VanCAF Welcomes New Festival Director

image by Connor Willumsen

The Vancouver Comic Arts Association is pleased to announce the hiring of Jarrett Evan Samson as incoming Festival Director. Jarrett brings a range of great experience in events planning while working as the Events and Social Media Manager for one of the greatest comic stores in the world, The Beguiling. Jarrett brings years of deep dedication to comics, not only as an art form, but also as a community of creatives.

VanCAA went through an extensive screening and interview process. We are excited by the energy and enthusiasm that Jarrett will be bringing to the festival. Jarrett will be supporting outgoing Festival Director, Isabella Laird in coordinating the online programming for the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival this year. We are extremely thankful for all the great work that Isabella has completed in her time here at VanCAF. The show has grown in many different ways that would not been possible without Isabella’s careful stewardship.

Jarrett states, “I am beside myself with excitement to be joining the VanCAF team as Festival Director! My return to Vancouver from several years in Toronto working for The Beguiling and TCAF was largely due to wanting to bring the skills and knowledge I had gained from being part of those amazing teams to the community I owe so much to– as such, this feels like a perfect opportunity to make that happen. VanCAF’s growth over the last several years has been astonishing and I’m excited to work with outgoing director Isabella Laird and the rest of the incredible team on this year’s online festival and beyond, and to continue to make VanCAF an exciting, vibrant and welcoming space for creators, community members and guests alike! I am honoured and humbled to be able to return to work on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh and Səl̓ı́lwətaʔ/Selilwitulh peoples and will make sure that is reflected in both the Festival and my own personal life.”

The Vancouver Comic Arts Festival is a festival that celebrates and features Comics, Graphic Novels and the people that create them. Held annually at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre, the festival features over 300 exhibiting artists and over 11,000 attendees coming through the door. 2021 will be a milestone year for VanCAF with our 10th annual festival, taking place online for the second year in a row due to COVID-19 Safety Restrictions. The Vancouver Comic Arts Festival acknowledges that our work takes place on the stolen ancestral and traditional territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ı́lwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples. We recognize their sovereignty, as there are no treaties on these lands. As comic creators and enthusiasts, it is important to understand the history of the spaces we occupy and the ongoing effects of our presence. Read VanCAF’s full statement and commitment here.

Festival Director Position Posting

VanCAF is pleased to share this open posting for Festival Director. If you have any questions, please email for more information.

Job Description:

The Vancouver Comic Arts Festival (VanCAF) Director is responsible for strategic and operational oversight of the festival. The Festival Director develops community programming initiatives, curates events that showcase the work, talent, and diversity of the comic arts community, as well as strengthens and builds community partnerships. Planning the yearly festival consists of curating and liaising with exhibiting artists and special guests, facilitating moving parts in festival management, and evaluating future opportunities for growth. The Festival Director should be passionate about comics and their creators, and strive to find innovative ways to celebrate both. 

The Festival Director should also be committed to advancing equity and diversity in all aspects of the festival in order to help foster an inclusive comic arts community. VanCAF is dedicated to ensuring everyone feels safe and welcome in the spaces we curate, and as a result we are looking for people with shared values to join the festival. 

In addition, we encourage applications from members of underrepresented groups, including but not limited to: people with lived racialized experiences, people with disabilities, and/or 2SLGBTQ+ folks.

This position will also include significant on-boarding time with outgoing Festival Director.

About VanCAF:

The Vancouver Comic Arts Association is a non-profit focused on celebrating comics, art, and storytelling. Through the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival, the Society programs a two-day celebration of comics with readings, panels, workshops, and artist exhibitions. To learn more about our work and our values, we invite you to get a sense of last year’s online programming, get to know our team, read our land acknowledgement comic and statement, and review our code of conduct.


(Please note that in light of COVID-19 based restrictions, some of these responsibilities are subject to change based on the evolving needs of the festival.)

  1. The management of all aspects of the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival operations, including, but not limited to:
  • Curating VanCAF exhibitor applications
  • Creating a floor plan for successful applicants
  • Ongoing communication with exhibitors throughout the lead up to the festival and during the festival
  • Overseeing event programming submissions, participants, and scheduling, as well as formulating programming ideas
  • Liaising and communicating with vendors, suppliers, and venues
  • Selecting and securing the attendance of special guests
  • Recruiting, creating, and leading the festival’s volunteer component
  • Coordinating festival design and working with artists and contractors on the program, posters, and branding
  • Planning onsite coordination and space usage of festival location
  • Arranging special guests’ flights, accommodations, and signings
  • Facilitating shipping & handling of product from featured guests and vendors
  • Securing insurance and permits for the event
  • Organizing and scheduling comics-based workshops
  1. Coordinating with the Executive Director and Vancouver Comic Arts Association Board to develop, explore, and implement sponsorship, partnership, and advertising opportunities.
  2. Collaborate with the Executive Director on researching and applying for grants from public funders, government agencies, and foundations, as well as reporting on application status.
  3. Promoting VanCAF through all available channels, including our website, social media, and print media.
  4. Expanding direct support of BIPOC artists in meaningful ways.
  5. Regular reporting and forecasting of financial expenses and regular invoicing of personal expenses.
  6. Lead ongoing educational component (both online and in-person) during the festival and throughout the year – including scheduling artists and venues, developing lesson plans, and evaluation follow-up.
  7. Make public appearances as needed, including press briefings, event introductions, and panel moderation.
  8. Other duties that may arise. 


  • Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Fine Arts (or an equivalent combination of education and experience in a related field)
  • 2+ years experience working in arts-based non-profits (or equivalent experience)
  • Strong working knowledge of comics and comic creators
  • Experience with grant applications
  • Comfortable working with and developing budgets
  • Experience working with online event platforms such as Zoom, Airmeet, YouTube Live, etc. 
  • Experience moderating, facilitating workshops, and supporting instructors
  • Ability to work some evenings and weekends for VanCAF events and board meetings


  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Proficient with design software, such as Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, and/or Photoshop
  • Strong writing skills
  • Adept at networking and community building
  • Self-starter
  • Works well independently and takes initiative with minimal direction
  • Skilled in conflict resolution 


  • Flexible hours (make your own schedule!)
  • 3 weeks of paid vacation per year
  • The chance to make meaningful contributions to the local comic arts community
  • Opportunities for networking with industry professionals

Salary: $25/hour, average of 20 hours/week, with variances corresponding with festival activities 

Duration: 6-month contract (with the possibility of extension for additional term(s) dependent on funding)

Location: Vancouver, BC (remote)

To apply, please email a resume and cover letter to This posting will close on March 15th at 1pm. Please note that only interviewed candidates will be contacted. Thank you!

We are seeking two new members to join our Board of Directors!

The Vancouver Comic Arts Association is a non-profit focused on celebrating comics, art, and storytelling. Through the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival (VanCAF), the Society programs a two-day celebration of comics with readings, panels, workshops, and artist exhibitions. To learn more about our work and our values, we invite you to read our Festival FAQs, get a sense of this year’s online programming, read our land acknowledgement comic and statement, and review our code of conduct.

We believe that stories told through comics have the power to transmit ideas in ways that no other form can achieve. As we continue to grow as an organization and in our programming, we are seeking two new members to join our Board of Directors. 

If you…

…are interested in working with VanCAF to grow in the following areas:

  • Year-round programming
  • Additional educational programming and partnerships
  • Continue to increase and sustain direct support of QTBIPOC artists 
  • Create and strengthen community relationships

…have expertise or experience in one or more of the following fields:

  • Professional accounting
  • Law/legal
  • Education
  • Fundraising
  • UX/UI/Computer Programming
  • Outreach
  • Lived experience of racialization
  • Working meaningfully with equity-seeking groups

… and have an interest in:

  • Comics, art, stories
  • Positively impacting your local community
  • Working with artists and creators
  • Gaining governance experience

…then we’d love to hear from you. Please email a resume and short letter expressing your interest to

Thank you!

VanCAF 2020 Announcement of Event Cancellation

As you know, the worldwide COVID-19 outbreak has had significant impacts that are still developing today. In response to the global pandemic, health authorities regionally and nationally have taken steps to slow the spread of the disease, including cancelling any large gatherings and restricting international travel. 

That said, it is with a very heavy heart that we announce the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival 2020 is cancelled. We understand and appreciate that festivals like VanCAF are so important to the livelihood of artists and creators, are a great way to connect and meet new people, and a meaningful opportunity to volunteer within a passionate and dedicated community. 

At the moment, VanCAF staff, Vancouver Comic Arts Association board members, and VanCAF volunteers are working hard to recalibrate the festival. We are exploring alternative ways to share and promote the incredible work of artists and creators, including adapting certain workshops and panels to be online, a digital artist alley, and more. 

Since this is a turbulent and confusing time, we thank you for your patience while we explore new digital ways to bring you comic artists’ work, share their skills, and organize new comic events once feasible. 

If you have any ideas surrounding different strategies for promoting and supporting the Vancouver comics community, we would love to hear from you at! We are inspired by other festivals and events in the creative ways they have changed and adapted, and we hope to do the same. 

Exhibitors who have paid for a table will be given the option of a full refund, or for us to hold onto their payment until VanCAF 2021 and guarantee them a spot without having to reapply. Exhibitors have been contacted directly, but please contact to state a preference either way. 

We sincerely hope everyone stays safe and healthy during this uncertain time. Please contact if you have any further questions or concerns. 

All the best, 

The staff of the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival, and the board of the Vancouver Comic Arts Association

Update to the Comics Community Regarding COVID-19 from TCAF and VanCAF

In the months leading up to the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, including Comics X Games in partnership with Hand Eye Society (May 8-10) and the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival (May 16-17), we wanted to update you on our plans. 

At this point, both festivals will be moving forward, with enhanced cleaning procedures at venues, and additional cleaning/sanitizing materials made available to exhibitors and the public. 

The health and the well-being of everyone involved is our paramount concern. We are closely monitoring updates from Centres of Disease Control, Emergency Management Agencies, the Public Health Agency of Canada, local health agencies, and other official sources for the latest risk assessment. At the time of writing (March 11, 2020), public health officials in Canada have assessed that the risk of COVID-19 transmission remains low, and they have specifically not requested that events be cancelled. We encourage individuals to seek direct updates from public health officials going forward. Regular updates from the Public Health Agency of Canada are being posted on their official website

TCAF and VanCAF exist to support creators and generate professional, artistic, and opportunities to them, and we remain committed to that vision. We encourage creators to make the best choices for themselves, and weigh the pros and cons of any actions. If exhibitors at either show wish to cancel their participation, they may do so and receive a refund of table fees. We only ask that exhibitors please contact the appropriate email address ( or as soon as possible to allow us to open up space on our waitlist. If you are exhibiting but unsure of your travel arrangements, please plan accordingly and book flexible travel options that will allow you to cancel or postpone with minimal financial penalty. 

We will continue to update all of our exhibitors and the public on the situation as we move forward, and remain committed to clear communication with all parties. We have two months until our festivals begin, and we will be making frequent updates to exhibitors and the public in response to recommendations by public health officials. 

Please don’t hesitate to be in touch with the TCAF and/or VanCAF teams in the weeks leading up to the festivals. We wish you, and the entire comics community, good health, and we’re looking forward to welcoming you in 2020 and the many years to come.

  • The Staffs of TCAF, HES, and VanCAF

Additional resources from regional health authorities can be found at the following links:

VanCAF Presents: Comics Classroom

The Vancouver Comic Arts Festival is very excited to announce our inaugural educational day. Happening on May 17th 2019 at the Central Branch of the Vancouver Public Library, Comics Classroom is a free opportunity to learn vital comics skills and practices directly from comics professionals.

This day would not be possible without generous financial support from the Capilano University Animation Department. From department head, Don Perro: “The Comics Classroom Project is a fantastic addition to VanCAF that brings real learning to the Festival. The skilled artists instructing these workshops bring with them decades of experience and will serve to inspire and direct a new generation of talent. I am so grateful that Capilano University Animation Department can help make this project possible!”

We are also thankful to the Vancouver Library for providing space for this in their expanded 8th and 9th floor learning labs in the Main Branch on Robson. These new facilities are an amazing addition to the centre of literature for the City. VanCAF would also like to recognize the City of Vancouver for their financial support in helping to make this event happen.

The workshops are designed so that those new to the medium and those who are more experienced can learn and practice the foundational skills of making comics. Instructors come from a variety of backgrounds, from Russian by way of San Francisco, to Tasmanian, to important Canadian creators. VanCAF provides these workshops free to the open community in an informal setting. Priority will be on an equitable exchange of ideas and uplifting and bringing forward unique voices.

Participants will be able to learn colouring techniques from Tony Cliff and Simon Hanselmann, gag strips with Doug Savage, Inking by Simon Roy and Roman Muradov, non-fiction storytelling with Gord Hill, and a guide to publishing graphic novels with Faith Erin Hicks.

Festival Director, Isabella Laird had this to say about this series, “ I wanted to bring an education element to VanCAF because there are so many talented cartoonists that attend the festival that could share their knowledge. The artistic skills presented in these workshops can be used in comics, but also in any industry where there’s a focus on visual communication. Participants will be able to network with fellow creators, and share their ideas and comics. I’m very excited to start this education series and hope to grow it in the future.”

For more information and and how to register for the workshops, please click here.

And if you have any questions, you can contact VanCAF at

VanCAF Board of Directors welcomes Isabella Laird as Festival Director

The Vancouver Comic Arts Association’s Board of Directors are pleased to welcome the next Festival Director, Isabella Laird.

Isabella is a writer and creator who lives and works on the un-ceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. Her love of comics began as a child when she read every Calvin & Hobbes and The Far Side book. She took all the graphic storytelling courses she could at UBC to learn more about the art form. Isabella has tabled at Canzine, selling her zines and art prints, and is always striving to improve her skills. Her favourite event of the whole year is VanCAF, which is why she is so excited to be the new festival director for 2019. As a VanCAF patron, she has always loved visiting artists at their tables, and then laying out all the pieces she bought during VanCAF on her bed, admiring her haul like it’s Christmas morning.

For Isabella, the power of comics has always been how its various design elements work together, communicating with readers in a way that no other art form can. She believes comics are a powerful way to for anyone to transmit their ideas and connect with each other. Isabella is especially looking forward to expanding the festival into year-round programming, as well as making the main festival even more fun, productive, and inclusive.

The board is looking forward to working closely with Isabella on more events outside of VanCAF, most notably the upcoming author reading at the Vancouver Public Library on November 5th.

More information on that event can be found here.

Well wishes and new opportunities

The board of the Vancouver Comic Arts Association wishes to express their thanks and appreciation to Andrea Demonakos for all of her invaluable work as Festival Director of the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival through a period of growth and development. This show would not be where it is today without her stewardship.  This past year, we saw over 11,000 visitors come through the festival, a record high number, which reflects the growth of the show, and the desire of local comics readers to engage in a great community event.

Andrea is leaving an impressive legacy on VanCAF, and a solid, sustainable foundation in place for the show to grow into the future.

We are currently accepting applications for a new Festival Director, with festival work starting in the fall. There are already exciting things in progress for the 2019 show, with announcements to come.

Please see posting below. Applications are due July 29th by 11:59 pm

If you have any questions, please contact

And check out Andrea’s exciting new venture and visit her business, White Squirrel  –


The Vancouver Comic Arts Association (VanCAA) is currently searching for a Festival Director. VanCAA is a non-profit organization that supports and promotes the growth of the comics community in the city of Vancouver, British Columbia, primarily through organizing the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival (VanCAF), which takes place every spring at the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre in downtown Vancouver. Our organization is passionate about comics and its role in contributing to a vibrant artistic community. We are looking for the right individual that shares our vision!

The Festival Director role is a nine-month (September 4, 2018 to June 15, 2019) contract position with an expected workload of approximately 300 hours over the course of the contract. The successful candidate would work from home, and would need to be available for some evening commitments. The Festival Director will work closely with the Board of Directors to manage the association projects, represent VanCAF in the community, and carry out associated administrative duties.

The ideal candidate for this role will:

  • have excellent written and oral communication skills
  • be organized and able to manage multiple deadlines
  • have experience in planning and co-ordinating special events
  • have experience building, developing and sustaining budgets
  • be proficient in managing an administrative computer environment, in particular Google Docs and Microsoft Office Suite (experience with Adobe Creative Suite and and web development and accounting software is an asset)
  • be knowledgeable of basic accounting principles and procedures
  • be an excellent collaborator who is able to motivate and engage with a diverse group of volunteers
  • be a resident of Vancouver with some comics background, but most importantly a passion for engaging with the comics community in Vancouver and beyond



  1. The management of all aspects of the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival operations, including, but not limited to:
  • curating VanCAF exhibitor applications & creating floor plan for successful applicants
  • overseeing event programming submission, participants, and scheduling
  • liaising with vendors, suppliers and venue management
  • recruiting, creating and leading volunteer component
  • selecting and securing the attendance of Special Guests
  • arranging Special Guests’ flights, accommodations and signings
  • facilitating shipping & handling of product from featured guests and vendors
  1. Coordinating with the Board to develop, explore and implement sponsorship and advertising opportunities.
  2. Leading the application and reporting on grant applications with public funders, government agencies, and foundations.
  3. Promoting VanCAF through our website and social and print media
  4. Making ongoing financial decisions regarding budget development, amendments and extraordinary expenses, and delivering a monthly invoice for all incidental costs

Job Type: Contract

Remuneration: $7000

How to Apply:

Please email a cover letter and resumé to with the subject header: Festival Director Application

Applicants from diverse backgrounds and with differing abilities are encouraged to apply. Please contact if you have any questions regarding the position.

We thank all applicants for their submissions. Please note that only those selected for interviews will be contacted.

Closing Date: Sunday, July 29 at 11:59 pm



Vancouver Legends Join the VanCAF Guest List!

We continue to be excited by our range of great featured guests. This latest round brings a couple of Vancouver legends, a featured Fantagraphics creator and our provincial capitals Artist in Residence. A great range of creators from different areas of alternative and underground comics.

Katherine Collins was recently nominated for the 2018 Eisner award for Archival Collection/Project for The Complete Neil the Horse collection published in Spring of 2017. Katherine is a long-time resident of Vancouver and we are very pleased to have her signing at the Festival Table with Pulp Fiction books.

In 1967, George Metzger began serializing his work, Beyond Time and Again in underground newspapers in California. This work went on to be collected in one of the early graphic novels in 1976. In the early 70’s, George moved to British Columbia from the bustling San Francisco Underground comics scene. George has contributed to numerous Vancouver works like the Georgia Straight and Fog City Comix.

Josh Simmons is appearing with collaborator, Shanna Matuszak in promotion for his new book from Fantagraphics, Flayed Corpse. Josh’s collection of horror work features a wide range of amazing creators from the Pacific Northwest.

Lastly, Luke Ramsey, the current Artist in Residence in Victoria, has been creating a beautiful range of work both solo through his self-published works and installations, or through collaborations from his Islands Fold project. In 2015, his first graphic novel, Intelligent Sentient? was released by Drawn and Quarterly.

New Featured Guests for VanCAF 2018: Craig Thompson, Ronald Wimberly, and Steve Skroce

The VanCAF team is proud to announce the addition of three new featured guests!

Craig Thompson is a cartoonist and the author of the award-winning books Blankets, Good-bye, Chunky Rice and Habibi. He was born in Michigan in 1975, and grew up in a rural farming community in central Wisconsin. His graphic novel Blankets won numerous industry awards and has been published in nearly twenty languages. Thompson lives in Portland, Oregon.

Ronald Wimberly is an artist who works primarily in design and narrative. He’s designed several graphic novels as well as shorter works for The New Yorker, DC/Vertigo, Nike, Marvel, Hill and Wang, and Dark Horse. Ronald was the 2016 Columbus Comics resident and two time resident cartoonist at Angoulême Maison des Auteurs. He’s worked with The New Yorker, Dargaud, DC, Marvel, Image, Dark Horse and many others. He’s exhibited in New York, Tokyo, and Paris.

Steve Skroce is a Canadian comic book artist and writer, he began his career at Marvel comics working on characters like The X-Men, Cable, Wolverine, and Spider-Man. After transitioning into storyboarding for films like The Matrix and V for Vendetta he returned to comics with We Stand On Guard written by Brian K Vaughan in 2016, and is currently writing and drawing Maestros for Image comics. He speaks fluent Esperantu and is a 4th level Reiki master.