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Employment Opportunity: Managing Director, Festival Antigonish

Festival Antigonish
July 4, 2024
Antigonish, Canada
$65,000 - $75,000


Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre is seeking a forward-thinking, creative, innovative, and collaborative leader to serve as its next Managing Director.

Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre (FAST) was founded in 1987 and has established an inspiring legacy as a premier summer theatre company in Atlantic Canada. With a history that spans three decades; a patron base that includes thousands of Nova Scotians as well as regional, national, and international tourists; an acclaimed reputation as a local economic and cultural anchor; and an artistic commitment to excellence, FAST is proud of their successes and are committed to growth. Each summer, FAST brings together the best artists from across Nova Scotia and beyond to create an award-winning Main Stage series, a Family Stage show, and other innovative artistic presentations, including large-scale outdoor productions. FAST believes in the power of ensuring diversity both on and off the stage and was the first theatre company in Nova Scotia to introduce Relaxed Performances. FAST staff also manage Theatre Antigonish, a unique blend of student and community theatre that operates under the guidance of professional arts workers. FAST serves an intergenerational, rural community and provide opportunities for direct participation in the creation of theatre, while bringing a thoughtful variety of productions to their local audiences. FAST provides arts mentorship to their community through educational opportunities for pre-professionals, and for personal growth.

Established and emerging artists collaborate with community members in all aspects of production, ensuring that the community is front and centre. FAST is committed to cultivate transformative change through theatre and is committed to collaboration and fostering the love of theatre. FAST is housed in the intimate Bauer Theatre on the campus of St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, NS. The Company is strongly rooted in their community, who have built and supported FAST since its inception. FAST is located in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq people. This territory is covered by the “Treaties of Peace and Friendship” which Mi’kmaq Wəlastəkwiyik (Maliseet), and Passamaquoddy Peoples first signed with the British Crown in 1726. The treaties did not deal with surrender of lands and resources but in fact recognized Mi’kmaq and Wəlastəkwiyik (Maliseet) title and established the rules for what was to be an ongoing relationship between nations. We are grateful to live and work in these beautiful lands.

Key FAST Stakeholders:

StFX University supports the theatre by providing subsidized facilities, support services, and professional support. Both FAST and Theatre Antigonish is served by one Board of Directors made up of volunteers from various sectors of the community. The Board meets regularly to discuss programming, fundraising and other matters of interest. It is the liaison between the organization and the community. University faculty, staff and students, and local businesses and individuals in the community provide generous financial and volunteer support as actors, musicians, costume makers, stage crew, and members of the Board and patrons.

The Position

Reporting to the Board of Directors and partnering with the Artistic Director, the Managing Director will be responsible for achieving annual strategic, programming, fundraising, and operational objectives. Leading a dedicated and creative staff, the Managing Director will possess an entrepreneurial spirit and a strong vision to successfully create and execute strategic initiatives for artistic and organizational growth, which will include both professional and community programming opportunities. Ensuring the financial viability of the organization is critical to success in this role. This includes budgetary planning and management alongside the experience to raise funds for FAST’s programs and initiatives. As one of the primary external executive ambassadors, alongside the Artistic Director, the Managing Director will steward current relationships, especially with St. Francis Xavier University and develop new opportunities with the goal of deepening donor engagement in FAST ’s vision.

As a team builder who values collaboration, the Managing Director will have responsibility for all organizational aspects of FAST. The Managing Director will attract, retain, and inspire staff and board within an organizational culture that prioritizes inclusivity, kindness, respect, equity, communication, accountability, integrity, empathy, and mutual care. This is an exciting and unique opportunity for a forward-thinking executive leader who can bring together vision, experience, and passion to support the realization of unique, innovative, and diverse, projects and programming. The ideal candidate will be a creative and energetic individual who will help co-lead FAST into the future.

The Community

Antigonish is a small town in the northeastern corner of Nova Scotia (pop 5,195; 25,000 in the county) and is a hub and a commercial and professional service centre for the rural communities surrounding it. With a diverse and growing population, Antigonish is a family friendly town with lots of opportunity, access to good education at all levels, recreation, sports, and culture activities. It is surrounded by rolling countryside with hiking and beautiful beaches.

Antigonish is home of St Francis Xavier University (StFX) which has a strong reputation across Canada and internationally. StFX is well known for its school spirit and the “X-Ring”. Alumni around the world celebrate their connections to the university and the town. The University brings a wealth of expertise and diversity to the community through its faculty and students and doubles our population during the school session.

The Antigonish Movement which began in the 1930s as a co-operative movement of local fishermen and farmers has now spread around the globe through The Coady International Institute. Antigonish hosts hundreds of international participants yearly for courses in leadership and development. Residents and tourists enjoy a vibrant culture in the arts with music, performing arts, visual arts and crafts, and fabulous festivals throughout the year. Gaelic culture is strong in the area and the Antigonish Highland Games have been celebrated for over 150 years.

The People’s Place Library is a hub of community life. There is always something going on whatever your interest and the friendly and helpful staff are eager to answer your questions. It won the Canada Great Places award in 2014 for Great Public Spaces. St. Martha’s Regional Hospital serves the town and surrounding counties providing primary and secondary specialty services. Enjoy the small town charms but the lively life of a larger community. There are numerous community groups to get involved in community development, the arts, sustainable communities, energy, and conservation. Sports and recreation opportunities are numerous with several arenas and sports fields, and teams involved at the local, regional, and national level. Business groups offer educational opportunities, networking, business development advice and opportunities for marketing and HR development for staffing.

Blessed with natural beauty, outdoor enthusiasts have a lot to choose from in the Antigonish area— from beaches along the Northumberland shore to hiking through rolling countryside, coastal trails, and woodlands. Thirty minutes away is the island of Cape Breton with access to world class golf links, the famous Cabot Trail, and the heartland of Celtic Music tradition in eastern Canada. For more information on this amazing community visit

Managing Director Responsibilities

Reporting to FAST’S Board of Directors and working in partnership with the Artistic Director, the Managing Director is a key part of our two-person leadership team and has complete responsibility for the day-to-day and financial operations of Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre and Theatre Antigonish. The Managing Director set goals, in conjunction with the Artistic Director, for long and short-term priorities, while implementing the current Strategic Plan. The Managing Director is responsible for providing operational leadership to the team, maintaining positive stakeholder relationships and ensuring the long-term sustainability of FAST and TA. The Managing Director will work to uphold and strengthen our vision: “Festival Antigonish is the theatrical heart of our region. We forge creative pathways that strengthen community, inspire compassion, and spark positive change through professional, live performing arts.”


• Accountable to and draws authority from the Board of Directors of Festival Antigonish

• Provides services to Theatre Antigonish, as per agreement

• Collaborates closely with the Artistic Director

• Provides administrative leadership to all staff members

• Directly supervises Office & Marketing Coordinator, and supports Front-of-House team



• Develops and administers fundraising strategies and donor relations programs, in conjunction with the Board of Directors

• Actively pursues new opportunities for support from private sector and foundations

• Supports growth of the Festival Antigonish Foundation endowment

• Promotes donor stewardship and growth in all donor and sponsorship programs


• Prepares and monitors the general operating budgets in conjunction with the Artistic Director and Production Manager

• Prepares monthly financial reports for the Board and annual year-end reports for the auditors

• Reviews and authorizes spending and deposits HUMAN RESOURCES

• Negotiates and prepares all staff and artist contracts, (except for Artistic Director) and liaises with Canadian Actors Equity Association and Associated Designers of Canada

• Hires box office and front-of-house staff and ensures training and support

• Identifies and resolves any employee relations and staff or volunteer issues


• Prepares government grant applications, in conjunction with the Artistic Director

• Advocates on behalf of the theatre at all levels of government

• Prepares all interim and final reports, and maintains positive relations


• Develops and implements marketing strategies to increase ticket sales

• Supervises the creation and distribution of print material and digital content, with input from Artistic Director

• Supervises social media and website content

• Writes and distributes press releases, maintains database of relevant media, and arranges media interviews


• Collaborates with the Board Chair in the development of monthly meeting notices, agendas, and materials

• Participates in monthly Board Meetings for FAST and TA ADVOCACY AND COMMUNITY

• Fosters and encourages the continued growth and development of theatre for the community, promoting both companies locally and provincially, and to the larger theatre sector

• Advocates for and represents FAST and TA with local, provincial and national service organizations and other outside groups

• Liaises with StFX University staff and faculty Other duties may be required, within the scope of the Managing Director role.

Traits and Characteristics

The successful candidate will have leadership experience and a demonstrated record of increasing success and in theatre, other performing arts or a related non-profit organization and have a love of theatre. With high emotional intelligence and diplomacy, the Managing Director of FAST will be a motivated ambassador and advocate for an organization in a dynamic multi-cultural environment. The ideal candidate will be comfortable engaging in conversations that build effective partnerships, raise levels of engagement, and advance innovative approaches to artistic, educational, and community needs.

Other key Traits and Characteristics of the role include:

Leadership – Organizing and influencing people to believe in a vision while creating a sense of purpose and direction.

Flexibility - Readily modifying, responding, and adapting to change with minimal resistance.

External Stakeholder Focus – Anticipating, meeting and or/exceeding stakeholder needs, wants and expectations

Negotiation and Diplomacy– Listening to varying points of view and facilitating agreements between two or more parties while effectively and tactfully handling difficult or sensitive issues. Project Management – Identifying and overseeing all resources, task, systems, and people to obtain results.

Self-Starting - Demonstrating initiative and willingness to begin working.

Planning and Organizing - Establishing courses of action to ensure that work is completed effectively.

Teamwork and Interpersonal Skills – Cooperating with others to meet objectives.

Employee Development/Coaching - Facilitating, supporting, and contributing to the professional growth of others.

Equity, Diversity Inclusion and Accessibility – Being aware and sensitive to the issues and opportunities with EDI&A in the organization. Embodying integrity and authenticity, the Managing Director will embrace a healthy organizational culture based in collaboration and strategic partnerships. Insightful and resourceful in leveraging financial, human, and technological resources, the Managing Director will be a highly evolved communicator both internally and externally who is skilled at fundraising, major gift experience, advocacy, and government relations. A highly influential individual who can fruitfully mobilize artistic and social resources, the Managing Director will be an inspirational leader, proven business manager, and skilled relationship builder - with a commitment to exceeding expectations. Adept at budgeting and proficient with Microsoft 365 and other productivity tools, this individual will bring an affinity for FAST’s mission and vision and a passion to positively impact the organization’s long-term success.


FAST offers a competitive salary range of $65,000 - $75,000 commensurate with experience, together with health and pension plans, flex time, and four weeks of vacation.

Application Instructions

FAST’s Managing Director Search is led by Martin Bragg, Nicola Dawes, and Julie Pehar of Martin Bragg & Associates. To apply in confidence, please email your letter of interest and resume to Martin Bragg & Associates at Qualified candidates are encouraged to apply, and all applicants will receive an acknowledgement of their application. The review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. No phone calls please. Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to review FAST’s website at Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre and Martin Bragg & Associates are committed to an open and transparent hiring process and encourage applications from diverse communities.

We are committed to employment equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility and we are unwavering in our pursuit of excellence. We are committed to actively and intentionally operating as anti-bias, and anti-racist organizations. As such, we promote policies, practices, and programs that create a dialogue toward mutual understanding. We welcome all applications from women, persons of colour, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, persons of all sexual orientations and genders, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas.

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