Julie Dawn Smith, PhD is the Director of Research, Education and Community Engagement for Soundpool Productions. Her 25 years of cumulative experience as a non-profit leader, event producer, researcher, and community educator demonstrates unique and wide-ranging abilities that include comprehensive knowledge of and proficient skills in planning, managing, presenting, and cultivating performing arts events, festivals, and community arts and education initiatives in major urban centres. Julie holds several post-secondary degrees including a PhD in interdisciplinary studies from the University of British Columbia. Professional development includes a certificate from the Executive Program for Non-profit Leaders at the Stanford Graduate School of Business Centre for Social Innovation.
Julie is the former executive director of Coastal Jazz and Blues Society producer of the highly acclaimed Vancouver International Jazz Festival. During her 16-year tenure with Coastal Jazz (as Executive Director, Director of Education, Outreach and Community Programs, and Associate Producer) Julie was responsible for the design of major outdoor festival sites as well as production and on-site coordination for all major outdoor and indoor venues. She has served on several advisory committees for the City of Vancouver and worked closely with City, Parks Board and Provincial regulatory departments to streamline all regulatory aspects necessary for festival production. Julie is also the former Executive Director of the Jazz Institute of Chicago where she produced the city wide “Jazz Club Tour” and served on the programming committee for the Chicago Jazz Festival.
Her work as Cultural Planner administering the Cultural Infrastructure Grant Program for the City of Vancouver included meeting with community organizations to assist in grant-making, developing assessment templates and criteria for jury members, presenting applications and research to the jury, communicating decisions to all applicants, preparing reports to City Council, revising grant guidelines, application, budget, and weighted assessment criteria. She has served on many advisory boards for the City of Vancouver and Canadian Heritage.
Julie’s unique function as management team member, researcher and outreach coordinator with the Improvisation, Community and Social Practice (ICASP) major collaborate research initiative funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada demonstrates her commitment to and expertise in creating inclusive and intercultural arts programs and developing effective policy in the arts. Based in three Canadian communities (Vancouver, Guelph, Montreal), engaging multiple academic institutions (UBC, Guelph University, McGill) along with diverse non-profit community partners, ICASP is dedicated to the promotion of healthy, vibrant, self-directed communities through the arts. She is well versed in ethnography using interviews, observation, oral histories and personal narrative to inform a methodological approach that includes the rigorous gathering and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data. In addition Julie is a faculty research associate in the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice, University of British Columbia.