Meet Our Artistic Director and People

Vanessa Herman | 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.

Kate Kennedy | Newsletter Extraordinaire 

Kate is a book editor with 15 years of experience. She’s had the great fortune of both editing and learning from some of Canada’s best-loved authors, working in-house for eight years on the East Coast, first at Gaspereau Press and then at Nimbus Publishing, and freelancing since 2012. Now based in Victoria, British Columbia, she’s the new editorial coordinator at Touchwood Editions.

Meet Our Board of Directors

Angie Killoran | Vice-President

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 serving on VFA’s Board, she volunteers at Victoria Hospice and at the Mustard Seed’s Food Rescue Project.

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 | Director

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).

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.

Terry Ann Carter | Director

Poet and paper artist Terry Ann Carter is the author of six poetry collections and five haiku chapbooks. She is the past president of Haiku Canada and the founder and facilitator of Haiku Arbutus Study Group of Victoria. In 2016 she was awarded a community fellowship at the CSRS (Centre for Study of Religion and Society) at the University of Victoria, where she examined the Zen Buddhist influence on contemporary English language haiku poetry. She is a member of the Canadian Book Binders and Book Artists Guild and has given poetry and book arts workshops in Canada, the U.S.,France, China, Singapore, Malaysia, the Bahamas, and Panama. In 2004 she participated in the Basho Festival in Ueno, Japan. Terry Ann is currently judging an international haiku contest for Victoria’s sister city, Morioka, Japan.

Judy Bader | Director

Judy has been involved with community and social development initiatives across western and northern Canada with all levels of government for more than thirty years. She has been a strong supporter of non profit organizations especially with regard to their unique ability to focus and fine tune programs to meet community interests and needs. She is also an avid reader and has helped several writer friends by beta reading and/or editing their work. Now that she has settled into retirement, she is keen to support her reading habit by contributing to VFA as a committee and board member.

Frances Thorsen | Director   BA (Classics), MA (Education)

As a reading specialist, I’ve taught elementary to high school grades and for the Education Faculty (UVic) and worked with a company in instructing the business sector how to make an effective presentation and team building skills. I opened Chronicles of Crime, your mystery bookshop while working on my doctorate. I teach crime writing classes in the shop, write articles for Mysterical-E and review for the Library Journal, edit manuscripts, sit on panels at conferences, jury awards, guest on radio shows, participate in a writing group, and work on a mystery series currently with an agent.