Yes, it’s that magical time of year when all your favourite non-profits launch their calls for Board Members, including us!

Our Board of Directors is a group of eleven individuals representing artists, writers, academics and other professionals, all at different stages of their careers. UNIT/PITT’s Board of Directors strive to reflect the communities and demographics of the artists, writers and cultural workers who participate in our programming, but also bring additional skills and lived experiences to the group. We are currently seeking 1-3 individuals to fill vacancies in advance of our Annual General Meeting on July 29.

Every new Board Member commits to a 2-year term with the opportunity to renew, and joins 1-3 of our Board & Member committees: Archive, Programming, Fundraising, HR, Board Development. Although the time commitment may fluctuate based on projects and deadlines, on average, each Board Member volunteers 3-5 hours/month.

We’re particularly interested in welcoming individuals with professional skills and experience in any of the following areas: arts administration, fundraising, grantwriting, non-profit law, accounting, real estate, web development, disability arts and advocacy, and community engagement.

To apply, please email with the following:

  1. 200-500 words about yourself, and why you want to join the Board
  2. A resume or CV
  3. Which of the following committees you would be interested in joining: Archive, Programming, Fundraising, Human Resources, Board Development
  4. Optional: If you would be interested in filling an executive board position in the future (Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer, Secretary)

To be nominated to join the Board of Directors, candidates must become members of the society ($3) and agree to attend the upcoming Annual General Meeting on July 29 at 7pm (over Zoom).

UNIT/PITT is committed to providing leadership positions to Black, Indigenous, racialized, trans, Two-Spirit, queer, and disabled people, and people with lived experiences of poverty. We additionally prioritize applications from self-identified members of communities that have experienced marginalization.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Board of Directors?
The Board ensures that the organization is fulfilling its purpose and vision as outlined in strategic documents and society by-laws, and oversees the society’s finances as a group.

Can anyone become a Board Member?
Yes! Board Members are recruited in advance of the Annual General Meeting (in July), where we formally call for nominations and have the membership vote on the slate of directors. Incoming Board Members must be active members of the society. Memberships are $3 annually, apply here.

Are Board Members compensated?
Unfortunately, no. The BC Societies Act prohibits us from paying Board Members for their basic roles and duties. These are volunteer positions exclusively.

What are the perks of joining the Board?
Volunteering with a charitable non-profit organization provides practical work skills in management and governance that carry over to other organizations and businesses. It’s also a great way to meet likeminded folks from other professions and disciplines.

What do Board Members actually do?
Board Members attend regular Board Meetings every other month, and join 1-3 committees: Archive, Programming, HR, Fundraising, Board Development — each with their own yearly goals and schedules. The average commitment is 3-5 hours of volunteering/month.

As a Board Member, can I apply to UNIT/PITT open calls for artists and writers?
Board Members are ineligible for regular calls, but they can still pitch to and be compensated for pieces on!

What’s the orientation like?
Board Members have access to society documents that outline their roles, and are given opportunities to take free workshops through Vantage Point. Additionally, we ask that all Board Members read relevant sections of the BC Societies Act to understand their legal obligations.

Can I participate in day-to-day operations and programming?
Yes and no. The Board oversees the senior staff, who manage UNIT/PITT’s operations and programming. The senior staff work with and consult Committees, which include Board and community. There is a necessary legal separation between what the Board does and what the staff does.

Are meetings in-person?
Not for the foreseeable future! All meetings happen over Zoom or Google Meet. 

What does the next year of UNIT/PITT look like?
More mail art programs, artist book projects, a new space in East Vancouver, a Director succession, strategic planning… and so much more!

More about UNIT/PITT

UNIT/PITT’s mission is to empower collective, cumulative action through art, resistance, advocacy, and critical awareness-raising by supporting emerging artists and their diverse creative practices. We do this work on the ancestral, traditional, unceded, and occupied Indigenous territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations, specifically in solidarity and resistance alongside the Downtown Eastside, Gastown and Chinatown communities.

Over its 45+ year history, UNIT/PITT has maintained a commitment to supporting emerging artists, artist-curators and writers through a synthesis of subcultural production, visual art, D.I.Y publishing, underground music, and arts advocacy. UNIT/PITT was founded as the Helen Pitt Gallery in 1975 by students of the Vancouver School of Art (now Emily Carr University of Art + Design). Helen Pitt Gallery merged with Unit 306 Society for the Democratization of the Arts in the early 1980s, briefly adopting the name “Unit Pitt” for the first time.

In the ’80s, the gallery played a vital role in the rise of Vancouver punk around Jim Cummings and I, Braineater, which intersected with local and national political and queer art movements. UNIT/PITT was an incubator for artist projects and advocacy, publishing Issue Magazine (1983-85/2014-16), hosting Wrong Wave Festival (1984-present), helping launch the Vancouver Artists’ League and Strategies for Survival conference (1986), and contributing to the formation of the Pacific Association of Artist-Run Centres.

In the ’90s, the gallery continued to host exhibitions, performances and residencies centring queer and political themes, and incorporating more Indigenous artists and curators.

In the aughts and early 2010s, UNIT/PITT endured through several cycles of funding crises, eventually reemerging as a vocal advocate and support for emerging and student artists in the lead-up to and following the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, which precipitated the rapid gentrification of low-income neighbourhoods where artists lived and worked, and where UNIT/PITT has been based.

In recent years, and particularly since the arrival of COVID-19, UNIT/PITT has prioritized creating paid opportunities for emerging and early-career artists and writers through mail art projects, virtual artist residencies, online free school programs, and online exhibitions. In 2021, with the support of Vancouver Foundation and VIVO Media Arts Centre, UNIT/PITT revived Issue Magazine as, an online magazine and print anthology for art writing.

If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.