The following originally appeared in the conference program for the 2013 Westcoast Bound Conference, which occurred February 1-3 in Vancouver, BC.
“Committees are where good ideas go to die.”
Those were the words I uttered when I was told that the Vancouver Dungeon name and all of BIO’s equipment were being handed over to a new non-profit society. It was, I was told by my former business partners, being done for the sake of community. I’d burned out six months before hand and now they too were ready to move on. And this, this was going to ensure that what had been built up would continue on.
“You’ve just killed my baby,” I told them.
I turned up at the first meeting of the Vancouver Dungeon steering committee and I smiled and I wished them well, and though I hoped that something good might come of the actions that were taken I knew deep inside that the days of the Vancouver Dungeon parties were soon to be done.
Only, of course, they weren’t.
In time I’d begin to refer to the organization that sprung up, Metro Vancouver Kink, as my bastard step child. I wished it well, but I suspected that it was only a matter of time before the well meaning stewards moved on and let it slip into the hands of others who might let it slide or die or, the worst alternative, someone might take control who would build another “cult of personality,” the likes of which has too often plagued too many BDSM communities.
Only as you’re reading this it obviously did not. No, the VDSC became MVK. It carried on throwing the Vancouver Dungeon parties, limping along, then getting by. My bastard child, as I saw it, didn’t die, but it was hardly the huge success I’d dreamed of. I was the dead beat dad who had abandoned my kid during their formative years, then complained when they didn’t go to college!
And then, in 2010, something changed. MVK had always been treated with love and commitment by those who stewarded it and volunteered with it, who kept the ideas behind the Vancouver Dungeon name alive, but that extra spark of inspiration hadn’t been there. No conference associated with that name had happened since 2006. But that was about to change.
In 2011the first “Westward Bound” conference took place, and it breathed new life and new spark not just into MVK, but into Vancouver’s kink community. It reminded me that there was a community.
The next year that remarkable conference was almost lost to Metro Vancouver Kink. But others stepped in to see that the conference remained with the organization that had spawned it, and not only did the conference happen again in 2012, it grew and became even better.
And now here we are in 2013. Metro Vancouver Kink’s third conference, the renamed “Westcoast Bound,” is here. It is a remarkable collection of talent, both local and international, and it is a gathering place for a community bigger, stronger and more cohesive than any I have known in my 20 years in Vancouver’s kink scene. It is the product of the amazing organization and the amazing board that have worked so hard to build it; not just the conference, but the community.
MVK is not my baby, or my bastard step child. It’s not mine at all, and I take no credit for the formidable organization it has become, and the great works they do. But as a Vancouver kinkster I can tell you it makes me proud to know it exists, a committee that won’t ever let a good idea die.