June 19th, 2020

Following a CBC article from June of 2019, we learned that our event, the Deighton Cup, was tied to deeply wrong and oppressive behaviours of the festival’s namesake: historic Vancouver saloon-ster and founder of Gastown, “Gassy” Jack Deighton.

We, the founders of the Deighton Cup, were, and are, disgusted with the aspects of Jack Deighton’s life highlighted in the article. We became acutely aware of the immediate need to address our association with, and unintended support of, marginalizing and oppressive behaviours.

Our team began immediately working with Indigenous diversity and inclusivity experts to examine and dismantle the ways in which we, knowingly or unknowingly, have supported racist figures or historical events. Ultimately, this work was meant to find ways to make our festival more inclusive, welcoming and safe for all.

We understand that we were wrong in not acting more quickly to publicly address these associations. That said, with anti-racism and anti-oppression as our driving objective with this undertaking, we are continuing to audit and work towards improving the festival in the following ways:

  • In consultation with Indigenous experts and First Nations communities we will find ways to authentically remove racist supports that exist within the event and will make any and all recommended changes, including a name change, if so advised;
  • We are expanding our inclusion and integration of Indigenous artists, designers and organizational staff, highlighting and amplifying the incredible talents of these makers and creators with the means we have available to us;
  • We acknowledge that our events take place on the unceded, occupied, ancestral and traditional lands of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. Moving forward, at all gatherings, we will acknowledge these unceded territories of our First Nation communities; and
  •  As a management team with its attendant privilege, we are committing to complete diversity and inclusivity training and to make available our learnings, insights and personal outcomes from that training.

This is just the beginning, and we wanted you to know. As founders of a fun, vibrant and inclusive event, we commit to providing our community and the general public with an update on our progress within 30 days, on or before July 19, 2020.

We welcome feedback on the steps we are taking. Please do so by reaching out to all of us at

Thank you.

Tyson, Dax and Jordan

July 18th, 2020

As promised in our original June 19th public notice, we are providing an update on our diversity and inclusion audit, internal activity and decision-making. 

We believe in a future for the festival that is not only fun and vibrant, but also supports anti-oppressive culture for our community and local region. As co-founders, we realize this evolution needs to be rooted in true understanding and can take time to materialize authentically. 

Here are the discoveries and outcomes we have achieved since June 19th, and remain committed to moving forward: 

  • Our organization is committed to a custom-crafted race relations training workshop series provided by the Community Arts Council of Vancouver (, a workshop that will be planned and led by a diverse range of race relations experts, including those from local Indigenous communities. This education and training program will begin in early August, extending forward. While our festival does not have a full-time employee base, as an organization, we are committed to providing this training to not only co-founding organization leads, but also our seasonal lead contractors and partner stakeholders;
  • With the help of British Columbia historians, we have explored in greater depth the history of Jack Deighton and his marriage to X̱áliya (also identified in historical documents as Madeline, Madeleine, Quahail-ya, Qua-hail-ya, Qua-haila, Wha-halia). We are also exploring academic writings and perspectives, both locally and globally, on anti-racism, historical statues and their impacts on society. Interested readers can find some of this material here
  • We recognize and understand there are living ancestors of Jack Deighton and X̱áliya within our local community. As such, we have begun initial conversations with the Indigenous communities with which those people identify and to include their individual stories and their community’s perspectives into our work, if they so choose; and
  • We continue to make strides toward including diverse artists and collaborators, including those from Indigenous communities, within our event. As our festival is currently undergoing significant change due to COVID-19, we will continue to keep our engaged guests apprised of our programming decisions in this regard. 

This is an evolution and a process. As founders of a fun, vibrant and inclusive event, we commit to providing our community and the general public with a further update on our progress on or before September 15, 2020.

We welcome feedback on the steps we are taking. Please do so by reaching out to all of us at

Thank you.

Tyson, Dax and Jordan