• Executive Director

    Stratford Summer Music [SSM] is an annual festival in a city known internationally for its cultural distinction and its tourism charm. SSM’s concerts and events are celebrated and supported by the public, by private and corporate patrons, by governments and by media.

    Since its inception in 2001, prominent and emerging Canadian artists and ensembles, joined by world musicians of renown, have performed in the Stratford venues which the festival uses as its concert and event locations. The Festival currently has a four week summer program with over 45 performances and a number of off season events.

    SSM is committed to produce, to the highest standards possible, an annual program of diverse and exciting performances which explore a wide range of genres. SSM offers performances of musical richness and excellence rarely found outside large urban centres.

    The current General Manager, Kendra Fry, will depart on September 30, 2023, after two and one half years of service to SSM, to pursue her consulting practice in Church Repurposing. The Board is now recruiting for the position with the updated title of Executive Director.

    SSM Mission Statement

    Stratford Summer Music stages an annual summer music festival of diverse musical experiences for both regional and wider audiences, to celebrate music and to enhance the reputation of the Stratford region as an exceptional home for all the arts.

    The Role

    The Executive Director (ED) of SSM reports to the Board of Directors of the Stratford Arts Foundation (Board). Working closely as a partner with the Artistic Director(AD), who also reports to the Board, and who develops the programming and special events of each season, the Executive Director is the senior administrative officer of the organization, generally responsible for the music festival’s financial, fundraising, donor relations, administrative, office management, personnel, marketing and promotional affairs.

    Essential Functions

    General Administration / Governance

    · Manage day-to-day operations and business of the festival and to work closely with the Artistic Director who is responsible for the artistic content and presentations of the festival.

    · Responsible for regular (monthly) reporting to the Board and committees of the Board and preparation / coordination of the Board meeting packages and the Annual Meeting and the development of the Annual Report

    · Responsible for maintaining the Board portal, Board orientation material, Board governance policies, SSM Code of Conduct, SSM HR Manual, etc.

    · Assist the Board with governance review and policies as required.

    Financial Management

    · Responsible, upon Board approval, and with assistance from the Treasurer / Finance Committee, as needed, for implementing and overseeing all financial activities of the festival. Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

    a) Preparation of the annual budget in consultation and co-operation with the Artistic Director, for presentation to the Board

    b) Presentation of the annual budget to the Board for approval

    c) Preparation of regular financial reports for the Board under the direction of the Finance Committee and circulated prior to each Board meeting.

    d) Support the Artistic Director with the negotiation and oversight of the fulfillment of all contracts required to deliver the festival season in accordance with the Foundation’s delegated authorities and approval limits.

    e) Researching, preparation and writing of Grant applications

    f) Providing information and support to the Chair of the Board, the Artistic Director and Fund Development Committee that may be required for major donor requests.

    g) Ensure financial records and Receiver General filings are accurate and up to date

    h) Liaise with SSM’s Investment Manager and keep current on endowed funds

    i) Institute and maintain, with the assistance of the Board, effective budgetary control and administrative procedures.

    j) Co-operate with the auditors in their annual audit of the organization’s financial position and development of the financial statements which are approved by the Board and presented at the Stratford Arts Foundation Annual General Meeting.

    k) Serve as a signing officer of the organization along with the Chair and Treasurer of the SSM Board.

    Office Management

    · Responsible for the smooth running of the organization’s office and for making recommendations that could enhance or streamline the office operations. Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

    a) Ensure all required SSM documentation is held at the SSM office in a logical and secure manner and is accessible to appropriate individuals as required.

    b) Administer and monitor ticket sales, manage cash intake, control house capacity and other details during the performance season.

    c) In consultation with the Artistic Director, select, hire, train, supervise and evaluate administrative, volunteer and seasonal staff and ensure that all HR policies are appropriately followed.

    d) Ensure website, social media sites, print and phone messaging are monitored and maintained with relevant and current information.

    e) Ensure all SSM policies are regularly reviewed and that staff are knowledgeable and follow the policies

    f) Liaise with the office landlord and maintain appropriate records for the lease, negotiate lease renewals and/or modifications as needed.

    Fundraising and Special Projects

    · Co-ordinate fundraising activities towards achieving the budgets, annual fundraising objectives and:

    a) Maintain and grow the festival’s donor base.

    b) Lead the preparation of all fundraising analysis and “case for support” materials for Donors / Sponsors and Grant applications.

    c) Work with appropriate Board committees and staff to ensure that major fundraising activities and projects are professionally executed and successful

    d) Identify and develop additional opportunities for the advancement and development of festival fundraising activities.

    e) Work with the Artistic Director and the Board to steward and maintain existing major donors and supporters and to identify and win new major donors.

    Sales, Marketing and Promotion

    · Responsible for marketing and promoting the festival; responsibilities include but are not limited to:

    a) In consultation with the Artistic Director, develop an annual sales, marketing, media and promotional plan for the festival and evaluate and report on the results with measurable metrics.

    b) Hiring and monitoring the work of marketing, media and promotional personnel required to execute the annual plans.

    c) In conjunction with the Artistic Director and the Board, support and participate in the development of the Strategic Plan and implement and report on the Board approved Strategic Plan through the development of an operational plan with specific metrics

    d) Represent SSM on artistic and professional associations, and in developing and building relationships in the community (other arts organizations, business organizations, service clubs, local government entities, tourism groups, etc.).

    e) Represent SSM in the community at various functions.

    Experience / Qualifications

    · A minimum five years of experience with senior management level responsibility in arts/culture management,

    · Understanding of, and ideally experience with, cultural festival operations, music production and artistic processes.

    · Passion for live music in all its genres.

    · Eagerness to foster SSM Festival’s commitment to new and diverse musical and educational experiences

    · Fundraising experience in cultural / NFP environment

    · Stratford residency or relocation strongly preferred


    · Exceptional interpersonal skills, ability to manage relationships with a diverse range of personalities in various roles within the organization and in the larger local and national communities

    · Strong strategic and analytical skills, with the ability to interpret information quickly and accurately and to implement directives

    · Excellent oral and written communication skills

    · Experience with grant application writing and process

    · Excellent organizational and time-management skills

    · Productive team builder and leader

    · Ability to lead, as well as work within a team structure

    · Sound decision-making skills

    · Possess the financial acumen required to balance programming excellence with revenue goals

    · Ability to work comfortably in a fast-paced and rapidly changing environment

    · Ability to work evenings and weekends as needed through the festival season

    · Ability to maintain confidentiality of information

    Stratford, Ontario

    Located in the heart of Southwestern Ontario, Stratford is a thriving community of 32,000 residents, two hours west of Toronto. Each summer, over half a million tourists visit Stratford, both to attend the world renowned Stratford Festival, and for the vibrant musical, culinary, heritage and environmental attractions which far exceed that of any comparable small Canadian city. Stratford is a family community, a farming community, a technology hub, and a manufacturing base. Its parklands are exquisite, its population warm and welcoming.

    The Search

    Applications and nominations are now being accepted.

    Applications are being accepted now, and until September 15th, 2023.

    For further information on SSM, visit the SSM website: www.stratfordsummermusic.ca

    For queries, or to submit an application or nomination, email in confidence to:


    You may also contact the Chair of the Search Committee, Jean Anne McLeod, at the above email address.

    Please note that only electronic applications will be accepted. While all applications are welcome and appreciated, the Search Committee will only contact those candidates who are shortlisted for follow-up and/or an interview.

  • Board Director, Stratford Summer Music

    Stratford Summer Music is a project of the Stratford Arts Foundation, a non-profit charitable organization.  Charitable Registration #RR001-87819-7417.

    The Board of Directors of Stratford Summer Music is currently inviting submissions from qualified individuals interested in serving as a Volunteer Member of the Board of Directors. We will have openings for four individuals who have expertise in one or more of the following areas:  Finance, Accounting, Legal, Fund Development and the Corporate Sector.

    The three year term of office, which is renewable, will commence as of the Annual General Meeting in March.

    Directors are expected to attend monthly Board meetings (10 per year) either in person in our Stratford office or by teleconference, and participate on one Board subcommittee (Fund Development, Marketing and Audience Development).  This is a volunteer position.

    The Mission for Stratford Summer Music is to stage an annual festival of diverse musical and educational experiences for both regional and wider audiences, to celebrate music in its many manifestations and to enhance the reputation of the Stratford region as a home for all the arts.

    Please contact Jean McLeod, Board Chair at jeanannemcleod1@gmail.com if you have any questions or are interested in serving on the Board.