A Goodbye to David Jordan

Dear Fringe Fans,

After 12 inspiring years as the Vancouver Fringe Festival's Executive Director, David Jordan is leaving to pursue new career opportunities. We will miss him! Photo by My City Photos.

After 12 inspiring years as the Vancouver Fringe Festival’s Executive Director, David Jordan is leaving to pursue new career opportunities. We will miss him! Photo by My City Photos.

I am at once full of excitement and sadness to announce that this year will be my 12th and final Festival as Executive Director. Following the Festival, I am leaving to pursue a new career opportunity, as the Arts Services Manager for the City of Burnaby. The position entails overseeing the operations of the impressive Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, the wide array of festivals that take place in the beautiful Deer Lake Park and much more. I’m looking forward to working with the excellent team there to continue nurturing Burnaby’s flourishing artistic activities. Despite this exciting portfolio, it was a very difficult decision to make—my personal and professional life and indeed my identity have become intentionally and lovingly entwined with Fringe.

As perhaps was painfully obvious in my first couple of years at the helm, I was on a steep learning curve! My success was only possible during that time because of the support I received from the entire Fringe community. Over the past decade we have built a resilient and forward looking organization that cultivates theatre and theatre artists and invites a curious audience to share in the excitement of theatre incubation.

In making my decision, at first I had a hard time imagining myself outside of the Fringe. Others in my close circle have told me that they can hardly imagine the Fringe without me. But of course, the Fringe is so much bigger than me. I have been a steward, a shepherd, and a nurturer, but this beautiful mission of cultivating participation in theatre existed before and will carry on after me. Indeed the mission existed in our community before the Fringe organization was born to fulfill it.

So come September we will embrace each other once more and the Fringe will wrap us in its embrace. And together we will embrace a new future, one full of possibilities. The Fringe has momentum. Over the past year we have focused on laying the ground work for an exciting new diversity strategy, which I expect will shape the future of the Fringe. Other year-round initiatives like Theatre Wire continue to evolve and grow to build our community beyond the Festival.

I am extremely confident in our board of directors and the process they have outlined for my succession. They have established an excellent search committee, which includes representation from the wider community by SFU’s Howard Jang as well as Fringe veteran, Tara Travis.  The job posting is live, so please share with anyone you think could be the next leader of this special place!

Being the Fringe’s Executive Director has been infinitely rewarding. I began my job in 2006, thinking I was an event producer. I leave it in 2017, knowing that I am a community leader. I learned everything I know about arts leadership because you gave me this opportunity and accepted me wholeheartedly. I know that my Fringe life will continue to inspire and guide me for the rest of my life. Thank you a thousand times.


Fringefully Yours,

David Jordan