The Massey Theatre Society has hired two acclaimed arts leaders to join the staff team for Massey Theatre, Anvil Centre Theatre and Eighth & Eight Creative Spaces. These new hires are filling the roles of Programming Director and Performing Arts Programming Coordinator.
Jillian Christmas will be the new Programming Director. Jillian is a queer, Afro-Caribbean writer who worked as long-time spoken word coordinator at the Vancouver International Writers Fest. She has built a vibrant legacy of arts-organizing and curation, including six fruitful seasons as former Artistic Director of Versəs Festival of Words, as well as serving as a founding member and People and Talent Coordinator for Bakau Consulting’s (formerly Cicely Blain Consulting) acclaimed Stratagem conferences. Her organizing work focuses on a desire and duty to uplift underrepresented voices and distribute resources into marginalized and underserved communities. These talents and abilities will be activated towards the expanded creative facilities, uplifting community through the arts.
The Performing Arts Programming Coordinator position will be filled by Fleur Sweetman. Fleur worked as long time General Manager for both Turning Point Ensemble and Vancouver Pro Musica. A trained oboist holding her Masters of Music Performance from UBC, Fleur has an intimate connection and knowledge of the classical and contemporary music communities which will allow her to build local capacity and develop new relationships in the performing arts. She’s also an experienced community programmer and activator having worked at Place Des Arts as Fine and Performing Arts Programmer.
‘We are truly proud to have attracted these two phenomenal individuals. The support of a Pivot Grant from BC Arts Council allowed us to work with programming consultant Gary Cristall to review our needs and support us in our search. These roles and the increased capacity they bring are vital as we expand the Massey Theatre, Anvil Centre Theatre and Eighth & Eight Creative Spaces programs and relationships,” said Jessica Schneider, Executive Director, Massey Theatre Society, “As our capacity grows, so does our ability to serve and inspire the community and provide a home for people to create, celebrate and connect.”
The pair join Schneider, Indigenous Cultural Development Director Ronnie Dean Harris and the Operational Leadership Team as key voices in resourcing and guiding the artistic, social and cultural contributions of the Society.
As the summer continues, activities will continue with the Open Space Saturday series and planning for reopening the facilities to audiences. Schneider promises further announcements about public and artistic programs, staffing and more.