ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas

Executive Director – Grand Theatre

ABOUT THE GRAND THEATRE

The Grand Theatre is known for world-class theatre created and built in London, Ontario. As southwest Ontario’s premiere producing theatre and one of the most beautiful theatre spaces in Canada, the company has deep ties to the community and its artists, artisans, and technicians.

As a vibrant cultural hub and not-for-profit regional theatre, the Grand serves to gather, inspire and entertain audiences with performance in London and beyond. At our home in downtown London, we create productions on two stages: the Spriet Stage (839 seats) and the Auburn Stage (144 seats). The Grand season of theatrical offerings runs from September to May, and we collaborate with companies and artists across the country through our co-productions, taking the work we make here in London out to the nation. Our company is home for new play development through our successful Compass program, and our recently renovated venue boasts several successful music series, rentals to the community and a wide variety of special events.

A cornerstone of the organization is our place as a teaching theatre, exemplified in our many mentorships programs and highlighted in our annual High School Project. The only program of its kind in the country and currently in its twenty-sixth year, the High School Project involves almost a hundred high school participants annually from schools across the city. These students participate at no cost and take on roles both onstage and off in a fully realized mainstage production under the direction of a professional creative team.

COMMITMENT TO EQUITY, DIVERSITY, INCLUSION & RECONCILIATION

The Grand Theatre is committed to creating and practicing a company culture that ensures an accessible, equitable, inclusive, and welcoming space for all. We encourage applicants to review the Grand’s commitments to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Reconciliation on our website to confirm that your personal and professional values are alighted with this vision, and we invite you to reflect on these commitments in your submission.

THE POSITION

The Executive Director (ED) role presents an opportunity to continue the impact of this major regional theatre in its community and beyond. The Grand seeks an inspiring leader with exceptional operational experience, financial acumen, fundraising ability and people skills to partner alongside Rachel Peake, the Grand Theatre’s Artistic Director (AD).

The Grand Theatre is in a strong position as London’s ambitious regional theatre. The ED will be a key collaborator with the Board and Artistic Director in leading the organization’s long-term strategic vision, emerging from the company’s new 2024-2028 strategic plan. There will be a particular focus on building audiences and creating long-term revenue while ensuring the Grand upholds its key values: passion, rigor, innovation, inclusivity, respect, and care. Working in conjunction with the AD, the Board and other stakeholders, the ED will implement the Grand’s new strategic plan to guide the company forward.

Providing strategic vision and financial oversight, the ED will be responsible for the organization’s operations, including administration, audience engagement, strategic business planning, and fundraising. The ED shares with the AD responsibility for bringing productions to the stage and to audiences in a way that enables and challenges staff and creative teams to do their best work. A major component of the role is the support and development of a talented senior team, working closely with them to create an open and welcoming culture which reaches everyone engaging with the Grand Theatre. The ED reports directly to the Board of Directors of the Grand Theatre and supports the work of all board committees (Finance & Governance, Fund Development and Executive) as well as the Grand Theatre Foundation and the Friends of the Grand (a US 501c (3) charity).

A dynamic and collaborative inspirational leader, the ED is a champion of equity, diversity and inclusion. The ED thrives in building positive and authentic relationships with staff, artists, Board members, audiences, donors and community members to support The Grand’s strategic and operational goals.

This is an exciting and unique opportunity for an experienced organizational leader who can bring together their vision, experience, and passion for theatre, who believes they can take the Grand Theatre to the next level. The Executive Director must have a keen sense of what makes an organization strong and vital within the arts community and an ability to engage stakeholders in the exciting work of the company. They will want to invest themselves in the success and growth of the Grand Theatre and will find personal fulfillment in being part of the community and the future.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR RESPONSIBILITIES

Organizational Leadership

  • In partnership with the AD and the Board; lead the company forward in the implementation of a new strategic plan with a compelling organizational vision that inspires and motivates staff, stakeholders, and others in the London community.
  • Develop and implement measurable plans to improve Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion while addressing the Grand’s commitment to authentic reconciliation.
  • The ED will bring an innovative and fresh approach to connect with the broader communities of the region with the goal of increasing audiences and community engagement through innovative and entrepreneurial ideas and actions.
  • In collaboration with the AD, ensure an administrative organizational structure is in place that has the capacity to deliver on the strategic plan while maintaining high engagement levels with staff and volunteers.
  • Develop and foster a workplace culture that maintains the highest standards of excellence, equality, creativity, collaboration, inclusiveness, and fiscal, operational, and organizational integrity. Ensure compliance with labour, occupational health and safety and human rights standards.
  • In partnership with the AD, represent the Grand with key local, provincial, and national government officials, industry executives, strategic partners, donors, members, patrons, and other relevant sectors as a spokesperson.
  • Establish a strong, collaborative, and respectful working relationship with the Chair(s), the Board of Directors, the Foundation Board, and all committees to maximize the value of the Board(s) to the organization.

Financial Oversight

  • Responsible for developing an overall financial strategy for the organization in consultation with the AD and the Board to advance the strategic plan, the artistic vision, and any longer-term capital projects while ensuring financial sustainability.
  • Assume responsibility of the direct fiscal management of the organization within the approved budget, ensuring optimized resource utilization, and maintaining a positive financial position including the management of cash flow and approval of capital expenditures and acquisitions.
  • Provide leadership to Finance and Administration, ensuring sound financial structures, regulatory practices and accurate reporting systems are in place including preparing the audited financial statements.
  • Working with the AD and senior management develop a business plan and an annual budget that advances the artistic vision and the strategic plan.
  • Maintain sound financial management including financial reporting, forecasting and analysis, accurate cash flow projections and compliance

Fund Development

  • ●In collaboration with the Director of Development, lead fund development strategies ensuring alignment with the artistic vision and the strategic plan.
  • Provide leadership to the team to enable the creation and implementation of fund-raising strategies to increase financial support for the Grand. This includes directly connecting with supporters, potential donors, partners and government officials and agencies.
  • Secure a robust and diverse support base for the Grand by establishing, managing, and enhancing existing and new relationships with key sponsors and donors, including governments, to facilitate the creation of new and renewed sources of major gifts, sponsorships and grants.

Marketing, Communications, Digital Strategy and Sales

  • In collaboration with the AD and the Director of Marking oversee the creation of the overall marketing and communications strategy to ensure continued and expanding engagement with audiences and external communities.
  • Collaborating with the AD, provide leadership to Marketing in the development, implementation and analysis of leading-edge marketing, branding and ticket sales strategies for the Grand using both traditional and advanced digital strategies and advanced analytics.
  • Alongside the AD, develop and implement strategies to ensure patrons, funders, donors, business/community leaders, elected officials and the public understand the Grand’s role, value, and contributions.
  • Establish and oversee communications protocols internally and externally that both serve the mandate of the Theatre as well as work to promote awareness and growth of the organization.

Audience Development, Community Engagement and Front of House

  • Lead The Grand’s overall strategies to develop audiences and engage with communities as outlined in the strategic plan and identify the appropriate metrics.
  • Provide leadership to Audience Development in developing and implementing a tactical plan to achieve the goals set out to secure budgeted results for subscriptions, single ticket and school sales using best practices and innovation to maximize the patron experience.
  • Develop and set goals for the organization to achieve in delivering world-class and inclusive, welcoming experiences for all.

CANDIDATE QUALIFICATIONS

  • Experience in progressively senior roles, including successful leadership in a performing arts, nonprofit mission driven organization, or other relevant experience.
  • Strong financial management skills with experience in creating, managing, and presenting budgets (knowledge of ActivityHD is an asset).
  • Proven ability to successfully develop and implement long-term strategic and annual operational plans and assess appropriate key indicators of progress.
  • Proven success in fundraising with individual donors, sponsors, and funders.
  • Track record of deepening involvement and increasing engagement with wider communities.
  • Demonstrated understanding of and proven commitment to the values of equity, inclusion, and diversity in every facet of the operations of a theatre company.
  • Strong interpersonal skills: unquestioned integrity, demonstrable respect for colleagues and stakeholders, and the ability to build trust through consistently open and honest communication across all levels of the company.
  • Strong organizational management skills and business acumen, detail-oriented and strategic, creative, entrepreneurial, and disciplined.
  • Experience and knowledge in marketing, advertising, and public relations; particularly as they relate to growing ticket and other earned revenue.
  • Experience in using social media, data analytics and the digital world in building brand and engagement.
  • Familiarity with Tessitura or other enterprise applications used by performing arts organizations.
  • Excellent stakeholder management skills with experience reporting to a Board of Directors.
  • Outstanding communication and presentation skills. Able to speak and write persuasively and serve as a spokesperson for the Grand in public and in the media.
  • Experience building and effectively managing government and community relations.
  • Experience with facility management.
  • Demonstrated commitment in co-leadership; able to collaborate with the Grand’s AD to support the development and execution of the organization’s artistic vision and goals.
  • A strong talent manager who invests in skill building, celebrates success, and is an open and accessible coach and mentor.
  • Knowledge of theatre activity: locally, nationally, and internationally is an asset.
  • Relevant undergraduate degree or experiential equivalent.

CANDIDATE ATTRIBUTES

  • Natural leadership skills: a proactive and dynamic professional who inspires confidence and credibility; has a strategic and entrepreneurial orientation, and an honest, transparent and collaborative leadership style.
  • A generous and kind leader with a commitment to establish an internal culture that values people and provides an opportunity for everyone to flourish.
  • Dedicated to the principles of equal opportunity, cultural diversity, and broadening access to the arts.
  • Authentic and genuine communication skills and public speaking abilities.
  • A confident, calm, and tactful professional approach that demonstrates EQ with an ability to deal with a wide variety of people and with changing internal and external conditions.
  • A pragmatic and effective problem-solver.
  • A commitment to contribute to the leadership of the wider London community.
  • Highly collaborative. A consensus builder with the ability to delegate, inspire and manage.

OTHER KEY QUALITIES

  • Creativity & Innovation – Creating innovative approaches, processes, technologies, and/or systems to achieve the desired result.
  • Leadership – Organizing and inspiring people to believe in a vision while creating a sense of purpose and direction.
  • Teamwork and Interpersonal Skills – Collaborating with others to meet objectives and the ability to effectively communicate to build rapport while relating to many different people.
  • Diplomacy & Influencing Others – Effectively communication, building rapport and relating well to all kinds of people while personally affecting others’ actions, decisions, opinions or thinking.
  • Time and Priority Management – Prioritizing and completed tasks to deliver desired outcomes within allotted time frames.
  • Futuristic Thinking – Imagining, envisioning, projecting and/or creating what has not yet been actualized.
  • Decision Making & Project Management – Analyzing all aspects of a situation to make consistently sound and timely decisions with the ability to identify and oversee all resources, tasks, systems, and people to obtain results.
  • External Stakeholder Focus – Anticipate, meet, and exceed stakeholder needs and expectations.
  • Conflict Management – Understanding, addressing, and resolving conflict constructively.

COMPENSATION

The Grand Theatre offers a comprehensive compensation package with an annual salary of $120,000 – $160,000 per year commensurate with experience, together with a comprehensive benefit package.

HOW TO APPLY

Martin Bragg and Nicola Dawes of Martin Bragg & Associates will lead the Grand Theatre Executive Director Search. To apply in confidence please email a letter of interest and resume in Word or PDF format to Martin Bragg & Associates at grandtheatreed@mbassociates.ca. Please indicate Grand Theatre Executive Director Search in the subject line of the email. The review of applications and preliminary interviews will begin immediately, and candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Deadline for receipt of applications is Tuesday, June 18th at 5:00 pm. All candidates will receive an acknowledgement of their application. No phone calls please. International Candidates who are Canadian citizens or have the legal ability to work in Canada are welcome to apply.

The Grand Theatre and Martin Bragg & Associates are committed to a selection process and work environment that is inclusive, equitable and accessible. We welcome applications from qualified individuals that reflect the abilities and diversity of communities we serve. The Grand Theatre and Martin Bragg & Associates will provide accessibility solutions to job applicants throughout the recruitment process. If you require accommodation, please reach out to us, and we will work with you to meet your needs.

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