Hal-Con Policies

General Policies

Alcohol & Drugs
This is an all-ages family event; no outside alcohol or any illegal recreational drugs will be permitted on site. If you are suspected of drinking to excess or appear to be intoxicated by means of any substance, you will be asked to leave the convention without refund.

Badges/Wristbands
Must be displayed at all times, these are non-transferrable, not replaceable, and no refunds will be issued if lost.

Costumes
Costumes deemed to be offensive may result in expulsion from the convention for any reason deemed sufficient by staff. This includes but is not limited to; Nudity, vulgarity, excessively gruesome or violent imagery and promotion of intolerant ideology. Depending on the severity of the offense we are prepared to not only expel the offending attendee from this event but also all Hal-Con related events for the foreseeable future. If you have questions about the content of your costume or about this policy please contact info@hal-con.com.

Where can I go to smoke/vape?

Nova Scotia’s Smoke-free Places Act states that smoking and vaping is illegal indoors. The Halifax Convention Centre is a smoke-free environment.

NEW for 2018: HRM’s smoking ban bylaw kicks in Oct. 15. The city will have a full ban on smoking, vaping. Municipal staff is currently determining the initial locations for designated smoking/vaping areas, to be ready for Oct. 15, 2018.

Accessibility Policy

Getting Around the Convention

Elevators are open for all to use, but priority will be reserved for those with mobility, accessibility issues, or those with strollers. If you have any problem with accessing elevators, please alert any Hal-Con volunteer and it will be escalated to the senior team.

Service Animals & Pets

Only official service animals are permitted. Pets or comfort animals, however, aren’t. With allergies, children, and for sympathy to animals in crowds – it’s not the best idea. Please make sure your service animal (ex. Guide Dog) is wearing their uniform.  We recognize the value of therapy animals, but they won’t be permitted on site.

Personal Attendants for Medical or Special Needs

Hal-Con recognizes some individuals have need for somebody with them (e.g. sign language interpreter) during the convention. Please contact us if you have any questions about bringing somebody with you during the event. We strongly suggest contacting us in advance to make arrangements to prevent excessive delays at registration. (info@hal-con.com)

Anti-Harassment & Anti-Bullying Policy

Reporting harassment or inappropriate behaviour

Please reach out to any Hal-Con volunteer or convention centre staff to report the behaviour and our senior volunteers will handle the issue with discretion.

Definitions

Hal-Con is dedicated to providing a harassment-free (including bullying-free) convention experience for everyone regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion. We do not tolerate harassment or bullying of convention participants (including attendees, press, exhibitors, volunteers, staff, etc.) in any form. Demeaning or harassing sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for any convention venue, including talk. Anyone violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the convention, without a refund, at the discretion of the convention organizers.

Harassment includes offensive verbal comments, (related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, etc.) sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact and unwelcome sexual attention. Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

Exhibitors are also subject to the anti-harassment policy. In particular, exhibitors should not use overtly sexualized images, activities, or other material. Booth staff, including volunteers, are encouraged not to use overly sexualized clothing/ uniforms/ costumes, or otherwise create a highly sexualized environment.

If a participant engages in harassing behavior, the convention organizers may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender or expelling them from the convention without a refund. If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a member of convention staff immediately. Convention staff can be identified by their volunteer shirts/ special badges/ headsets.

Convention staff will be happy to help participants contact venue security or local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the convention. We value your attendance.

Washrooms Policy (Gender Neutral washrooms)

Hal-Con and the venue management want to offer all our attendees a comfortable experience at the convention. All participants at the event are encouraged to use the washroom to which they identify.

There are gender neutral washrooms, as well as gender-specific washrooms, on each level of the facility. Once the maps for the 2018 event are published, you will find those noted on our venue page.

Breastfeeding Policy

Breastfeeding is permitted, without question or hesitation. Should any person breastfeeding wish for privacy, a little nook has been set up in the family room on the Ballroom Level of the HCC for your convenience.

Interacting with Guests

During Panels: We request that you line up at the microphone stands to ask questions. Please keep it to one question as lineups can be long and we want to get to as many questions as possible. If we feel your question is inappropriate, we reserve the right to cut the mic and move on to the next person in line. It is important to remember that not everyone will be able to ask questions, depending on the length of the lineup.

It is also important to note some guests may request no photography or video during their panels. We will post warnings on those events so there’s no confusion. However, if you are found to be in violation of that “No Cameras or Video” rule during that panel, you will be removed from the panel and possibly Hal-Con itself.

During Auto/Photo sessions: Please don’t bring them gifts, especially large items or anything containing food (due to allergies or sensitivities, etc). Many guests travel to Halifax with only a small suitcase and can’t bring items back home with them. Small tokens may be accepted, but we cannot guarantee anything on behalf of individual guests.

Registration Policy

Upon arrival at Hal-Con, you will first be required to pass through registration inside the Argyle St entrance to the Halifax Convention Centre. This may necessitate lining up if during peak times and having any purses/backpacks/bags checked by security, and prop weapons checked by staff. You will need to show proof of the name on the ticket you are picking up, matching your own ID. Then you’ll be issued a wristband or badge and granted entry to the convention.

Re-Entry

Once you have your wristband or badge, you may use the re-entry option through the Argyle St. Entrance to the Halifax Convention Centre. You will be expected to show your wristband or badge upon re-entry, so please make them available.

Ticket Returns/Refunds/Exchanges Policy

All Hal-Con ticket sales are final and no refunds are available.

Guest appearances are subject to change or cancellation due to professional obligations. Unless otherwise noted, all guests will be in attendance for all days. Please check the Hal-Con website for the most current listing prior to the convention. Refunds will not be issued in the event of a guest cancellation.

There will be no refunds on lost/stolen tickets or wristbands or if you are removed from the convention by staff or security.

Hal-Con ticket holders are welcome, at their own discretion, to transfer or resell their tickets to other would-be convention attendees. We encourage you to use official Hal-Con social media platforms on Facebook for exact-cost exchanges, no markups will be permitted when advertising on our forums. A form for transfers will be listed on our website, by which we will accept official requests for transfers. Questions? Email tickets@hal-con.com for assistance.

Photography & Video Policy

Photography

We ask all attendees to follow “Wheaton’s Law.” Be considerate and respectful of your environment, and of the other attendees. If you are photographing/filming costumes—ensure you get permission from that individual before taking their image. It is inappropriate to take high or low angle shots, place your hands on a person or request sexual poses without prior consent.

No photography is permitted in the Autograph/Photograph area unless taking a selfie with a guest after paying the fee.

Video/Audio Recording

Recording may not be permitted at select events. If you record at an event where it is not permitted, you will be removed from the convention and not allowed to re-enter. In most cases, non-flash photography at panels and Q&A’s will be fine, except where specifically noted. Filming should be for personal use only. Any photography, film or audio released (via any medium) for personal gain or profit is not permitted.

Weapon Policies

Hal-Con wants everyone to have a safe convention. We want to encourage people to have fun with their costume designs while keeping the safety of the public and fellow convention members around them in mind.

This weapon policy has been created, in consultation with our host venue and local police officers.

The following items are forbidden from being brought into the convention:

  • Any weapons that may cause a mess (silly string, water guns, water balloons, etc.)
  • Explosives (including firecrackers, caps, and fireworks)
  • Blow Guns
  • Chemical weapons (including mace and pepper spray)
  • NO live ammunition firearms are permitted. This includes those firearms that have no loaded ammunition or the firing bolt or pin removed. We will contact authorities to remove you and you will be banned for future entry to Hal-Con.
  • Any concealable weapons (knives, brass knuckles, switchblades, etc.) will be seized, and anyone found to be concealing any such items will be asked to leave and reported to the authorities.
  • Any other weapon(s) prohibited by Canadian Law

The following items are permitted, but will be subjected to additional scrutiny:

  • Metal-bladed weapons, regardless of sharpness, they must remain sheathed and peace-bonded at all times, and must be made obvious to convention staff, or else they will be seized.
    • This includes but is not limited to: axes, daggers, hatchets, knives, kunai (must not have guard around the grip), swords, sword canes, etc.
  • Functional replica firearms (including airsoft guns, BB guns, cap guns, paintball guns, and pellet guns) are permitted only for display during the costume contest and must NOT carry a live charge (CO2, compressed air, etc.)
  • Prop firearms MUST have an orange tip for security reasons
  • Functional projectile weapons (including crossbows, longbows, slingshots) must be made nonfunctional.
    • Just rendering it inoperable does not make it legal.  It must not be able to function period.
    • Bows and Crossbows must not be strung
    • Crossbows should be full size. If is designed to be held with one hand it is prohibited.
    • Nerf crossbow weapons OK – but cannot be loaded with foam or other projectiles and fired at the convention
    • Hand crafted prop crossbows are OK if completely non-functional
    • Prop arrows and bolts tipped in foam, cardboard, fabric or other soft materials are permitted to be held as part of a costume. Projectiles tipped with metal, sharpened wood or any other hard material that can take an edge must be secured into a quiver or left at home
  • Blunt weapons (including staffs, sticks and clubs)
  • Hard prop weapons (including props made of metal, fibreglass, wood, and glass).

Any attendee found to be in willful violation of these policies will be asked to leave and authorities will be notified.

Weapons for Costume Contest

If you plan to use a prop weapon for your costume contest entry, these will be stored backstage and given to you for the on-stage portion only.

Weapons purchased from sellers/vendors at Hal-Con:
Any items purchased at the convention, once removed from their packaging, are regarded the same as any prop weapon brought into the convention and must comply with these rules. Weapons purchased at the event will be placed into secure holding until exiting the convention.

Large Costumes and Props

If your costume or props take up a significant amount of space—enough to obstruct hallways or walking areas—or is so cumbersome so as to impede your movement, we recommend you only have it for the costume contest.

Disclaimer
Hal-Con reserves the right to reject any props or costume pieces it deems unsafe to attendees.

Vendors – Copyright / Bootleg materials

We receive more and more feedback from attendees and from vendors about unlicensed merchandise. Hal-Con strives to be a forum where artists can sell their original work and good quality merchandise is available for sale. Vendors are expected to hold all appropriate permissions for any merchandise they have for sale, and Hal-Con will comply with any requests from copyright holders and/or original artists to have offending merchandise removed. If vendors are asked to remove a specific item and do not comply, they will be asked to leave.

Contact information

General Inquiries – info@hal-con.com
Hal-Con Executive Director: Jennifer Lambe, jennifer@hal-con.com or 902-292-3214 (Please respect the request to limit calls to the hours of 9am – 9pm Atlantic, except emergencies)

Resources

Emergency – Dial 911
Non-Emergency Police Dispatch – 902-490-5020

Mental Health Mobile Crisis Line (HRM) – 902-429-8167 or 1-888-429-8167 (toll free)

Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868