Toronto Bars Fighting Sexual Harassment with Clever Coasters

Putting it 'On the Table'

One Toronto collective has started a movement hoping to generate conversation about gender-based sexual assault in Toronto bars.

Whether it be as a patron of the bar or as employees, women are victims of sexual assault in Toronto bars all too often. In response to the relationship between alcohol and assault cases, Toronto curatorial collective Aisle 4 have developed an idea that will be a bold reminder too all drinkers the importance of respectful behaviour and empowerment.

The project, cleverly titled ‘On The Table’ is a series of coasters, designed to address gender-based sexual assault and harassment, that will be making their way through various bars and venues throughout the city.

A photo posted by Aisle 4 (@_aisle4) on

“None of us are safe until we all are. We have to build better alliances between movements recognizing that women are not a monolithic group,” says Sexual-violence support and education co-ordinator at Ryerson University Farrah Khan.

Aisle 4 is composed of four Toronto based curators, Emily Fitzpatrick, Shannon Linde, Patricia Ritacca, and Renée van der Avoird.

A photo posted by Aisle 4 (@_aisle4) on

“It matters because I’m a woman, and I don’t often feel safe, and I’ve been a victim of sexual harassment myself, so I know what it’s like to feel like you’re just holding this secret and feeling like if you speak out, you’ll be blamed for it,” artist Lido Pimienta told CBC. Pimenta is one of four artists that contributed to the project, joined by Jesse Harris, Aisha Sasha John and Hazel Meyer.

The designed recyclable beverage coasters will be available for wide distribution at select bars across the city during the Toronto Design Offsite Festival, January 16-22, 2017.

‘On The Table’ participating bars:

Civil Liberties
Cold Tea
Get Well
Gladstone Hotel
Track & Field
Wenona Craft Beer Lodge