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Executive Director

Executive Director

  • Full Time
  • Toronto, ON
  • Applications have closed.

Website Canadian Stage

Art performed.

POSITION TITLE:                            Executive Director

STATUS:                                           Full-time permanent

REPORTS TO:                                  Co-Chairs, Board of Directors

APPLICATION DEADLINE:            30 April 2018


Founded in 1987, Canadian Stage is one of the country’s leading and largest not-for-profit contemporary performing arts companies, sharing new, innovative stage work from Canada and around the world. Canadian Stage produces and presents a hybrid of multidisciplinary performance that pushes the boundaries of form and style, integrating theatre, dance, music, multimedia and more. Canadian Stage is dedicated to reinforcingthe presence of Canadian art and artists within an international cultural dialogue, by acting as a home, incubator and exporter of leading Canadian and global performance.The company stages an annual season at three historic locations: the Bluma AppelTheatre; the Berkeley Street Theatre; and the High Park Amphitheatre, home to the Shakespeare in High Park program. Offering a range of education, artist training and community outreach programs, Canadian Stage is committed to growing the country’s contemporary performing arts audiences and fostering tomorrow’s artistic innovators.

Canadian Stage is transitioning to a Co-CEO management model and is currently recruiting an Artistic Director (AD) in addition to an Executive Director to replace outgoing Artistic & General Director Matthew Jocelyn. The Artistic Director and Executive Director (ED) searches are closely aligned to ensure the new leadership team is compatible and complementary.


The successful candidate will be a strong leader and institution builder who will work closely with the Artistic Director to co-lead one of Canada’s most innovative, collaborative and globally-engaged contemporary performing arts companies. The Executive Director, in collaboration with the AD, will create, lead and execute the strategy to realize Canadian Stage’s vision into the future. The ED will be responsible for leadership and management of the organization’s administrative, financial and non-artistic operational functions, including business planning, financial management, sales & marketing, development, human resources, government relations, audience development and community engagement.

The ED’s direct reports include the Controller, Director of Development, Director of Marketing & Communications, Associate Director of Government & Community Relations, Education & Audience Development Manager and Manager of the Executive Office.


Organizational Leadership

Work in collaboration with the AD and Board of Directors to:

  • Lead the execution of Canadian Stage’s strategy and vision;
  • Develop a strategic planto take the Company into a bold, compelling and financially; sustainable future;
  • Review progress towards strategic goals and develop future strategies as required.

Work with the AD to:

  • Ensure the organizational structure is in place to execute the strategic plan and artistic vision;
  • Recruit, lead, engage and develop a diverse team of professionals to deliver on the strategic and operational priorities of the Company;
  • Reinforce and foster a workplace culture reflective of company values, including Canadian Stage’s commitment to ingenuity, excellence, organizational integrity, and an open, safe and inclusive work environment.
  • In partnership with the AD, represent Canadian Stage and manage relationships with key stakeholders, including local, provincial and national government officials, donors, patrons, members, partners and industry executives.

General Administration & Operations

  • Oversee all administrative and non-artistic operations of the company, including business planning, financial management, sales & marketing, development, human resources, government relations, audience development and community engagement, HR, IT, legal and facilities;
  • Implement new and innovative technology solutions to support Company priorities;
  • Ensure company administration and operations are conducted in a way that reflect
    Company values.

Financial Oversight

  • In consultation with the AD and Board, develop and implement a financial strategy to realize the strategic plan and vision;
  • Assume overall responsibility for the financial health and management of the organization, including operating within annual board approved budgets, optimizing resource use, cash flow management, approval of major expenses and regular reviews and forecasting to ensure organizational sustainability;
  • Work with the AD, Controller and senior managers to develop a sustainable program offering, as well as annual budgets for board approval and plans to advance the Company’s vision
  • Work with the Controller to ensure sound financial structures and internal controls, regulatory practices and accurate reporting systems are in place;
  • With the Controller, oversee the annual audit and prepare financial statements for review by the Finance &Audit and Executive Committees;
  • Oversee the Company’s banking relationships and insurance and risk management programs;
  • In collaboration with artistic and production teams, manage the business and contractual affairs for company co-productions;
  • Work with the Board to refine and successfully implement the Company’s deficit reduction strategy as a priority.


  • Work with the Director of Development, and in consultation with the Board, to define and implement fundraising strategies for the company, including for corporate, foundation and private giving;
  • Actively develop, and engage the AD and Board in developing, new and innovative fundraising opportunities at the individual and corporate levels;
  • Lead major fundraising initiatives, including Theatre Ball and any capital campaigns that may be required to advance the Company’s mission
  • Represent the company to and raise funds from high-level donors at the individual and corporate level
  • Supervise the development of municipal, provincial, federal and foundation grant applications

Marketing, Communications & Revenue Generation

  • Work with the Director of Marketing & Communications to develop and implement a strategy to achieve earned revenue targets, including but not limited to; subscription, single, group and school ticket sales at the Bluma Appel Theatre, Berkeley Street Theatres, and Shakespeare in High Park.
  • Set pricing and marketing strategies, and develop partnerships and programs to retain and expand the diverse constituency of Canadian Stage;
  • Define and oversee the Company’s communications strategy, with the goals of ensuring stakeholders understand the Canadian Stage brand offering, while directing maximum public attention to the work of the Company;
  • Oversee the operation of a year-round, full time Box Office and Front of House staff, as well as CRM and related systems to ensure the best possible experiencethroughout the customer lifecycle and optimal use of customer data;
  • Oversee Community partnerships within the Berkeley Street complex;
  • Promote theatre and other rental activities of the Berkeley Street site when not used for Canadian Stage programming;
  • Acts as a company spokesperson as needed.

Audience Development, Education& Community Outreach

Develop and oversee strategies to expand Canadian Stage’s community outreach and educational initiatives:

  • Actively engage with community leaders and partners to support community and city-building objectives in line with the Company’s mandate and vision;
  • Support and strengthen existing youth education programs;
  • Create innovative educational initiatives to share Canadian Stage’s artistic vision with new and diverse and communities.

Human Resources & Labour Relations

  • Strengthen and manage human resources systems;
  • Lead with uncompromising integrity to ensure a workplace free of harassment and workplace violence where our people feel supported and safe to raise concerns;
  • Ensure compliance with all employment standards and required HR legislation including, managing a robust investigation process when required;
  • Lead negotiations on all collective bargaining agreements, including but not limited to those with International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Locals 58 and 822, Canadian Actors’ Equity Association, and the American Federation of Musicians Local 149;
  • Represent Canadian Stage for PACT, TAPA, CAEA and other industry association-related requirements.


  • Manage the relationship with the St. Lawrence Centre rented venue, including the day to day affairs and the negotiation of the annual rental agreement for the Bluma Appel Theatre;
  • Oversee, and negotiate terms for, the Company’s leased venues and administrative space;
  • Oversee Director of Production and Building Operations Manager in the day to day maintenance of the administrative, theatrical and public facilities of the company;
  • In consultation with the AD and the Board, develop and implement a facilities strategy and plan to secure the long-term sustainability of the organization.


  • Establish a strong and collaborative working relationship with Board Chairs and Directors to realize the full potential of the Board to support the organization;
  • Participate as a non-voting ex-officio member of the Board of Directors and its committees;
  • Assist the Board and its committees to develop and achieve objectives in support of the Company’s strategy and vision;
  • Regularly report to the Board on matters in the ED’s portfolio (finance, operations, strategic initiatives etc.) required to support and govern the Company responsibly.


  • Extensive experience in an executive leadership role in the performing arts; a background in live theatre is an asset
  • Experience in successfully managing a complex theatre, performing arts centre, or related environment
  • In-depth understanding of and relationships with municipal, provincial and federal funding bodies for the Arts
  • Experience leading and managing successful fundraising strategies and campaigns, including success engaging with and fundraising from top-level donors, and capacity to act as the development lead for the company
  • Experience leading, inspiring and motivating teams to perform at the highest level to achieve common goals
  • Proven ability to create and manage an open, safe and inclusive workplace, and to manage conflict effectively
  • Proven ability to develop and implement successfully long-term strategic plans, as well as annual budgets and tactical plans, and measure and report on progress
  • Strong financial and general management skills, including resource optimization – business savvy
  • Experience building and managing IT and HR systems and negotiating labour contracts
  • Experience employing sales, marketing and communications tools, including digital strategies, social media and supportive technologies, to engage audiences and drive earned revenue
  • Experience and a deep interest in developing community outreach and educational initiatives
  • Experience successfully managing stakeholders at all levels, including Board Directors, as well as developing innovative partnerships to advance organizational objectives
  • Proven written and oral communication skills. Ability to serve as the spokesperson for the company in public and in the media
  • An understanding of the Production process
  • Ability to travel on company business as required


  • Exceptional, action-oriented leader who sets high standards and leads by example with vision, energy and integrity;
  • Strong interpersonal and team building skills;
  • Highly collaborative institution builder;
  • Pragmatic decision-maker and creative problem-solver;
  • Curious, creative and adaptable;
  • Belief in and passion for the vision and work of Canadian Stage;
  • A strong team player who enjoys an environment of working partnerships at all levels;
  • Thrives in a fast-paced multi-dimensional environment.


A competitive, experienced-based compensation package will be provided with salary and applicable benefits.


Please apply in confidence with a Letter of Interest and resume by email to Co-Chairs Tony Baylis and Alexandra Baillie at by 30 April 2018. Please note “CS18Executive Director” as the subject line. Please direct any questions to Lisa Traini ( We thank everyone who applies for their interest, but only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. All applications are considered confidential.

Canadian Stage is committed to building a diverse workforce representative of the communities in which we engage. We encourage and are pleased to consider all qualified candidates, without regard to ethnicity, colour, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, aboriginal status, age, disability or persons who may require an accommodation, to apply.

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