Tips for organising clothes-optional swims
By Greg DePaco, NIFTY secretary
If the NIFTY swims are too infrequent for you – or if you live too far away from Templeton Pool to participate as often as you’d like – you may have thought about starting a clothing-optional swim of your own at a local pool. We here at NIFTY strongly encourage you to do so, and would like to help if we can! Here are some suggestions if you take the plunge:
1. Contact the pool and make an appointment with the programmer to discuss rentals. (This is their title in Vancouver Park Board sites, it may be different in your area.) Arrange an in-person appointment. There’s no need to mention at this point that you intend to have a clothing-optional event, but if they ask you if this is the case you should certainly (of course) say so, just as you would answer any initial questions they might have about your rental.
2. You will likely have to buy insurance. In BC, you should contact Sport BC insurance to discuss rates and terms. This would be a good thing to have looked into before your meeting with the pool programmer. If you know another group that rents the same pool, they might be willing to share their policy with you. Talk to them and to Sport BC.
3. It’s best to bring two people to your meeting with the pool programmer, a male and a female. (Sex shouldn’t matter, of course, but given societal stereotypes about people who like to do things naked, it helps to present your group as one whose membership represents a wider cross-section of your community.) Sorry (but needless) to say, you should really wear clothes for the meeting.
4. Use your judgment as the meeting unfolds, but you should probably explain your intention to have clothing-optional events early on during the meeting, as one of the parameters of your rentals. Most programmers will probably be at least willing to consider the idea, though they may say they have to check with their superiors first. At this point, be sure to mention all the other groups (like NIFTY) that have sucessfully run clothing-optional swims and events for years without any significant problems and with wide community support. Offer to meet with their superiors yourselves if needed.
5. If the meeting ends without a firm yes or no, give them a week or so to get back to you before calling to follow up. If you do so, start the call by thanking them for having met with you to consider renting their facility to your group. (Also do this when they call with their answer, if they do.)
If you need any help with the process, just call us here at NIFTY – we’ll do what we can. Good Luck! And let us know about the responses you get.
All public NIFTY events shall be open to anybody without discrimination. There shall be no quotas of any kind, and people can be asked to leave or barred based solely on their own behaviour. Such behaviour must have predictable negative consequences.
NIFTY has held many events over the years: topfree and clothing-optional parades and marches, topfree picnics and book readings, clothing-optional dances and movie nights, and more. We also usually host a clothing-optional picnic following the Vancouver portion of the annual World Naked Bike Ride. While these events are celebratory in nature, they also serve to educate the public about the harmful effects of suppressing the natural body, and to advocate for clothing-optional rights.
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NIFTY membership shall be by donation, with no minimum. Lack of financial means shall never he a barrier to NIFTY membership.
NIFTY is an organization of people who oppose the legal ban on public nudity in Canada, and who are interested in organizing politically towards the abolishment of that ban.
(NIFTY Constutution, Paragraph 1)
NIFTY’s first official meeting was held in 1993, and we began renting Vancouver’s Templeton Park Pool for monthly clothing-optional swims in 1998. Since then, our membership has grown significantly, and several thousand people have been NIFTY members at some point over the years, with about 500 up-to-date members at any given time.
NIFTY is proud of its twenty-plus year history of advocacy, and we intend to continue our fight until all citizens have the freedom to wear clothes if they choose, and not wear them if they choose, in public spaces around the world.
All NIFTY events shall be clothing-optional if possible. No NIFTY event or function shall he nude-only or clothed-only unless it is absolutely unavoidable
Established by BC Supreme Court, 2000 June 8
(Citation: Maple Ridge v. Meyer, 2000 BCSC 902)
“We had a legal opinion and its very clear she is correct. It is not a crime.” – Terry La Liberte, Vancouver Police Board
“Deputy [Vancouver Police] Chief Doug LePard said he would notify the training session of the department to issue a bulletin for police officers.” – Vancouver Courier, 2007 Feb.28
The name NIFTY arose because we wanted an acronym for the group’s name, and came up with NIFTY as a “temporary” moniker until we could decide on a “real” name; however, people seemed to like the name and it was decided to keep it as the group’s permanent title.