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General Manager, SummerWorks

General Manager, SummerWorks

  • Full Time
  • Toronto, ON
  • Applications have closed.
  • Salary: $60,000-70,000 per annum + benefits

Website SummerWorksTO SummerWorks

SummerWorks is a leader, collaborator, and community builder at the forefront of contemporary performance – asking crucial questions; nurturing artistic innovation; and presenting new works that reflect the complexity and diversity of our society


Job Call Audio

Title:    General Manager

Start Date:    April 2022 (negotiable)

Fee:    $60,000-70,000 per annum + benefits

Engagement conditions:    Full-time Employee

SummerWorks is seeking a General Manager to join our creative, collaborative team. This person will provide operational and strategic management for our year-round operations with an eye on future development. This is a new full-time role in our organization, and we would be thrilled to have you join us on our next phase of transformation and growth!

SummerWorks is committed to equality and diversity, both through our program of activities and as an employer. Our practices and procedures aim to reflect the varied needs, expectations, and cultures of all members of our community. We make every effort to ensure that no member of the community receives less favourable treatment in our recruitment process, or when accessing our services on the grounds of gender identity, disability, race, religion or belief, age, or sexual orientation.

We warmly encourage applications from folks from equity-seeking groups, including those who identify as Indigenous, Black, People of Colour, Trans, Nonbinary, Queer, Disabled, and intersections of those identities. We enthusiastically invite submissions from individuals from diverse management backgrounds – inside and outside of the performing arts sector.

SummerWorks will work proactively through all stages of recruitment to create a barrier-free hiring process, and will provide accommodations as required. To request accommodations please email Regina Skerjanec at


SummerWorks needs a bold, generous, and diligent individual who can bring their organizational systems, tools, and attention to detail to our live arts organization. While we are open to folks who come from a variety of experiences, at the forefront we are looking for someone who has strong administrative, financial management, and proposal writing skills, and understands revenue generation. We also want someone who will thrive in a space where systems are created, enacted, and tweaked, as the initiatives and activities of the organization continue to shift and grow.

SummerWorks is all about bringing people together. This individual will love working with people and building teams. They will enjoy the responsibility of delegation and will take the time to find collaborative ways to create project accountability for both seasonal and annual teams of people. We care deeply for all of the relationships we engage in – with Festival artists, staff, programming partners, volunteers, and audience members – and value the spirit of exchange that arises from them.

There is a cadence to our workflow that includes a preparation and planning period, a busier delivery period, and a slow-down period for wrap-up and reflection each quarter. Currently, the busiest periods for this role are in February, April, August, and November.

Summers are very active for the whole team. That’s when our year-round activities culminate – when artists from across the country and beyond will gather and share their work. The new General Manager should also be comfortable with the knowledge that June to September will have a heavier workload. Therefore, three weeks paid vacation and lieu time are to be taken over other months of the year.

While an intimate knowledge of performing arts in Canada would be an asset, we welcome someone from outside the arts who wants to see lots of performance, meet many new interesting people, and immerse themselves in a new sector. We would be interested in candidates working in social justice, education, health care, and other non-profit (or for-profit) fields.

We are also open to conversations with candidates based outside of Toronto, who would be willing to relocate to Toronto, with some financial assistance to do so.

Reports to: Artistic & Managing Director

Direct Reports:

Year round: Bookkeeper, Fundraising Associate

Seasonal: Head of Production, Festival Operations Manager, Patron Services Manager, Volunteer Coordinator (Note: many of these position titles will change every year so these are role descriptions rather than specific titles)


As an organization that brings together performance nationally and internationally, we wish to acknowledge that SummerWorks takes place on the traditional territory, Tkaronto, “Where the Trees Meet the Water,” “The Gathering Place” of the Mississauga, Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, and Wendat Nations. We pay our respects to all our relations who have gathered and will continue to gather in this place.

Our Mission:

SummerWorks expands the possibilities of performance. 

Founded in 1991, SummerWorks is a leader, collaborator, and community builder at the forefront of contemporary performance – asking crucial questions, nurturing artistic innovation, and presenting new works that reflect the complexity and diversity of our society.

What We Do:

Anchored by our annual SummerWorks Performance Festival in August, SummerWorks offers a year-round program of creation, presentation, and learning opportunities for artists and audiences:

  • We collaborate with emerging and established artists and curators to explore new directions, experiment in form, and develop their professional capacities.
  • We curate, produce, and present programming that provokes, excites, and engages the public.
  • We cultivate and contribute to progressive practices that foster greater diversity, accessibility, equity, and sustainability across our sector.
  • We create networks and engage in creative exchange locally, nationally, and internationally.

Our Values:

Creative Risk and Curiosity

We engage with artists, audience, partners, and staff who are inquisitive, willing to experiment, and be adventurous. We encourage bold ideas, new directions, and big questions, cultivating space for exploration and innovation.

Care and Collaboration

We carefully consider all the choices we make, understanding that the works we curate, the time we give, who we work with, and spaces we use impact the experiences people have. We prioritize connection and dialogue, as well as community and relationship building. By working with artists and partners to exchange ideas and resources we’re able to multiply our impact.

Diversity and Difference

We celebrate diversity in arts and people, prioritizing inclusive and accessible processes and experiences. We look to introduce professional artists and audiences from diverse communities to each other and to be inspired by our similarities and differences.

Our Workplace Culture:

We value a high quality in our work and service to artists and the community. We also strive towards work-life balance. We work together to cultivate an environment that is collaborative, playful, flexible, and where team members feel they can be appreciated, motivated, and inspired. We can be proud of the work we’re doing together.

We have systems in place for team members to work remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. When health and safety protocols permit, we find it important to maintain at least one day a week in the office together as we find it more conducive to collaboration. When our activities ramp up, we also find it important for the whole team to be in person together for the work that we do.

To stay connected when we work remotely, we start the morning with coffee chats just to check in and chat about non-work related things. We also enjoy ‘field trips’ – seeing work together or going on site visits where SummerWorks activities and performances may take place.

The SummerWorks office is located in the 401 Richmond Building, a vibrant hub that is home to many other organizations working in film, design, performance and visual art. There are also design and architecture firms, doctor’s offices, and a daycare in the building.

Our office is dog friendly, with a small kitchenette. It is designed for different modes of working – with big tables for group chats and a cozy corner with an armchair when you don’t feel like working at a sitting or standing desk.

During our summer Festival in August, we operate at multiple venues and sites, and are often moving between them throughout the day. Our events and performances happen in theatres and galleries, but also parks, swimming pools, living rooms, streetcars…and the list goes on.  We keep a Festival Hub in the Queen West neighbourhood, where we meet as a team at least once a day. The energy is frenetic as we interact with hundreds of artists, volunteers, thousands of audience members and the general public.

We aim to make space for people to be more than just their jobs. We want to share things we notice out in the world that are important to us – things we’ve seen, learned, and are passionate about. We try to build space into our work days – we can’t be task oriented all the time – and include the time to reflect and connect, which is equally important to us.

From Laura Nanni, SummerWorks Artistic & Managing Director:

“I love cultivating spaces where people feel inspired and welcome; where stories that may otherwise go unnoticed are amplified; where bold ideas are supported; where artists can take creative risks, to work in ways they never thought possible before. I enjoy connecting people and seeing those connections grow. I delight in witnessing an audience as they experience performance with curiosity, surprise, joy, and awe. I am not interested in being the biggest organization or Festival, but asking how we can do what we do better. I know the decisions we make have ripple effects. I care deeply about people and feel responsible to make positive impacts in the world and our sector.

 “I am hoping in this search for a General Manager to find a collaborator who is able to see the big picture, that brings immense energy, skills, and perspective to the team. Someone who can think ahead, who can envision how we can be better, and to also help us get there.


SummerWorks will be operating with a structure of three full-time employees – the new General Manager, the Artistic & Managing Director Laura Nanni, and the Marketing Manager Allie Wood – supported by part-time and seasonal workers who contribute to the primary activities of SummerWorks. For a more detailed overview of our team please view here. To see our Board members please view here.

In the past, the General Manager position has either been part-time, or the responsibilities have been divided between other positions. We are at a place in our growth and development as an organization in 2022 to make this a full-time permanent position.

This role will report to the Artistic & Managing Director. Together, they will oversee the long-term strategic growth and sustainability of the organization across administrative, operational, and financial resources.


Salary range is $60,000 – $70,000, commensurate with experience.

A relocation fee may be made available to a candidate living outside of Toronto.

A basic benefits package is provided by RWAM Insurance Administrators Inc. with the premiums paid for by SummerWorks. More detailed information about the benefits package will be made available to interview candidates.

We are offering funded, on-job, specialized coaching and self-directed training to support the candidate we hire. Please see details below.

Candidates must be legally eligible to work in Canada.


We are looking for a mid-career administrator with at least seven years of professional experience with skills that align to this profile.

(Please note: while these are some areas we are looking for, we recognize no one’s skill sets will be in perfect alignment with this job call. If you have some of these skills listed below, we encourage you to connect with us to discuss your candidacy)

Core Skills Required

Contract creation & management

Relationship building

Managing budgets


Team building

Project management

Proposal writing

Quickbooks/accounting software


Supervising & staff management

Verbal & written communication

Anti-racism, anti-oppression & inclusivity

Nice to Have

Large festival & live event  work experience

WordPress & HTML

Operational budgets >$750,000

Google Workspace



Project management software

Arts management

Non-profit management

Information management

Hiring processes

Proposal writing

Staff training

Performance management

Can be Taught

Board & committee management

Funder & partner compliance

Festival schedule creation

Funder & sponsor recognition

Individual giving

Full-cycle fundraising support

Accessibility (AODA)


Ontario labour & employment standards

Funder, donor, sponsor prospecting

Knowledge of SummerWorks


The primary focus of this role in the first year will be financial administration, operations, and fundraising. 


Reports to: Artistic & Managing Director

Direct Reports:

Year round: Bookkeeper, Fundraising Associate

Seasonal: Head of Production, Festival Operations Manager, Patron Services Manager, Volunteer Coordinator (Note: many of these position titles will change every year so these are role descriptions rather than specific titles)


  • Oversees the day-to-day operations of the organization, with a strong focus on financial management and fundraising operations
  • Oversees the general administration of office operations, including inventory distribution, database management and general stakeholder communication
  • Develops and manages the organization’s critical path and project timelines
  • In collaboration with the Artistic & Managing Director and the Board, contributes to the organization’s strategic planning process
  • Leads the organization’s annual work-planning process
  • Champions the organization’s ongoing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion audit, collaborating to create and implement action plans as required
  • Develops and manages the organization’s responsive COVID protocols and operating strategies in regard to the ongoing pandemic.


  • Working closely with the Artistic & Managing Director and Board, leads the annual financial planning and budgeting cycle
  • Responsible for the day-to-day financial operations of the organization, including banking and petty cash management, box office projections, reconciliations, and settlements with artists, venues, and other stakeholders
  • In consultation with the Board and Artistic & Managing Director, develops a long-term financial plan for the organization that includes a diversification of revenue streams
  • Manages the annual audit process and preparation of financial statements, in collaboration with the external Auditor and Bookkeeper
  • Ensures financial compliance in all areas of tax and charitable returns, insurance policies, and all applicable financial reporting requirements
  • Manages the Board meeting schedule, attends and minutes Board meetings as required, and maintains Board documents.


  • Develops and administers the organization’s fundraising and development strategy with input from the Artistic & Managing Director and Board
  • Project manages the annual fundraising cycle, including sourcing revenue generating opportunities, proposal development, and donor relationship management
  • Oversees reporting and recognition to all funders, corporate sponsors, and donors, including writing of proposals and reports
  • In collaboration with the Artistic & Managing Director, manages ongoing relationships with all government, foundation, corporate, and private funders
  • Acts as a representative for the company within the community, including attendance at conferences, community events, and performances.


  • Responsible for the overall day-to-day HR function and the development of employment policies and practices, with input as appropriate from the Artistic & Managing Director and Board
  • Oversees the onboarding of all staff, in collaboration with the Artistic & Managing Director and appropriate line managers
  • Manages and creates all contracts for all staff, artists, partners and venues
  • Promotes the values and mission of SummerWorks, ensuring these are known and shared by the team members, artists, venues, and partners.
  • The General Manager will work closely with the Artistic & Managing Director to determine additional responsibilities and/or update the scope of duties.


February 11:    Call for applications closes

February 22-25:    Candidate interviews

March 3-8:    Second round interviews and prepared assignment/presentation

April:    Flexible start date


All interviews will be conducted via Zoom.

Candidates who are invited for a second interview and the assignment phase will be compensated for their time.

Hiring Committee is composed of:

  • Laura Nanni: Artistic & Managing Director of SummerWorks (Bio)
  • Nidhi Khanna: Hiring consultant and facilitator (Bio)
  • Michael Sinclair: General Manager of Obsidian Theatre (Bio)
  • Michelle Yeung: Managing Director of the School for Toronto Dance Theatre (Bio)


The Hiring Committee will engage with each application for around 15 minutes. Each application package should include the following:

All candidates must include a written statement (of at least one page). In addition, we also welcome videos and/or voice memos responding to the following questions:

  • What excites you about SummerWorks?
  • What relevant skills and experiences do you bring to this role and what would you be seeking as your next stage of development?
  • Tell us about how you use systems and organizing processes in your life and your work.
  • If you are applying from outside the arts sector, what motivated you to apply for this role and what transferable skills may apply?

Please include a resume/list that highlights the experiences that most inform your approach to organizational management.

Send your materials with the subject line: GENERAL MANAGER APPLICATION to Regina Skerjanec at, no later than February 11, 2022, at 11:59pm EST.


Outreach info sessions:

January 20:    Instagram live session (@summerworksto)

January 27:    Facebook live session (SummerWorks Facebook)

Any other questions can be sent to


We believe it is important to provide as many tools as possible to allow new team members – who come with a diversity of lived and professional experiences – to succeed. We recognize that not all candidates may require or want the same level of support; therefore, we have budgeted to provide the individual we hire with a variety of support in the first 12-18 months. These supports will assist the right candidate to move to a new sector, expand their skill set in general, or develop a specific skill required for this job.


Based on the needs of the candidate selected, we will hire an individual(s) to support the labour where there may be any skill gaps, as well as provide coaching. Our aim here is to enable the General Manager to have space to learn about their areas for skill growth while not having to hold the labour of completing those tasks simultaneously. We will work to ensure a sub-contractor labour and training plan is in place to expand skills without creating undue pressure.

For example, this arrangement could include engaging an HR Specialist to create job descriptions, lead hiring processes, and coach on performance management in year one, while the General Manager shadows and learns during those processes.


In addition to this role-based support and learning, the General Manager will be offered a budget to design their own professional training program that is suitable to their level of previous experience, as well as funds to hire a coach or mentor of their own choosing.


All SummerWorks staff, artists, volunteers, and contractors will be required to follow the organization’s COVID policies and procedures. Amendments will be implemented as needed, in response to changing circumstances and Public Health guidelines. Key parts of these policies include:

  • Work Location: Due to COVID-19, the SummerWorks team is currently working in a hybrid online/in-person model as conditions allow, with an eventual full return to the office in Toronto expected.
  • Vaccination policy: As a condition of employment, new employees will need to provide proof of full vaccination, as defined by local Public Health, no later than three weeks prior to starting work.
  • For any in-person meetings or events: Protocols, including social distancing and masking, are in place and adhered to.

SummerWorks has engaged a consulting team to support the recruitment process for this role. That team is composed of Nidhi Khanna, Regina Skerjanec, Brendan McMurtry-Howlett, and Kristina Lemieux. This call was developed in collaboration with the SummerWorks team, its Board of Directors, and external community members.

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