producers, while leaving folks with a positive sense of respect. Important skills include the ability to de-escalate and maintain a sense of calm without conflict.
Want to propose an event in fall or spring?
Just get in touch and send an email to email@example.com. We'd love to see a return of the Decompression or a spring fundraiser. We'd also like to have a Volunteer Appreciation event wherever there are volunteers to appreciate.
Whether you're in Victoria, Nanaimo, Duncan, Saltspring, Vancouver or anywhere else volunteers live, drop us a line if you want to get people together as a post-Otherworld thank you.
Historical information about running the Decompression below
Please note: due to the pandemic and other factors, it's been literal years since the last time we have posted a callout. The information that follows hasn't been reviewed for accuracy in sometime, and may be best understood as a rough guide to what we may look for in a future proposal.
It’s way better to just send us an email and we can work through the details later.
New Event Proposals
Kindle Arts typically operates several Non-profit events a year.
For events that aren’t Otherworld, the Kindle Arts Board of Directors will put out a request, or “Callout” for proposals.
KindleArts is also open to proposals for new and unique events which support our mission, as long as they’re not too close to the dates of our primary events.
Example of past events include:
- Fall Event (Prom Decom 2012, PJ Planet 2013, Portraits in Fur 2014, Brave New Whirled 2017, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot 2018)
- Spring Event (Carnivale 2009 – 2012, Springle 2016, In My Backyard 2018)
Historically, Kindle Arts operated a process of issuing callouts for the Otherworld event, but discontinued that between 2018 and 2019, as Otherworld transitioned to a multi-producer production group, and established a new process suited to the complexity of organizing an event at Otherworld’s scale.
Event Proposal Requirements
If you would like to coordinate a KindleArts event, please read the event requirements below. All events produced by KindleArts must meet these requirements.
KindleArts events are:
- Operated for the benefit of the society and its members as a whole.
- Produced by a team of unpaid volunteers.
– Limited paid staff such as medical, security, and bar staff is acceptable.
- Paid for by everyone who attends a ticketed event. At ticketed events there are no free (“compd”) tickets to anyone. This includes the event leadership, volunteers, and performers
- Participation-based, where all attendees are invited to contribute to the operation of the event.
- Focused on art, preferably in multiple forms, in alignment with the mission of the KindleArts Society.
- Operated in accordance with the society’s Operating Principles.
- Guided by the Society Values.
- Compliant with all applicable laws.
- Incorporates knowledge and design aesthetic as found on the Kindle Arts Branding Guidelines page.
- Ideally generate a surplus of revenues after expenses are paid, which will be used to support the goals of the society.
Kindle arts will supply:
- Technology and financial systems, including budget templates
- Initial funding in an amount that is viable for the organization
- Assistance negotiating contracts with a venue if required
- Callout for proposals published: The callout will include specific event criteria and a proposal submission deadline.
- Proposal deadline expires: Deadlines are firm. No new proposals will be accepted after the due date.
- Proposal reviews begin: The board will review the proposals using the Event Proposal Selection criteria listed below. The board may seek clarification or may choose to interview you to better understand your process and/or application.
- Proposal is selected.
- Applicants notified.
- Selected proposal and Event Coordinator announced.
Event Proposal Selection Criteria
When answering a callout for event proposals, please keep in mind that this is a collaborative process. Applicants may be asked to work with the board, or with other applicants to create a successful event. For example, the board may be really enthused by your idea, but feel it would work better as a part of a larger event.
Your application must show:
- That you are prepared to meet the challenges of operating the event.
- That you have read previous event Afterburn reports and are willing to improve an event by considering the feedback of previous Event Leadership teams.
- An understanding of the needs, abilities, and limitations of the community.
- An ability to work collaboratively with the Board, as well as Associate Producers, Team Leads, volunteers, security, medical, and other event staff.
- Uniqueness and creativity. Make us excited to attend and contribute!
The following qualities are highly valued by the Board of Directors and will influence the event leadership selection process:
- Inspiring : A leader inspires others.
- Collaborative : A leader collaborates with all key-stakeholders on any issue.
- Actively Listening and Communicating : A leader actively listens to others’ ideas and communicates timely and important information.
- Accountable : A leader is accountable, reliable and follows-through on commitments.
- Self-Aware : A leader is self-aware of their abilities, development, and communication.
- Patient : A leader is patient with themselves and others.
- Appreciative : A leader shows appreciation to everyone who contributed to a particular project or idea.
- Acts with Integrity : A leader has personal integrity and is honest, ethical and professional.
- Emotionally Intelligent : A leader is in touch with their emotions, strengths, weaknesses, drives, values and goals and recognizes their impact on others. An emotionally intelligent leader also displays empathy for others.
- Comfortable in the Gray Areas : A leader has the ability to navigate issues that do not have a clear-cut solution by using intuition, collaboration and mindfulness.
- Looks for Greatest Benefit vs. The Immediate Goal : A leader is focused on the maximum benefit for the community, as opposed to personal or short-term gains.
- Perceives the Big Picture : A leader is focused on seeing the largest possible perspective of any particular project, and communicates this vision to others on the team.
- Leads by Example : A leader is someone who leads by example, and is not afraid to get their hands dirty in the process.
- Leaves Ego Behind : A leader acts in service to our community rather than for person gain.
- Open to New Ideas : A leader is someone who is open to new ideas.
- Curious : A leader suspends assumptions and judgment and brings inquiry and curiosity into everything they do.
- Fun: A leader knows how to make work fun for everyone involved.
If you have an idea for an event or are interested in being an Event Coordinator, please review the role description. Event Production and leadership experience in this role is preferred but not always necessary.
To submit an application to be an Event Coordinator with any event, please submit an event application.
Historical Event Leadership Organization Chart for Smaller Events
This chart dates from the pre-2020s from a time when Otherworld was much smaller. It features the transition point from a single-doarch that was responsible for most things (a typical very-small event scale) to the multi-producer model. It features decentralized decision-making, to encourage more inclusive event organization, and to empower each Associate Producer and Team Lead to lead collaboratively and creatively.
The Board of Directors recognizes that each event is unique and some roles may be expanded or collapsed when needed. For very small events, we recommend collapsing the middle layer of departments and selecting only the key roles the team actually requires.
If you are interested in a different role within the Event Leadership team each event requires Associate Producers and Team Leads. Read about the different roles available.
Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.