POSITION: General Director
LOCATION: 2 Daly Avenue, Ottawa, ON K1N 9M9
REPORTS TO: Board of Directors, Opera Lyra Ottawa
REPORTS: 5 Direct Reports
Opera Lyra Ottawa (OLO) is the professional opera company of Canada’s national capital region (NCR). It is in its 27th year and is now one of Canada’s leading regional opera companies. It produces two main stage operas a year in the National Arts Centre.
The company features leading artists from Canada and abroad, accompanied by the National Arts Centre Orchestra. Under the artistic direction of Tyrone Peterson over the last 13 years, the critical success of the company has steadily increased.
Opera Lyra has an annual budget of over $2 million, has a subscriber base of 2,000 and sells 8,000 single tickets a year. It operates a Studio program for young artists and has a school concert and other outreach programs.
Currently undergoing restructuring begun in November 2011, Opera Lyra decided to cancel the remainder of the 2011-12 season. OLO is going ahead with La Bohème on the main stage in fall 2012 and La Traviata in concert in spring 2013. A decline in ticket sales since the recession of 2008, combined with an inability to rein in production costs quickly enough led to financial difficulties and a need to re-vision the company.
The National Arts Centre: Serving as OLO’s collaborator in presenting, The National Arts Centre is a separate entity from the OLO. The NAC acts as a strong partner to the OLO by offering presentation space and orchestra access for the OLO. The offices of the OLO are located near the NAC, in the Ottawa Arts Court.
The NAC has become Canada’s foremost showcase for the performing arts. Today, the NAC works with countless artists, both emerging and established, from across Canada and around the world, and collaborates with scores of other arts organizations across the country. The NAC is strongly committed to being a leader and innovator in each of the performing arts fields in which it works – classical music, English theatre, French theatre, dance, variety, and community programming. It is at the forefront of youth and educational activities, supporting programmes for young and emerging artists and programmes for young audiences, and producing resources and study materials for teachers. The NAC is the only multidisciplinary, bilingual performing arts centre in North America, and one of the largest in the world. More: http://www.nac-cna.ca
The City of Ottawa and the National Capital Region (NCR): The NCR has numerous cultural attractions, including world famous festivals, national museums, famous buildings and architecture, sports and entertainment. These include the annual music festival Bluesfest, the world renowned winter festival Winterlude, the Canadian Tulip Festival, RCMP musical rides, Buskers festival, and the biggest Canada Day celebrations in the Nation.
In addition, there are 29 National Historic Sites of Canada within the NCR, the most prominent being the Canadian Museum of Civilization, Canadian War Museum, Canadian Museum of Nature, Canada Science and Technology Museum, National Gallery of Canada, the NAC, and the Canada Aviation Museum. Some of the region’s most famous buildings are Parliament Hill, the Prime Minister’s home at 24 Sussex Drive, the Governor General’s home Rideau Hall, the Supreme Court of Canada, the Royal Canadian Mint, the American Embassy and the National Library.
The NCR is a very livable region, with a renowned greenbelt and 850 parks that contribute to Ottawa’s outdoor livability. Hiking, biking, or running are a joy as Ottawa’s natural environment is a very large part of its identity. The Rideau Canal is the world’s largest skating rink and is used by Ottawa residents and visitors alike. Professional level sports are also a large attraction. The Ottawa Senators of the National Hockey League play in Ottawa’s west end. Ottawa is also home to a successful Ontario Hockey League club, the Ottawa 67′s. Gatineau is home to the 2007-2008 QMJHL champions, the Gatineau Olympiques. The Ottawa area has three universities, two of which, Carleton University and the University of Ottawa, compete in Canadian Interuniversity Sport.
A few facts on numbers: Ottawa’s gross domestic product (GDP) is more than $40 billion. Its economy centres around two major sectors: government and high tech. The median family income sits amongst the highest of Canada’s six largest cities. More about Ottawa: http://www.ottawa.ca
Opera Lyra Ottawa is moving toward the next stage in its development. As OLO’s new leader, you will be charged with achieving Opera Lyra’s goals for artistic excellence, audience development, fundraising, financial sustainability, and community engagement. The General Director will provide leadership on all administrative and financial matters, including budgeting, contract negotiation and management and human resources. The GD will be instrumental in rebuilding the capacity of the company in marketing and fund-raising as part of a challenging restructuring plan.
The ideal candidate will be an experienced leader of the performing arts with a record of success and expertise in fundraising, accompanied by strong interpersonal and relationship building skills and proven management ability in all aspects of company administration. As well as profile-raising and leadership, you will provide strategic and financial direction for the company and will report to and work closely with the Board of Directors and its Chair as they take the company through the recovery phase into a period of renewed growth and development.
You are a bright and astute personality who is an accomplished leader with energy, vision and enthusiasm. You love opera and the performing arts, but equally you love people and connect easily with them, be they staff, stakeholders, or members of the community. As such, you will be both leader and ambassador for the company – building and sustaining positive relationships with the Board, staff, subscribers, volunteers, artists, patrons, National Arts Centre management, media, the local community and peer-level arts organizations. You are driven by leading an institution that thrives on all fronts and by providing the support needed by your staff to achieve their goals. Your experience in taking arts organizations to the next level will provide guidance for the overall vision and support for the choices of your team. As the public face and spokesperson of Opera Lyra Ottawa, you will raise the company profile and grow its importance both locally and nationally, securing its place as one of the Canada’s leading opera companies.
The General Director is responsible for providing artistic, strategic and financial direction for the company, and reports to the Board of Directors. Specifically, the GD is expected to:
- Provide visionary leadership, strategic direction and financial strength for the company
- Manage the company’s resources – human, financial and physical – so as to strengthen the company’s place in an increasingly competitive environment
- Lead, inspire, and motivate Opera Lyra Ottawa’s executive team and employees
- Develop and encourage corporate, private foundation, government and community sponsorships and partnerships to create new revenue sources for the company
- Stimulate and promote excellence and innovation in the company’s programs, including its repertoire, publicity/marketing and educational activities
- Play an advocacy and ambassadorial role on behalf of the company in Ottawa and its region, the province of Ontario, and across the country
- Work effectively with The National Arts Centre, the Board of Directors and other volunteers and partners
CANDIDATE QUALIFICATIONS & PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS
- A proven track record of management in a senior executive leadership role within an arts or cultural/not-for-profit institution, including responsibility for talent, budgeting and financial management
- A high-energy visionary with business savvy, drive and dedication to high impact programming and audience satisfaction; the demonstrated ability to bring creative thinking to a wide range of tasks
- Successful experience managing and governing a working volunteer board
- Proven success in fund-raising, granting and development and the ability to create and implement innovative education programs, fundraising, corporate partnerships and marketing strategies
- Demonstrated knowledge of and passion for the performing arts, experience dealing with and the capability to lead the artistic vision in partnership with the Artistic Director
- Outstanding energy, enthusiasm and communication skills to “sell” the company locally, provincially, nationally and internationally; The proven ability to attract, motivate and direct qualified staff is important
- High EQ with a collaborative and cooperative style; Relationship-builder with a strong, established and growing network who is able to manage large numbers of stakeholders with a variety of professional working styles
- Commitment to consultation and consensus-building, balanced with the ability to act decisively in a politically astute and highly professional 360 degree manner; able to understand the complex nature of management in a multi-stakeholder arts organization
- Strong interpersonal skills so as to be comfortable and effective with the company’s internal and external constituencies: the Board of Directors, staff, subscribers, volunteers, the National Arts Centre, corporate and foundation communities, major donors, government/granting bodies, media and the others served
- Able to manage, monitor and deliver on several projects simultaneously while maintaining superior attention to detail; able to adjust style in response to changing priorities and opportunities
- Fluency in English is essential. Preference will be given to bilingual candidates (French/English). International applications accepted.
A competitive compensation package will be offered commensurate with experience, complete with salary and benefits.
Please email a covering letter and CV no later than April 20, 2012 to Opera Lyra Ottawa’s recruitment consultants:
Jennifer Gordon, Partner CC: Daniel Weinzweig, Managing Partner
We thank all those who apply, however only those advancing in the process will be contacted.