Vancouver Poetry House is a non-profit arts organization, the largest and longest-lasting of its type in all of Western Canada. What began as a small group of friends organizing tiny poetry shows has become a much larger project, bringing spoken word poetry to stages across the area and bringing poets together from across the country to compete for national and international titles and build community with one another. Our main programs include the Verses Festival of Words, a 10-day spoken word festival which takes place every April and includes the Canadian Individual Poetry Slam (CIPS) competition, Hullabaloo youth spoken word competition and mini-festival, as well as a variety of curated workshops and feature performances; Wordplay, a poetry project which brings spoken word artists to the classroom to engage children and youth; and the Vancouver Poetry Slam, a bi-weekly local competition-based spoken word show.
The Artistic Director (AD) has overarching artistic control over all of Vancouver Poetry House’s programs and initiatives. The Artistic Director develops new artist directions, nurtures and coordinates the growth of VPH’s artistic vision, and executes creative deliverables.
As a leader in the organization, and working closely with the General Manager (GM), the AD curates and oversees programs, shows, festivals, and events. The AD represents Vancouver Poetry House through community outreach, publicity, publishing, marketing, and enhancement of stakeholder relationships.
Compensation is based on 90 hours a month at the hourly rate of $23.89. However some months will be far busier than others. Compensation is regular though the workload differs seasonally. This is a one-year renewable contract position paying $2,150 a month for total compensation of $25,800.
The duties and responsibilities are divided into the following categories:
Artistic Vision & Programming:
Develops, expands, and maintains the artistic vision for the organization
Maintains the artistic integrity of VPH programs, events, workshops, gatherings, slams, etc
Develops new arts initiatives, and in coordination with the General Manager, prepares them for implementation
Develops the theme of Verses Festival of Words and for the curation of the festival
Ensures that programming stays in line with VPH’s mission and values
Regularly reports to the Board of Directors
Writes and presents the Artistic Director’s Report at the AGM
Administration and Finances:
Works with the GM and Financial Coordinator to develop and maintain program budgets in line with the annual board budget
Works with the GM and Financial Coordinator in overseeing finances, engaging granting agencies and
existing donors, and cultivating new supporters
Keeps up with the larger arts community; works with the larger issues in the spoken word community in Canada and other parts of the world
Maintains best practices with respect to the spoken word art form
Engages as a creative collaborator with the larger community, embraces diversity and equality
Provides support and counsel for emerging artists engaged in VPH programs
Represents and hosts VPH at fundraising events, with community and stakeholders
Promotes professional development for artists
Works closely with Program Leaders to align the overall vision with the needs and specific histories of the individual programs
Works with the General Manager to implement programs as necessary
Develops a publicity strategy, and in concert with the GM and/or publicist, oversees the creation and implementation of promotional, funding and press materials
With the GM oversees program calendars and schedules
Makes statements, schedules and supporting materials available to the board and GM
Hires, trains and supports staff under the purview of the AD
Provides support, counsel, artistic input to production staff where requested
Full position details and guidelines for how to apply can be found here: https://www.vancouverpoetryhouse.com/about/position-announcements/Time Commitment: 90 hours per month with varied workload throughout the yearQualifications:
There is no minimum education or work experience requirement for this position. However, the following skills are important:
Familiarity with Spoken Word poetry
Demonstrated success in grant writing
The goal of cultivating a collaborative working environment
The Vancouver Poetry House's values are also important in considering the hiring of the Artistic Director:
Participatory and Cooperative
Vancouver Poetry House is a member-driven organization. We work to reduce barriers to literary art so that we can ensure accessibility and full participation for the communities we serve. We value diversity and the array of knowledge that different life experiences bring.
Social Justice and Community
We value respectful dialogue, attempt to resolve conflict and misunderstandings in ways that respect each individual’s lived experience and act to build bridges of communication across misunderstandings. We nurture healthy, sustainable environments for the arts to thrive. We challenge systems of oppression through sharing the health-bringing arts to the wider community and by offering a place of solace and sharing to anyone who attends or takes part in our programs.
Professionalism in the Arts
We seek to develop and share myriad skills essential to living a sustainable life as an artist. VPH seeks to provide opportunities to build skills that help members fulfil their capacity for artistic development and career goals.
A sustainable literary arts community rooted in social justice where new creativity can grow from old forms.