1. What is this website for?

    For 25 years GothicBC was a resource for goths and other lovers of the dark alternative scene from Victoria to Fort St. John. Promoters and patrons of B.C. events could upload pictures to personal albums and share them in the public photo gallery to showcase these events and we have a photographic history of the Goth scene in B.C. (mostly Vancouver) spanning 1984 to 2022.  We feed our content to our facebook page and Instagram pages.

  2. What is the history of this site? Who runs it?

    Online since October 1998, Gothic BC is the hobby and pet project of Atratus (Michael R. Barrick). Originally not much more than a link to the Van-Goth and Gothic BC mailing lists on eGroups.com, Gothic BC grew over the years to the point where the site received about a half a million page views every month from well over four thousand unique visitors in its heyday.

    It was with the addition of the photogallery in October of 2000 when the site really began to take off. The main photogallery now contains 63458 photographs. Here you will find a visual history of the BC scene no other site can come close to.

    Later in 2002, after the purchase and subsequent bastardising of eGroups (formerly OneList) by YahooGroups, the Gothic BC mailing list was moved to a non-commercial server thanks to Avi, who also hosts Sanctuary Radio. It has since been moved back to YahooGroups, but it little used these days.

    Also in 2002 the Gothic BC Livejournal community was started and remains functional, but little used since the advent of Facebook. Gothic BC also has a presence on facebook, started in 2008.

    With the help of Valerian (Elaine Foster), former webmistress of Gothic Unlimited, a Café Press store was added in 2004. Also in 2004, helped out by some generous donations, a server upgrade opened the door to adding a message forum and Valerian stepped up to the role of co-moderator of the forum and helped provide content for the site—a role she relinquised in January of 2017. Gothic BC merchadise was removed from the Café Press store around the same time. 

    In 2008 the site was entirely redeveloped moved to a dedicated host with gobs more bandwidth. Products from Zazzle.com were added to the merch offerings, now available in Canadian dollars with Canadian shipping at Zazzle.ca.

    On November 8, 2008 we celebrated out 10-year anniversary at Club 23 West with an event called Decadence. The current version of the site was developed "month of Sundays" fashion over the course of 2012 and 2013 in an effort the remove all of the legacy code and proprietary dependencies in the site.

    The site is largely just a historical archive at this point with only occasional updates and maintenance to keep things operating. Keep an eye on Atratus' blog for updates.

  3. How does this site make money?

    It doesn't.

    For over 10 years Gothic BC has been providing an essentially non-commercial space for Goths and like-minded bohemians, artists, musicians, etc. in British Columbia and beyond to interact and find the information they crave about clubs, shows, and shopping. The site remains the hobby and pet project of Atratus and most of the money it takes to keep the site up and functioning comes out of his pocket, augmented by the occasional donation from appreciative users, the rare bit of advertising, and the few paid user subsciptions. To date expenses have very much exceed income.

    Help keep GothicBC alive.
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  4. How can I help out with the site?

    Participate! Upload pictures and art. Post in the forum, calendar and LiveJournal. Donate to help cover bandwidth and upkeep. Buy a paid account and start blogging.
    Help keep GothicBC alive.
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  5. What is Goth?

    Good question. If you have to ask you probably don't have a clue anyway ;-)

    Now, seriously, this has got to be the most loathed question on any Gothic-themed mailing list or forum. For the most part people come to these lists as a kind of sanctuary from this question, a place to converse with like-minded people who aready have a clue, and net.goths as a general rule can be pretty snarky on line. This is more of an in-person type question. Someone who might be inclined to bite your head off on-line over this faux-pas will quite likely be quite personable about it over a smoke outside the club or some such other IRL situation. The worst thing that is going to happen to anybody on-line is being banned from one forum or another, so people tend to be considerably less concerned about causing offence on line than they would be face to face.

    If you are new to the scene, don't sweat what is or isn't goth. Just go with your gut and don't sweat the details.

    These two sites represent a good place to start:

  6. Am I a Goth?

    If people call you a goth and you are inclined to deny it, you probably are one.

    If you call yourself a goth but no one else does, you probably aren't.

    If you call yourself a goth, think moping makes you cool, hating the world is cool, lurk on mailing lists, newsgroups, and blog sites but never actually go out and socialize with anyone, let alone other goths, then you definitely aren't. Consider therapy.

  7. Aren't Goths all devil-worshipping, bunny-mutilating, oversexed, sado-masochistic psychos in black trench-coats?

    Not even close. Research out of the University of Sussex (UK) by Dr. Dunja Brill (Media and Cultural Studies) shows that on average

    "...their lifestyle, unlike the punk scene, is a middle-class subculture," she said. Her research shows that goths share a dark sense of humour. "The values of the goth subculture are very high-brow," she said. "They tend to enjoy old poetry, books and the arts. "It is a peaceful subculture - drugs and anti-social behaviour do not play a big part. "Many parents worry because they think their children may be depressed or suicidal when they start wearing black but this is not usually the case. "They tend to have a sarcastic sense of humour and be able to express their feelings. "Another worry is the fetish fashion of some goths, especially with the females. But my research shows that the girls are not overtly sexual. "In fact, they are usually believers of love and romance..."

    Telegraph.co.uk, March 20, 2006

    Also, see Atratus' blog post Goth ≠ Fetish: Goth and Allied Scenes

  8. Why do Goths wear black?

    Wearing Black has been the hallmark of the coffee drinking intelligentsia for nearly 400 years. Back during the early Renaissance the rich (and therefore educated) were dressing in flamboyant clothes made with expensive coloured dyes and gold and silver decorations. In the early part of the 17th century as the Renaissance was spreading into Northern Europe the Dutch invented the first permanent black dyes. At the same time the Dutch were surpassing the Italians as Europe's premiere merchants and Amsterdam was becoming the centre of power and learning for Europe. Dutch merchants also introduced coffee and chocolate to Europe around this same time, ergo you suddenly had the wealthy and educated merchant crowd and the artists they supported sitting around in coffee-houses all dressed in black, drinking coffee and eating chocolate for a buzz. Bach (who used to spend a lot of time hanging out in cafés, jamming with his contemporaries) even wrote a "Coffee Cantata" about a woman who wanted to drink coffee despite her father's wishes and the mores of the time.
    While styles changed amongst the rich and powerful the style and image of the black-clad artist and intellectual persisted. The style persisted through the early-to-mid 19th century Romantics on into the late 19th / early 20th century Avant Garde artists. The Weimar intellectuals such as the founders of the Bauhaus school also continued the tradition leading directly into the Beat Generation followed by the Situationists, punks and eventually Goths.

  9. What is unacceptable in the forum and comments?

    Here's some basics of what will get you turfed off the site:

    ALL CAPS pisses me off. If you have an all-caps username maybe go change it, because I'll hold that against you. Posting in all caps is annoying. Cross-posting and spamming in all caps is an immediate good-bye.

    Being a creepy fucker is just, well creepy. Sure a lot of the pictures in the gallery are from a fetish night, but that doesn't make this a fetish site, a dating site, or a place for creepy trolls to do their trolling. See my blog post on Goth ≠ Fetish: Goth and Allied Scenes for why there are fetish night pictures here at all before you make a big mistake.

    Spam is not tolerated. Promoting Goth-related B.C. businesses and events is just fine, but if you cross the line in spamming you'll get the boot. Cross-posting in the forums about things outside of B.C. or not Goth-related is a sure fire way to get the boot. If you are some dollar-a-day blogger from some third-world cesspool thinking you'll get away with posting about Chinese knock-off running-shoes or something like that, think again.

    Stupidity or trolling - no really. Think before you post. The whole reason I got into the Goth scene in the first place was because I can't take brain-dead yobs. Goths have a reputation for being clever and literate. Live up to that. If you want to be a moron, that's what facebook and YouTube comments are for. If you want to be a pseudo-goth moron, you've got VampireFreaks. GTFO of here. This site started because I got sick of the signal-to-noise ratio on Usenet and I'm not going to let this site sink to the level of yet another unmoderated hell of vapid nit-wittery.

  10. I heard you need two pieces of ID to get in a club in BC. Is this true?

    The following is straight from the provincial government (https://www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/lclb/docs-forms/guide-liquor-primary.pdf pp. 32-33):

    When you verify a customer’s age, you and your employees must ask for two pieces of identification.

    The first ID (a driver's licence or passport, for example) must include:

    • name
    • photo
    • date of birth, and
    • signature.

    The second ID (a Care Card or Social Insurance Card, for example) must include:

    • name
    • photo or signature.

    Note that the law says photo or signature - that does not mean you need two pieces of photo ID. For those of visiting Canada that don't know this, the examples given (Care Card, SIN card) are not photo ID. Basically, whatever was good enough to get you over the border is good enough to get you into a club, with the exception of just your passport alone. In theory that should be good enough but don't forget bouncers aren't hired for their legal expertise and aren't going to argue the finer points of the law with you. They're told "2 pieces of ID, one with a picture" so be prepared to show two pieces. Also while the law has been in place for some time, it is only sporadically enforced. That means you may not be asked for two pieces on one night, and then are on the next time you go. Always be ready with two pieces of I.D. or you run the risk of not getting into the club.

  11. How many pictures are there in the photo gallery?

    There are currently 63458 pictures in the gallery.

  12. I posed for a picture at [event X], how come I don't see my picture in the gallery? What is the "NSFW Filter"?

    The more risqué pictures are put behind a "Not Safe For Work" (NSFW) filter. The gallery does not display NSFW pictures by default and a "Confirmed Adult User" account membership is required to turn off the filter. At the top of right-hand side gallery navigation (which slips down below the thumbnail block on narrow screens) there is a link "Turn off NSFW filter" - click it. If you have a "Confirmed Adult Account" the page will be reloaded with the NSFW pictures and the link will now say "Turn on NSFW filter". The setting will stay until you close the browser or click the link again. You can set the default for the filter by going to "My Account"-->"Edit" and looking for the "Disable NSFW" checkbox in the "Public photo gallery settings" section of the form. 

    You still can't find the picture you are looking for it's most likely there was something wrong with it (out of focus, flash didn't go off, etc.) or there were several very similar pictures and only the best of the bunch was used. Also, after three months, photos that haven't been voted above a cut-off threshold are automatically removed (there is more about this in the section on the rating system.)

    Simply stepping into the photo area does not in any way guarantee that your picture will be on the website. The only way you can be absolutely assured to get a copy of your picture is to buy a copy (print or digital) in the photo booth.

  13. How do I upload images?

    All registered users can upload personal galleries and images in personal galleries can be nominated by the uploader for promotion to the public gallery. Promotion requests are moderated and may be approved or rejected at a moderator's discretion.

    ( click thumbnails to enlarge )
    1.In the navigation menu, click on "All Content", then click "Add Content" and select "Album"
    2.On the album form you may either drag-and-drop your images on the "Drag files here" text or use the "+ Add" button to open a file dialogue to select the files. You can add files from multiple sources on your computer by repeating the procedure.
    3.Once the files have been added you will see a list of file names and must click the " Upload" button to start the upload.
    4.As files are uploading you will see a small progress bar and thumnails will appear in the upper part of the upload control. Any error will be shown where the file list is. Please wait until the uploading is complete. Once uploading is complete you may carry on or go back to step 2 to add more images.
    5.You may then fill out information that applies to the entire album in the "Album Details" section. Only the title is manditory. The "Event" and "Venue" fields will prompt you with suggestions of events and venues that already exist in the database, but you are not limited to these. Note that events and venues that you enter will be visible to everyone else and if you are a dick and enter stupid shit in these fields you run a very high risk of being banned. 
    If you want to promote the entire album to the public gallery, check the "Promote..." checkbox at the bottom of the section.
    6.The album-wide details you entered can be overridden for individual images once the album is saved. Use the "edit" link in the image caption. You can bulk-reset all image details to the values in the album-wide values in the "Album Details" section. Once the album has been saved initally you will see additional checkboxes at the bottom of the "Album Details" section for this when editing the album.
    7.Individual images can be included/excluded from promotion with the checkbox on the album image details form. You will also see information here about the status of pictures nominated for promotion.

    Additional images can be added and removed from your personal albums at any time. Just hit the "Edit" button at the top of the form.

    Note that removing an image from a personal album that has already been approved and promoted to the public photo gallery or deleting a whole album with images that have already been promoted to the public gallery will not remove the public photos. You can, however, delete photos from the public gallery that belong to you on a one-by-one basis and deleting an image that has not yet been approved for promotion will take it out of the moderation queue.

  14. Are there alternatives to using Albums to submit images?

    Yes. If you have Google Drive you can put your images in a folder and share it with Atratus. Please include a text file in the folder or a message with the share invite explaining what the images are.

    Another option would be to upload the pictures to the Gothic BC Facebook page.

    Google Drive folders should be shared with mbarrick@gmail.com

  15. What is star rating in the photo gallery for? This isn't some "hot or not" crap is it?

    No. Many of the pictures in the photo gallery are not portraits. The rating bar is for users to register votes for thier favourite (or least favourite) pictures on a sliding scale for the purpose of the Top Rated views of the picture gallery and the random pictures on the homepage, which are collected daily from the top 500 "worksafe" pictures. The only purpose of the ratings is for you to let me know what pictures you like and to make it easy to find the very best pictures in the gallery. The computation that assesses the votes is more than just a simple average like you would get at a rating site. For example, a picture with several 4-star ratings will score higher in the ranking than an image getting one 5-star rating.

    Now that there are often hundreds of photos from a given event, the ratings are also used to automatically decide which ones to keep in the permanent archive. Photos that have not been rated above a certain threshold are expired after three months.

    For the mathematically inclined, this is the formula used to rank the pictures. N is the set of responses in the range of one or two stars (which have a negative value) and P is the set of responses in the range three to five stars (which have a positive value.)

  16. How do I get a copy of a picture on the website?

    You can have the pictures from the photo gallery as they appear on the site by clicking on the download icon in the caption box of the full view and using the "download" link on the image page view. Alternately you may right click on the thumbnail on the gallery page and select "open in new tab" or "open in new window" or "save link as". Bear in mind, however, that all the images on the website are copyrighted. These images may only be used for personal, non-commercial purposes.

    At some events such as Sin City I (Atratus) set up a photo booth and sell prints on-the-spot and will take e-mail addresses for digital orders.

    Ordering Prints - If a photo is available for you to purchase you will see a "buy photo" link in the caption area when you are logged in. You must have an account and be logged in to order pictures.

    Prices are as follows:

    • 4" × 6" w/ paper frame - $10 ea.
    • 5" × 7" w/ paper frame - $12 ea.
    • digital (at least 1050 pixels on long edge, typically much larger) - $10.

    Larger print sizes up to 13" × 19" are available by special e-mail request only.

    N.B. Currently the on-line ordering process is being reworked and not functional. Prints are only available by special e-mail request only. Be sure to include the reference ID(s) of the photo(s) you are interested in.

  17. A Can of Beans? WTF?

    Long ago, Evilyn found a can of beans working the door at Labyrinth at The Drink (which is now The Red Room). It was a slow night so I ran around taking people's picture with the beans. It has become a running gag. It doesn't make sense. Just go with it.

    Since their initial discovery the beans have taken on a garden-gnome-like penchant for travel. They have been to two Convergences (San Diego and Portland), Las Vegas (several times), Halifax, Costa Rica, toured Japan (twice), toured Canada with Left Spine Down, been to London, Manchester, and Festival Kinetik in Montréal, Italy, Rio de Janeiro, various cities in Australia, Peru (including Machu Picchu) and Los Angeles. There is no telling where they will turn up next.

  18. How do I contact the webmaster?

    E-mail me and bear in mind that this is something I do in my spare time. If I'm short on spare time I might take several days to get back to you. If you have questions about one of the club nights or an upcoming event you'll be better off posting in the forum or contacting the promoters of the event directly.

  19. How come no one answered my e-mail?

    Because you probably asked a question that is already in the FAQ. That's what a FAQ is for: so I don't have to waste my time answering the same Frequently Asked Questions over and over again. You must be new here. Welcome to the Internet... n00b.