Skip to content

Posted by Against the Grain Theatre

About Against the Grain Theatre

Against the Grain Theatre (AtG) is a multi-award-winning Canadian experimental opera company dedicated to creating boundary-breaking, genre-defying vocal works and films staged in surprising locations emphasizing innovative storytelling and memorable artistic experiences. AtG is the creator of the internationally acclaimed film Messiah/Complex and the ongoing Opera Pub series.

Established in 2010 and still evolving, AtG is committed to revitalizing the operatic art form by introducing diverse audiences to outside-the-box opera experiences, creating daring re-interpretations of traditional repertoire, developing bold, new operatic works, and offering thrilling, intimate, and unforgettable experiences shared between artists and audiences. In 2021-22, AtG collaborated with key stakeholders to develop a multi-year plan that reflects and supports the growth we wish to see in our outside-the-box organization. You can read more about our Strategic Plan here. In July 2023, Founder and Artistic Director, Joel Ivany announced his intention to step back from the company after thirteen years to pursue other artistic endeavours. AtG is currently in a development season focused on incubating exciting new works, including an operatic adaptation of Thomas King’s Indians on Vacation by composer Ian Cusson and librettist Royce Vavrek (co-commission with Edmonton Opera) and the continued evolution of Identity: A Song Cycle by composer Dinuk Wijeratne, poet Shauntey Grant and baritone Elliot Madore.

At this important juncture, AtG’s Board of Directors is excited to extend an invitation to furthering this dynamic and essential institution through the next phase of its next Artistic Leadership.

About the Role

Reporting to the Board of Directors through the Chair, Artistic Leadership is responsible for AtG’s artistic direction and ensuring that programming reflects and advances the company’s vision, mission and values.

The Company is looking for a bold visionary, driven by curiosity and passion to make a case for opera in today’s world. They will have the responsibility of developing and programming exciting, meaningful productions, both live and digital. They will be a builder of authentic relationships with artists of many disciplines, both established and new. And they will seek to collaborate with other companies, exploring associations and co-producing opportunities. An important qualification is the ability to connect with donors and strengthen and expand the donor base.

Artistic Leadership will curate upcoming programming; assemble, lead and direct the artistic teams for productions; embrace and advance the Company’s commitment to developing new work. While this is first and foremost a curatorial role, Artistic Leadership may participate more actively in individual productions (e.g. as director, conductor, performer, etc.) based on their specific skills and experience. Such additional artistic duties would be recognized through incremental compensation as part of production budgets.

By ensuring effective fund development and earned revenue outcomes, Artistic Leadership will balance artistic vibrancy with fiscal responsibility. They work closely with the General Director on fundraising for the Company and work closely with the Board of Directors to ensure good governance, communication, and transparency.

Artistic Leadership is expected to maintain a profile as a leader of the opera industry in Canada, both advancing the interests and enhancing the brand of the Company, as well as fostering a strong community presence. The position requires the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with artists, board members, community leaders, administrative and artistic staff.

Artistic Leadership will advocate for equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives that are grounded in partnerships and committed to inviting historically excluded voices into AtG’s workspace, boardroom, backstage, onstage and through stories AtG tells.

Key roles and responsibilities include:

  • Artistic Vision and Planning: oversee the selection and programming of operas and vocal works, both live and digital; Select and engage artistic personnel; create partnerships
  • Strategic Leadership: advance AtG’s Strategic Plan; work closely with the Board of Directors
  • Fundraising and Community Engagement: enhance visibility of the Company; formulate and execute fundraising initiatives
  • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: foster and maintain a values-based culture

Employment & Compensation:

  • Term: This is a permanent role with the expectation of a long-term commitment.
  • Starting Salary range: $45,000-50,000 for a part-time position. Option exists for incremental compensation in future seasons for direct artistic contributions (e.g. conducting, directing, performing, etc.) as part of production budgets.
  • Flexibility: This position can be combined with other ad hoc freelance or part-time employment opportunities at other organizations. Time off in lieu will be offered, subject to ATG’s Conflict of Interest Policy and approval from the Board.
  • Citizenship: Open to Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
  • Residency: Preference will be given to candidates based in the Greater Toronto Area, though flexibility is possible for remote work.
  • Start date: November 1, 2024 (negotiable)

 How to Apply:

Please send your resume and an expression of interest (maximum: 2 pages) to no later than May 21, 2024. The expression of interest should answer the following questions:

Why are you interested in this opportunity now? What draws you to AtG? What do you imagine AtG to look like under your leadership over the next 5 years?

AtG is open to innovative ways of interpreting the role, for example, in terms of flexible time commitments, co-applicants, and added artistic value such as composing, directing, conducting, etc. These considerations should be highlighted in the expression of interest.

Please refer any questions around this posting to

Back To Top
Skip to content