PUBLIC POLICIES

Acceptance and Intolerance

Hemlock Tattoo has a policy of being accepting and encouraging towards the presence of people of every gender, sexuality, ethnicity, ability, religion, age and type. Our studio and its staff will do our utmost to ensure that every person entering our space feels comfortable, free, in possession of their own privacy and will to share or not share. Any reasonable request that they have in relation to this will be validated, respected and accommodated where possible. 

  

Hemlock Tattoo commits to maintain an environment that will will never contribute to the erasure of any identity or expression and will actively provide a space and attitude that seeks to enthusiastically accommodate any person with any identity or needs, within reason. Our studio will treat every patron or visitor with respect, dignity and an approach that recognizes their identity, if they would like that identity to be recognized.  

During the booking process, the artist will volunteer a safe space for clients to share preferences of treatment that will best accommodate their needs. This can range from communicating accessibility requirements to disclosures of pain or trauma, the creation of a safe-word for the tattooing process or the need for a partition or extra privacy for their tattoo. However, any client can choose to abstain from providing information that does not immediately relate to the tattooing process. If they do not wish to have their identity projected in the studio and in communications with their artist, this will honoured. 

  

To implement these values, Hemlock Tattoo will always be actively engaging in a process of ethical and informed consent where the clients comfort and safety are routinely checked in on and addressed if necessary. Consent is a process and one that we are committed to engaging with in order to cultivate and maintain an environment where everyone can feel safe, considered and free to communicate their needs, knowing they will be heard, taken seriously and will not face judgment. Hemlock Tattoo is also committed to seeking out training and education to further our knowledge and understanding of how to operate a safe and inclusive environment that prioritizes consent, trauma informed practice and individual autonomy. If you have or know of training that would further benefit our studio, please feel free to share these resources via our email: hemlocktattoostudio@gmail.com.  

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Sexual abuse and harassment

Hemlock Tattoo also has a no tolerance policy towards sexual violence or harassment, and attempts towards it.  

 

This can include: 

  • Breaking physical, verbal and social boundaries in a sexual nature that is not consented to  

  • Deliberately making attempts to cause someone to be in an unneeded state of undress not consented to 

  • Attempting to use the conditions of the tattooing process to influence or precipitate a sexual interaction or gaze 

  

Further examples not necessarily related to the tattooing process include: 

  • Engaging in any unnecessary or inappropriate physical contact with someone without their prior consent 

  • Any disrespectful or humiliating behaviour related to a person's sex or sexual orientation 

  • Unwanted sexual advances or unwanted sexual demands, verbal, written or physical 

  • Expressing any sexually transgressive comments or sexually based jokes 

  • Any suggestions or innuendos directed at another person that can reasonably be read as sexual in nature  

These are, however, not the limitations of the definition of sexual harassment or sexual violence. Hemlock Tattoo will address any behaviour or reports from client or staff that can be reasonably defined as sexual harassment when and if it occurs. 

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Pronouns

A pronoun is how you refer to someone, for example ‘she’ ‘he’ or ‘they’. The staff at Hemlock Tattoo will never assume the gender identity of any person and will always confirm pronouns with our patrons and visitors if applicable. When booking in, your artist will ask you what your pronouns are when the booking/consultation process has started, and confirmed when you arrive at the studio via the waver signing process. From then on, anyone from the studio will use your correct pronouns, even if the words are unfamiliar to them, and vice versa for clients towards their artists. If a mistake is made and someone is referred to by the wrong pronoun, they will be apologized to and the proper pronouns will be used going forward. 

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Safe words

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If the client desires, a safe word or hand gesture will also be discussed during the booking/consultation process that will be honoured during the entirety of the tattooing process. This will ensure that any client can stop the process at any time for any reason without judgment or questioning and will ensure that no one but the artist will be aware that a request to stop has been made. This is to help accommodate those who may find asking to stop embarrassing or difficult when in a room with other clients and artists or if a person is unable to communicate verbally that they wish to stop. If you do not feel you need or want a safe word/hand gesture you do not need to create one with your artist.  

Touring the Space/Accessibility 

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Hemlock Tattoo has access to images and videos of the space on our website for any person to view ahead of their appointment in order to give them an idea of the space, layout, amenities and accessibility. Any person can also view the outside of our building and surrounding area via google street view at 1111 3rd St SE. 

 

We have ample paid street parking on all the streets surrounding our building. Additionally, parking is free on Saturdays and Sundays. Please be aware that the parking lot behind our building is private and not available for public use.  

For bicycle users, we are located directly next to the 12th avenue bike lanes and there are multiple bike racks across the street from our building for locking. 

For transit users, our studio is located a very short distance from Victoria Park LRT station and bus transit route 24

 

Because we are located in a heritage building, our space is not ideal as far as accessibility goes. This is something we have actively been trying to find solutions for and are taking into account when we eventually move on from this space.  

In the meantime, we have completed an accessibly checklist for any person to review before their appointment and we have also received the generous support of Radio Block Tattoo (#100 - 1215 1st St SW) to use their space to tattoo any clients who have accessibly needs that our location does not provide as their space is fully accessible. For those looking for information on the accessibility of our space you can find our accessibility checklist here.

If you have any further questions or concerns about the accessibility of our shop please email us at hemlocktattoostudio@gmail.com

Security Cameras

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The studio utilizes a camera for security purposes. This camera is pointed at the front entrance of the building and has been intentionally positioned so that it only captures the front door and any person entering or leaving, it does not capture the artists stations or any person in the process of getting tattooed. 

The footage captured will ONLY be referenced for security reasons and will never be accessed for any other reason by staff. 

If you have any questions or concerns regarding our camera please email us at hemlocktattoostudio@gmail.com

Social Media

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All of the above extends outside of the studio to any public or private use on social media and other electronic communications. 

 

Artist and client will be respectful of their respective social media accounts and will only reach out or link/tag an account if permission has been given by either party. This extends to artists posting images of tattoos on their professional accounts. If any client does not wish to have their image shared they may indicate so on their waiver upon entering the studio as well as stating so verbally to their artist. 

 

Communication between artist and client will remain strictly professional unless explicit consent is given to the contrary by both parties. We ask that clients do not actively seek out or contact the personal social media accounts, cell phone numbers or email addresses of any staff member at Hemlock Tattoo. We ask that these boundaries be respected.  

Harassment

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Hemlock tattoo is committed to maintaining a harassment free environment. 

Our studio does not condone or tolerate any behaviour that can be considered harmful or abusive. 

 

This includes: 

  • Intentionally offensive, derogatory or humiliating comments or jokes

  • Cruelty or offensive comments about someone’s national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender, age, religion, martial status or disability

  • Threatening or intimidating another person 

  • Harassment can also include any prohibited act of discrimination under Human Rights legislation 

Reporting an incident

If any client wishes to disclose an inappropriate interaction with one of our artists, sexual or otherwise, they can do so by submitting their experience via a submission form at the bottom of our policies page. Any messages sent via this submission form will be reviewed only by management. Only management has access to the conduct email account that these submissions are sent to. No artist at Hemlock Tattoo is permitted to access or view this email account. Additionally there is an option to remain anonymous when submitting. 

  

Any client or staff member found or reported to be deliberately carrying out harassment, sexual harassment or attempts to do so, will be made to apologize, talked to about their behaviour, given training and educational resources to better understand the harmful nature of their actions, or removed from the studio permanently, depending on the feelings of the victim, the nature of their behaviour from a legal perspective, their commitment to real, actionable accountability, severity of their actions, how clearly at fault they are, and their history. 

 

Additonally, if any incident of an inappropriate nature is brought to the attention of management we have enlisted the assistance of relationship, sexual health and sexual violence educator, Melia Wylie (they/them), to act as an informed and objective third party responder to guide and oversee how any disclosure is addressed and responded to. 

To submit a concern about staff conduct that you are not comfortable submitting to Hemlock Tattoo management, please email Melia Wylie (they/them) directly at meliawylie@gmail.com

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Assumptions

No assumptions will be made about any persons identity inside or outside of the studio. Every client has the right to communicate or not to communicate their identity to their artist or other staff. The studio will be accommodating to any needs communicated by the client related to their identity. 

 

Within the studio, all staff and patrons are expected to think about the ways their discussion topics or behaviour can exclude, dismiss or isolate others in any way. All individuals within the studio should consider how other groups may be impacted in different ways by any issues or topics being discussed out loud. 

 

Everyone will be aware that their experiences as a person of their gender, sexuality, ethnicity etc, may not necessarily be the same as everyone around them. Every person within the studio is encouraged to be aware of their position and the privilege that they may bring regarding, for example, your race, class, gender identity, religion or lack thereof, ability or age. Hemlock encourages an atmosphere where anyone should be able to speak up if they are feeling isolated or dismissed by a topic of conversation. 

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Oppressive behaviour

Racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, ableism, fatphobia, ageism or discrimination on basis of ethnicity, immigration status, or religious, cultural, and/or spiritual beliefs, or any other kind of oppressive behaviour is unacceptable at Hemlock Tattoo. This extends beyond the walls of the studio for our staff and any oppressive behaviour that is noticed will be addressed immediately. Our artists reserve the right to deny service to any person exhibiting oppressive behaviour or any person proven and known to exhibit oppressive behaviour, in life or online. 

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Accessible language and engagement

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Staff and clients are expected to use open and accessible language and will avoid excluding others from understanding or deliberately obscuring what they’re saying to hide their meaning.

  

All patrons and staff will be aware that certain discussion topics are not accessible for everyone. Additionally, the studio will not tolerate any person to talk over others and every person is encouraged to try to gauge whether it is appropriate for them to speak on certain topics. 

  

The studio encourages any person in the studio to preface and ask for consent before discussing something potentially triggering or deeply personal, such as mental illness, sexual violence, abuse, etc. Any person can do this informally by asking ‘is it okay if I talk about this?’. If the answer is no, we ask that the topic not be further discussed. The studio places high Importance on ethical consent and when the artists are taking steps to make sure their client is enthusiastically consenting to every step of the process and every part of their conversation, we expect the same courtesy to be offered by clients to their artists. An artist may or may not be comfortable or equipped to receive sensitive, triggering or traumatic disclosures. Please ask your artist before volunteering this type of information. If you feel you need support please reach out to relevant resources. 

Staffing

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It is the right of our clients to know ahead of time who else will be in the studio while they are getting tattooed. If this is not brought up in the booking/consultation process do not hesitate to ask your artist who and how many other people will be present during your tattoo. If you require a more private appointment for any reason please let your artist know. 

 

Due to COVID protocols there should never be more than seven individuals in the studio. This accounts for our three artists, their clients and our manager. This limited number also allows for space to social distance. We are not currently allowing any client to bring a companion with them for their appointment. If you absolutely need a companion with you, discuss this with your artist and we can accommodate a time where there will be less individuals in the studio. 

Please let us know...

Your feedback is very important to us. To inform us about about an experience you have had with our shop, or your artist please let let us know here. All submissions are anonymous unless otherwise specified.

*IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS, DO NOT FILL OUT THE FOLLOWING SECTION.*

 
 
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If you are looking for support or more information about safe spaces, please take a look through our resource guide!

Resources

FOR ALL

See our COVID-19

protocols and policies