Podcast, Arts & Culture

Episode 202: Mixing Paint with Giant Cricket Bats — with Sirish Rao

February 21, 2023
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Former Artistic Director and Co-Founder of the Indian Summer Festival and new Director of Public Engagement and Learning at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Sirish Rao, joins our host Am Johal on this episode of Below the Radar.

Sirish speaks with Am about his previous work as a Himalayan mountain guide, as a book publisher in India, as well as his experience in organizing the Indian Summer Festival and involvement in the Jaipur Literature Festival. This episode explores the creation of arts organizations to celebrate local and regional storytelling.

About Our Guest

Sirish Rao

Sirish Rao is an arts leader, writer, and cultural innovator with deep connections to the international arts world.

A trained Himalayan mountain guide, Sirish spent a decade as Director of Tara Books, growing it from a startup into one of India’s most awarded publishing houses. He has worked with a wide range of international cultural institutions including the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles), The Frankfurt Book Fair, Kunsthal (Rotterdam), The Museum of London and the Jaipur Literature Festival. 

Sirish moved to Vancouver in 2010, and co-founded the Indian Summer Festival with his partner Laura Byspalko, leading its growth to become Canada’s preeminent presenter of South Asian art and thought. In his role as Artistic Director, Sirish has presented more than a thousand artists on the stages of the festival, in a roster that features Nobel, Booker, Grammy and Oscar Award-winning artists. He is now Director of Public Engagement and Learning at the Vancouver Art Gallery

Cite This Episode

Chicago Style

Johal, Am. “Mixing Paint with Giant Cricket Bats — with Sirish Rao.” Below the Radar, SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement. Podcast audio, February 21, 2023.


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