Vancouver History Blog

The Forbidden Vancouver Blog

Recruiting Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours storytellers – join our team



We are recruiting!

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!

For the 2020 season we are recruiting up to 10 new storytellers!

What will I be doing?

We are currently recruiting storytellers for The Forbidden Vancouver Tour, the Dark Secrets of Stanley Park Tour, and the Lost Souls of Gastown Tour. Please express which tour interests you most in your application. New storytellers will be trained to deliver the one of these three tours that is the best fit for you.

As a storyteller for the Forbidden Vancouver Tour or the Dark Secrets of Stanley Park Tour, you will lead a group of anywhere between 2 and 20 people on a 2-hour guided walking tour through Victory Square and Gastown or Stanley Park exploring the stories from Vancouver’s secret past. 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!

As a storyteller for the Lost Souls of Gastown Tour You will lead a group of anywhere between 6 and 25 people on a 90 minute guided walking tour through the backstreets and alleyways of Victorian Gastown. You’ll be in character as either Sarah Briars as George Turle, fictional characters from Vancouver’s earliest years of the 1800s.

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.

The Lost Souls of Gastown Tour 1

How do I apply?

Email the following to us at [email protected] by noon on Thursday January 2, 2020:

  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 (not mandatory — we want to hear from people from all walks of life)

Please note only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours is an equal-opportunities employer and we welcome applications from people of all genders, 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.

The Dark Secrets of Stanley Park Tour 1

Will I need to learn a script?

Yes. You will need to learn a script, as well as a “body of knowledge.”  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 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.

When are the tours?

Our 2020 public tour schedule can be seen here – The Forbidden Vancouver Tour and the Lost Souls of Gastown Tour run most nights of the week, March/April – November. The Dark Secrets of Stanley Park Tour will run at 10 a.m. several times a week April to November. 

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 2 and 4 walking tours per week.

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.

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!