Established in 1976, Westport Arts Festival was originally established as an end-of-tourist-season opportunity in September to celebrate and enjoy the vibrant cultural life of this small town. In its first 35 years, the festival established a reputation for hosting a multi-disciplinary eclectic mix of the artistic events were featured, including music, visual arts, theatre, performance, written and spoken word. Five years ago it became clear that a purely volunteer-led enterprise was not sustainable – greater competition, a demand for a more professional approach to the way artists are treated, stronger governance requirements from funders, changes in law, banking and insurance all demanded a change in the way we ran our business.
Rebranded as ‘Westival’, we have invested in the recruitment of professional staff, emphasised marketing and sales, incorporated as a company limited by guarantee and strengthened the program offering. In 2020 Westival hosted 62 events hosting across 28 venues. Re-established as a key festival in the arts calendar in Ireland, Westival was the winner of the 2020 Irish Festival Awards ‘Best Small Festival’. This national recognition reflects the trojan work of a tight professional team, an ambitious board and a well-engaged community. To continue this development, Westival is hiring a Festival Director.
Westival is a work in progress. The recruitment of an Arts Festival Director builds on the work of our first professional director. In 2025 we celebrate 50 years hosting awesome music, performance, art and written word and 50 years inspiring engagement with community and visitors. We look forward to the relationships that the new director will build and the energy and vision they will bring to Westport.
Festival Director Role
The Festival Director is responsible for the overall creative programme, management, finance and administration as well as the operational health of the festival. They should be able to demonstrate a track record in multi-disciplinary arts practice programming, festival management, funding, promotion and community engagement and have a broad appreciation of the best work being done in a range of art practice in Ireland and beyond. The Director will have the opportunity to develop a strong vision of how Westival can deliver an even more ambitious and groundbreaking music and arts programme in Westport, attracting an increasing number of destination visitors and introducing new forms of art and creative thought to local and visitors alike.
Key Areas of Responsibility
- With the support of a board led finance team compile a detailed budget for the forthcoming year for review and approval by the board of Westival.
- Manage the development of the festival program transparently, partnering with a range of available inputs and expertise to deliver great festival performances.
- Coordinate the delivery of an inspiring multi disciplinary festival program that that makes the best use of budget, community resources and production capabilities (i.e. written/spoken word, music and performance, visual arts, etc.)
- Work with the whole team and the community so artists look forward to returning to Westport to expand their contribution to the program.
- Ensure artists participating in Westival have a contract that is clear about how they are treated and what is expected of them when taking part in Westival
- Build year on year relationships with venue partners so that we can continue to host great events in both expected and unexpected locations.
- Plan and resource the recruitment and management of a team of festival professionals in key roles involved in the preparation and roll out of the festival (e.g. production management, administration, box office, artist liaison, etc.)
- Be fair, communicate clearly, give individuals an opportunity to grow and offer helpful feedback to the whole team.
- Support and develop community stakeholder partnerships to help deliver a great community engaged festival every year.
- With the support of a board led finance team source and build sponsorship /funding opportunities in the private sector both locally and through other channels.
- Manage the application processes from a range of available festival project grant funding sources.
- Maintain and implement financial control systems that ensure up to date real time management of Westival finances within budget and the risk appetite parameters.
- Ensure fiscal income/expenditure reports are up to date and available in a timely, accurate format to support the effective governance and decision making of the festival.
- Lead the creation and execution of an integrated, cross-platform marketing strategy that reaches new audiences, sells tickets, builds sponsorship opportunities and donor engagement.
- Manage outward-facing identity, including overseeing materials that showcase the organization to the general public, the press, potential sponsors and other constituencies.
- Oversee digital campaign strategies, digital branding, and social media plans, online sales systems to process program bookings and other revenue streams.
- Offer inspiring leadership and challenge to the whole team, both professional and voluntary.
- Build and sustain, alongside the board, the existing community goodwill and relationships available through the network of local groups, organisations, community institutions and local authority structures.
- Build and sustain the existing volunteer base and ensure that their contributions are welcomed, respected and used in a way that is safe and leverages from them the best out of what they have to contribute .
- Alongside the board build and sustain the existing network of supporters to leverage additional local, regional and national resources for Westival.
The ideal candidate will:
- Have successful designed/delivered artistic experiences which have challenged and delighted audiences.
- Has built collaborative relationships with artists, community and commercial partners.
- Demonstrated capability for operational and budget planning.
- Communicated effectively online/offline with target communities to foster curiosity and loyalty.
- Has proficiency in festival management technical systems including e.g. artist engagement tools, online booking, accounting platforms, etc.
Terms and Conditions
- Flexible part time position.
- 3 year fixed term contract.
- Pro rata industry bench marked salary.
- Salary range; €41,000 – €50,000 depending on experience.
Download your application form HERE.
Download Application Support Information HERE.
Westival is committed to equality for everyone. Westival is an inclusive employer. We value difference and recruit by merit based on fair and open competition. Please clarify in your initial contact with us if we need to take account of any accommodations and supports that may be required as part of the recruitment process.
Dalkey Book Festival and Zurich Insurance announce launch of prestigious new Literary Awards (€30,000 prize fund)
Dalkey Book Festival and Zurich Insurance announce launch of prestigious new Literary Awards
Dalkey Literary Awards boasts significant prize fund of €30,000
18 February, 2020 – The Dalkey Book Festival, in conjunction with Zurich Insurance, is launching the Dalkey Literary Awards – a prestigious new awards programme for writers in Ireland that boasts a total prize fund of €30,000.
The establishment of the Dalkey Literary Awards marks a major new step for the highly popular Dalkey Book Festival, which has quadrupled in size since its 2010 debut with the support of Zurich.
The new awards, to be held annually, will recognise writers in two categories: ‘Novel of the Year’ and ‘Emerging Writer’. Writers resident or born in Ireland and published in Ireland or the UK in 2019 will be recognised by the awards. The winner of the ‘Novel of the Year’ will walk away with €20,000 whilst the writer crowned ‘Emerging Writer’ will receive €10,000. The ‘Emerging Writer’ winner will also earn a spot at the Dalkey Book Festival on Sunday 21st June, appearing on stage alongside the three judges of that award with the chance to talk about their work and what winning the award means to them.
The shortlist for each category will be proposed by a designated Nominating Panel made up of 14 well-known critics, writers and public figures within the Irish literary scene. Publishers can also submit books (published in Ireland or the UK in 2019) for consideration. Each category will have three judges who will each review the shortlisted nominees and select one overall winner.
David McWilliams, Co-Founder of Dalkey Book Festival said:
“In light of arts funding being under strain, this is a generous act to encourage writing and reward brilliance.”
Sian Smyth, Director of Dalkey Book Festival said:
“We understand how difficult it is financially for writers and we hope that this award will serve to provide some financial stability to our most creative minds. These awards are something the festival has always wanted to do and we are delighted now we are in this position.”
Neil Freshwater, CEO Zurich Insurance plc said:
“The introduction of the Dalkey Literary Awards is a major new step in the development of the Dalkey Book Festival and its overall aim of promoting excellence in literature. In Zurich, we have proudly supported this important cultural event for the last six years and are delighted to play a key role in the inception of these new awards, reinforcing our commitment and support to writers, literature and creativity in Ireland.”
Set in the beautiful seaside town of Dalkey in County Dublin, the Dalkey Book Festival has been playing host to some of the greatest authors and thinkers from across the globe since 2010. The festival celebrates literature, theatre, film and comedy as well as ideas, exploring the worlds of science, technology, current affairs, new politics and global trends.
ABOUT THE DALKEY LITERARY AWARDS
The Dalkey Book Festival and Zurich are proud to announce the Dalkey Literary Awards, marking the second decade of the Dalkey Book Festival. To be held annually, the awards are in two categories: ‘Novel of the Year’ and ‘Emerging Writer’. The awards are for writers resident in or born in Ireland and published in Ireland or the UK in 2019.
For more information about the awards, please see: https://www.zurich.ie/dalkey-literary-awards/
Rick O’Shea (Chair of ‘Emerging Writer’ judging panel)
Andrea Catherwood (Chair of ‘Novel of the Year’ judging panel)
Fiach Mac Conghail
0091: The Dalkey Book Festival, in conjunction with Zurich Insurance, is launching the Dalkey Literary Awards – a prestigious new awards programme for writers in Ireland that boasts a total prize fund of €30,000. Pictured at the official launch of the awards in Trinity College Dublin’s Berkeley Library were David McWilliams, Co-Founder of Dalkey Book Festival, Sian Smyth, Director of Dalkey Book Festival, Neil Freshwater, CEO Zurich Insurance plc, and Dalkey Literary Awards judge Rick O’Shea.
0212: The Dalkey Book Festival, in conjunction with Zurich Insurance, is launching the Dalkey Literary Awards – a prestigious new awards programme for writers in Ireland that boasts a total prize fund of €30,000. Pictured at the official launch of the awards in Trinity College Dublin’s Berkeley Library were David McWilliams, Co-Founder of Dalkey Book Festival, Sian Smyth, Director of Dalkey Book Festival, Neil Freshwater, CEO Zurich Insurance plc, with Dalkey Literary Awards judges Rick O’Shea, Fiach Mac Conghail and Jennifer O’Connell.
Prize: The total prize fund is €30,000. The winner of the Novel of the Year award receives €20,000 and the winner of the Emerging Writer award receives €10,000. In addition, the winner of the Emerging Writer Award will win a spot at the Dalkey Book Festival on Sunday 21st June, appearing on stage with the three judges of that award to talk about their work and what winning the award means to them.
How do the Dalkey Literary Awards work? The Awards support writers resident in, or born in Ireland, and published in Ireland or the UK in 2019. There are two categories: Novel of the Year and Emerging Writer. There is a Nominating Panel made up of 14 nominators including writers, literary agents, booksellers, academics and journalists. The Nominating Panel together nominate books published in 2019 by Irish writers and arrive at a shortlist of up to six books for each category. There are two distinct judging panels, one for each category, both made up of three members, typically an author, a journalist and a person in the public eye with a love of reading. Each judging panel then reads the shortlisted books for the relevant category before meeting on two occasions to agree one winner.
How do I enter a book? Books are nominated by the Nominating Panel. In addition, your publisher may enter your book. Publishers should contact email@example.com with ‘Dalkey Literary Award Nomination’ in the subject bar. Closing date for entry is 22nd February 2020 . Books must have been published in Ireland or the UK in 2019 and must be by an Irish writer or writer resident in Ireland. To accept being shortlisted, writers must agree to attend the Awards ceremony in Dalkey on 20 June 2020 and be available to appear at the festival on 21st June 2020.
What is an “Emerging Writer”? An Emerging Writer is widely-defined as (and includes, but is not limited to) writers of fiction, non-fiction, literary history, biography, memoir, collections of poetry, essays and short stories. Emerging writers may include writers of more than one published book and emerging writers may be of all ages.
What is an “Irish” writer? Authors need not be Irish but if not then they must have been resident in Ireland for at least six months in each of the previous three years.
The shortlists for both award categories will be revealed in March 2020
The winners will be announced on 20th June 2020.
For news updates follow @dalkeybookfest on social media.
- Communications, Marketing & Business Development Officer (Salary; €42,777 per annum)
- Box Office Administrator (Salary; €24,000 per annum)
- Caretaker – Part-time
- Assistant Technical Manager – Part-time
Application forms and job particulars may be obtained from the Human Resources Department, Cavan County Council, Farnham Centre, Johnston Central Library, Farnham Street, Cavan, by phone on 049 437 8653/8631, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at the links below:
- Download Communications, Marketing & Business Development Officer – briefing document (Word doc, 97kb)
- Download Communications, Marketing & Business Development Officer – Application Form (Word doc, 141kb)
- Download Box Office Administrator – briefing document (Word doc, 97kb)
- Download Box Office Administrator – Application Form (Word doc, 141kb)
- Download Caretaker – briefing document (Word doc, 97kb)
- Download Caretaker – Application Form (Word doc, 141kb)
- Download Assistant Technical Manager – briefing document (Word doc, 97kb)
- Download Assistant Technical Manager – Application Form (Word doc, 141kb)
Completed applications must be lodged with the Human Resources section not later than 5pm on Friday, 28 February 2020.
Cavan County Council is an equal opportunities employer.
Each Artist Residency: €22,000
Deadline for submission: Monday 2nd March 2020
Wexford County Council ( WCC) under the Per Cent for Art Scheme and Pembrokeshire County Council ( PCC) Wales, invite submissions for two Artists in Residence to work in Wexford and Wales on the theme of ‘Exploring a Shared Past’ as part of ‘Ancient Connections’ an EU funded cross-border arts, heritage and tourism project linking North Wexford with North Pembrokeshire.
Each artist residency is valued at €22,000 in total to include artist’s fees, materials, and final public art outcomes.
Each artists can work in any art form or combination of art forms i.e. visual art, film, writing, theatre, music, sound, traditional arts and each residency must involve a public artistic output at the end.
The focus of each residency is on the creation of new and original artwork and must involve place-based research ,engagement with other stakeholders within ‘Exploring a Shared Past’ and meaningful collaboration with local communities of place or interest
This Artist in Residence Programme is being awarded under a Two Stage Open Competition.
Each residency will run from May 2020 – April 2022.
Closing date for submission Stage One/ Expression of Interest: Monday 2nd March 2020
Full Artist’s Brief can be downloaded on : https://www.wexfordcoco.ie/arts-and-culture
All Enquiries: email@example.com Tel 00 353 9196369
The 2020 competition is open for entries and we’re looking for artists and photographers around the world to submit their work.
Supporting practitioners since 2006, the Art Prize is hosted by the international art and culture publication, Aesthetica Magazine. Through the Prize, participants can reach new collectors, curators and gallerists from key institutions and gain wider recognition through Aesthetica’s publication and digital channels.
Awards include £5,000 for the Main Prize Winner, £1,000 for the Emerging Prize Winner, as well as publication within the Future Now: 100 Contemporary Artists Anthology, and a chance to participate in the annual Art Prize Exhibition which will run for 12-weeks.
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