Our monthly Local Love series usually consists of multiple companies, events, spots or efforts that we just can’t get enough of in the KW area. However, this local campaign deserves a blog of its own. Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest has teamed up with the Sexual Assault Support Center of Waterloo Region to communicate and educate on the message of consent and respecting boundaries – not just at Oktoberfest but everyday.
We were fortunate enough to connect with Allan, who is the Director of Marketing at Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest and he gave us a behind the scenes look at the campaign and how it came to be.
What started as a question around inclusivity on the KW Oktoberfest Twitter page and a suggestion to connect with SASC quickly turned into calls and meetings centered around the importance of discussing expectations of behaviour and the issue of sexual violence with the community during Oktoberfest. From that point on, a strong partnership was formed and ideas for this campaign started to move rapidly.
Last week, as Oktoberfest kicked off in the region, so did the #OnlyJaMeansJa campaign.
As you can see, SASC and KW Oktoberfest took a heavy issue and found a way to make it lighthearted and punny, while still conveying crucial messaging. Both parties have continued to share the images on their social media throughout the course of the week with multiple tips, resources and reminders – starting conversations we, as a community, SHOULD be having all the time.
The response to this campaign has been incredibly positive and was picked up by multiple news outlets in the area helping to spread the message even further. Social media followers have also joined in by sharing the posts and making their own creative images/messaging to contribute to the campaign and continue to reinforce the true meaning of consent and how you can contribute to a safe event.
Sexual assault support centres all over the world see a large spike in calls and visits after large, community events that involve alcohol, such as Home Coming, St Patrick’s Day, and Oktoberfest. Unfortunately, our region is no exception to that fact and Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest knew that they wanted to help fight the statistics and be a part of the solution.
Everything about this ticks all three of the NMI Fresh, Exciting and Thoughtful boxes. It made us proud to see different organizations in our community teaming up to have the discussions we should all be having, and it made us proud to be a business in a community that truly cares about the wellbeing of its members.
A kind reminder that we can all do our part in working towards a culture of consent by respecting boundaries and stepping in when we see harassment taking place – at big events, and in everyday life.
We are incredibly proud of the work KW Oktoberfest and the Sexual Assault Support Center of Waterloo Region have done! Congratulations to all those involved on this project.