THEATRE CALGARY is seeking a creative, and energetic individual to serve as its next Manager, Leadership Giving (MLG). Reporting to the Director of Development, Jason Demers, the MLG will lead the engagement, identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of donors giving $2,500 to $100,000. In addition, the position will lead and fulfill all elements of the grant cycle for Government, Foundation and Corporate grants. The MLG will leverage the potential for significant new gifts and philanthropic support. The MLG will maintain and expand public and private sector relationships for revenue outcomes to deliver on priorities in the Maximizing Our Impact Strategic Plan; build other strategic community relationships; and collaborate with the Theatre Calgary team to maximize successful fundraising efforts.

As an integral senior member of the Theatre Calgary Development Team, the MLG will play an active role as a thought-partner in planning for the organization’s overall advancement strategies. Supporting, assisting, and partnering with the Executive Director, Director of Development, staff, board and volunteers, the MLG will operationalize the strategic plan while building a thriving, creative and diverse culture serving artists and the Calgary community. The MLG will conceptualize and implement a plan to grow Theatre Calgary’s philanthropic leadership giving base, implementing appropriate delivery and support systems, and evaluating results.

This is an exciting and unique opportunity for a development professional who can bring together their vision, experience, and passion for theatre in Calgary. The ideal candidate will want to invest themselves in the success and growth of Theatre Calgary and will find personal fulfillment in being part of the future.

The Organization
Theatre Calgary traces its origins to the 1960s grassroots movement for local professional theatre. The company formed from the city’s two most prominent amateur theatre groups: Workshop 14 and the Musicians’ and Actors’ Club. Workshop 14 had been founded in 1944 by students of local theatre pioneer Betty Mitchell and took its name from Mitchell’s drama classroom at Western Canada High School. The Musicians’ and Actors’ Club (fondly known as MAC) began as a social club in 1963, with meetings held the basement bar of the derelict Isis movie house on 1st St SW, but members soon took to staging short plays and musical revues in the upstairs hall. The two groups merged in 1966 as MAC 14. Then, on July 1st, 1968, MAC 14 became Theatre Calgary, the city’s first fully professional theatre company. Christopher
Newton, who would later lead the Shaw Festival for more than two decades, was appointed Theatre Calgary’s first artistic director.

The new company performed in the Betty Mitchell Theatre at the Allied Arts Centre, a converted tractor showroom at 9th Ave and 8th St SW that later became known as the QR Centre. In its first two decades, Theatre Calgary presented a mix of classic and new plays, including premieres by Canadian writers such
as John Murrell, W.O. Mitchell, and Sharon Pollock. In 1985, Theatre Calgary became the resident company of the Max Bell Theatre in the new Calgary Centre for the Performing Arts (now Arts Commons). In this striking new performance space, both grand and intimate, the company dedicated itself to large-scale productions of classics, period pieces, and musicals.

Over the past 12 years, Theatre Calgary has engaged in national and international collaborations while at the same time, Theatre Calgary’s FUSE Enbridge New Play Development Program has led directly to the world premieres of many new Canadian works on the Max Bell stage. The company also deepened its commitment to Calgary’s theatre community, presenting an annual co-production in One Yellow Rabbit’s High Performance Rodeo and producing Shakespeare by the Bow, Calgary’s outdoor summer theatre festival starring emerging artists. Theatre Calgary has become a model of strong fiscal management in the Canadian arts sector, which continues to this day.

In April of 2017, Stafford Arima joined Theatre Calgary as their new Artistic Director, succeeding Dennis Garnham. The Canadian-born Arima arrived at Theatre Calgary following a successful career in New York. In 2020, Theatre Calgary announced the engagement of Executive Director Maya Choldin to work in partnership with Arima.

The Mission of Theatre Calgary is to stimulate, provoke, and delight through ambitious programming created to ignite local, national, and international engagement and their Vision is to stand amongst the best theatres globally as a leader in innovative, impactful, and diverse programming.

Theatre Calgary reflects the communities, the country, and the world we live in with ambitious programming, passionate community engagement and extraordinary productions. For more than 50 years, we have
focused our energy on providing our community with the highest level of classical and contemporary plays, featuring the best artists from Calgary and across the country.

The Community
Calgary offers all the energy of a large metropolitan city with the warm and welcoming spirit of a connected community. Calgary was ranked the most livable city in North America and the 5th most livable city in the world by the Economist Intelligence Unit (2009-2019). A city with diverse communities and endless opportunities, Calgary is a city that will surprise you. Calgarians enjoy more days of sunshine than any other major Canadian city – 333 days per year in fact and is home to more than 1.4 million people with a median age of Calgarians of only 37.2 years. Calgary is the third most diverse major city in Canada with more than 120 languages spoken in the city and Calgarians are community-minded; Albertans hold the 2nd highest national volunteer rate at 55 per cent. The face of Calgary is changing. Walk through any neighbourhood and you will meet people who have moved here from all over the world

Manager, Leadership Giving Role and Responsibilities
Reporting to the Director of Development, the Manager, Leadership Giving will be responsible for:

  • Developing new strategies to build and maintain a competitive position for securing gifts and maximizing giving opportunities to enable the achievement of not only the Manager, Leadership Giving’s financial and broader Development operation goals, but also the overarching objectives of Theatre Calgary.
  • Taking responsibility for meeting ambitious financial goals, set on an annual basis.
  • Conducting major gift calls and visits to individuals and foundations both independently and with staff, and volunteers.
  • Overseeing and managing the day to day operations of a diverse donor and prospect portfolio of significant individual and foundation donors and sustain a program of donor stewardship activities.
  • Conducting prospect research to identify new potential donors such as individuals, foundations, and organizations.
  • Identifying and incorporating new and leading edge fundraising vehicles and methodologies throughout the development cycle from potential donor identification through to stewardship.
  • Using sound judgement, tact, and sensitivity to secure funds for a variety of Theatre Calgary priorities and to move donors through the donor cycle from discovery through to stewardship.
  • Engaging in the regular evaluation of efficiency and results of the plan, seek input from colleagues and share information of relevance to other fund-raising portfolios and activities.
  • Negotiating with donors and the appropriate Theatre Calgary parties when drafting gift agreements and terms of reference.
  • Analyzing and evaluating publicly published individual and organization information for the purpose of determining capacity for donating.
  • Applying business acumen to enable the development of tailored gift illustrations and proposals.
  • Writing a variety of documents such as proposals, grant applications and reports, correspondence, contact reports, and briefing notes.
  • Preparing and delivering presentations for both internal colleagues and external parties on a variety of subjects related to development and fundraising.
  • Updating, verifying and maintaining all relevant information related to fund-raising activity both in hard copy and electronic formats and ensure that all information complies with Theatre Calgary and provincial and federal policies and legislation

Traits and Characteristics
Proactive, independent, self-motivated, detail and people-oriented, the MLG will have exceptional social and verbal communication skills and value frequent interaction and collaboration with others. The MLG will be an experienced and entrepreneurial professional with the vision to actively pursue Theatre Calgary’s
ambitious goals with creativity and determination and will have a high degree of personal accountability and a commitment to exceeding expectations. This individual will balance tasks and projects with a sense of urgency and possess superlative interpersonal and communication skills that articulate compelling verbal and written messages for support. A self-sufficient and self-managed professional with a highly organized approach, the MLG will have the ability to achieve organizational objectives with staff, board members, volunteers, donors, and prospective supporters. This individual will bring an affinity for Theatre Calgary’s mission and vision and a passion to positively impact the organization’s long-term success, complemented by highly developed skills and an efficient best practices approach. The MLG will appreciate that this position is a full-time salaried position that requires weekend and evening work depending on performances. As this position deals directly with Theatre Calgary patrons and corporate clients it may on occasion require professional interaction to foster ongoing positive relationships.

Other key competencies of the role include:

  • Teamwork and Interpersonal Skills – Cooperating with others to meet objectives and the ability to effectively communicate to build rapport while relating to many different people.
  • Planning and Organization – Establishing courses of action to ensure that work is completed effectively, while utilizing logical, systematic and orderly procedures to meet objectives.
  • External Stakeholder Focus – The dexterity to anticipate, meet, and exceed stakeholder needs and expectations.
  • Goal Orientation – The clarity to establish and achieve specific, measurable, attainable, reviewable, and time-sensitive goals regardless of obstacles or circumstances and the ability to facilitate agreements between many parties.
  • Flexibility, Time and Priority Management – The acuity to prioritize and complete tasks to deliver desired outcomes within allotted time frames while readily modifying, responding and adapting to change with minimal resistance

Qualifications and Experience
A bachelor’s degree is required, and a higher education level is an asset. Qualified candidates will have at least 5 years of progressive experience at a leadership level with increasing responsibility in a fundraising leadership role, preferably in the performing arts, education, or non-profit sector. A strong track record in leadership giving, events, donor identification, cultivation, and solicitation at all funding levels, particularly major gifts, is required. Experience in managing and collaborating with volunteers and an understanding of the unique role they play in fundraising success is required. Prior experience with endowment campaigns would be an asset. Superior written/verbal communication skills and experience collaborating with high-level, respected volunteers are required. Strong computer skills are necessary, including Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), donor database software, media (traditional, electronic, and social media), and the use of advanced tools for donor prospecting and research. Knowledge of Tessitura would be beneficial. A CFRE designation and membership in the Association of Fundraising Professionals is an asset.

A competitive compensation salary with a range of $75,000 – $80,000 commensurate with experience and after the initial probationary period the MLG will be eligible to join the Theatre Calgary Group RRSP plan with employer matching and comprehensive healthcare program

Application Instructions
The Theatre Calgary Manager, Leadership Giving is led by Martin Bragg of Martin Bragg & Associates. To apply in confidence please email your letter of interest and resume in Word or PDF format to Martin Bragg & Associates at All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply and will receive an acknowledgement of their application. No phone calls please. The review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.
Theatre Calgary is committed to an open and transparent hiring process and encourages applications from our diverse community. Theatre Calgary hires based on merit and is committed to employment equity, diversity, and inclusion. Theatre Calgary is unwavering in its pursuit of excellence and recognizes that increasing the diversity of our staff, and especially our leadership, accomplishes this objective. We promote policies, practices, and programs that work to dismantle systemic racism. We welcome all applications from women and gender nonconforming people, people of color, indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, people of all sexual orientations, and all others who may contribute to the further diversification of Theatre Calgary.

In the spirit of reconciliation, Theatre Calgary acknowledges that we live, work and create on the traditional territories of the Blackfoot Confederacy (Siksika, Kainai, Piikani), the Tsuut’ina, the Îyâxe Nakoda Nations, the Métis Nation (Region 3), and all people who make their homes in the Treaty 7 region of Southern Alberta. They were the original occupants of this land and continue to be here to this day. Theatre Calgary is grateful to have the opportunity to present in this territory

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Manager, Leadership Giving – Theatre Calgary

Upcoming Events

AFP Calgary & Area Chapter