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Posted by National Arts Centre

Competition number: J0721-0491

Department: English Theatre

Status: Full-Time continuing

Hours: Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (35 hours per week)

Annual salary: $113,600 – $181,500 (position with benefits and pension plan)

Closing date: August 29, 2021

Anticipated start date: September 1, 2022

About the National Arts Centre

The National Arts Centre (NAC) is Canada’s bilingual, multi-disciplinary home for the performing arts. The NAC presents, creates, produces, and co-produces performing arts programming in various streams—the NAC Orchestra, Dance, English Theatre, French Theatre, Indigenous Theatre, and Popular Music and Variety—and nurtures the next generation of audiences and artists from across Canada. The NAC is located in the National Capital Region on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation.

The NAC has welcomed many of Canada’s foremost creative talents, and thousands more from across Canada and around the world—artists both emerging and established—who have appeared on its stages in artistic collaborations of all kinds.

The NAC creative leadership team, which is among the best in North America, consists of Alexander Shelley (NAC Orchestra), Brigitte Haentjens (French Theatre, to August 31, 2021), Mani Soleymanlou (French Theatre, from September 1, 2021), Kevin Loring (Indigenous Theatre), Jillian Keiley (English Theatre, to August 31, 2022), Cathy Levy (Dance), Heather Moore (National Creation Fund), Heather Gibson (Popular Music and Variety), Kenton Leier (Executive Chef) and Gilles Poulin-Denis (Zones Théâtrales). They receive strong support from an exceptional management team and a Board of Trustees whose members come from across Canada.

Artistic Leadership for English Theatre

At time of its opening in 1969, the National Arts Centre was one of the many projects launched to celebrate the centennial of Canadian Confederation, and it embodied the country’s desire to fully affirm its identity.

As Canadians have examined the complexities of our colonialist history and begun to recognize the racial injustices that have taken place in its name and the systemic racism that continues today, the need to redefine and express our identity – indeed, our identities – is more urgent than ever. In response, the NAC has undertaken a transformation to move from an emblem of institutional colonialism to a responsive and representative organization that reflects the breadth of voices, cultures, races and perspectives that Canada is so fortunate to contain.

As have the issues of anti-Black and IPoC racism, Islamophobia, the atrocities committed against Indigenous peoples in Canada and the global climate emergency risen to the forefront of our social consciousness over the past year, so has the global pandemic shaken the foundations of the very definitions of what theatre is, and how it is made.

As set out in its 2020-2023 Strategic Plan: The Next Act, the NAC has pledged to be among the leaders in the renewal and reimagining of the Canadian performing arts sector. The NAC acknowledges the privilege of its relative security at a time when so many artists and arts organizations are experiencing the devastating consequences of pandemic conditions that are well into their second year, and we pledge to fulfil our core value of generosity towards artists, partners and audiences by sharing our resources in concerted efforts to revitalize the performing arts in Canada.

The NAC English Theatre is seeking an Artistic Director who is eager to embrace these complex challenges and answer the global call for a greater understanding of our individual and collective humanity. The candidate will bring their own vision for the possibilities of the department, the organization and the art form as a means to achieve these goals. As a member of the NAC’s senior leadership team, the Artistic Director will lead English Theatre at the NAC into a new chapter and play a key role in shaping the future of the National Arts Centre.

Key activities:

  • Reporting to the CEO, and working in collaboration with the Managing Director of English Theatre, the Artistic Director, English Theatre is responsible for the overall artistic direction of English Theatre at the National Arts Centre;
  • Developing and promoting a vision and direction for English Theatre, using a diversity lens, that will guide all artistic and budgetary decision making;
  • Curating and delivering an annual roster of theatrical activity consistent with the strategic plan of the National Arts Centre, within approved annual expenditure budgets, that will appeal to current and future audiences in the National Capital Region;
  • Reflecting the NAC’s national mandate in curating live and digital activities outside the nation’s capital;
  • As a member of the NAC’s artistic leadership team, involvement in the management and strategic direction of the Centre as a whole, including collaborating and coordinating with other disciplines on artistic initiatives, program planning and the use of the facilities;
  • Working closely with the Managing Director and department staff in planning and overseeing the successful execution of all artistic activities;
  • Collaborating with Production, Marketing, Communications, Digital Engagement, Learning and Engagement and other NAC departments in achieving annual programming objectives;
  • Assuming a visible and inclusive leadership role in the Canadian theatre community;
  • Representing the National Arts Centre at arts and culture events and conferences and, under the guidance of NAC Communications, engage with media on the NAC’s behalf;
  • Playing a lead role as advocate for theatre in Canada in general, and English Theatre at the National Arts Centre in particular;
  • Supporting the National Arts Centre Foundation’s fundraising efforts by engaging with sponsors, donors and governments at all levels, under the guidance of National Arts Centre Foundation;
  • Instigating partnerships with local and national theatre organizations and artists;
  • Developing a new approach to English Theatre’s education and community engagement programs.

Required qualifications:

  • Significant experience in theatre leadership and in the nurturing and stewardship of a diverse range of Canadian theatre artists;
  • Comprehensive knowledge of Canadian theatre artists and playwrights;
  • Demonstrated experience in planning, organizing, and directing a broad range of theatrical projects that fulfil a compelling artistic vision and remain within an allotted budget;
  • An understanding of current production issues and relevant trends in Canadian and international theatre;
  • Ability to play an inclusive leadership role within a large organization, in the arts community, within the National Capital Region and nationally;
  • A national and international network of relationships with counterparts in other theatre companies, combined with a demonstrated desire to collaborate with such partners;
  • Ability to understand and navigate within the complex nature of management in a multi-disciplinary and diverse performing arts organization;
  • A demonstrated dynamic public presence, with ability to communication effectively in writing and orally to inspire artists, colleagues and peers, and be applied in a broad range of settings, including within the NAC management arena, with the media, with English Theatre patrons and NAC donors, and across national and international theatre circles;
  • A strong track record of collaboration, leadership and strong team building, with excellent interpersonal skills, including with IBPoC communities across Canada;
  • A strong reputation as a respected professional in the theatre industry;
  • Experience in linking the arts and the education communities;
  • Willingness to travel in Canada and abroad;
  • A natural affinity with the NAC’s values of Inclusion, Creativity, Generosity, Sustainability and Engagement;
  • Willingness and ability to work overtime based on operational needs.

Candidate Attributes:

  • A commitment to the principles of equal opportunity, cultural diversity, and broadening access to the arts;
  • Unquenchable cultural and human inquisitiveness, yielding a clear artistic vision and a broad range of solutions to address internal and external artistic and logistical challenges;
  • Energy, persistence and effectiveness in conceiving and realizing ambitious artistic visions
  • A natural gravitation towards leadership;
  • Experience in fostering collegial and supportive relationships with staff, peers and other members of management;
  • The ability to lead and motivate staff teams and external partners and manage/create meaningful relationships with local and international artists at all levels;

Who can apply:

Persons residing in Canada and Canadian citizens residing abroad. Preference will be given to Canadian citizens.

Workplace well-being

The NAC is committed to providing a safe, healthy and respectful work environment where all employees, contractors, patrons, artists and members of the public are treated with respect and dignity.

Workforce diversity

As an employer who values diversity in its workforce, we invite applications from all qualified individuals and encourages applications from members of racialized groups/visible minorities, women, Indigenous persons, persons who are Deaf and/or have a disability, persons of any sexual orientation, and persons of any gender identity or gender expression.

All communication will be conducted through email and interviews via videoconferencing. Please ensure to have the most up-to-date information on your resume including your current email address.

If you are a person with a disability and require accommodation for an interview, please advise us when initially contacted.

The successful candidate will be required to provide the original or a certified true copy of their education credentials as appropriate, along with proof of a valid Criminal Record Check as a condition of employment.

While we appreciate all applications, only those selected for an interview will be contacted by us.

How to apply:

Please submit your cover letter and resume online through our ‘Careers Opportunities’ website at


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