Land Acknowledgment

We gratefully acknowledge that Victoria, the community where we host this event, resides on the traditional territory of the Lekwungen peoples, the Songhees, and the Esquimalt Nations. We have made a point to support Indigenous artists throughout Canada within the context of our artistic mandate and connect our international festival performers with Indigenous artists in our programming whenever possible.

Ska and Inclusivity

Ska as a genre has been rooted in inclusivity from its early beginnings dating back to the two-tone movement in England in the 1960s. For example, did you know that one of Ska’s most iconic images is based on the first transgender ska musician? The Beat Girl Logo (bottom right) was based on trans pioneer Brigitte Bond who found the ska scene more welcoming than any others and the image was inspired by a photo of her dancing with Prince Buster (bottom left).

Beat Girl Dancing with Prince Buster - Real PhotoClassic Ska Cartoon Image - Beat Girl Dancing with Prince Buster


It makes sense that Ska has such diverse roots. After World War II, Jamaicans purchased radios in increasing numbers and were able to hear a wide breadth of American music. With no ability to distinguish race or class they followed their ears and combined American pop, jazz, and R&B with Mento and Calypso to form the genre we have celebrated for the past 25 years.
Though VBCSRS has expanded to include ska, reggae, latin, soul, hip hop and various other genres connected to Jamaican music, inclusivity remains at the heart of our operations. We strive to include everyone - regardless of gender, sexuality, ethnicity, minority status, age, religion, or role.

We also strive to make everyone feel comfortable and do not condone any form of bullying, harassment, or discrimination. This can include behavior that’s not intended to be harmful, including initiated unwanted affection or touching; making sexually suggestive or racially-charged comments, objectifying jokes or banter. intention and impact can be different, but both are worthy of consideration. This requires our entire community to be observant and open to signs of discomfort in others.


A key part of being inclusive is being accessible. We strive to provide a platform where people of all abilities and identities can connect and build relationships, and to inspire the creation of safe, inclusive, and equitable communities.
This includes events that are: 

  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Financially Accessible
  • Accessible to service animal pets

Please note, that we understand one of the most important aspects of accessibility is the willingness to engage.  Feel free to reach out with questions or suggestions regarding accommodations for those with diverse needs such as Sensory-Processing Issues, Mobility issues, Visual Impairment, Hidden Disabilities, and more.

Crowdsurfing in Wheelchair During Less Than Jake in 2019

Photo by Colin Smith from 2019