Head of Programmes

Application Deadline: February 2, 2023

The Toronto International Festival of Authors (TIFA) is a charitable, cultural organization located at Harbourfront Centre, internationally renowned for its programming in the arts, culture and recreation across a stunning 10-acre site at the heart of Toronto’s waterfront. As Canada’s largest and longest-running celebration of words and ideas, TIFA’ s vision is to inspire, empower and connect through the art of stories. We do this through literary festivals, programmes, and events that bring together people of all ages (virtually or in person) to celebrate books, stories, authors and artists with a breadth of bold, ambitious, accessible and engaging literary experiences from Toronto, Canada and around the world.

TIFA champions the best of Canadian and international publishing, generating conversations, partnerships and collaborations, and fosters new thinking about what it means to be living in today’s world. Under the dynamic leadership of Roland Gulliver, TIFA has embarked on a range of strategic and creative ambitions, working with diverse audiences and communities, alongside presenting some of the best authors and artists from around the world. Our year-round programmes include:

  • The flagship Festival every September- 11 days featuring 200 events and activities with music, performance, spoken word, film, installations and exhibitions, alongside readings, interviews and book signings.
  • MOTIVE Crime & Mystery Festival, launched in June 2022, a 3-day festival celebrating all aspects of the genre.
  • TIFA Kids, a dynamic, entertaining international programme of performances, talks, workshops and drop in programmes for children aged 0 to 14 years.
  • Toronto Lit UP, an annual programme spotlighting Toronto writers.
  • TIFA Book Club, our sell-out series online each Spring and Fall.
  • Other year-round events, projects, podcasts and partnerships.


It’s an exciting time to join our evolving organization and growing team! We are currently seeking an experienced, creative and inspiring Head of Programmes to manage the creative delivery and production of festivals and programmes and play a key role in in achieving the strategic ambitions of the organization.


Position Title: Head of Programmes

Reporting To: Deputy Director

Reports: Programme Coordinator, Event Coordinator

Type of Employment: Full-time, 35 hours per week

Location: Toronto


Role Summary

The Head of Programmes is a newly created role in the next step to achieve TIFA’ s strategic ambitions and represents a unique leadership opportunity to manage the creative delivery and production of our festivals and programmes. The incumbent will work to design and deliver  the Director’ s creative vision to produce imaginative, ambitious and financially resilient festivals and events to maximize the potential of TIFA’ s location at the Harbourfront Centre and at venues across Toronto. They will build and manage a team to oversee the production and logistical delivery including festival event design and scheduling, author contracting and logistics, partner co-productions and the execution of live events and activities. Our ideal candidate is someone with exceptional arts project management skills, strong financial and budgeting experience, and an understanding of festival making from both the artists and audience experience. These abilities are complemented by high organization and motivating skills, a strategically aware aptitude and a desire to strive to deliver perfectionism, highly adaptable and resourceful when things don’t go to plan.



  • Collaborate with the Director, TIFA and other department leads to set annual strategic plans and KPIs.
  • Lead on the annual planning, delivery and scheduling of festivals, events and activities.
  • Lead on developing the Festival campus for both indoor and outdoor events and activities.
  • Build and lead the Programme team to deliver and manage author and event logistics.
  • Develop and manage workflow tools to enable and enhance delivery.
  • Oversee and manage contract negotiation, creation, compliance, and execution.
  • Work closely with Harbourfront Centre’s technical and production staff to ensure high quality delivery and production of events and activities.
  • Oversee execution of live events and festivals, including management of staff and volunteers.
  • Oversee health, safety and wellness of artistic personnel.
  • Work with Marketing and Development to ensure accuracy in all digital and print materials and communication.



  • Experience working on projects involving multiplatform storytelling.
  • Experience in leading and/or building a team, as well as coaching and mentoring individuals and teams.
  • Proven success in producing complex projects, events, commissions, co-productions and/or cultural programmes across multiple art forms.
  • Understanding and knowledge of multi-partner collaboration and delivery, artistic commissioning, and contracting processes.
  • Knowledge of the multiple parts of production, delivery and associated information processes.
  • Experience in budget management and strong financial management skills.
  • Highly organized, self-motivated and self-administering.
  • Experience of relationship management.
  • Up to date knowledge of industry inclusion and diversity practice.
  • Exceptional planning and project management skills.
  • Ability to creatively and effectively assess production requirements of the programme content.
  • Ability to build relationships, with speed and credibility, with people at all levels (internal or external).
  • Confidence to work at scale.
  • A pro at juggling competing priorities, deadlines, working at pace and managing complexity and ambiguity, whilst remaining focused
  • Determined, resilient and resourceful, with an effective approach to resolving challenges and identifying solutions.
  • Must be legally eligible to work in Canada. Non-Canadian applicants must have a valid employment Visa and proper documentation authorizing their ability to work in Canada.
  • TIFA recognizes its heightened duty to protect employees from health and safety risks associated with COVID-19. As such, an offer of employment shall be conditional upon proof of full Covid-19 vaccination with a vaccine series approved by Health Canada or the World Health Organization.

Our Values

We’re friendly, welcoming and inclusive, with an experimental attitude that thrives on collaboration.

To achieve our bold ambition we empower and support imaginative risk and we always try to learn from our mistakes.

We are committed to excellence in all we do, ensuring every visitor encounter is safe, memorable and enriching.

We value and respect each other and all our visitors, celebrating difference and striving to realise potential.

How To Apply

TIFA values and is committed to diversity and inclusiveness in our teams, creative communities, programmes and services. We invite qualified applicants from all backgrounds to apply.

Acceptable applications must include a current resume and a cover letter outlining the qualifications and experience that you would bring to the position, as well as salary expectations.

Qualified applicants can submit their candidacy by contacting jobs@harbourfrontcentre.com by no later than February 2, 2023. Please quote TIFA-Head of Programmes in the subject line of the application.

We sincerely thank all applicants for their interest, however, only those being considered for an interview will be contacted. Suitable accommodations will be available upon request during the hiring process.