Executive Director


Vancouver Book and Magazine Fair Society


Apr. 23, 2018

Organization Description: 

The Vancouver Book and Magazine Fair Society is the producer of Word Vancouver, Western Canada’s largest free celebration of literacy and reading. Held during the week leading up to the last Sunday of September at various venues throughout the city, our Festival promotes books and authors with free exhibits, performances, and hands-on activities for a wide range of ages and interests. This year’s Festival will take place September 24–30, 2018.



Job Description: 

The Vancouver Book and Magazine Fair (Word Vancouver) is seeking an Executive Director to provide visionary leadership in the internal operations of the organization to enable strong, diverse, inclusive, accessible, well-resourced, and sustainable programming for the community we serve.

The Executive Director plays a key leadership role in the organization, is committed to the mandate and goals of the Vancouver Book And Magazine Fair (Word Vancouver), and is responsible for the effective day-to-day administration of Word Vancouver as well as Festival production. This is a rare opportunity for an individual or team to develop and mould their unique vision. 

Proposals will be accepted both from individuals and from teams.


Working Conditions

This is a year-round position with a concentration leading up to the Festival at the end of September. Distribution of work is flexible; the incumbent would determine their own hours and workflow. The incumbent is responsible for providing or acquiring their own workspace. 

Some work is anticipated to be contracted out, such as Volunteer Coordination, Publicity, and Design. These positions would be managed and coordinated by the Executive Director.

The incumbent would begin immediately to provide some overlap with the outgoing Executive Director and team.


Festival Management

  • Ensures the development, delivery, monitoring, and evaluation of Festival programs and services within the approved budget
  • Establishes and executes a strong, diverse, and inclusive vision for all Festival programming 
  • Coordinates and supervises the efforts of exhibitors, authors, other artists, support staff and/or volunteers, production personnel, and a variety of suppliers for booth structures, signage, food and beverage, water and electrical requirements, security, staging, and sound technicians
  • Prepares and presents a Festival plan including budget for consideration and approval by the Board
  • Ensures there is effective financial control of receipts and disbursement, and safeguards assets
  • Makes sure that annual financial statements are completed by an accountant for presentation at the Annual General Meeting in May of each year
  • Maintains complete records of all Word Vancouver activities, including a database of participants, exhibitors, performers, sponsors, committee members, and volunteers
  • Files appropriate reports with the Registrar of Companies according to the BC Society Act, with the Receiver General Canada, and other reports as required
  • Prepares and submits an Annual Report, including financial statement, for the Word Vancouver Annual General Meeting
  • Creates registration materials, and implements exhibitor registration system
  • Responsible for writing, editing, production, and distribution of the Word Vancouver official guide
  • Executes all pre-Festival requirements, including street closure permits, health regulations, security requirements, fire safety, insurance, washroom facilities, electricity, on-site merchant participation.
  • Works with community partners to undertake cooperative projects

Festival Personnel

  • Hires, trains, supervises, and evaluates staff, contract workers, and volunteers
  • Manages all seasonal staff and crew
  • Reports regularly to the Board regarding recommendations on changes to job descriptions, contracts, salaries, and personnel policies
  • Informs staff and volunteers of decisions and policies made by the Board which affect their work
  • Promotes an effective team approach among the staff and committee members of Word Vancouver 

Revenue Development

  • Designs and implements fundraising and sponsorship plans in initiatives in consultation with the Board, including financial targets
  • Prepares and submits funding proposals and applications, including grant applications and reports
  • Identifies potential funding sources
  • Builds and maintains effective relationships with potential funders, including all government levels, corporations, foundations, and individuals
  • Designs and implements an annual giving campaign for individual donors
  • Prepares regular reports for the Board on the status of fundraising and sponsorship efforts, grant applications, and changes to the budget
  • Maintains relationships with all partners and sponsors

Marketing & Outreach

  • Develops and maintains effective public relations with Word Vancouver constituents, including book and magazine publishers, booksellers, writers, literacy organizations, libraries, media, Festival community, professional associations, and volunteers
  • Develops and maintains a supportive working relationship with other agencies, appropriate government departments, and all other groups with whom Word Vancouver is involved
  • Ensures that Word Vancouver is represented at relevant forums, conferences, and meetings
  • Promotes the Festival and Word Vancouver’s activities by developing marketing and promotional materials
  • Oversees social media strategies and policies
  • Maintains Word Vancouver’s online presence, including website, social media, and digital marketing
  • Develops media partnerships 
  • Advocates on behalf of Word Vancouver through presentations to government, letters, and interviews with the media
  • Develops and oversees special events to augments exhibitor participation at the Festival

Board of Directors

  • Participates in a non-voting capacity at Board and Committee meetings. Informs Board and Committee chairs of current developments. Provides pertinent materials and appropriate support
  • Participates with the Board in developing long-range plans and objectives for Word Vancouver
  • Coordinates orientation and professional development support to the Board and Committee members
  • Participates with the Board in setting specific annual priorities and objectives with the long-range plan
  • Develops and maintains an effective working relationship with the Board to further the goals of Word Vancouver
  • Submits regular reports to the Board including financials, fundraising, programming, and marketing
  • Prepares and presents an Annual Report for the Annual General Meeting and appropriate sponsors


  • Experience in event production.
  • Project management experience including developing strategic and operational plans; financial management; staff management; vendor development; and volunteer coordination. 
  • Experience in non-profit fundraising and sponsorship development, including planning and running fundraising campaigns; grant writing; identifying and bringing potential sponsors/partners to the negotiation table; and marketing collateral development.
  • A demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusivity in the Canadian literary and publishing industries, including a sensitivity to current trends and issues.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills including conflict resolution and management, and the ability to develop, lead, and motivate teams of volunteers with a wide range of capabilities. 
  • Proven capacity to adapt to fluid scenarios, offer innovative solutions, and implement a pragmatic distribution of limited resources. 
  • Proven capacity to build strong, collaborative relationships across all areas of event development. 
  • Outstanding written and oral communication skills, including public speaking skills.
  • Commitment to literature and its place in our society, particularly within the Vancouver, BC, and Western Canadian literary communities. Network in the national literary community a plus.
  • Post-secondary education, preferably in a related field such as Non-profit Management. 
  • Fluency with Mac and Microsoft business applications, including Adobe Creative Suite and Wordpress.

How to Apply: 

Send proposal, CV(s), and supporting documentation to wordvan.board@gmail.com


$50,000 salary for Executive Director Additional budget line items are in place for publicity, office rent, volunteer coordination, and additional staffing.

Contact Name: Word Vancouver Board of Directors
Contact Email: wordvan.board@gmail.com

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