“A Day in the Life” with Artistic Director at Vancouver Writers, Leslie Hurtig

For the past 30 years, Leslie Hurtig has occupied various positions within the Canadian literary landscape. She has served as a sales representative, publicist, rights manager, and book buyer for some of North America’s leading publishers and bookstores. In addition to curating year-round and Festival events at Vancouver Writers Fest, Leslie regularly moderates literary events, acts as a juror for a number of prizes, and guest lectures on publishing and literary festivals at Simon Fraser University. Additionally, Leslie sits on the board of the Canadian Association of Literary Festivals and contributes to the organizing committee of The Global Association of Literary Festivals.

Leslie Hurtig
In conversation with Sarah Polley. Photo by: Dillon Byrne
Leslie Hurtig
Another shot of conversing with Sarah Polley. Photo by: Dillon Byrne
With the team at Vancouver Writer’s Fest
Opening reception, Leslie Hurtig with Founding Artistic Director of Vancouver Writer’s Fest, Alma Lee. Photo by: Ariel Hudnall
Leslie with Margaret Atwood
VWF Members preview. Photo by: Joyce Wan
Leslie Hurtig
Leslie Hurtig with a friend
Leslie Hurtig
And again. Leslie with more of her friends!


Which ‘hood are you in?

The Vancouver Writers Fest is located on Granville Island. I’m very lucky to get to walk to work along the seawall each morning.

What do you do?

I co-lead the Vancouver Writers Fest, a literary arts presentation organization that programs year-round events featuring thought-provoking dialogue between writers, storytellers and journalists. I am responsible for curating these events and helping the organization to connect with readers, writers and the community.

What are you currently working on?

Our flagship Festival will feature over 115 authors from around the world and across Canada. We’ve produced a beautiful program of events and are now in the process of making sure our authors know which events they are in, and making sure the public knows that tickets are on sale. We want to fill all 85 of our venues with book-loving individuals who crave smart dialogue and connection to this community.

Where can we find your work?

The festival will run from October 16-22 on Granville Island and various other locations in Vancouver. All of our events are listed on our website. In addition to our week-long Festival, we also have various Special Events to choose from, including those featuring Zadie Smith, Brent Butt, Rick Mercer, Jan Arden and Kent Monkman. All details can be found on our website!


About Emilea Semancik 135 Articles
Emilea Semancik was born in North Vancouver. Emilea has always always wanted to work as a freelance writer and currently writes for the Vancouver Guardian. Taking influence from journalism culture surrounding the great and late Anthony Bourdain, she is a recipe author working towards publishing her own series of books. You can find her food blog on Instagram: