PuSh Blog

Joyce Rosario Appointed Associate Artistic Director of PuSh International Performing Arts Festival

July 15, 2019

Joyce Rosario, credit: Sarah Race Photography

Vancouver, BC — Franco Boni, Artistic and Executive Director of PuSh International Performing Arts Festival (PuSh), and the Board of Directors today announced the appointment of Joyce Rosario as Associate Artistic Director. After seven seasons with PuSh, Rosario assumes her new role having recently guided the organization through a period of transition as Interim Artistic Director, from May 2018 through June 2019.

Rosario joined PuSh in May 2013 as Associate Curator where she held the position for four years. She was then promoted to Director of Programming in 2017, and Interim Artistic Director in 2018 following the resignation of Founder and Artistic and Executive Director Norman Armour.

“This appointment is a great honour and privilege, and I am excited to move into my new role as Associate Artistic Director following seven rewarding years of enormous professional and personal growth with the organization,” says Rosario. “After a stellar 2019 PuSh Festival, I’m looking forward to revitalizing and recharging the festival in collaboration with Franco Boni — a leader and colleague I deeply respect and have long admired — and with whom I have a 10-year history of artistic collaboration. (PuSh has presented numerous artists whose work began at The Theatre Centre in Toronto, where Boni was Artistic Director prior to accepting the position at PuSh.) I’m keen to support Franco’s vision and bring the organizational expertise I have gleaned into my new position, while continuing to provoke, amaze, and entertain our extraordinary audiences with ground-breaking work. We can’t wait to share what the 2020 PuSh Festival has in store!”

During Rosario’s tenure she has guided the Vancouver premiere of a multitude of works at PuSh; from large-scale productions including Sylvain Émard’s Le Grand Continental (2015), Aakash Odedra’s Inked and Murmur (2016), and Brett Bailey/Third World Bunfight’s Macbeth (2017), to intimate works such as Andy Field’s Lookout and Britt Hatzius’ Blind Cinema (2018). Rosario also significantly increased the profile of dance in the festival’s program with unforgettable performances from artists including Louise Lecavalier, Lisbeth Gruwez, Jan Martens, and Faustin Linyekula. She was instrumental in expanding the festival’s programming into its largest venue to date, the 2,800-seat Queen Elizabeth Theatre (QET). During PuSh’s inaugural presentation at QET in 2016, Monumental, featuring The Holy Body Tattoo with Godspeed You! Black Emperor live, surpassed all box office projections and garnered critical acclaim prior to embarking on a worldwide tour.

Through commissions and residencies she has fostered the development of new work by Vancouver-based artists Hong Kong Exile, The Biting School, and Fakeknot. Under Rosario’s direction, the PuSh Assembly — a forum where ideas, perspectives, and industry trends surrounding the performing arts are shared — has seen a 30 percent growth in attendance by practitioners and patrons from around the world, including nearly doubling the number of international presenter delegates in 2018.

Prior to joining PuSh in 2013, Rosario spent 10 years in the Canadian dance milieu as a curator, producer, and manager deeply engaged with issues of artistic leadership and cultural diversity. Rosario was invited to participate in the third edition of CONFIGURATIONS IN MOTION: Performance Curation and Communities of Color, convened by Concordia University, with the University of Toronto and Duke University in 2017. Most recently she was a visiting curator in Seattle as part of On the Boards’ Lecture & Studio Visit series.

From 2010 to 2013, Rosario was Executive Director of New Works, which produces several, annual public performance series and, during her tenure, provided management support to artists including Tara Cheyenne Performance, Company 605, Out Innerspace, and the response.

Known as a consummate collaborator, Joyce co-founded PushOFF in 2011 with Kris Nelson and co-curated several iterations of 12 Minutes Max with Tanya Marquardt.

From 2007 to 2010, Joyce was Executive Director for Made in BC – Dance on Tour, a network dedicated to increasing audience reach and touring opportunities for contemporary dance in British Columbia. She has served on the boards of CanDance, The Koerner Foundation and as a member of the Steering Committee of the Canada Council’s Dance Mapping Study, and is currently a board member of Vines Art Festival in addition to serving on the City of Vancouver’s Arts and Culture Advisory Committee. She has been involved in professional development initiatives such as the Emerging Arts Professional Network and CAPACOA’s The Succession Plan. She also served on the BC Arts Council board in 1998 through a provincial ‘Youth on Boards’ initiative. Joyce holds a BFA in Theatre Production/Design from the University of British Columbia.

As Associate Artistic Director of PuSh Festival, Rosario will work closely alongside Franco Boni, Artistic and Executive Artistic Director, on all aspects of curation & programming. Particularly, Joyce will be actively involved in strengthening existing collaborations with local community and building new key national and international partnerships.

“I am fortunate to have an incredibly gifted associate with whom to collaborate as we pen the next chapter of the PuSh Festival,” says Boni. “Joyce is a distinguished and highly regarded arts leader whose contributions to PuSh are immeasurable. She is a passionate and innovative leader with a considerable vision for creating and contributing to dynamic, multi-disciplinary productions. Joyce brings an unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusion, coupled with a sense of responsibility to create opportunities for underrepresented voices and perspectives. I look forward to collectively injecting new energy into the PuSh Festival. Together, alongside the PuSh Board and staff, we have an unrivalled team in place.”

The 16th edition of the PuSh Festival will take place January 21–February 9, 2020. Full programming will be announced in November 2019.

About the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival (pushfestival.ca)

The PuSh International Performing Arts Festival is Vancouver’s signature, mid-winter cultural event, taking place over three weeks each January in theatres and venues across the city. The PuSh Festival presents ground-breaking, contemporary works of theatre, dance, music, and multimedia by acclaimed local, national, and international artists.


For further media information, contact

Laura Murray | T. 604.558.2200 | C. 604.418.2998 | lmurray@mpmgarts.com