Managing Director

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Managing Director

Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre

Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre is seeking a forward-thinking, creative, innovative and collaborative leader to serve as its next managing director.

Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre (FAST) was founded in 1987 and has established an inspiring legacy as a premier summer theatre company in Atlantic Canada. With a history that spans three decades; a patron base that includes thousands of Nova Scotians as well as regional, national, and international tourists; an acclaimed reputation as a local economic and cultural anchor; and an artistic commitment to excellence, FAST is proud of their successes and are committed to growth. Each summer, FAST brings together the best artists from across Nova Scotia and beyond to create an award-winning Main Stage series, a Family Stage show, and other innovative artistic presentations, including large-scale outdoor productions. FAST believes in the power of ensuring diversity both on and off the stage and was the first theatre company in Nova Scotia to introduce Relaxed Performances.

The Position

Reporting to the board of directors and partnering with the artistic director, the managing director will be responsible for achieving annual strategic, programming, fundraising, and operational objectives. Leading a dedicated and creative staff, the managing director will possess an entrepreneurial spirit and a strong vision to successfully create and execute strategic initiatives for artistic and organizational growth, which will include both professional and community programming opportunities. Ensuring the financial viability of the organization is critical to success in this role. This includes budgetary planning and management alongside the experience to raise funds for FAST’s programs and initiatives. As one of the primary external executive ambassadors, alongside the artistic director, the managing director will steward current relationships, especially with St. Francis Xavier University and develop new opportunities with the goal of deepening donor engagement in FAST’s vision.

As a team builder who values collaboration, the managing director will have responsibility for all organizational aspects of FAST. The managing director will attract, retain, and inspire staff and board within an organizational culture that prioritizes inclusivity, kindness, respect, equity, communication, accountability, integrity, empathy, and mutual care.

This is an exciting and unique opportunity for a forward-thinking executive leader who can bring together vision, experience, and passion to support the realization of unique, innovative, and diverse, projects and programming. The ideal candidate will be a creative and energetic individual who will help co-lead FAST into the future.

Managing Director Responsibilities

Reporting to FAST’S board of directors and working in partnership with the artistic director, the managing director is a key part of our two-person leadership team and has complete responsibility for the day-to-day and financial operations of Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre and Theatre Antigonish. The managing director set goals, in conjunction with the artistic director, for long and short-term priorities, while implementing the current Strategic Plan. The managing director is responsible for providing operational leadership to the team, maintaining positive stakeholder relationships and ensuring the long-term sustainability of FAST and TA.

The managing director will work to uphold and strengthen our vision: “Festival Antigonish is the theatrical heart of our region. We forge creative pathways that strengthen community, inspire compassion, and spark positive change through professional, live performing arts.”

Key Relationships:

  • Accountable to and draws authority from the board of directors of Festival Antigonish
  • Provides services to Theatre Antigonish, as per agreement
  • Collaborates closely with the artistic director
  • Provides administrative leadership to all staff members
  • Directly supervises office & marketing coordinator, and supports front-of-house team

Responsibilities include:

  • Fund development
    • Develops and administers fundraising strategies and donor relations programs, in conjunction with the board of directors
    • Actively pursues new opportunities for support from private sector and foundations
    • Supports growth of the Festival Antigonish Foundation endowment
    • Promotes donor stewardship and growth in all donor and sponsorship programs
  • Financial Management
    • Prepares and monitors the general operating budgets in conjunction with the artistic director and production manager
    • Prepares monthly financial reports for the board and annual year-end reports for the auditors
    • Reviews and authorizes spending and deposits
  • Human Resources
    • Negotiates and prepares all staff and artist contracts, (except for artistic director) and liaises with Canadian Actors Equity Association and Associated Designers of Canada
    • Hires box office and front-of-house staff and ensures training and support
    •  Identifies and resolves any employee relations and staff or volunteer issues
  • Government Liaison
    • Prepares government grant applications, in conjunction with the artistic director
    • Advocates on behalf of the theatre at all levels of government
    • Prepares all interim and final reports, and maintains positive relations
  • Marketing and Audience Development
    • Develops and implements marketing strategies to increase ticket sales
    • Supervises the creation and distribution of print material and digital content, with input from artistic director
    • Supervises social media and website content
    • Writes and distributes press releases, maintains database of relevant media, and arranges media interviews
  • Board Relations
    • Collaborates with the board chair in the development of monthly meeting notices, agendas, and materials
    • Participates in monthly board meetings for FAST and TA
  • Advocacy & Community
    • Fosters and encourages the continued growth and development of theatre for the community, promoting both companies locally and provincially, and to the larger theatre sector
    • Advocates for and represents FAST and TA with local, provincial and national service organizations and other outside groups
    • Liaises with StFX University staff and faculty

Other duties may be required within the scope of the managing director role.

Traits and Characteristics

The successful candidate will have leadership experience and a demonstrated record of increasing success and in theatre, other performing arts or a related non-profit organization and have a love of theatre.

With high emotional intelligence and diplomacy, the managing director of FAST will be a motivated ambassador and advocate for an organization in a dynamic multi-cultural environment. The ideal candidate will be comfortable engaging in conversations that build effective partnerships, raise levels of engagement, and advance innovative approaches to artistic, educational, and community needs.

Embodying integrity and authenticity, the managing director will embrace a healthy organizational culture based in collaboration and strategic partnerships. Insightful and resourceful in leveraging financial, human, and technological resources, the managing director will be a highly evolved communicator both internally and externally who is skilled at fundraising, major gift experience, advocacy, and government relations.

A highly influential individual who can fruitfully mobilize artistic and social resources, the managing director will be an inspirational leader, proven business manager, and skilled relationship builder – with a commitment to exceeding expectations.

Adept at budgeting and proficient with Microsoft 365 and other productivity tools, this individual will bring an affinity for FAST’s mission and vision and a passion to positively impact the organization’s long-term success.

Other key Traits and Characteristics of the role include:

  • Leadership – Organizing and influencing people to believe in a vision while creating a sense of purpose and
  • Flexibility – Readily modifying, responding, and adapting to change with minimal resistance.
  • External Stakeholder Focus – Anticipating, meeting and or/exceeding stakeholder needs, wants and expectations
  • Negotiation and Diplomacy– Listening to varying points of view and facilitating agreements between two or more parties while effectively and tactfully handling difficult or sensitive issues.
  • Project Management – Identifying and overseeing all resources, task, systems, and people to obtain results.
    Self-Starting – Demonstrating initiative and willingness to begin working.
  • Planning and Organizing – Establishing courses of action to ensure that work is completed effectively.
  • Teamwork and Interpersonal Skills – Cooperating with others to meet objectives.
  • Employee Development/Coaching – Facilitating, supporting, and contributing to the professional growth of others.
  • Equity, Diversity Inclusion and Accessibility – Being aware and sensitive to the issues and opportunities with EDI&A in the organization.

FAST offers a competitive salary range of $65,000 – $75,000 commensurate with experience, together with health and pension plans, flex time, and four weeks of vacation.

Application Instructions

FAST’s managing director search is led by Martin Bragg, Nicola Dawes, and Julie Pehar of Martin Bragg & Associates. To apply in confidence, please email your letter of interest and resume to Martin Bragg & Associates at Deadline is Monday, March 4, 2024.

Qualified candidates are encouraged to apply and all applicants will receive an acknowledgement of their application. The review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. No phone calls please. Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to review FAST’s website at

Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre and Martin Bragg & Associates are committed to an open and transparent hiring process and encourage applications from diverse communities. We are committed to employment equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility and we are unwavering in our pursuit of excellence. We are committed to actively and intentionally operating as anti-bias, and anti-racist organizations. As such, we promote policies, practices, and programs that create a dialogue toward mutual understanding. We welcome all applications from women, persons of colour, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, persons of all sexual orientations and genders, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas.

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