About

  • Learn all about Indian Summer Festival and our team.

    Learn all about Indian Summer Festival and our team.

Indian Summer is a meteorological phenomenon referring to an unexpectedly sunny period, and consistently above normal temperatures. The term can also be used metaphorically to mean a renaissance, or revival.

Our Story

 

“Indian Summer has made a name for itself as one of the city’s most vibrant and eclectic festivals.” — Georgia Straight

 

The Indian Summer Festival is really not a festival at all. We say this because the word ‘festival’ conjures up something temporary, perhaps even fleeting. To all of us at Indian Summer, the festival really is a model for the kind of society we’d like to see. A society that is creative, diverse, inclusive and innovative. As the world builds more and more walls and as societies get more suspicious and afraid of people who don’t look like them and think like them, we believe in the transformative power of the arts and the festival is our way of reaffirming these beliefs.

And so for ten days this July, we invite you to gather around a series of provocative multi-disciplinary events that feature some of the finest artists and visionaries from Canada, South Asia and beyond. Our programming is rigorous and quirky with an appetite for experimentation, deep thinking, and curiosity. We see artists as important voices in the larger community, allowing us to step into the worlds they create, while also addressing the pressing questions of the one we inhabit. We offer a model for dialogue, a possibility for an inclusive community that is unafraid of striking up conversations – both cheerful and difficult.

Curious about where we’ve been and how far we’ve come? Feel free to peruse our festival annual reports from 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

 View the 2016 annual report

 

Indian Summer Festival is produced by Indian Summer Arts Society, a not-for-profit charitable arts organization based in Vancouver, Canada.  We are a registered charitable arts organization (808864409RR0001).

 Accessible ISF

At the heart of Indian Summer Festival is a desire for dialogue and the possibility for an inclusive community that is diverse, creative and just. We aim to create accessible, barrier-free experiences for the widest possible communities to engage fully in these conversations.

Mobility Access: 100% of Indian Summer Festival’s 2016 indoor venues are accessible to people using mobility aids, including wide and flat entrances, access to ramps/elevators where necessary, wheelchair and scooter accessible washrooms, and assigned seating. Certain venues have specific entrance and washroom information for people with mobility aids; please see event descriptions at www.indiansummerfest.ca for venue-specific information. Please note that a small number of our free events are outdoors in public parks.

Reserve an accessible seat for any festival event online, by phone at 604 283 9172 (ext 1), or by email at info@indiansummerfest.ca. Please contact us if you have questions related to accessibility at outdoor events.

Community Ticketing: Free tickets are available for populations served by social services organizations and to community organizations whose members face economic barriers. To find out more or to request tickets for your group, please contact Outreach Manager Laura Albert at outreach@indiansummerfest.ca.

Indigenous Community Ticketing: Free or reduced-price tickets are available for indigenous community groups to attend Indian Summer Festival events. To request tickets for your group, please contact Outreach Manager Laura Albert at outreach@indiansummerfest.ca.

Free Programming: Our 2016 free program has grown tremendously in terms of depth and range of content and presentation. We have lovingly curated eight free art experiences for our 2016 program, ranging from presentations by international and local artists, to participatory and interactive visual art installations. 

LGBTQIA2+ Inclusivity: Indian Summer Festival strives to foster a respectful and comfortable space for all people attending ISF events, by discussing themes of gender identity and sexuality in our program content, inviting diverse communities to attend, and by providing trans-inclusive washrooms at all indoor venues. Please note that a small number of our free events are outdoors in public parks, without venue-specific bathrooms available to us.

Hearing Assistance: Infrared and loop hearing assist services are available during certain performances for guests who are deaf or hard of hearing. Please see event descriptions for event-specific information.

Our Team

Artistic Director (and ISF Co-founder)

Sirish Rao

Artistic Director (and ISF Co-founder)

Sirish Rao is a writer and former publisher with deep connections to the international cultural world. He spent a decade as Director of one of India’s most respected publishing houses and has worked in international event production in India, the UK and Europe. Sirish was on the jury of the 2015 Ethel Wilson Prize and the 2015 City of Vancouver Book Awards. He is an Adjunct Professor in the Publishing Department at Simon Fraser University.

Managing Director (and ISF Co-Founder)

Laura Byspalko

Managing Director (and ISF Co-Founder)

Laura Byspalko has a Bachelor in International Business (Carleton University) and a Masters in Publishing (Simon Fraser University). She is a passionate creative entrepreneur who has worked in marketing and communications roles in Paris, Mexico City, New Delhi and Vancouver. She has managed the annual UK-based Tibor Jones Literature Prize and run her own arts consulting firm. Since co-founding Indian Summer, she has blueprinted and led ISF’s successful annualized 40% growth plan for the past five years.

Donor Relations and Development Manager

Shahaa Kakar

Donor Relations and Development Manager

Shahaa is a veteran of the arts in both the UK & Canada. Formerly Chief Executive of a prominent South Asian arts charity in England, she was recognized by the Queen for her contributions to diversifying the British arts sector and hailed as a ‘cultural pioneer’ by the Yorkshire Evening Post. Also a trained counselor, Shahaa is passionate about people and how we come together.

Outreach

Laura Albert

Outreach & Volunteer Manager

Laura is a professional community organizer, educator, and dancer, whose work seeks to explore the tensions of intersectional feminism and social justice. With a history of front line work in non-profit organizations for the past 9 years, her curiosity about human kindness is insatiable. An avid traveler, she has taught and studied dance and art history on several continents. In her undergraduate work Laura studied sustainable community development, art history and social theory, with an interest in the role of the artist in society. This fall she will begin the MA program at SFU’s School of Contemporary Arts.

Production Manager

Mimi Abrahams

Production Manager

Mimi Abrahams is a live events powerhouse with a “if you can do it, then do it” philosophy. She is originally from New York, and graduated from the Purchase Conservatory of Theater Arts and Film, 2004. For the past 6 years, Mimi has worked as the technical director for the Norman Rothstein Theatre and the Chutzpah! Festival.  She has also worked across North America as a lighting designer, scenic designer, stage manager, and event manager. 

Communications Manager

Sandy Manj

Communications Manager

Creatively wild and wildy creative, Sandy is a Graphic Designer turned Communications professional who has been working in mid-to-small, not-for-profit organizations, both locally and internationally, for the past six years. Sandy’s relentless sense of wonder and experimentation has allowed her to master the beautiful nuances of all aspects of communications, which enables her to produce outstanding designs, powerfully written stories, captivating photography and tactful strategies.

Office Manager

Gillian Cofsky

Office Manager

Gillian is a student, a teacher, a dancer, and an organizer. She is currently enrolled in the Professional Accounting program at Langara College and is co-director of the values-driven dance company, Luciterra. With equal parts passion for creative expression and love for organizational structure, Gillian is fuelled by her commitment to empower the arts and social justice sectors to thrive in the larger economic landscape.

Communications Designer

Alexa Lupul

Communications Designer

Alexa is a Vancouver based multidisciplinary designer. She has been freelancing along the Sea to Sky Corridor working with a wide array of clients from large consumer brands to niche start-ups. Alexa loves helping passionate people communicate their message through unique brand identities, stand-out packaging and engaging online experiences. She also has a thing for hand lettering, vintage print design and scenic road trips.

Board of Directors

Board Chair

Caroline Neufeld

Board Chair
Board Member

Mandeep R. Dhaliwal

Board Member
Treasurer

Baljeet Basi

Treasurer
Board Member

Shelly Dhawan

Board Member
Secretary

Ayme Sharma

Secretary
Board Member

Naveen Girn

Board Member

Jobs

Communications Intern

Part-time, Academic internship (for credit) or volunteer position, March/April-July 2016. Gain experience in copywriting, web content strategy, social media management, and more … see posting


Social Media Intern

Part-time, Academic internship (for credit) or volunteer position, April/May start date – 4 month duration … see posting

 

Volunteer Coordinator Intern

Part-time, Academic internship (for credit) or volunteer position, April/May start date – 4 month duration … see posting


Production Assistant Intern

Part-time, Academic internship (for credit) or volunteer position, April/May start date – 4 month duration … see posting


Artist Services Assistant Intern

Part-time, Academic internship (for credit) or volunteer position, May-July 2016 … see posting