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Recruiting Forbidden Vancouver storytellers – join our team


Forbidden Vancouver Storyteller Will Woods in action on the Prohibition City Walking Tour. Credit Lindsay Elliott.


Want to become a Forbidden Vancouver Storyteller?

Were you put on this earth to entertain people? Are you charming, witty, and full of life? Would you enjoy pouring your heart and soul into a performance that delights and amazes your guests? Do you love Vancouver and its history? Are you reliable and a great communicator? Do you have a background in guiding, historical interpretation, live performance, improv comedy, or teaching?

If you can answer yes to these questions then we have the perfect job for you…become a Forbidden Vancouver Storyteller!

We are recruiting FIVE new guides for our Prohibition City Walking Tour – we’re growing in 2017 and we want YOU to be part of it.

What will I be doing?

You will lead a group of anywhere between 4 and 20 people on a two hour guided walking tour around downtown Vancouver. But what you are really doing as a Forbidden Vancouver storyteller is telling the history of Vancouver that doesn’t get featured in the guide books or on the tour buses. A history of grit, of crime and of corruption. You are performing, looking into the whites of your audience’s eyes as they stare in amazement. And you are giving people fascinating and engaging experiences they will remember and cherish for years. This is a job like no other.

How do I apply?

Email the following to us at [email protected] by noon on Wednesday January 25, 2017:

  1. Resume.
  2. 300-500 words on why you’d make the perfect Forbidden Vancouver storyteller.
  3. Indicate which days of the week (including weekends) you are available to lead tours.
  4. Bonus points if you submit a video on our Facebook page!

Please be sure to focus on the following skills and experiences in your application:

  • Passion for and interest in Vancouver’s history.
  • Experience in guiding, historical interpretation, live performance, stand-up or improv comedy, or teaching.
  • Reliability

Previous experience working as a tour guide or historical interpreter is welcome, but not a must. Please note only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Please note Forbidden Vancouver is an equal-opportunities employer and we welcome applications from both men and women of all ages, ethnicities and sexual orientations.

What training do I get?

You will get a full training program including coached training sessions on topics including:

  • Memorization techniques
  • Managing your tour group
  • Blocking and body language
  • Voice projection and cadence
  • How to deal with interruptions
  • How to ask and answer questions on the tour
  • How to build empathy with your guests effectively

We have a culture of collaboration, mutual respect and fair and honest feedback. You will start leading tours when you are confident, ready and prepared. If you don’t feel 100% confident right now in your ability to lead a walking tour, but you are intrigued by the idea, then we want to hear from you! Our training program will get you ready.

Will I need to learn a script?

Yes. You will need to learn a script. We will work with you to tune your script so that it is right for you.

How much effort does it take?

Great things do not come easy. Becoming a fantastic storyteller will take hard work. The training sessions are demanding and you will need to be able to absorb and respond to critical feedback.

During your two month training program you will also need to dedicate at least 10 hours a week to concentrated study and rehearsal time to learn the script and complete reading on Vancouver’s history. Personal study time is not paid.

What is Prohibition City?

On Prohibition City you lead your group on an adventure through Vancouver as it was in the 1910s and ‘20s. You’ll visit a former speakeasy, a former beer parlour, and some of Vancouver’s finest heritage buildings. You tell the story of temperance movement crusaders, Vancouver’s most outrageous mayor and its most famous showgirl. The tour visits Victory Square, Chinatown and Gastown – neighbourhoods packed with incredible Vancouver history.

Unlike our Lost Souls of Gastown walking tour, Prohibition City does not require a background in theatre or acting.

When are the tours?

The Prohibition City tour takes up to two hours. Our 2017 public tour schedule can be seen here – tours run daily from April 1 to September 30. Public tours take place in the evening, starting at 7 p.m.

In addition to public tours we offer private tours. Private tours can take place whenever works for the organizer, so can be daytime or evening.

How much will I be paid?

You will receive $25 per hour, plus a travel allowance per tour. You will also receive tips from guests.

How many tours will I lead per week?

Once you have finished your training program you will lead between 1 and 3 tours per week. You will have your regular tour slot(s), plus private tours, and then occasionally you will cover for other storytellers if they are away.

You can choose whether to pick-up private tours, or not, depending on your availability.

You can absolutely work a 9-to-5 job and be a Forbidden Vancouver storyteller – in fact we encourage applications from people who are already working.

But I need to take a vacation in the summer!

Don’t worry we don’t expect our storytellers to work every week all summer long. You will be able to take annual leave just like in any other job. We are a team of storytellers that support each other so that we fulfill our tour schedule and take necessary time off.

What else can I can get involved in with Forbidden Vancouver?

We are recruiting specifically for our Prohibition City tour for 2017, however, we have a number of special events and other walking tours that you may be able to participate in as well, later in the year or in future years.

Our sister company is recruiting too

Our sister company Vancouver Mysteries is also recruiting – for the role of Game Operator. You can check out the job posting here.

How can I find out more?

Do check out the rest of our website and our Facebook page. We are not accepting phone inquiries. If you have any questions, please email us at [email protected]

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Will Woods

Founder & Chief Storyteller | Forbidden Vancouver


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