Vancouver History Blog

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Recruiting Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours storytellers – join our team


Want to become a Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours Storyteller?

We are recruiting new storytellers for the Forbidden Vancouver Tour

Were you put on this earth to entertain people? Do you love Vancouver and its history? 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? Are you reliable and a great communicator?

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

What will I be doing?

You will lead a group of anywhere between 2 and 20 people on a 2-hour guided walking tour through Victory Square, Chinatown, and Gastown, exploring the history of prohibition in Vancouver. Fully prepared with a 2-month training program, you’ll be armed with a thoroughly researched body of knowledge concerning our city’s most dirty history!

But the magic comes not just from the knowledge you’ll share with your guests, but with the passion, drama, and delight you’ll bring to every performance. Leaving your guests with a sense of amazement and memories they will cherish forever is what makes this work truly remarkable. This is a job like no other.

How do I apply?

Email the following to us at [email protected] by noon Wednesday April 10, 2019:

  1. Resume.
  2. Indicate your availability to lead tours.
  3. 300-500 words on why you’d make the perfect Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours storyteller OR a short (3-min) youtube video introducing yourself.

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

  • Reliability
  • Evidence of passion for and interest in Vancouver’s history
  • Previous experience in guiding, live theatre, or historical interpretation is welcome

Please note only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours 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
  • How to stay in character and be an effective guide

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 check all the boxes but you don’t feel 100% confident right now in your ability to lead a historical 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, but a more accurate description would be a “body of knowledge.” We encourage our storytellers to use their own words and not follow a script word-for-word.

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 2-month training program you will also need to dedicate at least 10 hours a week to concentrated study and rehearsal time to learn the body of knowledge and complete reading on Vancouver’s history. Personal study time is not paid.

What is the Forbidden Vancouver Tour?

The Forbidden Vancouver Tour is a 2-hour guided walking tour through Victory Square, Chinatown and Gastown that explores our city’s history of prohibition. The tour covers bootlegging, rum running, corruption, mob history, opium dens, beer parlours, blind pigs, riots and more!

When are the tours?

Our 2019 public tour schedule can be seen here – The Forbidden Vancouver Tour runs every night until mid October, starting at 7 p.m.

How much will I be paid?

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

How many tours will I lead per week?

Once you have finished your training program you will likely lead between 1 and 2 walking tours per week during our peak summer season.

We encourage applications from people who have good daytime availability and can lead private tours during the day. Private tours may be for school groups, families, company team socials, tourist groups or anyone else who has an interest in discovering Vancouver history.

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 the Forbidden Vancouver Tour for 2019, 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.

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 Walking Tours