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Full-time Artistic Director

at Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada


The Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre exists to celebrate the widest spectrum of theatre art. Deeply rooted in the province of Manitoba, which gave it life and provides for its growth, Royal MTC aspires to both reflect and engage the community it serves.

The Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre (Royal MTC) was Canada’s first English-language regional theatre, created when two Winnipeg theatre companies merged in 1958 under Artistic Director John Hirsch and General Manager Tom Hendry. Their goal was to produce great theatre with mass appeal. Royal MTC became a model for regional theatres throughout North America, and received a royal designation from Queen Elizabeth II in 2010. Sixty years after its founding, we remain Manitoba’s flagship theatre.

Each year, we produce 10 plays on our two stages (the John Hirsch Mainstage and the Tom Hendry Warehouse), a regional tour of Manitoba and northwest Ontario, a wide range of youth programming and two annual festivals: the Master Playwright Festival (founded in 2001) and North America’s second-largest Fringe, the Winnipeg Fringe Festival (founded in 1988). Royal MTC also commissions, seeds, and develops new work, premiering an average of one new play each season. Attendance across all productions and activities averages 300,000 each year. The organization has more than 60 full-time and seasonal staff, engages more than 200 artists per season, supported by a Board of Trustees of 23 members and over 1,000 volunteers.

After 30 successful seasons, Artistic Director Steven Schipper will step down in the spring of 2019.


Located in “the heart of the continent” at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, Winnipeg is a diverse multicultural city with a rich history. An Indigenous trading place prior to the arrival of Europeans, Winnipeg was at the heart of Canada’s fur trade and became the “gateway to the west” when railways were the major mode of transportation. Once the largest Canadian city between Toronto and Vancouver, Winnipeg was quick to establish major cultural institutions such as the Royal Winnipeg Ballet (the longest continually operating ballet company in North America), the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and the Winnipeg Art Gallery (which owns the largest collection of contemporary Inuit art in the world).

With a metro area (CMA) population of close to 800,000, Winnipeg is Manitoba’s largest city, the seventh largest in the country, and one of the top five fastest growing cities in Canada (2016 Census). Winnipeg has a significant and growing Indigenous population, with more than 90,000 people identifying as Indigenous – First Nations, Métis and Inuit. The city is home to the greatest percentage of Filipino residents of any Canadian city, and has a well-established Francophone community. More than 100 languages are spoken in Winnipeg, and the median age is the fifth-youngest among major CMAs in Canada. The province’s top five sources of immigration since 1980 are: the Philippines, India, Britain, Germany and China; since 2011, immigrants from Nigeria and Pakistan have outpaced those from Britain and Germany.

Winnipeg celebrates its reputation as a winter city, but is also one of the sunniest cities in Canada, with beautiful summers. The city boasts an affordable housing market, diverse residential neighbourhoods, vibrant public and private schools, and an average commuting time of 20 minutes. Manitobans volunteer 4% more than the national average and donate more than the Canadian average (in percentage of both donors and income). Winnipeg’s central position, in the heart of Canada, facilitates travel throughout North America.

The city hosts several popular festivals, including the wintertime Festival du Voyageur in historic St. Boniface, the Winnipeg Folk Festival, and Folklorama, the largest and longest-running multicultural festival of its kind in the world. In addition to a vibrant performing and visual arts community, Winnipeg is home to The Manitoba Museum and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Professional sports entertainment is provided by The Winnipeg Jets (NHL), the Manitoba Moose (AHL), the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (CFL), and Winnipeg Goldeyes baseball (AAIPB). With the Lake Winnipeg beaches an hour to the north, the Whiteshell lakes in eastern Manitoba, and Lake of the Woods in north-western Ontario, there is easy access to family vacation and cottage country.


Building on its established legacy and tradition, the new Artistic Director (AD) will ensure that Royal MTC continues to be one of the most important regional theatres in Canada, while enhancing its international profile.

The AD will drive the artistic vision, direction, and programming of the company and will select the artistic staff needed to achieve the highest standard of production.

Both the AD and Executive Director (ED) report directly to the Board of Trustees and are jointly responsible for the creative, entrepreneurial, and strategic leadership of the organization. They are also responsible for achieving the artistic, audience, and financial objectives of Royal MTC. The new AD will work closely and collaboratively with the ED, Camilla Holland, to help ensure the future success of the organization.


Artistic Leadership

  • Leads in setting the artistic direction of Royal MTC with strong, inclusive, inspirational, and high-profile leadership, to enable the company to achieve its artistic and strategic objectives.
  • Conceives, develops, and implements an artistic vision for Royal MTC consistent with its mission and values, reflecting and responding to the evolving communities of Winnipeg and Manitoba.
  • Plans and prepares vital and viable programming, including an annual well-balanced and artistically imaginative season at each of Royal MTC’s venues.
  • Develops and leads artistic policy with a view to the Theatre’s mandate and long-term strategic objectives.
  • Attracts and recruits the best directors and actors; brings an existing network of distinguished national and international artists and collaborators.
  • Recruits, secures, and/or approves all personnel directly concerned with the artistic elements of each production. This includes guest directors, visiting companies, creative teams, actors, and other artists.
  • Establishes and nurtures relationships with existing and prospective producing partners in Winnipeg, across Canada, and internationally with the goal of creating strategic producing partnerships.
  • Provides overarching artistic leadership to all creative personnel involved in Royal MTC productions.
  • Seeks out, commissions, and supports emerging and established writers; ensures a high standard of dramaturgical input to new plays commissioned and produced by the Theatre.
  • Serves as the public face of the organization and as spokesperson with patrons, volunteers and other stakeholders to build engagement, interest, and loyalty.
  • Inspires and motivates artists, audiences, donors, sponsors, volunteers, trustees, government funding agencies and media to help achieve Royal MTC’s vision.
  • Engages the Board of Trustees on all artistic matters; includes securing approval for season programming.
  • Develops the widest possible audiences for the work of Royal MTC.
    • Leads Royal MTC artist training and development initiatives and helps to develop and deliver programmes that support the next generation of Canadian artists and creative personnel, as well as providing ongoing support to local talent.
  • Participates actively in education and outreach programs on behalf of Royal MTC.
  • Maintains the highest level of awareness of global and national theatre trends.

Creative and Entrepreneurial Co-Leadership

  • Initiates and develops collaborations and creative partnerships that will support the artistic and business objectives of Royal MTC and help achieve its ambitions.
  • Plays a key role in supporting development/fundraising strategy and in fostering strong relationships with existing and potential funders.
  • Leads and develops strong and productive external relationships with funders, the theatre industry, the media, and other existing and potential partners to enhance Royal MTC’s profile and activities within Canada and internationally.

Management & Operations

  • Alongside the ED, develops and executes Royal MTC’s strategic plan and operational priorities in alignment with artistic needs and values.
  • Collaborates with the ED in the preparation of an overall budget.
  • Ensures Royal MTC’s artistic operations meet the highest standards at all times.
  • Maintains oversight of production costs and ensures fiscal prudence.
  • Support Royal MTC’s communications, public relations, and marketing efforts.
  • Ensures artistic staffing structures are conducive to an effective, working team.
  • Helps create a positive, open, respectful, and accountable working environment.
  • Oversees working conditions, management, and regular performance appraisal of staff under the AD’s authority.
  • Together with the ED, serves as spokesperson for the Theatre as required, including interacting with patrons and volunteers to build engagement, interest and loyalty.
  • Balances artistic initiatives and risks with responsible fiscal management while respecting the Theatre’s mission.

Organizational and Financial
In partnership with the ED:

  • Maintains oversight and ensures fiscal prudence of Board-approved annual budgets.
  • Creates long-term artistic objectives which include high level financial forecasts.
  • Prepares Royal MTC’s annual seasons with respect to advancing strategic priorities as well as maintaining financial accountability.
  • Attends and reports at meetings of the Board of Trustees and its committees and working groups; communicates appropriate information to the Board on all artistic matters relevant to the discharge of its responsibilities.
  • Maintains an open and collegial working relationship with the Board and facilitates their engagement, both as a Board and individually, with the Royal MTC and its work.


  • A minimum of five years of artistic leadership and strategic management at one or more theatrical organizations.
  • A high degree of integrity, energy and creativity.
  • A strong track record of collaboration, leadership and strong team building, with excellent interpersonal skills.
  • A successful record of demonstrated excellence in programming and bringing to the stage significant theatre productions.
  • Demonstrable knowledge and understanding of work to support the growth and development of artists.
  • A record of innovative audience development.
  • A strong reputation as a respected professional in the theatre industry.
  • Possesses a national and international network of relationships with counterparts in other theatre companies, as well as writers, directors, musicians, choreographers and others.
  • Excellent stakeholder management skills; experience reporting to a Board is an asset.
  • Proven ability to program and commission new plays combined with an ability to provide dramaturgical support to writers.
  • Proven record of attracting and collaborating with artists of the highest caliber, developing new projects, co-productions, creative partnerships and nurturing artists.
  • An entrepreneurial spirit balanced with financial acumen.
  • Proven success in supporting and galvanizing fundraising initiatives.
  • Strong financial management skills and experience managing budgets.
  • Outstanding communication and presentation skills.
  • Deep knowledge of Canadian artists and playwrights.
  • If not already a resident of Winnipeg, desire and ability to relocate to Winnipeg for full-time residence.
  • Undergraduate degree or experiential equivalent.


  • A creative leader with a passion and belief in the importance of Royal MTC’s vision and values.
  • A genuine commitment to the principles of equal opportunity, cultural diversity, and broadening access to the arts.
  • Clarity of artistic vision and ambition, with a passion for (contemporary) theatre that explores and addresses social issues as well as theatre that engages and entertains.
  • An in-depth awareness of theatre activity: locally, nationally, and internationally. Brings a global perspective capable of developing international collaborations.
  • A demonstrated dynamic public presence that will inspire the Board, staff, donors and patrons to support the public vision.
  • Brings large-scale ambition with a sensitivity to local culture, fostering a sense of community.
  • Professional, confident, calm, and tactful; able to deal with a wide variety of people.
  • Able to delegate, negotiate, resolve conflict, be inspiring and motivating to others, and manage performance.
  • A team player who works well with staff to create and mount a production, with a supportive and empowering management style.
  • A commitment to contribute to the local community as a resident of Winnipeg.
  • Resilience and responsiveness to the changing external environment.
  • A willingness to foster collegial relationships with peers and other members of management.


A competitive, experienced-based compensation package will be provided.


Please submit your application by emailing your cover letter and résumé to:

Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre is an equal-opportunity employer, committed to reflecting our country’s diversity. We encourage candidates of all backgrounds to apply.

This opportunity is open for non-Canadians to apply

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Published 14-03-2018