Leslie Hurtig has been appointed the new artistic director of the Vancouver Writers Fest. Hurtig was appointed by a select hiring committee following a nation-wide search and will replace Hal Wake, current artistic director, as of December 2017. Hurtig will be the third artistic director in thirty years, following Wake and Writers Fest founder Alma Lee.
Hurtig previously served as a director and later chair of the Writers Fest board from 1999-2016. She's previously held positions with Munro's Books, McClelland & Stewart, Michael Reynolds & Associates and Raincoast Books.
“It’s an honour to build upon the outstanding work that Hal Wake and Alma Lee accomplished to make this literary festival one of the best in this country," says Hurtig. "The Vancouver Writers Fest is a gem in the crown of Vancouver’s cultural scene and I’m excited to take it into its next decade.”
Hal Wake also expressed his excitement about the recruitment. “I'm very pleased with the announcement. We've worked together for many years at the Festival and her commitment to the vision of the VWF is unparalleled. I look forward to seeing the new ideas she brings to the table and I will be ready to help in any way I can.”
Hurtig starts as incoming artistic director as of October 2, closely working with Hal Wake until she begins role of artistic director in earnest on December 1.