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Senior Director, Marketing & Audience Development

Senior Director, Marketing & Audience Development

  • Full Time
  • Stratford, ON
  • Applications have closed.
  • Salary: $155,000 to $187,000

Website Stratford Festival

North America’s leading classical repertory theatre


The Stratford Festival is North America’s largest classical repertory theatre company. Each season, we present more than a dozen productions in four distinctive venues (one of which is currently being rebuilt).

We produce acclaimed productions of Shakespeare’s plays, other works from the classical repertoire, and contemporary dramas and musicals, while actively fostering and supporting the development of Canadian theatre.

Embracing our 66-year heritage of tradition and innovation, we seek to bring theatre alive for increasingly diverse audiences, pursue new artistic avenues, and expand the scope and reach of our work beyond the stage itself. Thus we also present the Stratford Festival Forum, conduct our artistic R&D program, the Laboratory, and are midway through a ten-year project – unique in North America – to film all of Shakespeare’s plays.

With an annual budget of $61 million, the Festival earns 95% of its revenue through ticket sales as well as ancillary and fundraising activities, making it one of the most self-sufficient cultural organizations on the continent.

We have built an $80-million endowment fund to support our operating activities, including training, education outreach, play development and capital projects.

Our new $70-million Tom Patterson Theatre Centre will open in time for our 2020 season. This 600-seat state-of-the-art facility will both affirm and vastly enhance the Festival’s position as a world leader in live theatre.

By attracting the finest talent from Canada and the world, and by providing the conditions and training that enable artists to achieve their most courageous work, we immerse our audiences in a theatregoing experience that is innovative, entertaining, and unsurpassed anywhere in the world: one that is deeply relevant to, and reflective of, their lives and communities.


With your passion for the performing arts and your desire to become part of the Stratford Festival’s vibrant senior leadership team, you will have a positive impact on the organization as its new Senior Director, Marketing & Audience Development. You will provide sound leadership, strong and creative management, and coordination of all marketing and audience development strategies to achieve or exceed agreed goals.

This unique opportunity will leverage your past achievements and extensive knowledge of marketing and audience development while providing a working environment that is personally and professionally rewarding. The Senior Director, Marketing & Audience Development is a key representative of the organization and a keen advocate of theatre with stakeholders, the community at large and other arts organizations.

Our patrons are our lifeblood – they purchase tickets, make donations, and contribute to the communal experience of live theatre by reacting to the work of our artists. The role of the Senior Director, Marketing & Audience Development is to increase the public profile of the Festival, to introduce new patrons to our work, and to improve patron retention rates.

The Senior Director, Marketing & Audience Development will have a strong understanding of our various patron segments in order to drive attendance and increase brand awareness.


Marketing & Audience Development

  • Direct and coordinate marketing functions designed to meet annual ticket sales targets and sponsorship revenue.
  • In collaboration with the position’s key direct reports, develop and oversee the implementation of integrated marketing plans designed to meet ambitious revenue targets.
  • Formulate the profile of the Festival’s target markets.
  • Identify and develop new customers, build loyalty among existing customers, and win back lapsed customers.
  • Develop and drive the evolution of a brand strategy that supports the Stratford Festival’s strategic goals and objectives. That strategy has three layers: the overarching brand, the annual season, and the individual productions and events, including the Forum, the Lab, our Stratford Festival On Film series and our touring and outreach activities.
  • Articulate a clear value proposition associated with the brand and ensure the proposition is integrated into the work of the marketing, audience development, publicity, sponsorship, and communications teams. Ensure compelling copy for marketing, communications, and sales materials. Review all marketing materials to ensure integrity and consistency with brand and value proposition.
  • Oversee and direct the evolution of the Festival’s web and digital presence with the goal of optimizing revenue.
  • Create an online experience that reinforces the Festival’s brand, builds relationships with existing patrons, and connects with new and diverse patrons.
  • Develop plans to curate and shape a patron experience from beginning to end that will optimize revenue and encourage loyalty. The patron experience includes all marketing touch points and the on-site visit. Develop plans to capitalize on the new Tom Patterson Theatre Centre to elevate the patron experience.
  • Analyze the effectiveness of marketing initiatives and costs, continually improve bottom-line results, and create benchmarks and success measurements for marketing programs.
  • Develop and oversee marketing budgets.


  • Consult with the Artistic and Executive Directors and others in the Director’s Office through the season planning process. Provide feedback on programming choices based on knowledge of target markets, competitive offerings, emerging social issues, and internal competencies.
  • Lead the development of the “key art” to promote each season and the individual productions, events, and experiences. Liaise with the Artistic Director and the Executive Director on the creation of that key art.
  • Oversee corporate sponsorship activities and liaise with the marketing team on sponsor recognition and identification of new sponsorship opportunities.
  • Maintain regular contact with internal and external stakeholders; work to ensure consistent communication towards developing a common brand and reputation.
  • Forge and nurture connections with local, provincial and national tourism agencies, and with other cultural organizations within Canada and beyond.
  • Prepare and administer marketing plans in relation to government funding opportunities.
  • Promote, develop, and maintain positive relations with partners, vendors, and distributors.
  • Report on marketing campaign and sales/revenue achievement at Board and Finance Committee meetings. Serve as staff lead to the Marketing Committee by both reporting to the Committee and soliciting its feedback and advice.
  • Regularly analyze sales data and competitive activity and share with the Festival senior team, together with observations and recommendations.
  • Liaise with the advancement department on the development of the annual communication/solicitation plan.
  • Establish, implement, and evaluate short- and long-range departmental objectives, policies, and operating procedures to ensure goals are met or exceeded.
  • Promote a culture of high performance and continuous improvement; develop staff using a supportive and collaborative approach.
  • Be responsible for staff performance and development goals, establishing priorities and conducting annual performance reviews.
  • Adhere to, implement, and enforce the Stratford Festival Health & Safety Commitment and Procedures, and ensure that safe work practices and policies are enforced and supported.


  • Minimum 10 years’ relevant and progressive senior-level experience in general management in a relevant B2C business, preferably in the arts, entertainment, or tourism industries.
  • Experience in building an organization’s brand identity through strategic planning and execution.
  • Exceptional track record in planning marketing strategies, advertising campaigns, and e-marketing programs.
  • Strong understanding of integrated marketing programs that strengthen the brand, connect with key stakeholders, and inspire ticket sales and affiliation.
  • Deeply versed in and extremely comfortable with digital and experiential marketing.
  • Experience in corporate sponsorship sales and cultivation.
  • Established senior contacts with relevant local, national, and international communities considered an asset.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of contracting, negotiating, and change management.
  • Significant and exceptional project management skills and experience.
  • Experience in building, mentoring, and coaching a team of functional experts.
  • Alignment with the Stratford Festival’s mission, vision, and values.
  • Knowledge of audience development best practices.
  • Demonstrated experience in budgeting and financial forecasting.
  • Superior communication skills, both verbal and written.
  • University degree or equivalent education and experience in a field related to business or marketing. Master’s degree preferred.


  • Highly articulate, with exceptional team-building skills.
  • A passion for theatre.
  • Strong organizational management skills: detail-oriented, strategic, creative, entrepreneurial, and disciplined.
  • High professional standards, with an acute attention to detail.
  • A practical, calm, and creative problem solver and strategic thinker, with the flexibility to react nimbly to the unexpected.
  • Ability to work well under pressure, independently or as part of a team.
  • Results-oriented personality with a collegial management approach and high level of integrity.
  • Disciplined; accepts ownership with a hands-on approach.


A competitive, experienced-based compensation package (wage range $155,000 to $187,000 CAD) with benefits (medical, sickness, and accident insurance) will be provided. A discretionary bonus of up to 15% of base salary may be applicable.


Please submit your application by emailing your cover letter and résumé no later than January 31st, 2020, to:

For more information, please contact Searchlight Partners at 416-840-4281.

The Stratford Festival is an equal-opportunity employer, committed to reflecting our city’s and country’s diversity. We are pleased to accept applications from underrepresented groups and encourage applications from Indigenous persons, youth, new immigrants, and persons with disabilities. We encourage candidates of all backgrounds to apply.

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