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Managing Director, Performing Arts

Reporting to the Vice President, Arts and Leadership, the Managing Director, Performing Arts (Managing Director) will be charged with overseeing the curation, executive production, quality control, and overall mission alignment of the performing arts programs within Banff Centre’s arts program plan.

The Managing Director will work collaboratively with the Arts planning team and performing arts sessional program directors to produce and deliver a compelling vision for performing arts programs in alignment with Banff Centre’s strategic plan and arts programming vision as established by the Vice President, Arts and Leadership. The Managing Director will be accountable for the strategic planning and leadership of performing arts programming at Banff Centre, including but not limited to Music, Opera, Theatre, Dance, Playwright’s Colony, Classical and Jazz Music, Singer-Songwriter, and Concert in the 21st Century, as well as developing digital initiatives within these program areas.

The Managing Director will oversee between eight and ten sessional program directors and will work collaboratively with three other year-round Art Directors (Indigenous, Visual and Digital Media, and Literary), four Managing Directors (Events and Public Engagement, Artistic Program Planning, Production, and Leadership), and two Performing Arts Program Managers. Banff Centre’s arts programming accounts for a combined total of 485 full-time learning equivalents annually and operates within a $20 million annual operating budget.

Roles and Responsibilities

Leadership and Accountability:

  • Articulate a compelling vision for success in the diverse environment of Banff Centre and communicate its direction and vision to build commitment and support for the organization’s mission.
  • Establish a program design that leverages the diversity of artistic disciplines and creates opportunities or discipline-based, interdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary learning and creation.
  • Ensure that residency-based learning and development experiences enable artists to take risks by exploring new ideas and producing work that is ready to tour the country and internationally, supporting this actively through all phases of development, creation, production, and performance.
  • Oversee all day-to-day operations of performing arts programs, with a special emphasis on ensuring that arts programs, projects, and products are consistent with Banff Centre’s values and strategic objectives and that all programs are built and delivered inline with Banff Centre’s design signature—transformative learning experiences for every participant.
  • Ensure that the necessary organizational structure, policies, system controls, safety responsibilities, and procedures are in place and regularly reviewed for effectiveness.
  • Lead a regular process of program review and evaluation in consultation with the Vice President, Arts and Leadership.
  • Ensure the highest ethical standards in all performing arts programs and keep up-to-date on the cultural, economic, and political developments that affect participant needs at all stages of their careers.

Strategic Vision and Artistic Planning:

  • Steward, evaluate, produce, and refine year-round programming that is leading edge and innovative in design, delivering high impact, transformative creation and development experiences (training, creation, production, thematic, and independent artist residencies) for artists across performing arts disciplines.
  • Contribute relevant expertise to the development and delivery of this programming area to position Banff Centre as a leading international site for artistic development, aligned with Banff Centre’s values and strategy.
  • Collaborate with the Arts planning team and performing arts sessional program directors in designing or re-designing leading edge and innovative programs that respond to industry trends while delivering high impact, experiential, transformative, and authentic experiences.
  • Manage co-production/co-commission relationships with external partners in the performing arts and establish and maintain effective regional, national, and international contacts within the performing arts industry, public sector organizations, governments, business leaders, and educational institutions to ensure the relevance of programs that serve participant needs and enhance the professional status of the performing arts programs in these communities.
  • Partner with the Managing Director, Artistic Program Planning, Program Managers, and all delivery teams on the program planning and budgeting process to ensure a viable and sustainable program plan within Performing Arts. Ensure that all resource allocation for programs falls within the approved program plans, balancing artistic ambition with operational plans and budgets.
  • Take responsibility for meeting mission-aligned, year-round enrollment targets (full-time equivalent) in the performing arts program plan, as established with the Vice President, Arts and Leadership.
  • Oversee the financial accountability, sustainability, and planning to advance the Performing Arts Department and achieve or exceed all financial and enrollment targets, budgets, contingency initiatives, and cost containment where required.
  • Contribute to the strategies and priorities pertaining to the management of performance facilities and site-specific locations. Inform the capital working group of programming needs that relate to equipment, physical space requirements, and furnishings to ensure resources are aligned with programming goals.
  • Collaborate with the Marketing and Recruitment teams to build a comprehensive, targeted, and innovative marketing strategy that will promote programs both nationally and internationally to ensure full enrollment and deliver audiences to Banff Centre performing arts events.
  • Cooperate with the Development team to increase resources through donor proposals, effective grant applications, and identification of potential beneficial partnerships.
  • Participate in donor meetings and events, as required.

Employee Mentorship, Communication, and Collaboration:

  • Foster an internal culture that maintains the highest standards of customer service, the excellence of visitor experience, and fiscal, operational, and organizational integrity.
  • Ensure a positive and safe work environment for all Banff employees, aligned with Banff Centre’s code of ethics, code of conduct, and anti-harassment policies.
  • Maintain effective working relationships with team members, internal partners, customers, and other stakeholders.
  • Enable arts staff to function as a high performing team at all times, maintaining open communication, clear objectives and priorities, and a culture of positive behavioural intent that is consistent and in alignment with Banff Centre values.
  • Ensure all arts team members represent Banff Centre to any stakeholders and constituents in an informed, helpful, and positive way, striving to increase the organization’s public value in each interaction.
  • Recruit, hire, and mentor staff, assign work, and manage relationships with sessional program directors and faculty by monitoring and measuring their performance in relation to the program design signature and strategic standards of excellence.
  • Oversee the faculty recruitment for independent performing arts residencies that are not being led by a sessional program director.
  • Facilitate ongoing communication with sessional program directors who deliver world-class programming across the performing arts programs while ensuring individual and team behaviours are in alignment with organizational values.
  • Ensure that employees fully understand their roles, responsibilities, and performance standards and provide ongoing formal and informal feedback and support as employees strive to achieve expectations.

Traits and Characteristics

The Managing Director will be a dynamic, people-oriented, and assertive individual who values frequent interaction and collaboration with others. As a versatile leader with a high degree of personal accountability and a commitment to exceeding expectations, the Managing Director will balance tasks and projects with a sense of urgency. The selected individual will have a successful management track record in the performing arts and bring energy, passion, and an appreciation for arts education.

Other key competencies include:

  • Time, Priority, and Project Management: Demonstrates self-control and an ability to manage time and priorities. Identifies and oversees resources, tasks, systems, and people to obtain results.
  • Conflict Management: Understands and resolves conflicts and concerns in a constructive and timely manner.
  • Flexibility and Resiliency: Responds and adapts to change with minimal resistance, overcomes setbacks, and remains optimistic in light of adversity.
  • Teamwork: Demonstrates the ability to cooperate with others to meet objectives while respecting team members and their individual perspectives.

Experience and Qualifications

A bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) and ten years of progressive collaborative experience, with at least seven years at a senior leadership level in the performing arts, are required. A passion for arts education, professional development, and partnerships at the post-secondary level is necessary. To attract high profile artists to Banff Centre and build its profile and reputation in the performing arts realm, qualified candidates must have an established network and reputation in the Canadian and international arts community. Experience working in a multi-disciplinary environment and setting a compelling vision that utilizes creativity, innovation, and a strong business acumen to deliver that vision is advantageous.

Compensation and Benefits

Banff Centre offers a competitive salary, professional development opportunities, a supportive work environment, an employee cafeteria, subsidized fitness memberships, and employee events. In addition to the Government of Alberta Health Plan, Banff Centre offers extended health and dental insurance, life insurance, vacation time, and participation in a retirement plan to all full-time salaried employees.

Application and Inquires

Please submit a cover letter, resume including demonstrable accomplishments, and a summary listing of commissioned or produced performing arts events to:

Mr. Martin Bragg, Senior Vice President
Arts Consulting Group
1811 4th Street SW, Suite 523
Calgary, Alberta T2S 1W2

Phone 888.234.4236 Ext. 205 or email

Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity (Banff Centre) exists to inspire artists and leaders to make their unique contribution to society and aspires to be the global leader in arts, culture, and creativity. Founded in 1933, its history is the story of some of the most iconic and outstanding artists from Canada and around the world who have helped forge the Canadian cultural identity.

In January 2009, Canada’s Minister of Advanced Education and Technology approved a mandate for Banff Centre as a specialized Arts and Culture Institution providing non-parchment programs in the arts and creativity as well as in leadership development, mountain culture, and the environment. As Canada’s leading postgraduate arts institution, Banff Centre offers intensive training and career development programs for emerging and established artists across all artistic disciplines, including opera, music, dance, film and media, mountain culture, and visual and Indigenous arts. It also has an extensive leadership offering in the cultural, Indigenous, corporate, and environmental sectors. From 2016 to 2017, Banff Centre welcomed more than 3,500 artists and leaders in over 120 learning programs and more than 20,000 attendees to over 500 conferences. Each year, there are more than 150 premieres, over 50 commissioned artistic works, and 400 performances and events for more than 80,000 audience members.

Under the leadership of President and CEO Janice Price, Banff Centre’s 2016-2021 Strategic Plan supports the Albertan, Canadian, and global creative landscape through six priority initiatives: a commitment to advancing artistic learning; Banff Centre as a cultural destination; a centre for excellence for Indigenous programs; a destination for creativity in leadership and conferences; a creative home on sacred and protected land; and an adaptive and resilient organization. The annual operating budget for Banff Centre is approximately $70 million.

Banff Centre is located in Banff National Park, a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage site. The spectacular beauty of the Canadian Rockies surrounds the campus, which is spread over 42 acres and includes a variety of theatres, recital halls, practice rooms, production facilities, visual art spaces, conference facilities, residences halls, and staff housing, just a few blocks from downtown Banff, Alberta.


The Town of Banff (Banff) is a unique mountain community located in Canada’s first national park. Incorporated as a municipality in 1990, Banff has a population of approximately 10,000 residents. Everyone who lives there must meet a “need to reside” requirement regulated by the federal government. Tourism is Banff’s economic driver, with more than four million people visiting Banff National Park every year. The town thrives with a diverse mix of residents and visitors from all around the world. Banffites embrace the mountain lifestyle of hiking and biking in the summer and skiing and snowboarding in the winter while acknowledging an obligation as stewards of the national park and the value of living in a safe and caring town.

In addition to the national park’s extraordinary beauty and Banff Centre’s many varied programs, Banff residents can enjoy the Banff Public Library, Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, and a variety of sports clubs and leagues. Families with children will find multiple public and private K-12 educational opportunities in Banff and the nearby community of Canmore. With a population of approximately 1.2 million residents, Calgary is just a 90-minute drive from Banff and offers all the amenities of a major metropolitan area, including an international airport.

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