Soundstreams showcases the work of Canadian and international composers through innovative musical experiences.


Position: Executive Director
Location: Toronto, ON
Direct Reports:  Director of Marketing & External Communications, Associate Director of External Communications, Director of Development, Artistic Associate


Soundstreams is one of the world’s leading contemporary music companies, and the biggest global presenter of new Canadian music. Under the direction of Founding Artistic Director Lawrence Cherney, the company showcases the work of living Canadian and international composers, with a focus on innovative thematic and experiential programming that provides context and contributes to the rich legacy of Canadian music at home and around the world.

In collaboration with the finest Canadian and international artists, Soundstreams presents both an annual mainstage concert series and intimate Ear Candy series in Toronto as well as national and international tours. Soundstreams also serves the larger community through our free Salon 21 series at The Gardiner Museum, composer training activities, SoundWave program for music lovers under age 35, and digital performance space, including concert livestreams, SoundMakers website, and video content.

Founded in 1982 by oboist Lawrence Cherney as Chamber Concerts Canada, Soundstreams has presented a variety of series over its 33-year history, including Musical Mondays at Young People’s Theatre, and Encounters at the CBC’s Glenn Gould Studio. Soundstreams commissions have added more than 150 works to the musical repertoire worldwide, reflecting a diverse variety of genres and cultural traditions. World premieres have included works by composers R. Murray Schafer, John Tavener, Steve Reich, Christos Hatzis, Harry Somers, Nicole Lizée, James MacMillan, James Rolfe, Melissa Hui, and Andrew Staniland, to name a few.

Projects have included festivals and conferences such as the Northern Encounters festival, University Voices, and Cool Drummings International Percussion Festival & Conference, as well as new productions such as Tomson Highway and Melissa Hui’s Cree-language opera Pimooteewin: The Journey (which toured Northern Ontario in 2009 and 2010), R. Murray Schafer’s Dora Award-winning site-specific opera The Children’s Crusade (produced in association with the Luminato Festival), and Brian Current’s Dora-nominated opera Airline Icarus. Soundstreams is a three-time JUNO nominee and recipient of the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for the Arts.


Soundstreams is well supported by the public and private sectors. The annual budget of $1.2 million is maintained through government support (49%), including the Department of Canadian Heritage, Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council and others, private sector support (37%), including lead corporate sponsorships from TD Bank and BMO, major gifts from our Premiere Circle donors, and earned revenue including box office (13%).

Going forward, governments are expected to continue to support Soundstreams, but donors, corporate sponsors, ticket sales and other private sector sources of revenue need to become a greater part of its revenue base. The Executive Director will benefit from the fiscal responsibility of Soundstreams to date, and a wide range of private sector support already established. Soundstreams employs five permanent staff and three part time/contract staff.


As Executive Director of Soundstreams you will inspire the Board, staff, arts community, City of Toronto, and audience members by leading the company to even greater prominence as one of Canada’s most respected contemporary arts organisations.

Your inspired leadership will ensure that Soundstreams continues to present innovative artistic programming excellence to attract a diverse and expanding audience, and has the financial and operational capacity to fully support its mission today and into the future. You are a visionary who will shape the overall strategic direction for Soundstreams while working in close partnership with a dedicated Board and staff.


Internal Priorities

  • Working closely with the Artistic Director, support and implement the programming vision and mission of the organization.
  • Develop and implement strategic plans as well as operational plans and budgets, in collaboration with the Board of Directors.
  • Provide excellent financial management ensuring the continuation of fiscal responsibility and sustainability going forward; oversee the development of financial and management reports to support informed and robust Board and staff decision making.
  • Be entrepreneurial and diligent in the development of a fundraising strategy in conjunction with the Director of Development and Board of Directors.
  • Participate in fundraising activities as appropriate, including some grant writing, as well as prospecting, cultivation and stewardship of potential stakeholders in collaboration with the Director of Development.
  • Manage and maintain excellent relations with the Board of Directors to facilitate effective governance.
  • Ensure that Soundstreams continues to present innovative programming of the highest quality, balancing artistic integrity with fiscal responsibility.
  • Hire and manage all staff required to execute the artistic and business plans; oversee the implementation of human resources policies, procedures and practices.
  • Manage and mentor the staff to develop and achieve operational and individual goals.

External Priorities

  • Represent and advocate for Soundstreams at the highest levels, locally, nationally and internationally.
  • Lead Soundstreams’ relationship with public sector funding agencies; be an industry leader in promoting the interests of arts in Canada.
  • Provide fundraising leadership to ensure that funds from both the private sector and the public sector are obtained to support the strategic and operational goals of the company.
  • Continue to clarify and build Soundstreams’ mission and brand locally, nationally and internationally; develop outstanding and effective marketing strategies to potential audiences, with a focus on attracting diverse communities and audience members under the age of 35.
  • Further develop and deepen relationships and collaboration with arts organizations locally, as well as nationally and internationally; identify and create strategic producing partnerships, both national and international.
  • Develop the company’s regional presentation network.
  • Leads the co-production negotiation and contracting process.
  • Strengthen the connection between the communities of Toronto and Soundstreams resulting in a greater civic engagement and enriching the City of Toronto as a whole.


  • Excellent fundraising skills and a proven track record of successful fundraising with both sponsors and individuals and a proven ability to work with Government to secure funding and support; politically savvy.
  • A minimum of five years of senior leadership experience, with a track record of success leading a complex organization with a wide range of stakeholders, in an institution or company known for quality and excellence.
  • Deep understanding of, and appreciation for, arts and culture, both locally and internationally.
  • An impeccable reputation for integrity, and widely recognized for strong, creative leadership.
  • Strong interpersonal and leadership skills; decisive, confident, humane.
  • Inclusive, generous, cultivates effective relationships with a wide variety of stakeholders (corporate sponsors, donors, governments, audiences, Toronto arts community, national and international arts community, and media).
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, with outstanding social skills.
  • Strong organizational skills with proven ability to focus, prioritize and execute.
  • Demonstrated understanding of branding, marketing and sales, including digital technology-based marketing.
  • Understanding of digital interactive technology for use in audience engagement.
  • A self-starter undaunted by a lean institution; an entrepreneurial spirit; a track record of coalescing others around objectives and their successful implementation.
  • Ability to mentor the next level of leadership.
  • A university or post-graduate degree.


A compensation package including base salary, bonus, and benefits will be provided.


Please apply by email with your cover letter and résumé no later than January 18th, 2016. Send to Searchlight Recruitment Inc.: [email protected].

Soundstreams is an inclusive and equitable employer, encouraging applications from qualified women and men including persons with disabilities, members of visible minorities, and Aboriginal persons.

We thank applicants for their interest, however, only those advancing in the process will be contacted.