Director, LIVE Biennale

LIVE Biennale Performance Art Society is seeking New Leadership!

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Full-time, ongoing Directorship
Hours: 150 hours/month on average, occasional evenings and weekends required
Salary: $56,000 per annum, plus benefits
Deadline: Applications accepted until June 30 2022; position open until filled.
Applicants invited for interview can expect to hear by July 9 2022.

Situated in Vancouver, LIVE is one of Canada’s forums for local, national and international performance art. Following an extensive reflective process propelled by the pandemic and recent calls for justice, and:

After over 20 years and 11 biennales with minimal change to its format, there is a need to reconsider the organization’s mandate and its terms of engagement as an international and local performance art event. How can our mandate provide space for LIVE to adapt to the shifting cultural and environmental conditions while responding mindfully, and with the necessary urgency, to the needs of our societies in the 21st century?
– excerpt from the Board Statement for LIVE Assembly 2021, accessible in full at livebiennale.ca/2021

LIVE is now excited to bring in new leadership to continue and see through the diverse and innovative trajectories that invigorate the concept and development of our locally-based international live performance art organization.

LIVE Biennale therefore seeks a collaborative leader who can animate our event-based audience for upcoming editions of our biennale celebrations. Towards LIVE2023 and beyond, LIVE invites engaging and people-centred guidance and cultivation of our community as we explore and realize new art futures together.

The Director of LIVE Biennale Performance Art Society will be accountable to the LIVE Board in the planning and production of biennial performance art events and associated artistic projects that welcome and embrace multidisciplinary contributions from guest curators, artists, arts organizations and communities that converge around performance art.

You, a vital steward, will lead a small staff team that assists with the delivery of programming for both biennale years and off-years, which includes a burgeoning year-round digital platform to connect and extend our performance art network for makers and thinkers, around the globe, in the Canadian art context, and within the nexus of live arts in Vancouver. This work may entail travel.

You, a cultural worker of ambition and responsive ethics, will serve our community with care and vision, also through generous accountability to and exchange with an active society of peers who are based on the western edge of Turtle Island.

Having engaged extensively with Indigenous artists since our beginnings, LIVE stands firm in this core value and strives to provide a platform for amplifying historically and systemically marginalized voices and bodies. You, a committed and gifted facilitator, will widen the scope and scale of interactions with divergent communities of practice towards opening, advancing and sustaining nuanced and embodied discourses of social and cultural relevance.

Key attributes of the role include:

Knowledge and Experience

  • Understanding and appreciation of performance art and thorough engagement with contemporary art in a range of dynamic contexts.
  • Familiarity with daily operations of non-profit artist-run sector administration.
  • Demonstrable curatorial and/or project planning experience.
  • Effective and anti-oppressive oral and written communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Past production of multi-day performance art events will be a strong asset.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Researching, writing and reporting on grants and diverse funding sources in the local, national and international art context (e.g. CADAC, BC Arts Council, Vanapply, Canada Summer Jobs/GCOS).
  • Managing, hiring, contracting and supervising staff, contractors and artists.
  • Drawing up and working within project-based and annual operating budgets.
  • Coordinating with other artist-run centres, collectives, festivals and organizations.
  • Define and execute a vision in consultation with board, staff and community members.
  • Provide leadership to shape the organization, including the preparation and presentation of reports and updates to the LIVE Board for collective discussion and decision-making, as well as working with the Board and staff to ensure policies, procedures and strategies are developed, implemented and reviewed regularly.
  • Cultivate and maintain a supportive, diverse, inclusive and vibrant work culture.

About the Workplace:

LIVE’s office is in the Sun Wah building found in the heart of Vancouver’s Chinatown, co-located with the SUM Art Gallery and the Paul Wong studio, on unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. We recognize these lands and waters have been cared for since time out of mind, and gratefully acknowledge that this care in turn nurtures us. We thus live in balance and in an ongoing understanding of stewardship that require responsibility for respectful listening to the peoples and places that cared before us.

LIVE Biennale of Performance Art Society embodies the following values: partnership and collaboration, living wage employment, diversity (of cultural and personal identities, of Indigenous and visible minorities, of genders and sexual orientations, of multiple generations and abilities), local community and global outreach, critical discourse and intervention, artist-run organization, grassroots foundation.

LIVE strives to be a diverse, inclusive, and equitable organization and workplace, where all employees, artists and volunteers–whatever their gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation or identity, education or ability–are valued and respected.

We invite you to respond to this invitation, both in and out of the contours of this document, and start a conversation with us. Please take a moment to get to know us at our homepage and platform.

How to Apply:

Please send (1) a letter of motivation of no more than 2 pages, which should include your initial reflection on a vision for LIVE, and (2) a current resume or CV to jobs@livebiennale.ca no later than June 30 2022.


LIVE Biennale
268 Keefer Street, Sun Wah Centre, Unit 407
Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6A 1X5