Job Description

How often do you get an opportunity to build a world-class festival from the ground-up?

This is an exciting opportunity to work for a notable Canadian literary organization that operates and influences on a global scale, connecting authors and book lovers. Supported by a passionate and engaged board looking to do big things in a city that is rapidly becoming a top global destination; the Artistic Director of the Toronto International Festival of Authors (TIFA) has a prime opportunity to re-invent the scope, scale and content of this established event.

Ideally, you’re coming from the literary ecosystem – possibly with a background in Publishing, Events and/or Digital. You are a passionate and entrepreneurial self-starter, who sees huge opportunity in the evolving content landscape. A literary impresario, with a “can-do” attitude, you know the right people, and you know how to build bridges and inspire communities to create a world-renowned event.


Leading the Toronto International Festival of Authors is a challenging and high-profile position requiring passion and strategy. The goal of the successful candidate will be to create programs and events with popular appeal and critical acclaim.

In providing creative leadership for TIFA, you will elevate the Festival’s global reach, expand and diversify audiences and programs, strengthen stakeholder relations, inspire a dynamic team, and ensure stability and success in all aspects of the organization while fulfilling its mission.


1) Expand Audiences

  • Drive audience focus – engaging with diverse range of audiences from children to seniors and in between, including book clubs.
  • Expand audience diversity and patron demographics.
  • Build KPIs through measurable objectives and analytics.
  • Increase overall attendance to both free and paid events.
  • Grow net promoter score (NPS).

2) Cultivate Marketing, Communications and Awareness

  • Heighten awareness of the Festival in Toronto and beyond through targeted marketing and PR strategies.
  • Strengthen the marketing message – TIFA is for authors and readers.
  • Implement measurable objectives.
  • Develop an effective marketing plan.
  • Extend media coverage including paid and earned media. Attract favourable mentions of the festival and its programming.

3) Building World-Class Programming

  • Design multi-year programming goals.
  • Attract more “Headline” authors to the Festival.
  • Become the conversation focal point for various themes underpinning the Festival.
  • Expand daytime programming.
  • Implement “new” programming goals.
  • Broaden favorable press coverage.

4) Intensify Stakeholder Relations

  • Maintain excellent relationships with Government funders at all three levels (City, Provincial, and Federal).
  • Increase the quality of programming (the Patrons Program) for individual donors.
  • Establish relationships with philanthropic foundations.
  • Develop corporate partner and new donor relations.
  • Reinforce reputation/credibility with publishers and stakeholders.

5) Implement Management/Leadership Skills

  • Employ effective management of all TIFA staff.
  • Exhibit leadership by example and team empowerment.
  • Foster great working relationships with Harbourfront Centre.

6) Financial Acuity

  • Develop and proactively manage financial results.
  • Boost fundraising and stakeholder relations.
  • Plan a marquee gala fund-raising event to mark start or end of the Festival with a “named” author.
  • Maintain awareness of trends and advancements in the digital consumer, online and social media spaces.
  • Define and analyze metrics that inform the success and health of TIFA’s online communities.


  • 5 to 7 years’ leadership experience developing compelling and engaging programming. Proven operational and managerial experience leading a cultural organization through change.
  • Strong business acumen, fiscally responsible and a track-record of developing and executing a strategy.
  • Effective fundraiser and partnership builder – confident with “the ask”.
  • A creative approach to developing excellent and diverse programming for a variety of audiences and ages.
  • Well-connected/networked to the international literary community – authors, agents, publishers (including online).
  • Advanced communication skills, with an exceptional ability to formulate and sell this exciting vision.

Accommodations are available on request for any candidates that require an accommodation due to a disability or a medical need.  Please contact us at 416-599-4700 or by email at to discuss specific accommodations.

Job Title:
Artistic Director
toronto, Ontario
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