About

  • Learn all about the Indian Summer Festival team and our support network.

    Learn all about the Indian Summer Festival team and our support network.

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

 

For ten days every July, Indian Summer Festival presents provocative multi-disciplinary events in Vancouver and surrounding areas that feature some of the finest artists and visionaries from Canada, South Asia and beyond. From award-winning novelists to innovative social entrepreneurs to world-renowned musicians, Indian Summer Festival has presented emerging artists as well as Nobel, Booker, Grammy and Oscar prize nominees on its stages.

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 ones. Together, we hope to shape a society that is robust, creative and just.

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

 

View the 2015 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).

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.

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