Job Posting: Executive Director, Ottawa Chamber Music Society

Ottawa, Ontario


The Ottawa Chamber Music Society (OCMS) is one of the world’s leading international presenters of classical music.  Since its founding in 1994, the OCMS has made chamber music accessible to listeners of all ages, backgrounds, and means.  Its signature event is the annual Ottawa Chamberfest held every summer for two weeks: 110 events, 450 artists, over 90,000 attendance in a variety of venues in Canada’s capital city. As well as Chamberfest, the OCMS presents a year-round concert series, arts education and outreach programs, and other innovative community programming partnerships.

The Position:
OCMS seeks an Executive Director to work in partnership with a volunteer board of directors of 10 to 12 and Artistic Director Roman Borys to develop and implement a compelling vision and forward-thinking goals that sustain the current level of operation and drive the organization forward in an orderly manner.

OCMS has a year-round staff of 8 and a seasonal staff of 18.   Directly reporting to the Executive Director are the Artistic Director, Director of Marketing & Communications, Director of Development, Director of Operations & Artistic Administrator, Volunteer Manager, Finance and Administration Manager, Education and Community Engagement Coordinator, and Box Office Manager. The organization uses Patron Manager, a fully integrated ticketing, development and e-marketing solution and uses Artifax Event software for all aspects of concert production, artistic administration, and operations.

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director provides operational leadership to all aspects of the Ottawa Chamber Music Society organization and directs the achievement of strategic, financial, and operating objectives as set by the Board. The Executive Director has responsibility for the overall control and coordination necessary for the effective operation of the Society and the Society’s programs. The incumbent ensures the development and sound management of financial planning and human resources; marketing and fundraising activities; education and community relations; Society programs and events; and board liaison. The Executive Director is the Society’s lead spokesperson and representative.

The Organization:
The Ottawa Chamber Music Society is dedicated to presenting chamber music of the highest possible artistic standard. OCMS is the only cultural organization in Canada to win the prestigious Lieutenant’s Governor’s Award for the Arts seven times in a row. Its Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival (Chamberfest) is a Festivals and Events Ontario “Festival of Distinction” and a 2012 finalist for the Premier’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts.

Ticket sales and other earned revenues provide 34 percent of the annual budget of approximately $2 million.  Sponsorships, government funding, and foundation grants make an additional 58 percent with individual giving at 8 percent.

Glenn Hodgins has been Executive Director of the Ottawa Chamber Music Society since 2007.  He leaves to take the position of Executive Director of the Canadian Music Centre in Toronto.

During his tenure, the Society has emerged from a difficult economic climate to posting record earned revenues and attendance at its 2013 Chamberfest summer event.  The organization has strengthened and grown considerably in such areas as development, marketing, production, volunteer coordination, and ticketing; been accepted into multi-year funding streams at all levels of government, expanded its commitment to youth arts and community engagement (Music for All), and established itself as a key travel and tourism partner with such groups as Ottawa Tourism and the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation.

A significant bequest from former Ottawa Citizen arts critic, Jacob Siskind, has been carefully stewarded by the Society.  This generous gift, along with matching funds from the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Canada Cultural Investment Fund, has allowed the Society to establish a permanent endowment for the OCMS.  In addition there has been an increase in the Society’s investment in the City of Ottawa Sustainability Fund; the building of a diversified investment portfolio with RBC Dominion Securities; and the development of an investment policy statement to ensure that the Siskind gift, and donations from other generous patrons, will inspire generations of classical music lovers in Ottawa, throughout Canada, and around the world.

The OCMS has been an active proponent of widening the definition of “chamber music.”  Presenting over 120 musical events annually in six programming streams (early music, core classical, solo instrumental/vocal, new music, Chamberfringe, and education/outreach), OCMS includes music that spans hundreds of years and cultures from around the globe.  While nearly all OCMS programming features music performed by small ensembles, every musical event adheres to the guiding principle that the music can only be made by musicians who work together as a collective and rely entirely on one another to achieve a successful performance.

The successful candidate will be a highly motivated individual with excellent financial and fund-raising skills who can provide dynamic administrative leadership to this organization.  Experience in grants writing, endowment campaigns, and annual fund drives are very important as is the ability to cultivate, solicit, and steward major gifts from high level individual donors, corporate sponsors, and foundation/government funders in conjunction with the development office.

Other desirable skills are highly competent written and oral communications skills, preferably in both English and French.  Experience with or knowledge of chamber music is desirable. We seek a person with a five to ten year track record in cultural or not for profit organization management.  Work in a festival environment would be useful as well a graduate degree in arts, or not for profit/arts management.

The OCMS is an artistically-driven organization: the Executive Director’s relationship with the Artistic Director is of paramount importance.  In addition the ideal candidate will have the ability to work cooperatively with a volunteer board, a professional management team, and some 350 to 400 volunteers. He/she will be a consultative team player comfortable in an environment that allows both staff and volunteers to flourish.

Other necessary skills include recruitment and supervision of staff, experience in the development and management of budgets, and a good grasp of strategic problem solving.

Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications.

Application Process:
Please send resume and cover letter with salary requirements and a list of references by Monday, March 17th, 2014, to:

Margaret Genovese
Senior Partner
Genovese Vanderhoof & Associates
77 Carlton Street, Suite 1103
Toronto, Ontario M5B 2J7 Canada

Preference will be given to qualified Canadian candidates.