Sep 28, 2018

By Tara Nazemi, Recreation Leadership Diploma Program (2013) and BRM (2016) Alumnus 

I cannot believe it’s been 5 years since I graduated from the Recreation Diploma program, and 2 years since I received my Bachelors in Recreation Management. I came to Langara as an older student who had been in the workforce for 10 years, and looking to finish my post-secondary education. I was in search of a program that aligned with my career goals and personal values, and by chance came across the rec diploma program at Langara. It has turned out to be the best decision I made for my career. The program was a great launching pad into the field, which is ever growing and redefining its boundaries. I would have never thought that my love for the arts and public service would live under the umbrella of recreation and leisure studies, but it does and I’m so glad I found it! The years at Langara will be cherished as I have fond memories of the lectures, instructors and fellow students. If I could do it all again I would, in a heartbeat.

What can I tell you about my typical day at work? Well for starters I can tell you no two days are alike here at Vancouver Civic Theatres.

The road to my current position was full of zigzags, hard work, blind determination, and jumping at the right opportunities. I’m the Programming and Engagement Manager at Vancouver Civic Theatres (VCT), which is a department of the City of Vancouver. We operate the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Orpheum, Vancouver Playhouse, and Annex. I’ve been here just over two years now and started in a new role that was created, molding and creating the community engagement side of our civic mandate. Since that time we created a visual arts program in three of our venues, a new grant for underutilized spaces, and hosted special events and programs that provide low barrier access to arts and cultural experiences. I really enjoyed that role as it was the perfect combination of my background and passion for recreation philosophy and the performing arts. I had the opportunity to work with many local artists, facilitate collaborations among arts organizations, and execute lots of special events.

Tara Nazemi

As of May this year I moved into yet another newly created position, but as a manager this time, growing my department from one to two! My current position has me working as a promoter, to say it simply. Historically VCT has operated as a roadhouse where clients would rent our facilities and present a myriad of events and shows. As of this year we are self-presenting, meaning VCT will act as the promoter and present events and shows ranging from stand-up comedy, lectures, to pop concerts and more.

The first show I am working on presenting is the National Geographic Live speaker series, which brings explorers in to speak about their incredible journey’s and take audiences behind the scenes.

My current role is a real departure from my previous work history, often working in the not for profit realm, I now am on the other side of the spectrum. I’m looking at generating revenue, selecting acts, negotiating contracts, ticketing, and so much more, while still overlooking the community engagement portfolio.