Job Opportunity: Festival Manager



Who We Are

Sled Island is a charitable organization with the mandate of fostering understanding and appreciation of music & arts underrepresented in mainstream media, and to nurture the local artistic community through performance and educational opportunities. Our main activity is the presentation of the annual Sled Island Music & Arts Festival, a pillar of Calgary’s cultural calendar taking place each June, that brings together thousands of artists, volunteers, partners, and attendees from across the country and beyond. We also present year-round artistic and educational programming through numerous community partnerships, aimed at increasing awareness of Sled Island on an ongoing basis.

Sled Island is a community-centric organization driven by values of curiosity and diversity, on and off the stage, and committed to principles of equity, anti-racism, and anti-oppression. We recognize the systemic lack of representation of equity-deserving communities in the current non-profit art space, and strongly encourage members of Indigenous, Black, and racialized communities; people with disabilities; people identifying as LGBTQIA2S+; and women to apply.

Would you require any accommodation during the application or hiring process, please contact us at so we may meet your needs.

The Position

This is a key leadership role and one of four permanent positions within the organization. The Festival Manager reports to and work closely with the Executive Director, as well as with the rest of the permanent and seasonal team, to oversee the planning and execution of all the production and logistical aspects of the annual Sled Island Music & Arts Festival, and other year-round programming. The Festival Manager works collaboratively with the Executive Director on artistic programming and plays an essential role in the development and nurturing of relationships with our community of venues, artists, technicians, and community partners.

Key Responsibilities


  • Act as primary liaison with venues for bookings and coordination of all aspects of the festival (programming, logistics, promotion, ...);
  • Coordinate music submissions including application process, listening committee recruitment and supervision, communication with artists and artist scheduling (with input from the Executive Director);
  • Work collaboratively with the Executive Director on overall artistic programming, including scheduling artists according to artist/venue availability and artistic fit, to create a thoughtfully curated and balanced overall schedule.
  • Work with other programming departments to complete the schedule and minimize scheduling conflicts;
  • Work with the Technical team to ensure that all performing artists and venues’ technical needs are being met;
  • Work with the Volunteer Coordinator to ensure that all festival volunteer needs are identified and met and take part in volunteer training as needed;
  • Train, schedule and supervise volunteer venue managers;
  • Work with the Marketing department to provide content for and proofread applicable sections of the Sled Island program guide and website, such as schedule, venue list/map, artist pages, etc.
  • Compile various documentation and supplies needed for the week of the festival;
  • Manage and mentor the Production Assistant (seasonal position);
  • During the festival, keep in constant communication with venue managers to ensure events are running smoothly, answer last minute questions from artists/venues, keep track of door sales, and troubleshoot as needed;
  • Post-festival, compile and maintain records of various festival data for reporting and strategic planning purposes.

Year-Round Programming

  • Coordinate the production of year-round shows, other programming initiatives (Postcards From Sled Island, Tête- à-Têtes series) and fundraisers, including but not limited to venue and technician booking, artist booking and coordination, volunteer staffing and logistics;
  • In the off season (July-Mar), take over volunteer coordination for year-round programming, bingos and casinos, and all other volunteer needs.

Other duties

  • As a member of the senior management team, take an active part in yearly strategic planning activities and in ongoing group discussions about the organization’s vision and future goals;
  • Keep current with the local and Canadian music scenes, festival trends, and advise the Executive Director on event best practices;
  • Contribute to Sled Island diversity and inclusion initiatives and help ensure that the organization’s values are known, shared, and championed by all reporting staff, volunteers, and partners. Examples include working with the Executive Director on updating the Safer Spaces and Inclusion policy on an ongoing basis and addressing related incidents or complaints;
  • Represent the festival in the community by attending various artistic and community events year-round.

Who You Are

You are passionate about music & arts and committed to creating thoughtful, inclusive, and impactful events. You are a people person with a combination of strong organizational skills and artistic sensibilities, who thrives on building long-lasting relationships. You are community-minded and believe in creating high-quality opportunities for artists, as well as unique and memorable experiences for audiences.


Sled Island recognizes the value of both paid and unpaid work and welcomes non-traditional trajectories. We encourage you to consider the entirety of your experiences (professional and otherwise), and combination thereof, when determining if you possess the following qualifications.

  • Excellent project management skills, with an emphasis on attention to detail;
  • Experience in music curation and good knowledge of the Canadian music ecosystem;
  • Demonstrated success in building and maintaining long-term relationships with a variety of stakeholders;
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills and ability to adapt your communication style to a broad range of people and situations;
  • Strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills;
  • Ability to handle a very large volume of emails and data;
  • Ability to meet deadlines and juggle competing priorities;
  • Ability to maintain a high level of professionalism, discretion, and confidentiality;
  • Ability to work both autonomously and with others;
  • Commitment to Sled Island’s values of diversity, inclusion, anti-racism, and accessibility and eagerness to build your awareness and capacity in these areas (while professional training will be available, these are not new concepts to you);
  • Proficiency with Word & Excel (or equivalent), Gmail, Google Docs, DropBox and basic knowledge of audio and video files.

Preferred Qualifications (these are considered assets but are not mandatory to apply)

  • Experience in event coordination;
  • Strong knowledge of Calgary and Alberta’s music scene;
  • Experience working in the non-profit sector;
  • Familiarity with Shiftboard (volunteer management software).

Please note that in accordance with Sled Island’s internal policies, as a condition of employment, you will be required to provide confirmation that you are vaccinated against COVID-19. Employees who are not able to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine for a reason related to a protected ground set out in the Alberta Human Rights Act can request accommodation. All accommodation requests must be submitted along with written proof of the need for accommodation (e.g. letter from a clergy person or medical documentation from a physician or nurse practitioner, including whether a medical reason is permanent or time limited).

Job Specs & Work Environment

This is a permanent, salaried full-time position (40hrs/w). Due to the nature of the position, the Festival Manager is expected to travel within the city for meetings and occasionally work some evenings and weekends. Start date is November 7, 2022, which will allow for two weeks of training with your predecessor.

Our office is located in Mission and is easily accessible by public transport. Paid street parking and limited free parking is available in the area. Please note that our office is in the basement level of a building, with no elevator. While some remote work can be accommodated, the position works primarily in-person.

What We Offer

A salary of $50,000 annually, 3 weeks of vacation + 5 additional paid days off during winter holiday closure (last week of December), professional development opportunities, flexible work hours with possibility for partial remote work, and access to free tickets for a variety of cultural events.

We have a small but mighty team that values collaboration, knowledge-sharing and diversity of perspectives and experiences. We strive to help our employees develop their skills and knowledge to meet their personal goals and encourage innovation and employee-driven initiatives.

How to Apply & Hiring Process

All candidates are asked to fill out this form instead of submitting a cover letter and to attach their resume. Please note that you will not be able to edit your responses after they have been submitted.
The deadline to apply is October 11, 2022 at 5.00 pm MDT. If you encounter any problem with the form, please email All applications are held in strict confidence.

We use a standardized application method to help mitigate bias in our selection process. We appreciate and review every application that comes in but only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. Interviews will take place starting October 12, online or in-person at the Sled Island office (2206a 4 Street SW).