Executive Director

Organization NameJob CategoriesPosition TypeRegion and Location(s)Career LevelSalaryAd Online SinceApplication Deadline
Niagara Symphony Orchestra
  • Fundraising / Giving
  • Management / Executive
  • Marketing / Communications / PR
Full Time
  • Ontario - Niagara Region - St. Catharines
Executive (Dept. head, director)$70,0002020-01-142020-01-31

Executive Director

Niagara Symphony Association


The Organization:

The Niagara Symphony Association (NSA) supports one of the oldest orchestras and music education summer camps in the Province of Ontario.  Incorporated in 1948, the Symphony recently celebrated its 70th anniversary and is a 52 member fully professional per service orchestra with 50% of the musicians residing in the Niagara Region.  The regular concert season is held in the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre (PAC), a new hall which opened in 2015 in downtown St. Catharines.  Programming is traditionally comprised of seven (7) Masterworks and four (4) POPS! concerts plus a Family Series.  Notably, the NSO has reached a new level of artistic excellence since moving to the new hall, showcasing challenging repertoire and introducing new Canadian guest artists to Niagara audiences.  The subscription base has doubled, with attendance nearing 80 % capacity.  The annual operating budget is $1.2 Million. For further information on the Niagara Symphony, please visit www.niagarasymphony.com

The Community:

Located between Buffalo, New York and Toronto, the Niagara Region is known for its temperate climate, colonial history, spectacular geography and booming wine industry.  It has a population of 447,888 (2016) and is home to the world-renowned Shaw Theatre Festival, as well as a number of classic music organizations such as Chorus Niagara, the Niagara Youth Orchestra, Music Niagara and Gallery Players.  The NSO serves the Region of Niagara, which encompasses the twelve municipalities at the southern end of Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe, stretching from Grimsby to Fort Erie.  With St. Catharines making up a third of the region’s population, the NSO’s home venue and administrative offices are located here. The region is well-served for health care and education, the latter including Brock University and Niagara College and provides an attractive standard of living and affordable housing.  For more information about Niagara, visit www.niagararegion.ca 

The Position:

The Executive Director has specific responsibility for the administration of the Niagara Symphony Association.  Responsibilities include revenue generation, (noting that in the 2018/2019 fiscal year, just over 48% of the NSA’s $1.234 million in total revenue came through donations and sponsorships), financial planning and control, marketing, development, government/funding agency relations, audience services, contract negotiations, staff and supplier relations and board development.  Music Director Bradley Thachuk and the Executive Director share the executive leadership of the organization and both report to a community-based volunteer Board of Directors.   The Executive Director leads a staff of five full and part-time.

Challenges and Priorities:

The NSA’s immediate concerns are with regard to the size of audiences for our concerts at the PAC, and the need for a firm donor and sponsorship base to improve cash flow.

  • With the board and Music Director, use attendance, demographic trends, and environmental factors such as the level of competition for the same audiences, to determine the appropriate level, number, and scheduling of concerts for future programming

  • Stabilize ticket sales through focused artistic programming that appeals to existing and potential audiences, increasing our reach beyond St. Catharines to the region as a whole
  • Implement a formal fundraising plan that includes key staff and volunteers focusing on growing individual donor campaigns, major donors, planned giving, endowment, corporate sponsorships, and corporate philanthropic donors

  • Continue to apply for the range of government grants, increase our community outreach, and to continue supporting education through active school and other outreach programs
  • Increase revenue through expanding sold services, education programs, and other events
  • Continue to focus on effective cost management while investing in our future revenue growth initiatives noted above. Initiatives include continued negotiations with the PAC on costs and services, and a review of components of the NSO’s five-year Master Agreement with our musicians. 

The ideal candidate:

This position will appeal to someone who would like to make a difference within the arts and to grow community, expanding and further developing his or her skill set.  Ideal candidates come with a strong fundraising background in all aspects from direct mail to planned giving, ideally holding a CFRE designation.  Seasoned in the not-for-profit sector, strong candidates may bring various levels of experience in:

  • Leadership
  • Revenue development
  • Marketing
  • Supervision and management
  • Grantsmanship
  • Financial planning and management
  • Negotiation
  • Strategic and operational planning
  • Work experience in an arts organization, ideally musical ones
  • Exposure to working directly with volunteer boards
  • Familiarity with collective bargaining agreements
  • Being a self-starter with the desire and ability to become well-known in the community
  • Comfort interacting with people from the classroom to the boardroom
  • Ability to travel throughout the region, and to work some evenings and weekends

The salary range is $70,000 to $75,000, with opportunity for bonuses based on performance.

Application Instructions:

Please email your letter of interest and resume in one PDF file, with the subject line stating last name followed by first name, then NSO ED Application to employmentnso@gmail.com

Deadline by January 31, 2020.   Tentative key dates, subject to change, are as follows. Those requested to attend interview will be contacted by Feb. 10, with preliminary phone interviews on Feb. 24, and on-site interviews with the search committee on Feb. 29.  Final interviews with candidates will be held with the full board March 10, with a view to an April start for the new incumbent.

For additional information, please contact Daryl Novak, board vice-chair and search committee lead at 905-468-5550.

The Niagara Symphony Orchestra is an equal opportunity and inclusive employer and welcomes all applications. Preference will be given to all qualified Canadian applicants or permanent residents who are living in or are willing to relocate to the Niagara Region. The Niagara Symphony thanks all applicants for their interest, but only those selected for an interview will be contacted.