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  • 7 Dec 2019 12:50 PM | Anonymous


    In our last blog post, we discussed six ways that attendees can be made to feel uncomfortable at nude events. In this post, we wanted to talk specifically about how we strive to handle the reporting and management of potentially inappropriate conduct at Calgary Nude Recreation events.

    What happens if I offend someone? Or have a report against me?

    We look at each incident on a case by case basis with heavy emphasis on whether the conduct, actions, or words negatively impacted someone else’s experience. Very little weight is placed on stated intentions, because in every situation we’ve had to deal with the stated intentions were innocent.

    CNR prefers people correcting their own behavior over us having to take punitive actions. That means we identify the person involved and then offer a conversation on which actions were not appropriate and how to handle similar future scenarios.

    CNR prefers to address issues early; if someone is making another person feel uncomfortable, whether it be not picking up on obvious social cues or anything else, then they are probably making others feel the same way. Reporting these “grey area” situations will likely not get anyone kicked out. Membership revocation will be considered if there have been failed attempts to discuss and alter the behaviour, or for intentional acts intended to negatively impact others.

    Am I a bad person if you have to talk to me?

    No, we are going to assume you are likely not a bad person. It is unfair to expect someone to know what everyone else finds offensive or unsettling in every situation. Part of being a reasonable adult is understanding when your actions negatively impact others (regardless of your intentions) and modifying your behavior to accommodate those around you in a healthy way.

    If you can be open to the possibility that you might not have done anything wrong, but your actions may still be unwelcome, then the issue will likely end with a conversation. We are far less interested in finding blame than we are in ensuring our guests all remain safe and comfortable at our events.

    Am I a bad person if I report someone else?

    Absolutely not! Its normal to not want to get someone “in trouble”, and our aim is not to go around punishing people for no reason. Pointing someone out to us allows us to address that person’s behavior, monitor that they aren’t negatively impacting others, and ensure they improve.

    It is best if you can inform a CNR volunteer during the event so we can identify the person and address the situation. It is incredibly difficult to positively identify one of 100 attendees after the event has ended, let alone have a conversation with them.

    By notifying us about small issues you are helping everyone feel more comfortable.


    For more on our journey to arrive at this approach, including the professional training we took, see our blog post on Safer Spaces at Nude Events. If there is anything you think we could improve, or have questions about our procedures, please email CalgaryNudeRecreation@gmail.com.


  • 7 Dec 2019 12:45 PM | Anonymous


    It’s no secret that in the absence of gender caps, women tend to be underrepresented at nude events. Here at Calgary Nude Recreation, we have chosen to avoid discriminatory gender caps and instead focus on creating a comfortable, welcoming environment for all people.

    As a man who has been involved in the social nudity scene for many years, I do not believe that most men intend to make others feel uncomfortable. However, deliberate or not, it still happens. The point of this post is not to point blame, but to walk through some common scenarios and tips to ensure we are creating open and comfortable spaces for female attendees.

    Note: Why didn’t you have a woman write this article?  We were specifically asked by a female member to write this from a man’s perspective. If you would like to offer additional commentary, we always welcome guest submissions at CalgaryNudeRecreation@gmail.com.

    1. Prolonged staring, especially outside of eye level

    This one is pretty obvious on the list of inappropriate behavior. Staring makes people feel uncomfortable while clothed, so imagine how much worse it can be when naked. If you are in a situation where maintaining eye contact would be awkward (i.e. not in a conversation with the person), then don’t stare at them. If you are in a conversation, then you should maintain healthy eye contact. Keeping your gaze at eye level at all times is a good habit to have.

    If you really find it difficult to control your gaze, science has shown that engaging your mind with a simple math problem (e.g. adding up the digits in your phone number) can help you refocus so you can remind yourself to look elsewhere.

    2. Unwanted conversation

    We want everyone to feel like this is a welcoming environment where it’s possible to meet new people. We also don’t want anyone to feel like they’re being pulled into unwanted conversations.

    So how do you know if the other person actually wants to talk to you, or is just being polite? If you are unsure, my advice is to limit conversation to 30-60 seconds.

    After about a minute, plan to move on and tell them that you are going to try the blue waterslide (or go over to the hot tub, or into the pool, etc.) and see if they want to join. If they accept, you’re good to move on and continue your conversation. If they decline, you’ve got an easy way to remove yourself from the conversation and move elsewhere.

    If they state that they are leaving to go down the blue slide (or over to the tub tub, or into the pool, etc.) without explicitly inviting you, that’s a sign they do not wish to continue the conversation. DO NOT FOLLOW THEM.

    3. Inappropriate body language

    Like it or not, certain body parts can still convey a sexual or threatening tone, even while nude. Body language plays a large part in this. Consider the following people sitting, but imagine them naked on the edge of the hot tub:

    Neutral ways of sitting Inappropriate way of sitting
       


    Be mindful of which attributes you’re putting “on display”. If your penis or anus are front-and-centre, or if you’re doing anything to accentuate or draw attention to them (including cock rings), it’s not helping to create a welcoming environment for anyone else.

    Other poses to avoid while at nude events:

       

    4. Touching yourself

    No matter how innocent it might be intended, there is something incredibly unsettling about a man touching his penis while looking at you or talking to you. Scratching, stretching, and stroking are all on this list. I feel very unsettled experiencing that as a man, and can only imagine how much worse it could be as a woman. Always be mindful of where your hands are and consciously avoid the urge to scratch that itch within the vicinity of others.

    5. Awkward "compliments"

    This can sometimes be a struggle to understand, because a compliment is inherently nice, and why would something nice ever be unwelcome? The challenge lies in when compliments become creepy or vaguely threatening, which often involve referencing someone’s appearance who you don’t know well.

     Awkward/Creepy Compliments Neutral Compliments 
    - You are very beautiful
    - You have a pretty smile
    - I love your eyes
    - I think it's cool that you did __
    - That's a really nice towel
    - I like how passionate you are about __

    If you’re having a hard time understanding the difference, imagine the biggest, burliest biker guy saying them to you. If the thought of that man in a leather jacket, leaning off his motorcycle to tell you that “you’ve got a pretty smile” feels somewhat unsettling, it’s likely going to be received the same way by a woman you don’t know.

    6. Not accepting straightforward requests

    Nude resorts and events are often open to all like-minded people. A byproduct of being inclusive is not screening by age, sexuality, race, socio-economic status, or physical ability, which means that attendees come from incredibly diverse backgrounds and life experiences. What may be harmless to you might be offensive or uncomfortable to someone else. If someone mentions that some part of your conduct or behaviour is not appreciated, just respect that person’s request.

    You are not a dick if you aren’t able to read someone else’s mind, but you ARE a dick if you choose to continue your conduct once you have been informed.

    Saying “I was just trying to be nice/friendly/etc.” is not necessary as it tries to turn the situation around on the other person and make them feel bad for speaking up. Simply thank the person for letting you know and move on.


    It shows tremendous character to recognize when we’ve done something that negatively impacts others, and to make changes to try and make things better. I hope this post helps you identify problematic behaviours in yourself or those close to you. I hope it encourages men to be good allies by both consciously creating comfortable spaces around us and to speak up when we witness something inappropriate.

    If you are a member of Calgary Nude Recreation, check out Part 2 of this post where we discuss how we strive to handle guest conduct at our events.

  • 27 Nov 2019 9:06 AM | Anonymous

    The following is a Guest Blog written by an organizer of Calgary Nude Recreation.

    You may have caught an article last month on the one-night-only pop-up art exhibit featuring 15 nude portraits of men from Calgary’s arts and music scene. From the art director behind the series, titled "Unmanned":

    “Women are far more often the subjects when we talk about the nude throughout history—in sculpture, painting, photography,” said Rebecca White. “We wanted to use the male body, be it cis male or trans male, as our subjects for this series, and to put their bodies into positions or settings that begged the question: ‘What makes a nude sexual?’ while also highlighting the varied beauty of the male form.”

    Intrigued, I attended the basement exhibition with several friends and was pleasantly surprised to see the venue jam packed. The photographs lined the perimeter of the space, each one authentic, vulnerable, and thought-provoking. Many of the “models” were there, cheerfully mingling and showing off their nude portraits to friends and family.

    Two observations struck me about the exhibit. The first was the live, grassroots, real level of support which “unusual” things can garner in Calgary. Far too often I hear Calgarians say “Oh, I think that’s a great idea, but it’ll never work in CAL-GARY!” It’s awesome to see unusual things being successfully executed in our city.

    The second observation is a broader conversation about context and the value judgments we as a society ascribe to largely similar actions. Take a nude selfie? You’re a narcissist and asking for it if that picture ever gets leaked. Have someone else take the photo? Let’s put it on the wall and pay $8 to go see it! There are similar thought patterns around nude recreation that we are always looking to explore and deconstruct.

    Overall, the evening was a great testament to the fact it is possible for anyone to create spaces in Calgary where nudity is normal without interference from those who believe bodies are something to be ashamed of. I applaud the art director, photographer, and local men who took part in this project for starting a conversation that can help normalize nudity both for men, and for Calgary.

    Have something to say?  Email your pitch to CalgaryNudeRecreation@gmail.com

  • 8 Oct 2019 10:46 AM | Anonymous

    Earlier this year, members of the CNR Advisory Committee attended a training session regarding safe spaces. The session was hosted by the Calgary Sexual Health Centre Training and Professional Development team. The objective of this session was to ensure we are doing everything possible to ensure our events are welcoming to all interested people (regardless of sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation) and that we have adequate policies and procedures to respond to any issues that may occur at an event.

    The first thing we learned was that the correct terminology is “safer spaces”, not “safe spaces”. Many of us had been burdened by the assumption that doing right by offering a “safe space” would transfer accountability of all participants behaviour to the organizers. It was a relief to learn there is an understanding that no one can ever guarantee a place is 100% safe, because it is understood that organizers cannot control the actions of others. Learning this helped us to settle into the session and hear what came next.

    Overall, while many of the concepts emphasized (including boundaries, inclusivity, and intolerance of harassment) are already part of our “DNA”, we came away with some areas of focus to analyze to ensure we are meeting the needs of all members and meeting our objectives around inclusivity.

    During the workshop, we had some interesting moments trying to “bridge the gap” between the training material originally developed for a corporate audience, and our reality of an organization that enables strangers to get naked together. In many ways, it was reassuring to hear that the language we already use, and the processes we already have in place, help to ensure our events are welcoming to all people. While a workplace may be struggling with which sign to put on which bathroom to be inclusive, the fact that all attendees use the same change room at our events is inclusive by default.

    Something that has always been top-of-mind for CNR organizers is the rules we set around dress code and how that applies to women versus men, and how to provide accommodation for non-binary individuals. While the rule since the beginning has always had clarification for those who’s “gender falls between”, we learned more about the differences between sex and gender, and the correct terminology. We concluded (with the help of the facilitators) that the core intention of the policy is right, and we have worked to update the website and policies to reflect consistent terminology.

    In terms of changes to existing policies and procedures, the biggest suggestion was to move from a “crime and punishment” model (how our current policies were interpreted by the facilitators) to that of “restorative justice”. After nearly 24 months of events, we agree with the notion that most issues stem from ignorance rather than intentional malice, so are currently discussing ways to make this shift.

    One of the small changes you may have noticed is a new gender-inclusive sign which we now post over the “mens” graphic on the change room entrance. We hope this helps reinforce our commitment to inclusivity. 

    At the end of the day, the core objective of offering a “safer space” is for all persons to feel welcome, to feel included, and to feel that any acts of discrimination or harassment will not be tolerated by the group. We hope that our general Membership Terms, event regulations, and overall language make this clear. If there is anything you think we could improve, or have any questions about our policies, please email CalgaryNudeRecreation@gmail.com or reach out via Facebook Messenger.



  • 22 Sep 2019 6:45 PM | Anonymous


    Earlier this summer, Calgary Nude Recreation published our analysis on the “legality” of outdoor nude recreation in Canada. Utilizing the approach outlined, we are happy to say that we successfully held several “pop-up” events at public locations in and around Calgary from June to September 2019.

    In each case, we explored and previewed multiple sites/trails to find the optimal location. Relevant authorities were made aware well in advance of our intention to use the site, when we would be there, and how to get a hold of us if required.

    Nude Recreation Pop-up Activations

    Naked Hikes

    Other than weather-related challenges, each event was successful with a good cross-section of attendees, and no complaints or issues from the general public. The largest turnout was over 60 people at the beach day on August 2. Hikes were generally timed to avoid passing other hikers, and those likely to interact with us were chatted with in advance. While invited by us, law enforcement did not check in on any event. Attendees had a great time working on our tans and chatting with other attendees.


    Calgary’s existing nude beach

    The “unofficial” nude beach at the far west end of Weaselhead Natural Area was not utilized by Calgary Nude Recreation in an official capacity this summer, although individual members have reported typical attendance levels on nice days. We continue to believe this site is dangerous to access and has limited viability once the southwest ring road opens, which is why we chose three new sites for our pop-up events.

    A permanent nude beach for Calgary?

    Calgary Nude Recreation believes it is deeply unfortunate that Calgary is one of the only cities on the list of Most Livable without a sanctioned clothing-optional recreation area. If you agree, please ensure you communicate this to your councillor and request clothing-optional recreation options whenever relevant at engage.calgary.ca.

    CNR strives to continue working towards a designated clothing optional area, though we have demonstrated that any quiet place can be legal and practical to use for the practice of naturism.

    The Perfect Location?

    Each of the sites utilized for pop-up beach days have their pros and cons. Thanks to limited sight lines, accessible water, and appropriate scale, our favourite was the Glenmore Dam location. Unfortunately, water contamination makes this location problematic.

    We are always on the lookout for great locations. Please email us any locations you believe to be suitable. You can reach us at CalgaryNudeRecreation@Gmail.com

    We understand how important the establishment of a designated site is to our members, but this isn’t a challenge we can take on alone. As posted earlier this summer, access to clothing-optional recreation is a cultural issue more than a legal one. More Canadians need to know the virtues of social nudity, and more importantly need to know that one or more of their friends, family, or coworkers are open to it too. Until this happens, negative stereotypes will continue to block our path.

    Thanks to everyone that joined us this summer! Our next swim is October 20th.


  • 23 Jul 2019 7:51 PM | Anonymous

    The following is a Guest Blog written by Melissa, a member of Calgary Nude Recreation.  

    Thinking back on my attitude towards nudity, I didn’t feel shameful about my body until I entered junior high. Dress codes started to be enforced and I learned that not only was my body shameful, it was also dangerous. My body had the power to distract male teachers and my male peers. This “distraction”, I learned, was something to do with sex and it was my responsibility to keep my body hidden lest something bad happen to me. This nebulous connection between showing skin and having sex never did make sense to me. I didn’t understand as a young girl how showing skin meant you were “asking for it”. I thought about how baring my navel or my cleavage made me “slutty”, while the boys could play shirts vs. skins during gym class. I always thought it was strange how seeing my upper thigh could fill a man’s head with lustful ideas, somehow making it impossible for him to function, yet I could watch the boys run around in just shorts and be completely unaffected. As I grew up with my “dangerous body”, hidden under layers of clothing, I asked myself why exactly was I so ashamed of something that was intrinsically part of who I was?

    I came to realize that policing my nudity had very little to do with keeping me safe from men and everything to do with causing shame and fear in order to exert control and deny me bodily autonomy. As I progressed into adulthood I wanted to take ownership over my body and make the meaning of my body relevant to me. I wanted to stop pandering to the expectations of modesty that I had railed against since I was young and start a new chapter of body acceptance.

    Fast forward to last year, a friend of mine invited me to join her and another friend at one of Calgary Nude Recreation’s wave pool events. Admittedly I did have some flashbacks to my youth and the warnings I’d received to “cover up”. I knew there would be a lot of people at the swim and I knew many of them would be men. Would my body incite a riot? Would I be blamed for causing “sinful thoughts”? Would I have to leave before I tempted the wrong person with my immodesty? The shame came rushing back, anxiety washed over me, over my body. My body that has climbed mountains, held loved ones, and continues to enable me to live my life to the fullest. My beautiful, imperfectly perfect body that should solely be my own.

    In this moment I knew I had a choice: to continue to uphold social norms that perpetuate the stigma that treats my curves and genitals as dirty objects to be fetishized OR to reject social norms completely and embrace my unabashedly female presenting form. Needless to say, I went to the swim.

    Here I was, completely naked around all genders, including men, and guess what?

    Nothing bad happened! No one made me feel uncomfortable, commented on my body, or acted as if they couldn’t control themselves around my naked female form. I truly felt free from the constraints of shame and from the societal boogeyman of the “immodest woman”.

    Seeing so many other nude bodies interacting in non-intimate ways was so refreshing. I felt less self-conscious while nude then I did with clothes on! Seeing real naked people who were as perfectly imperfect as me was eye opening. Seeing men and women interact with each other without sexual connotation was liberating. Being able to escape our hyper-sexualized world even for a few hours made my brief initial discomfort worth it. My experiences with social nudity have now allowed me to feel worry-free that this body could incite disaster at any moment. I can now spend time with the people around me knowing that my unclothed body is not a danger to them or to myself.

    Social nudity allowed me to feel less like an object and more like a person. I stopped identifying my nudity as a weapon or as something dangerous. I no longer let society dictate how I feel about my body; I no longer regulate the showing of my skin to “protect” others.

    I will not let someone else define my body’s intent or alienate me from my bodily autonomy ever again. Engaging in social nudity may not be ground-breaking for some, but for me it has helped build confidence and develop self-acceptance. Social nudity has disproven a harmful and damaging misconception about my body that has followed me since childhood.

    The weaponization of my naked form is something I will no longer allow, and I am grateful that Calgary Nude Recreation has provided such an amazing community for those of us looking to take back our bodies for ourselves.

    Cover image developed from a photograph by Filip Filipović from Pixabay.

    Have something to say?  Email your pitch to CalgaryNudeRecreation@gmail.com.  

  • 10 Jun 2019 11:00 AM | Anonymous


    Nude Recreation in Canada – What’s the Deal?

    The following provides an overview of the current legal status of nude recreation in Canada.  It is intended to enable our members (and others) to understand the law and any risks they may be assuming by participating in nude or nearly-nude recreation.

    The Legal Review

    The CNR Legal Fund was used earlier this year to retain the services of a constitutional law firm to develop an opinion on whether naturism is lawful.  We were pleasantly surprised to find out that the law is mostly on our side already, at least in the context of hypothetical activities taking place in secluded parts of national and provincial parks.

    We have developed the following beliefs by building on the opinion developed by the law firm, reviewing the case law cited, analyzing newer decisions concerning nudity, and evaluating media coverage on recent cases involving nudity in Canada.  Please note that the following should not be interpreted as legal advice.

    The Criminal Code Statute on Nudity

    Section 174 of the Criminal Code of Canada addresses the offence of nudity.  It is reproduced here in its entirety:

    Nudity

    ·         174 (1) Every one who, without lawful excuse,

    (a) is nude in a public place, or

    (b) is nude and exposed to public view while on private property, whether or not the property is his own,

    is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

    ·         Nude

    (2) For the purposes of this section, a person is nude who is so clad as to offend against public decency or order.

    ·         Consent of Attorney General

    (3) No proceedings shall be commenced under this section without the consent of the Attorney General.

     

    Let’s chop up the statute and walk through each component of the law.  

       (a) is nude in a public place,

    This is fairly black and white.  Nude means to be wearing no clothes.  A public place is defined in s. 150 of the Criminal Code to “include any place to which the public have access as of right or by invitation, express or implied”.  It’s a very broad definition, but it doesn’t matter much because the next section also extends to private property.

    (b) is nude and exposed to public view while on private property, whether or not the property is his own,

    This is also fairly black and white.  It should spark some thought, as it makes it illegal to walk through your house naked unless all windows are fully and completely covered.

    (2) For the purposes of this section, a person is nude who is so clad as to offend against public decency or order.

    This is a deeming provision that brings additional conduct under the purview of section 174.  Specifically, you do not need to be “wearing no clothes” to be charged under s.174 anymore.  Wearing a jockstrap, thong, hat, or shoes could now be illegal – if wearing it offends against public decency or public order.

    against public decency

    There is a well-understood legal test that is applied to determine whether conduct offends public decency.  We don’t need to get into details, because the good news is that multiple cases have confirmed that nudity without a sexual component cannot be immoral or indecent behavior.

    against public order

    This creates a second path to guilt for “partial nudity” cases and addresses the social norm of “peaceableness” and concepts like the “Queen’s Peace”.  The test for this falls more specifically on the exact details of a situation and whether an actual disturbance of the peace occurred. 

    ·         174 (1) Every one who, without lawful excuse,

    This is where the law gets even more complicated, because there’s a giant “get out of jail free” card in the first sentence. 

    Lawful excuse is not comprehensively defined, but rather evolves over time based on case law and the circumstances of the moment.  The introduction of the “lawful excuse” provision introduces the opportunity for a defendant to provide evidence that could meet “an air of reality threshold test” and therefore allow an acquittal.

    Specific examples of valid lawful excuses cited in two s.174 decisions have included not being disorderly along with an absence of indecency or immorality; legitimate theatrical performance; escaping from a house on fire; or modelling in a lecture hall for art students.  It has also been implied that a genuine form of self-expression while nude could engage s. 2(b) of the Charter, providing another path to lawful excuse.

    It is also worth noting that the actions of local government authorities to permit/authorize clothing-optional recreation (for example at Wreck Beach in Vancouver or Halan’s Point in Toronto) appear to be accepted lawful excuses via the absence of examples of participants being charged under s.174.  Nude participation in events like the World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR) or Toronto Pride Parade also appear to be accepted lawful excuses.

    is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

    A “summary conviction” is a less serious offense than an indictable offence.  Finger prints do not need to be provided when charged under summary conviction, and there is a 6 month limitation period to being charged.  The maximum penalty is a sentence of 6 months of imprisonment, a fine of $5000, or both.  There is no minimum penalty, and there are limitations on whether you can be arrested without a warrant for offenses punishable on summary conviction. 

    (3) No proceedings shall be commenced under this section without the consent of the Attorney General.

    Finally, this last line helps bring everything into context.  No one may be charged without the consent of the Attorney General.  (In Alberta, that’s now Doug Schweitzer).  There are only a few laws that also contain this provision, and they tend to concern statutes which may infringe in unique ways on personal liberties, or could allow the law to be used in a situation it was not originally intended. 

    The Attorney General has previously told us they cannot speculate on whether they would or would not grant consent – it would depend on the specific scenario under investigation.

    So is it Legal?

    It is the position of CNR that nude (or nearly-nude) activities, which take place in a calm and deliberate manner, in a contextually appropriate location, are unlikely to initiate an aggressive response by law enforcement.

    Contextually Appropriate

    CNR considers two factors when broadly defining contextually appropriate:

    1. The activity has a strong connection to the values and practice of naturism.  This would almost always involve the activity taking place in nature.
    2. The impact to other members of the public have been considered, and reasonable attempts have been taken (or are willing to be taken) to minimize negative impacts or outcomes.

      A previous case has definitively established that “flaunting” nudity in an effort to shock is contrary to the naturist philosophy and can sustain a conviction under the breach to public order section s.174(2). 

      Cultural versus Legal

      Despite the specific scenarios that have been carved out as very likely being “lawful”, it is important to acknowledge the cultural component of nudity.  Even though women have been allowed to be topless in Canada since 1996, this is still a very rare practice.  In fact, a recent Facebook poll asking “Is it against the law for a woman to be topless in public, in Calgary?” garnered 3.3K responses, with 47% incorrectly answering it is against the law. 

      News media has not been particularly helpful to the practice of naturism.  As a topic that tends to generate a disproportionate number of clicks, the media pumps public nudity with edgy puns and cheeky references.  This tends to skew the public perception for what is acceptable, both legally and socially.

      We believe that cultural issues (i.e. a perceived lack of legality) are far more likely to cause issues than actual legal proceedings for contextually appropriate nudity. 

      Law Enforcement

      It is the belief of CNR that police have a mandate to keep the peace.  The police do not want to deal with problems.  We believe that contextually appropriate naturist activities would not constitute a problem.

      To paraphrase a Calgary Police officer when asked about this topic, “If I’m not dealing with a situation where someone is dying and have time to respond to people skinny dipping in the river, then I’m having a pretty good day”.  It is notable that he also commented that trying such a thing on a crowded beach would garner a vastly different response than a quiet section of river.

      Don’t Ask, Do Tell

      After nearly 18 months of progress, CNR has settled on an approach with law enforcement we call “Don’t Ask, Do Tell”.  This approach:

      1. Relies on the Legal Opinion and further analysis as correctly classifying naturism as a lawful activity, and implicitly believes internal reviews by government/law enforcement legal council is concluding the same.
      2. Understands that a permit would almost certainly grant the “lawful excuse” to be solidly within the law.  
      3. Accepts that culturally, it is not realistic in 2019 to ask a government official to put their job/reputation on the line by granting us a permit.
      4. Accepts that those who wish to participate in social nudity have a level of responsibility to prove CONTEXTUALLY APPROPRIATE naturism can peacefully co-exist in public areas without issue.
      5. Builds personal relationships with local law enforcement/government authorities and demonstrates proactive accountability for our conduct with those authorities.

      Don’t Ask, Do Tell involves notifying the relevant authorities as to the time and location of our activities well ahead of time.  This notification includes multiple methods of contacting us.  We will continue to notify the relevant authorities as to our activities until our activities are so mundane that they do not wish to hear from us any longer.

      This approach was used successfully on June 9, 2019 in the Rocky Mountains with no intervention required by local law enforcement, park conservation officers, or other government employees. (Yes, its a bit early in the season still)

      Law Enforcement Interactions with Respect to Nudity

      We believe that all requests by law enforcement should be complied with.  If we are asked to get dressed, we will get dressed.  It’s pertinent to remember naturism is new to a lot of people, and it is reasonable that people err on the cautious side with unfamiliar topics. 

      When people are charged criminally for being nude in public, the arrest and criminal charges seem to come after other solutions fail to garner the desired results (usually the desired result is the person getting and staying dressed).  We believe that legal repercussions are unlikely if all requests by law enforcement are immediately complied with.

      Utilizing the relationships developed under the Don’t Ask, Do Tell model, we will follow up with the relevant administration to ensure future issues are minimized. 

      Conclusion

      The law on nudity in Canada is inherently complicated, providing several distinct avenues for conviction along with a largely undefined clause which negates the offence entirely.  Consent of the Attorney General is required to commence proceedings.

      Case law provides a handful of examples of the factors considered in previous judgments regarding charges under s.174.  While there are several encouraging conclusions, every situation is different and case law cannot guarantee a particular future outcome. 

      With proper etiquette, and general courtesy to those concerned by our form of recreation, we do not believe legitimate and contextually appropriate naturism should cause any legal problems.  The law will likely fail to be on our side if we are disrespectful or confrontational with our nudity.  Failure to comply with law enforcement requests can also result in undesirable outcomes.

      Calgary Nude Recreation looks forward to practicing naturism in ways we believe are already allowed by law, which can help advance the cultural issues surrounding social nudity and help promote the values of body-positivity and self-expression.  We appreciate all those who join us in our advocacy efforts.  We are changing Canadian culture for the better, and having fun doing it.  Thank you for being a part of it!

      Appendix: Select cases & articles reviewed in developing this opinion

      R. v. Coldin, [2012] O.J. No. 1009

      R. v. Benolkin, [1977] S.J. No. 211

      R. v. Shaver, 2019 ONCJ 269

      R. v. Verrette, [1978] 2 SCR 838

      Recent nudity cases where charges have not been laid under s.174: 

      https://www.tbnewswatch.com/around-ontario/ontario-man-arrested-for-meditating-nude-in-guelph-park-says-he-was-just-trying-to-express-himself-1018132

      https://calgaryherald.com/pmn/news-pmn/canada-news-pmn/trial-set-for-man-accused-of-swimming-naked-in-toronto-shark-tank


    • 2 Jan 2019 10:00 AM | Anonymous

      Happy Nude Year!

      We hope you had a nice holiday season, and best wishes for a happy 2019!

      Membership Renewals

      February 1, 2019 marks the one-year anniversary of Calgary Nude Recreation in its current form. This means our earliest memberships are coming up for renewal. Rates remain unchanged for 2019, so $10 will renew your membership for another year and allow you to continue to access event details and registration. Memberships can be renewed by logging into your member profile at calgarynuderecreation.ca

      A sincere thank you to everyone for supporting us from the start!

      New Year, New Guest Options

      We had a blast in 2018, and we’re looking forward to making things even better this year. One of the changes is to enable members to bring friends/partners/etc who may be interested in CNR, but aren’t yet ready to buy a membership.

      After a successful trial at Volleyball, members are now allowed to pre-register and pay for guests at Wave Pool events.

      • Guests are required to adhere to the dress code of the event
      • Members remain accountable for the conduct of their guests
      • Guests must present current government-issued Photo ID at check-in, matching the pre-registration.
      • Guests must check-in with the member who registered them

      Dress Code Updates

      Calgary Nude Recreation was founded with a vision of normalizing human bodies and providing access to body-positive events for the widest audience possible. One of the methods we will be using in 2019 is that certain events will be designated “clothing-optional” instead of “nude-mandatory”. CNR's very first swim in November 2017, the beach day in June, camping in September, and Beach Volleyball in November were all successful clothing-optional events.

      With no expectation of personal nudity, clothing-optional events allow people the opportunity to see our values in action with their own eyes. We encourage anyone who appreciates our values to join us. While some people prefer all-nude events for their first plunge, we also recognize that others prefer to remain in full control of their bodies and process our values at their own pace.

      It is incredibly important to us that all attendees feel fully welcome, regardless of how much they choose to wear.  Please note that it is not appropriate to comment on the amount of clothing worn (or not worn) by any member, guest, or staff member at any event.

      The first clothing-optional event of 2019 will be at the wave pool in February. We hope that you (and your friends) can join us! Registration will open approximately 30 days before the event.



    • 7 Nov 2018 9:51 PM | Anonymous

      Closure on the naked hike aspirations

      Earlier this year, we shared that we had applied to access Crown Land, surrounded by a grazing lease, for a naked hike. Our desire to access this site stemmed from the fact that because it can only be accessed via a grazing lease, we had a reasonable expectation of privacy and no risk of being seen by “the public”.

      Unfortunately, under Alberta Government regulations dating back to the mid-2000s leaseholders are permitted to deny access whenever livestock is present. This decision was upheld in appeal, but if anyone has their snowshoes we’ve been told we are welcome in the winter when the cattle aren’t present.

      We will continue to advocate for lawful access to outdoor recreation opportunities whenever we can.

      New Event - Naked Beach Volleyball

      We are thrilled to have secured access to a new space on a new night! Naked Beach Volleyball + Activities takes place in less than three weeks on Saturday November 24. First - we want to emphasize the “+ Activities” part of the event description. You do not need to play volleyball to attend. We also have naked beach frisbee, naked beach dodgeball, naked beach sandcastles, and naked socializing.

      Since this is a new space, we are excited to have the opportunity to try some suggestions from our members:

      1. Guests are allowed at this event, if registered by an existing member. (The same ID requirements as members will apply).
      2. Attendees are welcomed to wear whatever they are comfortable with. We know there are thousands of people who really want to try one of our events, but aren’t ready to commit to being immediately naked. This event is a chance to see what social nudity is all about and how liberating it really is!

      Note that due to venue capacity, there is a hard cap of 100 attendees for this event. Please consider registering ASAP if you would like to attend.

      Missed out on the October swim?

      The last naked swim of 2018 will occur on Sunday November 17. Our October swim sold out, but there is a way to avoid that situation! If we are close to capacity at least a week before the event, we can hire more lifeguards to allow more attendees. Please consider registering sooner rather than later if you are planning to attend.

      Event Ideas?

      We have to admit we’re both excited (a little bit jealous) that our friends to the north recently announced nude indoor mini-golf and a nude virtual reality (VR) night. They’re even trying to break the Guinness Book of World Records for nude mini-golf!

      If you have any suggestions for events you’d like to see in Calgary (or have a connection with a local business), please let us know!

      -The CNR Team


    • 17 Sep 2018 8:21 PM | Anonymous


      In doing research for our upcoming legal challenge in support of Naturism in Canada, we came across something quite amazing from the United Kingdom. Earlier this year, British Naturism, working with the College of Policing, had the Policing Manual updated to include new direction on public nudity and the clear conclusion that non-sexual nudity is lawful. From the preamble (emphasis added):

      In the lawful situation where there is an absence of any sexual context in relation to nudity and where the person does not intend the behaviour to be, and is not aware that it may be disorderly, it will not be appropriate to take any police action.

      The British Naturism legal team has written a detailed blog post on how they were able to achieve this. We at CNR love the approach as it worked respectfully and constructively with key stakeholders to align on a new interpretation of the law, that was then communicated nationally and in a consistent manner.

      Check out the resulting UK College of Policing briefing note (and handy flow charts) here.


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