BitF is seeking a few more Team Leads

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BitF is seeking a few more Team Leads

Dearest citizens,
February is here, and let us tell you, 2016 is off to a roarin’ good start!
The Production team’s been meeting for a few months already, and we’ve done some serious Associate Producer & Team Lead appointments in the past month.
As of this week, all 7 Production groups have secured their Associate Producer (Ass Prods), and our BitF Board Liaison has been appointed.
We have an ambitious 52 team lead roles to fill, and already have an impressive 33 in place!

Please read through this list! Do you see yourself in one of these roles? Can you think of a friend who might? Reach out to them and suggest it, they might just need that gentle nudge.

To apply, please fill out this form: BITF Leadership Interest Form.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to any of the Production team members and their Associate Producers. Current Org Chart is included below. You can also email us at:

(Sections below include “Group name – Producer / Associate Producer”)

Systems Group – Benson / Ryan

  1. PM Software
    Are you a tech guru who has experience using project management software?  The BitF team is looking for an expert to help us with setting up, maintaining and troubleshooting a project management software system to make sure everything runs smoothly.
  2. Data Management
    The BitF team is looking for someone to help with managing our data and documents.  Are you an expert at Google Docs?  Are you good at organizing stuff?  Help us!
  3. Registration/Tickets Team members - Lead Arthur
    We help out primarily ahead of the event with ticketing and communication around ticketing.Looking for people who are excellent communicators, problems solvers and pride themselves on their ability to stay on top of emails.
    Anyone with technical knowhow is a bonus, but more important than that, is the ability to communicate clearly with everyone.

Flow Group – Joan / Elizabeth

  1. Onsite Placement Team Leads (2)
    The Onsite Placement leads take what placement designs and brings it to life.
    General Requirements:
    These Team Leads will actualize the vision of the placement map by laying out the city on the ground.  These lead positions will manage a team of placers and site markers who will help theme camps, art, vendors, and citizens find and understand their placement.   These positions require organized and team driven individuals who love a bit of pressure.    Time commitment is minimal up until June and then ramps up to a continuous on-site presence during the event.
  2. Gate (3)
    The Gate Team Leads are the Gate keepers of the burn!!  
    General Requirements:  
    These Team leads will manage a team of gatekeepers who will be responsible to ensure intake of participants runs securely and smoothly.  These positions require organized and team driven individuals who love a bit of pressure.    Time commitment is minimal up until June and then ramps up to a continuous on-site presence during the event.

Safety Group – Frank/Claire / Andrew

  1. Sound Marshall
    The Sound Marshall will understand & communicate the BitF sound policy & bylaw information.  The Sound Marshall will lead a team of volunteers who will visit camps and dance areas to measure impact and discuss/request adjustments as needed.  Pre-event commitment will be moderate: a few meetings, some correspondence & volunteer scheduling.  At-event commitment will be moderate: a few hours nightly to coordinate volunteers & check in at amplified areas.
  2. Fire Safety
    The Fire Safety Lead will contribute to drafting the BitF 2016 Fire Safety Plan, understand and communicate that plan, and be a point of contact for fire-related questions and concerns.  The Fire Safety Lead will also act as liaison to the Effigy, Fire Performance, and any other fire-art teams to ensure that safety needs are met.  Pre-event commitment will be moderate: a few meetings and some paperwork.  At-event commitment should be minimal: largely on-call to check in with scheduled fire-related activities.
  3. Medics
    The Medics Liaison will assist in procuring a contract for the BitF onsite Medical Team, and be their be the point of contact at the event.  Pre-event commitment should be minimal: a few meetings & some correspondence.  At-event commitment should be minimal: occasional check-in with Medics to ensure their needs are met.

DPW Group – Jaia/Passport

  1. Site Prep
    Site prep lead or co-leads will visit the Cheam Fishing Village for the weekend twice, both five weeks and then two weeks before the event. They will lead a team of volunteers to clear any hazards, lay vegetable oil (natural insect control)in low lying areas, and liaise with onsite Bobcat operators to identify areas that will need further clearing.
  2. Setup
    Setup Lead or co-leads are instrumental in ensuring that the basic infrastructure of our city gets built. It will mean planning an effective use of people and resources in the week before the event commences, and requires being available from the Monday before the event.
  3. Teardown
    Teardown lead will coordinate a team of volunteers to help break down our city and organize and assemble BITF resources at several muster points for efficient loading by the Transport Team. The majority of this work will take place on Sunday, July 17th (the final day of the event). They will communicate their plan to  DPW Production Lead Jaia Kydd and Associate Producer Patrick Crossman and coordinate with the Transport Lead.

Volunteer Group – Laura / Stephanie

  1. Volunteer Coordination Team
    The Volunteer recruitment and coordination team for BitF is moving beyond recruitment and coordination to creating an overall team culture of inclusivity, support, appreciation, and commitment, that is also super organized and quick to get volunteers to their teams and sorted with shifts. We are looking for someone to join us on the Volunteer Coordination team to help in establishing best practice guidelines and work with the Associate Producer to ensure all Production Teams are comfortable using our volunteer coordination software and incorporating best practices into their relationships with their volunteer teams. If creating a thriving culture of volunteerism is something that gets you jazzed, come join us!

    This role will require a commitment of a few hours a week in the months leading up to the event, you will need to be comfortable learning to use and help others with our volunteer coordination software.
  2. Volunteer BBQ
    Want to plan the BBQ party that celebrates all the hard working people that make our community’s biggest regional event happen? You will be responsible for managing the budget, selecting a venue, arranging the menu and wrangling the chefs. :)  Being organized and being able to manage a small group of people are a must, a minimal amount of time will be spent using our volunteer management software.

Curation Group – Andi / Hillary

  1. Art Placement
    Responsible for recruiting and communicating with artists, collating all artist needs and assisting to create the placement map. This is a role for someone who is super organized and well connected in the community.
  2. Centre Camp
    Responsible for creating a vision for Centre Camp and making it come to life. This is a role for someone who is creative, likes to build and might have a team of people who want to create a community meeting space.


The BITF 2016 Production Team

  • Chairperson: Simon H
  • Systems Group: Benson H & Ryan T
  • Flow Group: Joan M & Elizabeth D
  • Security Group: Frank & Claire R & Andrew M
  • DPW Group: Jaia & Passport
  • Volunteer Group:  Laura Y & Stephanie M
  • Info Group: squishelle & Luisa D
  • Curation Group: Andi A & Hillary K

[click image to enlarge]
2016 BitF Org Chart

Dates for BitF Finalized! July 14-17, 2016

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Alrighty mighty citizens!pen-and-paper

The pen has been put to paper, we’re excited to be returning to the Cheam Fishing Village, and we’ve settled on a date for Burn in the Forest 2016.

As previously hinted at, we’re moving dates one weekend forward, and BitF will take place from Thursday July 14th to Sunday July 17th, 2016.

Rejoice! Wishing you all a most satisfying New Year celebration, and here’s to a fantastic 2016.

Your BITF 2016 Production Team


BitF News: Mon Dec 14, 2015

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Greetings fabulous citizens,

A quick update from your BitF Production team, as we prepare for our next meeting tomorrow night, Tuesday. We’ve received positive feedback further to our previous post about the Evolution of BitF, and we thank all of the folks who’ve already filled out the form to indicate their interest in participating at a leadership level (ie. managing large tasks or groups of Citizen crew) within the BITF organization.

We’re still finalizing a few details on the new Org Chart, but wanted to give you a sneak peak, so that you start to get familiar with the Production team, and to get a better idea of which pod you want to align with, either as a Pod Lead or as a volunteer within.

ProdTeamThe form we put out a couple of weeks ago is aimed at getting a full roster of names to fill all of the Pod Lead positions as listed in the Org Chart below. Each require a different set of skills, varying time commitments, some more pre/during/post event.

We will be reviewing the forms over the next few weeks, with an effort to fill most of the key positions by the end of January 2016.

We will share more info soon, but feel free to reach out to any of us if you have any questions or email

There’s still time to fill out the BITF Leadership Interest Form and tell us all about you if you haven’t yet!

The BITF 2016 Production Team

[click image to enlarge]




Posted by & filed under BitF 2016 News.


Hello dear BITF Citizens! As we commence planning for the 12th (!) edition of Burn In The Forest next summer, we wanted to bring your attention to a significant, focused effort currently underway to evolve the organizational structure of the event to support future sustainability and growth.

As you know, Burn In The Forest is not a traditionally “Produced” or “Curated” event, where a Production develops an offering for which customers purchase a ticket in order to experience…rather, BITF is an expression of the Citizens of the Vancouver Burner community (including remote relatives!) and the BITF Production Team creates a platform and organization to enable the event to proceed.

This is similar to traffic management. A few friends living in houses in the same vicinity will create paths between themselves to visit each other. When a few dozen people live in the same area, they may find it worthwhile to appoint one of them specifically maintain the paths, and create new ones. When a few hundred people live in the area, several people may look after the paths, or roads now. They may need a leadership structure to do the work efficiently. Some signs may be necessary, or maybe a traffic light. At a few thousand people, the team managing the roads is large and diverse, with a clear organizational structure and roles. There are lots of signs and traffic lights on the roads, as well as conventions and rules for safe usage. And so on.

The important thing to keep in mind is that the roads and support organization are created to support the traffic that needs it, not vice versa…and without the roads, the traffic does not flow smoothly.

Similarly, BITF’s organizational structure, as well as the structure of our overarching Greater Vancouver Interactive Arts Society, are both groups of servant leaders that are in love with the community expression of Burn In The Forest, and have stepped up to perform the work of enabling the event to happen. Not everyone needs to be, wants to be, or should be, a part of this…a village full of a thousand road-builders would be a boring, if easily-travelled, place. However, we need enough organizers to step up, and build the roads of BITF, so that the experience remains safe and viable for everyone else, and so that the organizers themselves feel well-supported and that they can take a break if they need to without the entire thing collapsing.

Our event will inevitably grow as the popularity of Burner culture grows, and although we limit growth responsibly in order to ensure acculturation and understanding among newcomers of why we do what we do, it is part of our principles to welcome newcomers and to minimize exclusion of anyone who wishes to participate. In our experience, this means plan for more people…and more (and better!) roads. We consider this a good thing…in numbers we have strength: in terms of pooled social resources, in terms of fiscal purchasing power, in terms of political clout to ensure the viability of what we do.

Much discussion is had about the “state of volunteerism” in burner circles, and some hold the view that there are too many “leeches” or “users” and not enough “doers” and “volunteers”. We do not agree; the vast majority of Burners we encounter wish to participate in some way, and when shown the importance of the road-builder, most will participate in the organization of the event in some way. For some, this is a passion, but even among those for whom it is not, the concept of stewardship is understood and many are willing to take a shift.

As the BITF organization looks forward to the years ahead, we are considering how to more fully engage the natural sense of stewardship within our community. We understand that the most significant barriers are:

1) lack of direct engagement of the community at large, (“Who comes up with these ideas, and how do I get heard?”)

2) lack of understanding of how the BITF and GVIAS organizations work, and how to get involved (“The Production Team seems like a black box. How do they get created? How do I join? Where can I sign up for something?”)

3) lack of options for “bite-sized chunks” of organizational work, cut for a variety of mouths, that allow many different types of contributors to contribute. (“I can’t spend a thousand hours on this, but I really want to help…what can I do?”)

To this effect, the current BITF event production leadership are spearheading a significant re-organization of the BITF leadership structure, in partnership with the GVIAS Board of Directors. We have spent the last few months reviewing the successes and challenges of previous BITFs, and interviewing other regional leaders of Burner events that have grown beyond our current size for input into how to transition ourselves. We are on the cusp of a significant transition of responsibilities, authority, and decision-making within the BITF event, and we want you all to know about it, so you can get involved if it moves you! The summary of this re-org is as follows:

  • First and foremost, the organizational structure and event production process are made more transparent for all, both for the BITF production and for GVIAS and its other entities, so that all BITF Citizens and GVIAS members understand who does what, and how to get involved if they choose.
  • Pod Leads, or leaders of teams with specific tasks (eg. Gate, Ticketing) are selected and activated much earlier in the production process. More authority, responsibility, and decision-making capability are delegated to them, along with clearer descriptions of roles, deliverables, and timelines. That way, Citizens have a clear understanding of what they are signing up for in a lead role, and are encouraged to act as “organizational artists” that manage their own tasks in the ways that work best for them.
  • Production Team members who coordinate the work of the Leads, will transition from uber-doers to coordinators of uber-doers, and will be trained to facilitate teams in planning and execution. This replaces a system where we used to handle much of the planning ourselves, and then direct the Pod Leads in the execution.
  • Processes are being created to “bake in” organizational necessities such as documentation and succession planning, so that we don’t re-invent the wheel every year.

That sounds amazing. What do you need from me?

The current leaders of the BITF production are already working hard alongside the GVIAS board to create the new org, and are developing this plan through the New Year. We are building the processes and documents to ensure that this effort succeeds, please bear with us! In January, we expect to be in a position to bring the next wave of doers into the structure. In the meantime, we are sending out a google form to capture the interests and skills of anyone in the community who wishes to step up. We understand that our purview of leaders in our community may be limited to those who we’ve personally worked with, and we want to facilitate and consider the intake of everyone who wants to step up in some way.

Who should fill out the form? Where do I find it?

The form is located at the link below. It should be filled out by everyone who is interested in working at a leadership level (ie. managing large tasks or groups of Citizen crew) within the BITF organization, even those who are returning, so that we have a complete database of people and skillsets. We have included a selection to express interest in working within the GVIAS Board of Directors or subcommittees.

BITF Leadership Interest Form

Why are we doing this again?

We feel that this re-org is not just the best thing we can do, but also necessary for the continuity of our event. As we grow, the current structure puts too much pressure on a few individuals who are overly exposed to burnout. If these individuals leave because of the burnout, finding replacements becomes more and more difficult as the size of the task grows. As stated above, we feel that the pressure for growth is inevitable. Consequently, we feel that the only way is forward. We as a community have created something amazing at Burn In The Forest, with wonderful opportunities for the creation of art projects and theme camps, both numerous and varied in scales. The self-development opportunities this presents are enormous and special, a rare thing, which is in large part due to the size of our event and the sum of energy and diversity of people concentrated there. If our current structure fails, something which we have seen happen at other similar events, history shows that it does not reappear easily in the same scale. People find other priorities and move away, assets are sold, organizational wisdom and documents disappear in the memories and Google drives of departed individuals.

By strengthening what we have, we keep open the possibility that it will continue to exist for ourselves, and those we want to bring into it, far into the future.

Thanks for reading, and we look forward to sharing more information with you!

The BITF 2016 Production Team
Simon H – Chairperson
Benson H: Systems
JoanM: Flow
Frank & Claire R: Security
Jaia: DPW
Laura Y: Volunteers
squishelle: Communications
Andi A: Curation

Images added Dec 14, 2015


BitF 2015 Placement Map

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Happy to announce, your fabulous BitF 2015 Placement Map!
This includes Theme Camps and Art Projects… Download this puppy to your smartphones for ease of access on site. Printed copies will be included in your welcome package with the What Where When.
Huge props to Cal​ & MizAnna​ for all of their work getting us all placed and figured out!
Note: shaved ice sales will be at the Commissary, that’s just to the left of Center Camp, Sat starting at 10am, until 1pm or until they run out. Sorry, no idea what the cost will be, bring change.

then right click to Save as/download to your handheld device for ease of reference!

BitF 2015 CFV Placement Map (FINAL 11x8.5)



MUST READ FOR ALL! Survival Guide!

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Please read our updated SURVIVAL GUIDE before you come! Important info about Fire, Survival, Boundaries, Gate Times, Alcohol Use, Safety, What to bring / not, etc!

 One thing to remember is our alcohol policy – same as last year, we only consume in campsites, not in public areas, roads, dance floors, beaches, etc. Our insurers and visiting police who may stop in expect this!