Call for Applications

Vancouver Public Library (VPL) Aboriginal storyteller in residence program 2018

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Application Deadline: November 6th 2017

The VPL Aboriginal storyteller in residence program was created in 2008 in recognition of Canada’s Indigenous peoples and the importance of oral storytelling as a way to learn about and from Aboriginal communities in Vancouver. Through the storyteller in residence, we seek to honour Aboriginal cultures and to promote intercultural understanding and communication between Aboriginal and non- Aboriginal peoples.

It was the first program of its kind at a public library in British Columbia and only the second at a Canadian public library. The Aboriginal storyteller in residence program has now become essential to the library’s public programming.

The Vancouver Public Library is seeking an Aboriginal Storyteller in Residence in order to highlight the importance of storytelling as a way of sharing culture and building memory.

The Storyteller plays a unique and valuable role at the Library, using storytelling as a way to highlight Aboriginal cultures, traditions and knowledge, and help Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Vancouver residents learn about and from Aboriginal communities.

The Aboriginal Storyteller in Residence will develop and lead exciting public events that promote intercultural understanding and story sharing between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples. They will support and provide advice to community members and aspiring storytellers through one-to-one consultations and group workshops. This full-time position (35 hours/week) requires 50 percent of the Storyteller’s time be spent on library programs or projects, leaving 50 percent of the residency time available for working on their storytelling projects.

The Library would like to hear from you if you are:

  • An experienced Aboriginal storyteller and/or performer – in any medium, including music, digital media, writing, theatre, etc. – ideally living in or with strong community connections in the Lower Mainland.
  • Enthusiastic about developing, presenting, and sharing your knowledge and culture through events at Vancouver Public Library and in the community.
  • Committed to participating in Vancouver Public Library and City of Vancouver events.
  • Available on a full-time basis in Vancouver, from March 7th through June 26th 2018.

In addition to your storytelling and public speaking experience you must also be able to:

  • Work independently and as part of a team with library staff.
  • Comfortably interact with members of Vancouver’s diverse public, including youth and elders.
  • Participate in media opportunities to promote the residency, the library and storytelling.
  • Prepare for and meet deadlines.

The Storyteller in Residence will have four main responsibilities:

  • Spend time developing their own story material.
  • Lead storytelling events and other relevant programs to share their story material with the general public at the Central Library, branch libraries, and other community locations.
  • Develop a unique and culturally relevant personal project that can be shared with the Vancouver community through VPL. This may be shared by way of a performance, the library collection or a visual exhibit.
  • Support and assist new storytellers through personal meetings and group workshops.

Applications from all experienced Aboriginal storytellers are welcomed

Contract terms: $17,000 for four months full-time activity ($4,250 per month on a self-employed basis).

Contract dates: March 7, 2018 – June 26, 2018

Please send us:

  • A resume outlining your relevant qualifications and experience.
  • A cover letter which expands on your experience.
  • A brief description of the storytelling project you intend to pursue – please explain how a residency at the Vancouver Public Library and access to its resources will benefit your project.
  • A brief outline of the public events you will offer during your residency, including your plans for engaging community members and aspiring storytellers.
  • Please explain how you envision your Residency will make a lasting contribution to the Vancouver Public Library and to our diverse community at large.
  • Contact information for three references.

Expressions of interest may be emailed in PDF format to or mailed to:

Attention: Aboriginal Storyteller in Residence Search Committee
Programming & Learning Department
Vancouver Public Library
350 West Georgia Street
Vancouver BC V6B 6B1

Completed applications must be received by 5 p.m. (PST) on Monday, November 6, 2017.

If you have questions please contact Tara O’Coffey at (604) 331-3723. Vancouver Public Library’s Storyteller in Residence program started in 2008 and the successful candidate will serve as VPL’s 9th Storyteller in Residence.

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the VPL Aboriginal storyteller in residence program

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