With the buzz surrounding Vancouver International Film Festival 2016 hitting its peak right now – this is the perfect time to cast a giant ZEST spotlight on its Executive Director Jacqueline Dupuis. A transplant from Calgary (like myself), this woman took over the helm of the VIFF in 2012 after six years in the same position at the Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF).
Jacqueline is a business woman with an extensive corporate background, who has been able to translate those button-down skills into a creative industry and has taken VIFF to new heights. With plans over the next three years to build a company culture that makes VIFF one of the most exciting arts and cultural institutions in the city, Jacqueline continues to re-invigorate and re-imagine the programming to serve and engage diverse audiences, the community, and the ever-growing and evolving world of screen-based industries. If anyone is able to carve out an impactful space in the international film festival scene where Vancouver is front and centre, she can.
This interview for me is very inspiring, as I spent many years in the film/television industry, so this year to return and attend this years VIFF, knowing there is a woman at the helm of one of most respected festivals on the west coast, is very exciting!
BLUSHVancouver had the pleasure of interviewing Jacqueline, and found the personal side of herself and the journey that has led to this point in her life, quite refreshing.
What ignited the spark in you to live a life with zest?
I believe in living life with ‘no rocks unturned’; to play full out. It’s a path that has emerged for me as I’ve become more aware of my courage and strength as a person and as a leader. I have my moments of course – many of them – but generally feel anything is possible and remain committed to my belief in the overall goodness of humanity. Notice, I said ‘overall’. Obvious humans excluded, of course. Are you there Donald? It’s your sanity calling.
What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
My biggest failures have come from not trusting my intuition. It’s caused me to ‘push’ various things in my personal and professional life as opposed to letting things come as they will. The universe has a way of gently (or sometimes no so gently!) showing us the way if we slow down and listen for the whisper of our inner guide. When I look back I know in my heart where I didn’t listen to that whisper and continue to enjoy the journey of fine tuning that tool.
How long do you follow an ‘idea path’ before giving up?
I love this question! I never give up. Ever. As Einstein said, “nothing changes until something moves”. Everything has a way of working out, one way or another. The trick is to keep moving and stay open. The path forward will always find you.
How do you generate new ideas?
With distance and headspace. Put me on a plane or in an idea inspired, innovative environment (don’t get me started about attending my first TED Conference – mind more than sufficiently blown!) and ideas flow. As long as I keep moving, they even come to life. Exercise and mediation too. For me, quieting my mind or giving it an energized space to create can give me a little boost.
What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?
My biggest fear is the fear of fear. I’m a self-aware person. More often than not I notice fear setting in. I don’t always have time to process it as I’d like to, but I believe fear lives in our bodies, as all emotions do. So, how I manage it is to sit with it. Let it move through my body and be grateful for the opportunity to have cleared something that has been weighing me down in some way, shape or form. Another rock overturned!
WHO IS JACQUELINE DUPUIS?
For a long time (before my current job as Executive Director of the Vancouver International Film Festival), I believe I identified myself by my job. And I must admit, I have a pretty cool and fun job. Every day is totally different and most days, it doesn’t even feel like a job. What?! Even with that, I need balance. Vancouver is truly my jam. I love yoga, meditation, travelling and the outdoors. And friends! I have THE most incredible group of the best friends around the world who love, accept and support me no matter what, and I them. We are fiercely loyal and it rocks my world every day.
After the festival, I am going on a two-week yoga and surfing retreat in Bali. I know this will be the perfect way to come from my ‘festival high’, repair my adrenal glands, get inspired and come back ready for action. I say action because we will be kicking off the execution of VIFF’s first-ever (yup, I said that!) strategic plan.
Follow me on Twitter for updates on festival shenanigans and developments. Oh, and sometimes I share some personal inspiration there too. But mostly I’m a very private person.
All images provided by Jacqueline Dupuis.
We are so happy to share Jacquelines’s inspiring story with our readers and if you know a woman who has ZEST who should be honoured with a spotlight in BLUSHVancouver, let us know!