Job Description Art Starts is seeking a dynamic and passionate Executive Director to lead our organization in achieving...

Job Description

Art Starts is seeking a dynamic and passionate Executive Director to lead our organization in achieving its mission and strategic goals. The ideal candidate will have a deep understanding of the arts and a proven track record in non-profit management. The Executive Director will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the organization’s operations, fundraising efforts, community engagement, and program development.

The Executive Director should also demonstrate a profound understanding of art-making in a community context and have experience working in stressed and traditionally underserved neighbourhoods with some of the more vulnerable populations of the city we serve.

The Executive Director will bring to life the goals of the organization in collaboration with our team and diverse stakeholders, to strengthen and grow Art Starts’ profile as a leader in  Toronto’s arts and culture sector.

This role reports to the Board of Directors.

Duties and Responsibilities:


  • With ongoing engagement from the Board, develop and implement clear strategic plans to further the organization’s mission and vision

  • Identify, assess, and inform the Board of Directors of internal and external issues that affect the organization

  • Act as advisor to the Board of Directors on all aspects of the organization’s activities

  • Foster effective teamwork between the Board, the Executive Director, and staff

  • Represent the organization at community and arts advocacy initiatives to enhance the organization’s profile

  • Maintain a presence on strategic committees and councils addressing issues affecting the sector

  • Support the Board in recruiting, training and retaining a full Board contingent


  • Ensure that the programs and services offered by Art Starts align with the organization’s mission and reflect the priorities agreed upon with the Board.

  • Provide strategic direction and leadership in partnership with the Board and staff to shape the programming and administration of Art Starts.

  • Identify and assess potential risks to the organization’s people, property, finances, goodwill, and reputation, and develop and implement risk management measures to mitigate those risks.


  • Foster a positive and inclusive work environment where all employees feel valued, respected, and supported.

  • Promote open communication, collaboration, and teamwork among staff members.

  • Encourage diversity and inclusion by embracing different perspectives, backgrounds, abilities, and experiences.

  • Implement policies and practices that prioritize the physical and mental well-being of employees, ensuring a healthy and safe work environment.

  • Determine staffing requirements for organizational management and program delivery, oversee the recruitment and selection of staff, and supervise direct reports

  • Work with the team to create annual performance plans which incorporate clear and measurable goals and objectives that work towards the strategic direction of the organization

  • Implement and document the performance management process for all staff

  • Coach and mentor staff as appropriate to improve performance


  • Work with the Program Director, Director of Development, Director of Operations  and the Board to prepare a comprehensive annual budget

  • Manage the day-to-day operations, including financial oversight, budgeting, and reporting to ensure the organization’s fiscal health and sustainability.

  • Ensure effective and efficient financial processes and systems with input from the auditor, bookkeeper and finance committee

  • Manage investments

  • Oversee the administration of organizational funds according to the approved budget

  • Analyze quarterly financials with the Board Treasurer and Director of Development


  • Oversee fundraising initiatives, including grant writing, donor cultivation, and special events to secure the necessary resources for the organization’s programs and operations.

  • Strategically use community, Board, staff, and other contacts to expand the scope of fundraising

  • Participate in fundraising activities as appropriate


  • Cultivate and maintain relationships with community stakeholders, including partner organizations, funders, government agencies, and the local community.

  • Actively engage with community members and organizations to stay informed about changes, trends, and needs within the community served by Art Starts.

  • Build and nurture strong working relationships and collaborative partnerships with community groups, funders, politicians, and other relevant organizations to advance Art Starts’ goals and objectives.

  • Cultivate positive and impactful media relations, working towards securing high-profile media coverage and recognition for the organization’s work.

  • Monitor and analyze communication efforts, evaluating their effectiveness and making necessary adjustments to optimize outreach and engagement.

  • Advocate for the arts and the organization’s mission by engaging in public speaking, media relations, and community outreach activities.



  • 5+ years in an Executive Director or a comparable leadership role within a non-profit arts organization. A strong focus on community engagement and serving vulnerable populations is preferred;

  • At least 5-7 years of demonstrated progressive management experience including non-profit management, staff oversight, volunteer management, and team-building

  • 7-10 years experience in not-for-profit arts or community organization, or equivalent training and experience

  • Strong fundraising and communication skills

  • Proven ability to develop and execute clear strategic plans, set organizational priorities, co-create and assign team work plans, and achieve measurable goals

  • Experience managing organizational budget over $1 million

  • Familiarity with the arts sector in Toronto

  • A strong understanding of the issues faced by underserved Toronto neighbourhoods, in particular issues faced by residents living in Toronto Community Housing

  • Demonstrated commitment to working collaboratively

  • Experience with CADAC an asset

  • Post-secondary education in a related field or equivalent experience in the sector


Application deadline: August 31st, 2023


See full job posting here.