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  • 2018 Season Dates


Artistic Director, Stratford Summer Music Festival

The Artistic Director [AD] of Stratford Summer Music [SSM] is responsible for the development of SSM’s overall artistic vision.  The AD creates the vision for each season and plans all SSM programming, events and productions.  The Artistic Director of SSM reports directly and is accountable to the Board of Directors of the Stratford Arts Foundation [Board].

Essential Functions of the AD:



Stratford Summer Music and the Artistic Director

Stratford Summer Music [SSM] is an annual six-week festival in a city known internationally for its cultural distinction and its tourism charm. SSM’s 100 + concerts and events are celebrated and supported by the public, by private and corporate patrons, by governments and by media. Gramophone Magazine ranked SSM in the top 12 music festivals of North America.

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 uniquely uses as its concert and event locations. 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.

After eighteen successful seasons, SSM Founder and Artistic Director Emeritus, John A. Miller, will retire in the autumn following the 2018 festival.
The new Artistic Director will develop, communicate and execute an artistic vision for SSM that will captivate audiences with outstanding music, performances and events.

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 new Artistic Director [AD] will be a creative visionary who will enhance SSM’s reputation and achievements, its valued relationships with artists, and the excellence and diversity of its programming that have attracted local, regional, national and international audiences and sponsors for the past seventeen seasons.
The AD develops the artistic vision for SSM, and creates programming which reflects that vision. The AD reports to the Board, and works collaboratively with the General Manager and all staff. The AD conceives the programming both independently for SSM and in collaboration with others, building relationships with other festivals and arts organizations, audiences, volunteers, donors and sponsors, and the broader community.

• Reports directly to the Board of Directors, and communicates and consults with the Board as appropriate
• Conceives, populates and delivers the annual SSM program
• Ensures the highest possible standards of excellence in both performers and performances
• Continues SSM showcasing of new and diverse musical and educational experiences
• Together with the General Manager, ensures that SSM is both an artistic and a financial success
• Engages with donors, sponsors, volunteers and the broader community to ensure financial and community support for SSM

SSM Annual Operating Cycle
• AD begins to plan the annual festival season a year in advance
• Season highlights announced beginning in January
• Full season programming announced as early as possible in each calendar year
• SSM 6 week season runs mid July to end of August
• Fiscal year ends November 30
• AGM is held in March

Key Relationships
• The Board of Directors
• Staff of SSM
• Patrons, audiences and the broader community
• Donors, sponsors and volunteers
• Municipal, provincial and federal governments, each of which provides grant funding to SSM
• Canadian and international music presenters, agencies and organizations
• Partner cultural institutions
• Media
Transition Year
• The tenure of the new AD will begin during August, 2018
• The new AD will transition with the founding AD until September 30, 2018
• The new AD will build relationships and engage with the Board, staff, stakeholders and the community at large in preparation for leading the artistic vision of SSM going forward
• The new AD will plan and program the 2019 SSM season

• In-depth understanding of and experience with music festival operations, production and artistic processes, and the procedures and principles which ensure a successful artistic enterprise.
• Knowledge of and current network with Canadian and international composers, musicians and music organizations
• Minimum of five years of progressively more senior management level responsibility in arts leadership
• Fundraising experience in the cultural/NFP environment
• Passion for live music

• Visionary and creative leader
• Strong interpersonal and communications skills
• Productive team builder and leader
• Possesses the financial acumen required to balance programming excellence with revenue goals

SSM Financial Position

  2015 2016
Revenue (in thousands)    
Contributed Revenue 206 201
Donations and Fundraising 471 484
Government Grants 206 177
Artistic and Production 435 390
Administration 197 199
Fundraising and Marketing 230 215
Amortization and Contingency 4 5
Net Revenue 71 53


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 should be received by 8 December, 2017.

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

You may also contact the Chair of the Search Committee, Mary E. Hofstetter, 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.

Interviews will be held in January, 2018.  It is the intention of SSM to select the new AD by late spring, 2018.  The tenure of the new AD will begin during August, 2018.