Saturday, 21 March 2015

Long-term Campsite Policy Change


We are sorry to announce that, effective immediately, we will no longer be assigning long-term campsites. The waiting list has been discontinued. Any long-term site that is relinquished will become a short-term campsite. All projects that contribute to making campsites more usable for long-term stays have been stopped. Members with an existing long-term agreement will still be allowed to sell their trailer with the site if the new site-holders qualify for membership. But any potential purchaser will be subject to increased scrutiny.

The reason for this is that an individual, with the assistance of a few members, has made long-term campsites unsustainable.

How we got here is astonishing and almost unbelievable:
  1. In the spring of 2013, Mr. X first came for a visit. Through the early summer of 2014, he made a few short stays. He seemed quiet and relatively well-behaved.
  2. In August of 2013 he applied for membership and asked for a long-term campsite. Because none were available, he asked to be placed on the waiting list and took an unserviced campsite. We confirmed that he had a permanent residence and he agreed, like everyone else,  to use his campsite only for recreational purposes.
  3. In the late summer and fall of 2013, we received a number of complaints about his behaviour. Through the winter of 2013-2014, it became obvious that he was using his RV as his permanent residence.
  4. In the spring of 2014, we informed Mr. X that we would not be renewing his campsite. He asked for a weeks to make alternate arrangements and we agreed.
  5. After seeing two promised departure dates pass, we served Mr. X with a no trespass notice. When he still refused to leave, we called the police to have him removed. When the police arrived, the claimed protection under the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA).
  6. We were surprised given that we are very clear about the nature of Bare Oaks as a campground and that the RTA specifically excludes campgrounds. However, the police were unsure so they left it to us to clarify the situation with the Landlord Tenant Board (LTB).
  7. We filed with the LTB and received a hearing date four weeks later. We hired one of the two top RTA lawyers in Ontario to put together the argument.
  8. On the day of the hearing, we were surprised to see members Y and Z present with Mr. X. In fact, he did not speak. Member Y did all of the speaking for him and presented a rather misleading interpretation of the situation at Bare Oaks. Even more surprising, the adjudicator did not seem particularly interested in hearing our lawyer's arguments. She asked a lot of questions and issued a temporary order giving Mr. X full access to all facilities while she made her decision.
  9. Nearly 4 weeks later, she issued an order giving Mr. X the full protection of the RTA and separated his campsite from membership. (over which she admitted the RTA has no authority) So effectively, Mr. X had the use of his campsite but no other facility because we withdrew his membership privileges.
  10. Our lawyer was astounded and we immediately filed an appeal with the LTB because he saw so many errors in law. But in an even more bewildering decision, the LTB denied our opportunity to appeal. We then filed an appeal with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. But having already spent thousands of dollars in legal fees and with an estimate from our lawyer of $20,000 to $30,000 and no guarantee of winning, we decided that abandoning the appeal was the most fiscally prudent direction.
  11. We were hoping that Mr. X would leave as soon as he could afford it given that his RV is not very comfortable in the winter. Unfortunately, member Y provided him with a much more comfortable place to live over the winter.
What does protection of the RTA means to Mr. X? It means that he can only be evicted if he fails to pay his "rent" or if he violates the law while on the property. He can be as rude as he wants. He can make statements and suggestions to women that are completely inconsistent with naturist principles. He can even do illegal things as long as he doesn't get caught and convicted for them.

But it is important to understand that he is also limited to his campsite, the road leading to it, the use of washrooms/showers and the office for administrative purposes. The LTB has stated that they have no jurisdiction on membership so it has been withdrawn. He has no legal access to the pool, saunas, hot tub, beach, outback, clubhouse, restaurant, etc...

Additionally, the LTB decision only applies to Mr. X. It is not biding on the park in general. But nothing prevents others from making similar claims. Given the experience of other campgrounds, not everyone would win but it is possible that some could have successes similar to Mr. X. He is not the first person to turn a campsite into a residence protected by the RTA. It all depends on the LTB adjudicator you get and how they interpret the RTA definitions.

For the benefit and enjoyment of everyone at Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park, we need to be able to easily and quickly enforce our rules. We need to ensure that we only include those who support naturist values. We need to be able to swiftly exclude individuals who make others uncomfortable or take away from the enjoyment of the park by others.

We have not given up. We are working on a number of solutions to ensure that we can maintain our naturist environment. This first step is hopefully a temporary one while we work on other solutions that will take a bit more time.

We apologize for bothering everyone with this issue. Normally, we deal with problem individuals quietly and directly. Members and visitors come to Bare Oaks to get away from life's problems and live the naturist life. They don't want to worry about operational issues and we do our best to insulate them from problems. Unfortunately, the current situation requires us to act in a manner that will have a negative impact on many people. We are truly sorry that it has come to this.


Photo by Amy Messere used under Creative Commons License.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

See Nude Art Nude

Nude painting of a woman sitting
Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park has worked with THEMUSEUM to organize a clothes-free evening in the Getting Naked exhibit of nude art on Friday, March 27, 2015 from 7pm to 10pm. You can buy your tickets here. If you want to use Facebook to invite others, here is the event. If you prefer Google+, here is the event.

By being nude themselves, the viewers will experience an atypical relationship with the art. No longer in a position of being a mere voyeurs, the exhibit guests will become part of the works themselves as they explore their own feelings in relation to the artists’ intent.

THEMUSEUM in downtown Kitchener, Ontario put together this special exhibit to showcase some of the all-but-forgotten nudes, unclothed and naked pieces of art in the Canadian Art Council Art Bank’s collection. Many of the artists are recognized Canadian icons, well known for other works, however the nudes have remained rarely seen.

Victoria Henry, Canadian Art Bank Director, wants to see these pieces displayed. But she says that “no one has had the courage to show the works until David Marskell of THEMUSEUM enthusiastically agreed.”

Marskell, who is CEO of THEMUSEUM, wants to take the discussion beyond the art. That is why he said that they are going “to pair the exhibit with discussion around nudity and culture.”

“Since its rebranding and evolution over the last several years, THEMUSEUM has made its mark in establishing itself as an organization that is not afraid to make bold choices,” says Virginia Eichhorn, Getting Naked Curator. She also says that “it seems surprising that here, in 2015, we can be made so uncomfortable with seeing a bit of skin. Why is that? Getting Naked sets out to answer that question as well as to provide examples of the enduring power of the human figure, in all its naked glory, as a powerful purveyor of meaning and representation of many ways and states of being.”

The Getting Naked exhibit opens March 7th, 2015 and runs through May. But there will only be ONE opportunity for to be nude while viewing the nude art – March 27th from 7pm to 10pm

The nude event is part of the Naked Dialogues. There are a number of very interesting events:

Wednesday March 18, 2015
Documentary – Killing Us Softly: Advertising’s Image of Women
This documentary shows how women are portrayed in advertising, specifically the over sexulization, negative stereotypes of body images, and objectification. It gives a critical overview of the advertising world's treatment of women.
Runtime: 45 minutes
6:30pm – Included with price of admission

Sunday, March 22, 2015
Many Shades of Naked: Food in Waterloo Region
Andrew Coppolino, writer/broadcaster | Food columnist with CBC Radio Waterloo Region, Kitchener Post and Rogers TV Grand River Living.
This session will, in a deliciously voyeuristic way, look at the many shades of naked food and naked eating in Waterloo Region from nakedness that Schmecks to eating in the raw.
1:30pm – Admission is free with a suggested donation of $5.00

Friday, March 27, 2015
Naked in the Gallery – Experiencing the Artwork Unclothed
Presented by the Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park
By being nude themselves, the viewer experiences a different relationship with the art. No longer in a position of being a mere voyeur, the exhibit guest now becomes part of the work itself as they explore their own feelings in relation to the artist’s intent. Join us at THEMUSEUM for this unique, artistic experience. Visitors will arrive clothed and have the opportunity to undress in a safe, semi-private area, leaving behind the multitude of boundaries and restrictions clothing imposes on the body and individual. Visitors are invited to explore the exhibition at their own pace, admiring the art, conversing with one another and celebrating nakedness.
This event is open for all ages, children under 13 must be accompanied by a parent.
7:00pm – 10:00pm. $10.00 (including HST).


Sunday, March 29, 2015
Nudist, Naturist or Gymnosophist?
StĂ©phane DeschĂȘnes, Human Body Advocate
It is normal to be embarrassed, ashamed, and even offended by our own image. But over a century ago, some people began to think that this attitude was not natural. This talk will discuss the beginnings of the movement in the late 19th century, the various principles behind the beliefs, and its evolution over the last century as well as the current situation.
Please Note: The presentation contains vivid and honest images of all parts of the human body.
1:30pm – Admission is free with a suggested donation of $5.00

Wednesday April 1, 2015
Documentaries – Behind the Robe: The Faces of Nude Models
Life models are often at the heart of nude artwork. They pose for artists who interpret their figures into works of art, but are rarely acknowledged. Marshall Ward, a fine arts instructor, decided it was time for life model's stories to be told. His documentary explores the lives of two models, Ed Cz and Georgina Brown, and allows them to discuss their work, both intellectually and physically.
Runtime: 40 minutes
6:30pm – Included with price of admission

Wednesday April 8, 2015 
Documentaries – Fig Leaf: The Biggest Cover-up in History
This documentary explores the use of fig leaves to cover up nakedness in art pieces throughout history.
Runtime: 60 minutes
6:30pm – Included with price of admission

Sunday April 12, 2015
Not Always a Prude: The History of Nudity and Censorship in Hollywood Film
Philippa Gates, PhD - Professor in Film Studies – Wilfrid Laurier University
Today, the preconception we have of Classical Hollywood film is that it presented a sanitized “Leave it to Beaver” world where everyone abstained from sex until marriage and married couples never slept naked (or even together, for that matter!). While that might be true in films produced from the mid-1930s to the mid-1960s, before 1934, Hollywood relished in sex, adultery, and nudity. The history of Hollywood onscreen nudity is the history of film censorship. This talk will begin with a discussion of Hollywood’s “Pre-Code” films of the early 1930s that depicted sex and nudity with comfort and frequency, and then the impact of those depictions in terms of the rise of censorship. Decades later, when the system of self-censorship—the Production Code—was abandoned in the late 1960s in favor of a Ratings System, Hollywood film began once more to indulge in the depiction of sex and nudity to attract audiences. Today, producers are forced to debate whether to include shocking sex scenes in the hopes that they will raise the profile of the film and attract more movie-goers, or whether to leave sex and nudity on the cutting room floor to guarantee a broader audience. Despite the fact that, today, we regard ourselves as more liberal than our ancestors of almost a century ago, in this talk, I will show how Hollywood films of earlier decades were more comfortable and realistic in their depictions of nudity compared to film today.
1:30pm – Admission is free with a suggested donation of $5.00

Sunday April 19, 2015
The Reclining Nude: From Figure to Body
Joan Coutu, PhD, Bojana Videkanic, PhD
This two-part talk will address various aspects of 'the reclining nude' from the history of Western and non-Western art. We will survey aesthetic, art historical and socio-political contexts of the nude as it appeared in various public discourses.
1:30pm – Admission is free with a suggested donation of $5.00

Wednesday April 22, 2015
Naked Joy – A Live Performance Art Piece
Jessalyn Broadfoot, Jewels Krauss, Janice Lee, Shauna Thompson 
Four women explore the body, its strengths, its vulnerabilities, its oddities from the familiar to the absurd and with a constant aim to be present (stripped bare to the root of emotion) this physical performance piece asks "what does it look like to be joyfully naked?"
Please Note: This performance contains some nudity.
7:00pm – Included with price of admission

Sunday April 26, 2015
NUDE: Object vs. Subject
Jennifer Toole - Canadian-American Photographer
Jennifer Toole will delve into the epistemological quandary of subject vs. object as it relates to the creation and display of the female nude in contemporary art and culture. Following an exploration of the agency of the muse, sexual objectification, and the male gaze Jennifer will make a case for Individualism: an all-inclusive ideological space where the artistic nude will be free to evolve productively.
1:30pm – Admission is free with a suggested donation of $5.00

Sunday May 3, 2015
Naked in the Media
Moderator - Mike Tennant - Marketing consultant, multi-award-winning ad writer and bestselling co-author of The Age of Persuasion.
Neil Ballantyne – The Waterloo Regional Record 
Allison Leonard – Editor in Chief, The Community Edition, WLU
Check back for additional participants
Media, no matter the medium, is a tool for sharing information with the public. Whether it is current events or breaking news, the radio, newspapers, magazines, television, internet or the vast remaining collection of mass media outlets may offer us a view into the happenings of our world. But what kind of view is being shared? What lens is placed upon the information that we intake, who decides what we see and why? When it comes to the topic of nakedness and nudity in the media, how, if at all, is the information communicated? Award-winning ad writer and bestselling co-author, Mike Tennant, will host a media panel of industry experts, igniting discussions on the topics of censorship, private versus public, marketing strategies, naked versus nude, scandals and more.
1:30pm – Admission is free with a suggested donation of $5.00

Wednesday May 6, 2015
Life Drawing Workshop Presented by Button Factory Arts
There is no other subject as dynamic and compelling as the human figure. Join us in a self-directed life drawing experience, no formal instruction will take place but a professional instructor will be present to help you with any questions or make suggestions. All skill levels will have the opportunity to draw from a live nude model, while gaining an intuitive understanding of the human form. Explore quick gestures (30 seconds to 5 minutes) and more complex poses (15 minutes and up).
Please Note: Easels will be provided. Supplies are entirely up to the participant to bring: drawing boards, paper, pencils, erasers, charcoal, pastels, colour pencils, watercolour etc.
7:00pm – 9:00pm. $20.00 (including HST). Please pre-register in advance

Wednesday May 13, 2015
Life Drawing Workshop Presented by Button Factory Arts
There is no other subject as dynamic and compelling as the human figure. Join us in a self-directed life drawing experience, no formal instruction will take place but a professional instructor will be present to help you with any questions or make suggestions. All skill levels will have the opportunity to draw from a live nude model, while gaining an intuitive understanding of the human form. Explore quick gestures (30 seconds to 5 minutes) and more complex poses (15 minutes and up).
Please Note: Easels will be provided. Supplies are entirely up to the participant to bring: drawing boards, paper, pencils, erasers, charcoal, pastels, colour pencils, watercolour etc.
7:00pm – 9:00pm. $20.00 (including HST). Please pre-register in advance

More details on the Getting Naked exhibit can be found here: www.themuseum.ca/exhibition/opening-getting-naked-exhibition

After Naked in the Gallery, you are invited to socialize downstairs (clothed) at Imbibe: www.imbibefooddrink.ca

There are a number of hotels in the area if you want to stay overnight: www.themuseum.ca/planning-your-day

Photo: Painting by Glenn Howarth titled "Portrait of Laura No. 1" (1973)