Van Fringe Festival, the jig is up

The Vancouver International Fringe Festival is hiring a unpaid intern under the title of “Communications Coordinator.” Since this position is not part of a “formal education process,” it falls within the meaning of “internship” in the British Columbia Employment Standards ActTherefore, it seems based on this job description that this intern is entitled to minimum wage ($10.25 per hour in BC).

Legalities aside, how is someone supposed to work unpaid in Vancouver for almsot 5 months? Working in the arts is hard enough as it is. I don’t doubt that this position would be a great experience, but surely this intern is at least entitled to minimum wage. Some of the responsibilities include “coordinating social media,” “editing content written by Fringe staff,” and “preparing and delivering a final report.” Check out the full advertisement here:

We have already written about employment laws surrounding unpaid internships in British Columbia in our article on HootSuite. HootSuite CEO Ryan Holmes responded directly to complains and now the company is complying with employment laws (see details here). The Canadian Intern Association is calling on the Vancouver Fringe Festival to pay their interns!

For more information on internships in British Columbia check out this article by employment lawyer Andrew Langille and the Ministry of Labour’s Interpretation Guidelines Manual.


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