Job Posting

Vice President of Programming


Your passion for arts programming will re-imagine and stimulate the artistic and cultural life of Toronto. Reporting to the President and CEO and serving as an integral member of the senior management team, the Vice President of Programming will present compelling art that attracts the diverse communities of Toronto.

Instilling a sense of community, pride, and ownership of TO Live’s programming, you will be helping to foster appreciation of the arts throughout the greater Toronto area.

The VP Programming will provide guidance and inspiration in achieving acclaimed multi-arts programming by leveraging the core principles of collaboration, creativity, accessibility, and diversity.



  • Devise and deliver the program of TO Live that is consistent with the aims, objectives, and strategic plan of the organization within expenditure budgets agreed to by the Board and CEO.
  • Deliver a program that captures the imagination and engages a broad cross-section of Toronto audiences, while showcasing cutting-edge, pioneering work which may not always command the same scale of audiences, but which is vital to TO Live’s importance as a cultural hub in Toronto.
  • Drive the growth of artistic programming, including new commissions and program development; work with internal and external stakeholders to establish new initiatives; explore new creative models for development partnerships.
  • Plan, schedule and execute season activities, on time and on budget, including developing and managing budgets and providing analysis on a show-by-show basis in tandem with the Senior Management team.
  • Oversee the development and effective management of the annual operating budget for each division within the Programming department.
  • Supervise staff responsible for program administration, program curation, project management, budget management and tracking; work closely with finance, production, fundraising, marketing and merchandising and other administrative departments to establish policy and procedures for commissions and the effective and efficient administration of all programming.
  • Oversee the research, promotion, activations and facilitation of rentals and sales and activations of Corporate Events.
  • Expand TO Live programming into new content areas in new locations, not necessarily in theatre spaces.
  • Work with division heads. In leading them and planning in partnership with them, direct their work in a two-year advance budgeting/planning window.
  • Ensure all Division team members provide timely event estimates as requested by the clients, complete contracts in a timely manner and secure client deposits and other organization liabilities made on clients’ behalves.
  • Lead, manage and motivate curatorial and programming staff, ensuring high levels of management and HR practice.
  • Coordinate all aspects of artistic programming and scheduling including all pre-contract communication.
  • Maintain professional relationships with all third-party operatives including appropriate collective bargaining units. This includes participating in negotiations as required.
  • Advise, direct, and participate in education, outreach and community programs; provide support to those programs as well as TO Live’s community volunteer program.
  • Assist and advise the President and CEO as well as participate in presentations to the Board, as required.
  • Provide leadership and direction on all matters related to artistic partnerships; developing comprehensive strategies to leverage fully all program partnership opportunities with a sensitivity to building strong, enduring and ambitious relationships with local arts organizations and industry associations.
  • Maintain a current, globally informed view of the industry; take part on local and international boards; participate at industry association events; monitor market trends; possess and constantly update your critical knowledge of emerging artists and the competitive landscape.
  • Remain current in areas of responsibility through education courses, professional publications, a professional network, and professional societies.
  • Maintain regular communication within the department and other senior staff through meetings and discussion.
  • Work collaboratively with other departments to ensure effective coordination of activities and delivery of required objectives.
  • Represent TO Live at arts and culture events and conferences and speak at appropriate media and industry engagements as an effective communicator.



  • A proven track record in strategic artistic leadership and management.
  • Minimum five years of Artistic Director experience or other relevant experience, preferably at a multi-arts festival or presenting organization.
  • A demonstrated dynamic presence with a compelling artistic vision that will inspire the Board, staff, donors, and patrons.
  • Demonstrated understanding of production and presentation techniques across multiple genres, venues and outdoor locations; understanding of current production issues and relevant trends across multiple streams of the arts.
  • In-depth awareness of performing arts activity: locally, nationally, and internationally. Brings a global perspective capable of developing international collaborations.
  • Experience and skill in negotiating with local and international artists at all levels across the cultural spectrum.
  • Knowledge and passion for Canadian artists and playwrights.
  • An extensive network of relationships in the performing and visual arts, on a local, national, and global level.
  • Excellent interpersonal, relationship building, negotiation and collaborative skills.
  • Strong staff management skills including organizational planning and delegation.
  • Proven ability to manage to budget and provide clear financial analysis with respect to project costs and revenue potential.
  • A strong business focus on achieving bottom-line results through the integration of financial, contractual, physical and human resources.
  • Commitment to the principles of equal opportunity, respect and inclusion, cultural diversity, and broadening access to the arts.
  • Ability to create an ambitious entrepreneurial culture; achieve the necessary buy-in for growth and development by working with senior level managers and local partners; able to partner with functional leaders to inspire and motivate people at all levels to achieve artistic excellence.
  • Excellent stakeholder management skills; experience reporting to a Board of Directors is an asset.
  • Able to write and present information and act as spokesperson in a compelling manner to audiences and communities in a way that generates excitement for TO Live.
  • A proven persuasive and effective advocate for cultural programming with a wide range of different stakeholder communities.
  • Experience in risk evaluation and critical judgement.
  • Undergraduate degree or experiential equivalent.
  • Flexibility to work nights and weekends, and travel between venues.



  • A high-energy visionary with business savvy, drive and dedication to outstanding programming and audience engagement; the proven ability to bring creative thinking to a wide range of responsibilities.
  • An engaging personality who can clearly articulate TO Live’s artistic vision and brings a sophisticated, strategic belief in the identity and core mission of TO Live.
  • Energy, effectiveness and dedication in conceiving and realizing ambitious visions by creating successful cultural programming.
  • Consistency in seeking out, hearing, and embracing diverse voices and alternative points of view.
  • Commitment to foster collegial relationships with peers and other members of management.
  • An ability to understand and effectively balance the expectations of various constituents, both public and private.
  • Professional, confident, calm, and tactful approach with an ability to deal with a wide variety of people.
  • Ability to delegate, negotiate, and resolve conflict.
  • Personal integrity and honesty. Empathetic with strong social skills.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, with outstanding interpersonal skills.
  • Capacity to work under pressure, accepting ownership with a roll-up-your-sleeves approach.
  • A desire to surround oneself with high-level talent and celebrate achievement in others.
  • A masterful team builder, motivator, coach and mentor who leads by example.
  • An entrepreneur who balances risk with fiscal responsibility.



A competitive, experienced-based compensation package will be provided.



Please submit your application by emailing your cover letter and résumé to: no later than Friday, October 18th, 2019.

TO Live is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to inclusive, barrier- free recruitment and selection processes and work environment in accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). The Human Resources department will work with applicants requesting accommodation at any stage of the hiring process.

TO Live is committed to building a more diverse workplace and encourage all qualified applicants to apply.

Application Deadline: 
Friday, December 13, 2019
Type of Work: 
Full Time
Education Level: 
University (Undergraduate)
Prefered Method(s) of Application: 
By E-Mail

Employer Details

TO Live

Searchlight Partners
1 Front St. East
Toronto, ON M5E 1B2

With three iconic venues across Toronto and seven majestic performing spaces, TO Live is the city's largest multi-arts organizations. We present a full range of performing arts, theatrical and concert events in both downtown and uptown Toronto at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts (soon to be Meridian Hall), and the Toronto Centre for the Arts (soon to be Meridian Arts Centre). The mission of TO Live is to activate creative spaces by inspiring local and international artists, connecting audiences and being the nexus for new ideas. We aim to elevate artistic potential, and to be the catalyst for creative expression that celebrates Toronto's diversity, both within our venues and at other locations in the city.