Meet Our Co-Artistic Directors

Vanessa Herman | Co-Artistic Director

Vanessa has been actively engaged in community organizations since serving as the student body president in her second year of Okanagan College in 2007. In 2008 she transferred to UVic to pursue a BA in Writing. In her final year of studies, she became the Writing Students’ Union president and the Editor In Chief of This Side of West. Vanessa continued her involvement with the literary community after graduation. She served as Vice President and President of the Victoria Book Prize Society 2016-2018 after serving on the award jury in 2014. For three years she developed an international reading series at the independent bookstore Russell Books, before turning her attention to forming and building the Victoria Festival of Authors. She devoted her first months to forming a festival Board and registering the VFA as a not-for-profit society. Her goal is to make a permanent and sustainable festival. To refresh her mind and creativity she has turned to landscaping and enjoys getting her hands in the dirt of Victoria’s many beautiful gardens.

Laura Trunkey | Co-Artistic Director

Laura’s writing has been published in journals and magazines across Canada. Her short fiction has been anthologized in the bestselling collection, Darwin’s Bastards: Astounding Tales from Tomorrow and her non-fiction has been anthologized in Hidden LivesThe Incredibly Ordinary Danny Chandelier, Laura’s children’s novel, was a starred selection in the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Best Books for Kids & Teens. Her short fiction collection, Double Dutch, was released in March 2016 by Anansi. Laura graduated from the UBC Creative Writing MFA program in 2009. In 2014, she was on the organizing committee of the final Victoria Writers Festival. Because of her passion for books – both as a writer and a reader – she is committed to ensuring the Victoria Festival of Authors becomes a major, and self-sustaining, cultural event.

Meet Our Board of Directors

Leah C. Fowler | President

Leah thrives in the company of Canadian writers and their literature as teacher, Professor Emerita, and writer. She is passionate about bringing writers and readers together, especially in Western Canada. Her two books [A Curriculum of Difficulty (solo authored) and Reading Canada (co-authored)] served as apprenticeships to her current editing and fiction writing work. Leah’s experience on other charitable and university boards is now focussed with VFA and its supportive, engaged Board of Directors.

Richard Ketchen | Treasurer

Richard is a graduate of BCIT (Business Administration) and a Chartered Professional Accountant. He brings extensive financial, management and communications expertise to the board, including more than 20 years of experience as a corporate writer. Richard is also a director and secretary of the Peninsula Streams Society, which coordinates stream restoration and habitat conservation on the Saanich Peninsula.

Laurie Rubin | Secretary

Laurie Rubin has worked in government ministries, community organizations and not for profits and is well-connected to the performing arts and literary arts communities through his work as coordinator of the Vining Street Party on the Plaza. He has experience with strategic planning, event coordination and fund generation. He joined the Board of the Victoria Festival of Authors because of a strong belief that the literary arts community of Victoria should be heard and read. Laurie also sits on the Boards of The Learning Curve Society (President), Theatre Inconnu (Vice President) and The Fernwood Community Association (Secretary).

Sharon Walls | Director

Sharon Walls is an avid reader and attender of writers’ readings, a retired lawyer, a one-time science teacher, and a former board member of Victoria Heritage Foundation and Ross Bay Villa Society.

Chris Fox | Director

Victoria resident Chris Fox, principal editor of Fox Edits, took her PhD in English at the University of Victoria. Her academic work is focused on Canadian literature and has been published in Ariel, Atlantis, Canadian Literature, Studies in Canadian Literature, The Malahat Review, and The Coastal Spectator. She edits academic and literary work, primarily, and sits on the Boards of the Victoria Festival of Authors; Plenitude; Lambda Scholarship Foundation Canada; and We’re Here! LGBTQ Refugee Sponsorship Group. The VFA is particularly exciting for Chris because it’s an opportunity to bring together two great loves: Victoria and Literature!

Jodi Lundgren | Director

Victoria-raised, Jodi Lundgren earned a PhD in English from the University of Washington and served as Writer-in-Residence at Thompson Rivers University before joining the English department at Camosun College, where she teaches Writing and is currently the faculty advisor for Beside the Point, the students’ literary magazine. The author of a literary novel, Touched (Anvil), she has also published titles for young adults, including Leap (Second Story) and Gone Wild (Lorimer). Her creative nonfiction has been anthologized in Dropped Threads 3 (Random House), while her scholarly articles have appeared in Studies in Canadian Literature, Canadian Journal of Native Studies, Journal of Teaching Writing,and others. As a VFA board member, she works to help foster an inclusive, diverse, and accessible literary festival.

Gordon Gunn | Director

Gordon S. Gunn, CPA, CA, FCMC, CISA, KSJ
Gordon is a Principal Consultant with Third Foundation Consulting Ltd., specializing in excellence in non-profit and public-sector management.  With over 40 years of professional experience as a Chartered Professional Accountant and Certified Management Consultant, Gordon provides strategic planning, business planning, facilitation and enterprise risk management services.  Gordon is an experienced corporate director and is currently the President of the Institute of Certified Management Consultants of British Columbia and a Director of CMC-Canada.

Throughout his professional career, Gordon has been an active volunteer in organizations such as Boy Scouts of Canada, Ballet Victoria, the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific, the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness and the Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness.  Gordon is an avid reader, enjoying a wide range of fiction genres.

Angie Killoran | Director

Angie is a life-long supporter of the arts and a keen reader. Her career has included leadership roles in non-profits and charities prior to serving as the executive director of The Lawson Foundation, 2001 – 2014. Angie has served on several charitable boards including Philanthropic Foundations Canada. In addition to seving on VFA’s Board, she volunteers at Victoria Hospice and at the Mustard Seed’s Food Rescue Project.