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Posted by Native Earth Performing Arts

Application Deadline: Monday February 28, 2022
Start Date: May 2022
Salary: $65,000 – $70,000 annually
City/Town: Toronto
Term: Full-time
Staff Benefits: Our competitive health benefits package includes life insurance, AD&D, Extended Health benefits and Dental coverage.

: Application Information Package | Application Form


The new Artistic Director will lead Native Earth Performing Arts through the next stage of its development. The successful applicant will be responsible for artistic leadership that places high value on developing and presenting Indigenous art and artists, engaging in meaningful relationships with other arts organizations, and maintaining the priorities of the 2019-24 Strategic Plan, all within the framework of Indigenous values and practices.

The incoming Artistic Director will be expected to build on the successes and direction of the company while adding his or her own artistic vision and leadership to the work. We are looking for a collaborative leader whose career to this point demonstrates strong artistic judgment, ongoing connection with Indigenous arts and communities, and the ability to create an environment that nurtures developing artists as well as Indigenous and non-Indigenous staff in roles throughout the company. There is ample scope for creative and innovative approaches both in NEPA itself and through our partnerships with other arts organizations.

This position reports to the Board of Directors, which has oversight of the company. In addition to the usual role, the Board has a particular responsibility to ensure that the company direction and actions are congruent with Indigenous values as those have been articulated in the Strategic Plan.

The timing of this posting also allows for a working relationship over three months or longer with the current Artistic Director. This will permit the successful candidate to assume leadership while becoming familiar with the organization’s culture and operation as well as the plans that are already in place for upcoming seasons.

Note: All NEPA staff and board members who identify as Indigenous are required to provide appropriate verifying documentation. Candidates for this position who proceed to the second interview will be expected to provide such documentation prior to that interview if they have not already done so.


Native Earth Performing Arts is Canada’s oldest professional Indigenous theatre company. Currently, in our 39th year, we are dedicated to creating, developing and producing professional artistic expressions of the Indigenous experience in CanadaVision, Values and Priorities

As expressed in the current Strategic Plan 2019 – 2024, our priorities are

  • Supporting Art and Artists
  • Deepening Relationships
  • Living our Values
  • Developing Resiliency

Each of these priorities has accompanying strategies, desired outcomes, measures of success, and possible tactics. Despite the interruption of the pandemic, these priorities have continued to guide our work.

Our direction, strategy, priorities, and goals are articulated in the Strategic Plan 2019 – 2024. Interested applicants are encouraged to read this document carefully as preparation for outlining their experience and aspirations for the role of Artistic Director.

Organizational Structure

Artistic Director and Managing DirectorNative Earth has evolved with a highly collaborative relationship between the Artistic Director and the Managing Director. Though the roles are distinct, each contributes to the artistic vision and integrity of the company’s work as well as to its broader relationships, smooth operation, and financial stability. Both are responsible for establishing and maintaining a supportive and productive work environment. This relationship is mirrored in the other levels of the organization, in which staff are expected to carry out their particular roles while maintaining awareness of Native Earth’s purpose and guiding values.

Staffing Native Earth prioritizes Indigenous background/identity in all hiring processes. This includes artistic and administrative roles, as well as technical part-time roles and other short contracts. This expression of the company’s goals means that we support the development of skills and expertise in these areas as well. The current staffing arrangement has two other full-time staff. Part-time staff include the marketing, patron services and administrative coordinators. The festival-producing team are seasonal hires. Up to eight patron service representatives remain on hourly contracts.

Board of Directors The board is deeply connected to Native Earth’s work and to its leadership. It provides counsel, especially about the values and direction of the company, as well as maintaining general oversight. The board is particularly responsible for ensuring that the actions of the company and its key staff are aligned with and express Indigenous values as outlined in the Strategic Direction. The board meets approximately every 6 weeks. The Artistic Director and Managing Director attend meetings and submit reports, including detailed financial reporting. Other staff attend occasionally as relevant. The Artistic Director and Managing Director are both hired by the board and report directly to the board.

Financial Model and Position Native Earth Performing Arts is a not-for-profit with annual revenues averaging $830,000 over the past three years. Income comes from a variety of sources. Public funding from all three levels of government is the largest contributor. Other revenue sources include Aki Studio rentals, foundation contributions, and ticket sales. The company has maintained financial stability throughout the pandemic.

It is expected that the Artistic Director will take an active role in the income-generating aspects of the company. In addition to being an advocate and champion of our work to inspire potential funders and sponsors, this includes being directly involved in writing grant applications and reports and engaging in funding negotiations.

Aki Studio Our performance base is in Regent Park within the Daniels Spectrum building. Aki Studio is available for performance rentals as well our own productions and presentations. It is 120-seat, blackbox theatre with full box office and front-of-house services. The studio actively caters to IBPOC theatre and dance companies, as well as other independent and student companies.

Role of the Artistic Director

Ultimately, the Artistic Director will be responsible for providing the inspiration, leadership, and care that keeps Native Earth Performing Arts thriving – reporting and accountable to the Board. The Artistic Director’s leadership will inspire the delivery of high-quality, risk-taking, inclusive and relevant artistic work, including presentations and partnerships, ensuring that these embody and promote the purpose and values of the company.

The Artistic Director is expected to participate in the artistic and theatre communities by sharing views, working cooperatively, and advocating for the good and advancement of the entire arts and theatre community, with particular attention to issues affecting Indigenous peoples. This requires attention to and involvement in these issues and communities locally, nationally, and internationally. The Artistic Director is expected to develop and maintain a wide range of relevant contacts and relationships, always with a view to the benefit of the company, the Indigenous community, and the artistic sector.

The Artistic Director will always act in the best interests of Native Earth Performing Arts and lead by example, using an approach which is transparent, fair, and collaborative and which champions and communicates the company’s values.

The Artistic and Managing Directors are expected to engage meaningfully with the tasks of the other, ensuring the artistic, organizational, and financial success of the company. This relationship is fundamental to the job. The Artistic Director must ensure that the organizational structure and plan successfully supports and enables the artistic vision and that the Managing Director is fully included as this vision evolves.

Briefly, the key responsibilities of the Artistic Director are:

  • In collaboration with the Managing Director, to lead Native Earth
  • In collaboration with Native Earth’s various communities, artists, staff, and board, to further develop and lead the organization’s creative and artistic vision in ways that best enable it to achieve its purpose
  • In collaboration with the Managing Director and the board of directors, to follow the strategic direction, achieving desired goals and outcomes by implementing appropriate tactics, and engaging the entire staff in ensuring that Native Earth advances its artistic mission while remaining financially stable
  • In collaboration with the Managing Director and the board, respond thoughtfully and ethically to unanticipated circumstances while sustaining the overall direction of the company
  • To report to the board of directors and be formally accountable to the board for the artistic direction of the company, adherence to the strategic direction, and community relationships

Application Form Details

Click here for the Application Form. Below are the questions listed in our Application Form. You will also be asked to submit a cover letter, a comprehensive CV, and three references.

  1. Describe your vision for Native Earth. Include an assessment of our current role in the Canadian theatre ecology, and how this fits in to your vision. (750 words max)
  2. Based upon your previous experience, how would you work towards achieving your vision and what strengths would you bring to this role? (750 words max)
  3. Describe your approach to leadership, providing an example from your experience that is relevant to the role of Native Earth Artistic Director. (500 words max)
  4. If offered the position, what is your earliest possible start date, and are there any special circumstances we need to be aware of?
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