Artistic Director

Date Posted: Feb 14, 2023
Application Deadline: Mar 19, 2023
Start Date: Aug 01, 2023

Salary From: 100K To 120K
Province: British Columbia
City: Victoria
Employee Benefits: Health, Other (e.g. flex time, comp tickets, etc.)
Check Additional Info section for more Employee Benefits
Organization's Field/Discipline: The Arts
Job's focus: Creative
Job Type: Full-time
Career Level: Upper management

Organization Description

Pacific Opera Victoria
Pacific Opera Victoria is one of the most influential professional opera companies in Canada. Its inspired repertoire comprises original productions of classic favourites and lesser known works, as well as new commissions, co-productions, and collaborations with other companies and arts organizations across the country. From its home in the Baumann Centre, Pacific Opera Victoria creates significant career opportunities for creative and performing artists and curates opera in surprising ways – enticing newcomers and captivating loyal opera-goers.

Pacific Opera Victoria identifies Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Reconciliation among its Core Values and encourages applications from candidates of diverse backgrounds.

Job Description

Pacific Opera Victoria – one of the most innovative and distinctive professional opera companies in Canada – invites expressions of interest from artistic leaders interested in providing ambitious, risk-taking, and community-centered artistic leadership in the role of Artistic Director.

Pacific Opera’s work takes place on the traditional lands of the Lekwungen speaking people, now known as the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations. Pacific Opera identifies equity, diversity, inclusion and reconciliation among its core values and encourages inquiries from candidates of diverse backgrounds and equity-deserving groups. Demographics among staff, board and artists are available here 

Pacific Opera Victoria’s Artistic Director will be a dedicated artistic leader who has demonstrated their commitment to advancing their artistic vision and practice in a personal, humanistic way over their career to date. They will be an inclusive collaborator with demonstrated leadership experience centring equity, inclusion and reconciliation practices in their work.

At their core, the Artistic Director will be a relationship builder, who will build and nurture trusting, authentic relationships with Victoria’s community, artists, staff, board, and partners and serve as an important leader locally and in the field of opera.

The Artistic Director will bring an expansive curiosity in opera and a drive and ability to produce adventurous, bold programming that builds on and advances Pacific Opera’s rich artistic legacy. They will bring a strong artistic point of view, and an ability to translate this view into innovative and expertly produced works and seasons, and engaging programming. They will bring an ability to reflect and explore their lived experience in their work, as well as to collaborate with and champion artists, directors, designers, and administrators with lived experiences different from their own. They will develop, and continue to evolve, a long-term artistic vision that illuminates an exciting institutional identity for Pacific Opera Victoria in which stories of place, aesthetic beauty, and social inquiry unite.

The Artistic Director will be invited to explore the following three themes in their programmatic vision, which emerged from the company’s recent strategic planning process: Place & People; Beauty & Transcendence; and Inquiry & Action. Traditional, contemporary, new commissions, and community-engaged artmaking traverse these three dimensions. Additional detail on these themes and programmatic, educational and civic opportunities can be found in the supporting materials.

The Artistic Director will be appointed by the Board and CEO jointly and will report operationally to the CEO. Pacific Opera Victoria is committed to a collaboration in pursuit of the art, and a relationship based on mutual trust and respect.

• Establish an environment of artistic leadership, community connection, and operational sustainability that honors Pacific Opera Victoria’s legacy and furthers its mission and impact.
• Provide leadership that reflects the organization’s commitments to diversity, equity, inclusion, and reconciliation. Recruit and engage people of diverse backgrounds, experiences and voices. Foster an inclusive environment to prevent, and address if necessary, practices of discrimination or exclusion. Establish productive and collaborative working relationships with all staff, contractors and community stakeholders.
• Design and produce an ambitious long-term artistic vision and plan that incorporates original productions of traditional & contemporary works, new commissions, co-productions & collaborations, and curated community initiatives; deeply engages audiences; and pushes the boundaries of the artform. Explore and incorporate new mediums, approaches, or methods as desired. Collaborate with the CEO to budget for cohesive seasons that are artistically exceptional and financially sound.
• Produce approximately three major works each season at the Royal Theatre and a series of chamber works and music programs for the Baumann Centre, as well as contribute to the artistic direction of performances and programs for Youth and Schools. Explore alternative performance spaces that amplify the journey of a season and allow patrons to choose from a variety of experiences united by a strong curatorial vision.
• Determine repertoire plans including identifying artistic contributions to be made directly by the Artistic Director (as performer, conductor, director, etc.) and engage the remaining creative and performing artists required for each season. The Artistic Director will have ample administrative and logistical support from Pacific Opera Victoria’s talented artistic and educational teams in producing this body of work.
• Play an active role in Victoria’s community, developing authentic, trusting relationships with audiences, donors, partners, and collaborators. Engage diverse audiences at performances and curated community events. Serve as a leading representative of the organization in the community and provide mentorship and support to artists and staff who also wish to represent Pacific Opera Victoria in this way. Serve as an ambassador of Pacific Opera Victoria nationally and internationally through tours, co-productions, and industry networks.
• Cultivate long-term, trusting relationships with artists, creative teams, production and administrative staff. Engage, hire, supervise, motivate, and inspire performers, conductors, directors, designers, artistic staff, and production personnel.
• Maintain a consistent awareness of Canadian performance and production talent at all stages of the career lifecycle and cultivate opportunities for talent to engage with Pacific Opera in meaningful ways. Regularly research, discover, engage, mentor and invest in emerging and new artists, as well as established artists.
• Collaborate with the CEO and staff to invite wide public and private investment in the company’s activities, build strong relationships with supporters, prudently steward financial resources, and ensure effective, sustainable leadership among our Board, staff, artists, and volunteers.
• Collaborate with the CEO, Board and staff to implement the company’s recent strategic plan and explore themes and opportunities identified therein. Be an active leader of and contributor to future strategic planning.


• A unique artistic vision and artistic aesthetic.
• Authentic knowledge of opera repertoire and history.
• Experience with opera, theatre or music performance practice.
• Experience creating and stewarding productions, performances, and programs.
• Casting expertise with proficiency identifying musicianship, vocal and theatrical talents.
• Hiring expertise of creative artists such as conductors, stage directors and designers.
• A respected practice in the opera, theatre or music sectors nationally and/or internationally.
• A collaborative and communicative leadership style, and an aptitude for working in an organization with artists, administrators and partners.
• A demonstrated commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and reconciliation - valuing diverse and lived experiences.

• Curatorial experience such as conceiving of artistic programs and long-term artistic planning. Previous experience as an Artistic Director is not required.
• Experience with new work development, and stewarding librettos, compositions, workshops and rehearsals.
• Experience in artist development and mentorship, as well as authentic engagement with young people.
• A previous or active performance practice such as conducting, singing, directing, etc.
• Interest and experience engaging with the community and serving as an ambassador for the artform.

Additional Info:

• Term: Expectation for a long-term commitment.
• Citizenship: Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or extensive experience working in Canada.
• Residency: Minimum six months residency per year, and a commitment to root themselves in local identity, with a recognition that flexibility would enable an artistic practice in concert with Pacific Opera’s fundamental objectives.
• Salary range: $100,000 - $180,000 contingent on experience, residency, and direct artistic contributions via conducting, directing, performing, etc.
• Benefits: Extended health and insurance benefits package, and an employer matching RRSP program.
• Relocation: Relocation assistance is available.
• Other: Proof of vaccination against COVID-19 required.
• Start date: Summer/Fall 2023, negotiable

How to Apply:

Interested applicants are encouraged to visit the Pacific Opera Website to learn more about the role. 

This search is being facilitated by Syrah Gunning, Director, Executive Development and Ben Dietschi, Senior Consultant of the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland, a leading provider of arts management services, training and thought leadership for arts, cultural, educational, and humanities sectors worldwide. Learn more about the Institute’s work here .

To express interest, please email your resume, a brief answer to the question below, and any questions you have about the opportunity to Syrah Gunning at

Why are you interested in this opportunity now and at this point in your career?
What draws you to Pacific Opera Victoria’s work?

Questions without resumes are also invited.

A cover letter is not required. If you require accommodation of any kind throughout the process, please email

Expressions of interest will be reviewed as received. The selection process is expected to progress to the initial Committee interview stage in April 2023. Interested candidates will continue to be accepted until the position is filled. For priority consideration, interested candidates are invited to express their interest by mid-March 2023.

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