Executive Director (ED)


Job Description and Application Process

LitFest, Canada’s first and only nonfiction festival, is seeking a full-time Executive Director to fulfill its mission and mandate. LitFest’s current executive director, Fawnda Mithrush, will step down in June 2022 to open this opportunity for an emerging leader in the literary arts and nonprofit sector.

Past guests of LitFest include Malcolm Gladwell, Tanya Talaga, and Lindy West. This is an exciting opportunity for a person with a background in arts or event planning to liaise and work with literary rockstars in Canada and beyond.


Closing date: Open until filled

Start date: May 2022, or once a suitable candidate is available. 

Salary range: $60,000 to $75,000, commensurate with experience

Four weeks vacation and health benefits package are included.

LitFest’s Mission & Mandate

The Alberta Book Fair Society (ABFS), as producer of LitFest, aims to work with the Board of Directors to:

  • bring nonfiction writers together with readers at its annual 11-day festival, held each October in Edmonton, AB, as well as at semi-regular events held throughout the year

  • provide audiences with great nonfiction experiences

  • promote the City of Edmonton and its writers during the Festival, and

  • provide public opportunities for the development of the craft of nonfiction writing.

Alberta Book Fair Society is a registered charity and nonprofit society. Since 2006, LitFest has developed festival programming that reflects the diversity and innovation of contemporary nonfiction writers from Canada and around the world.

Executive Director (ED) Job Description

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the ED is responsible for the artistic, financial, and administrative operations of ABFS. The ED ensures that the core mission and mandate of the society are honoured and expressed in all of its operations.

The Board of Directors is seeking a highly organized and motivated person to lead the organization. The ED is the sole full-time permanent employee of the society. Staffing is supplemented with a seasonal production team of four, plus part-time contractors as needed to deliver the Fall festival.

Position responsibilities:
  • The ED supports the Board of Directors towards achieving ABFS’s mission and strategic goals, and reports to the Board at ten meetings per calendar year.

  • The ED envisions and executes an annual artistic plan and audience development strategies for the festival and explores auxiliary event opportunities.

  • The ED establishes and maintains relationships with Canadian publishers to gauge opportunity and interest in authors touring to Edmonton, and also monitors the current nonfiction landscape with respect to potential programming.

  • Working with approval from the Board of Directors, the ED determines and monitors the annual budget and spending.

  • The ED manages the day-to-day administration of all areas of finance for the society, including bookkeeping,  annual audit, fiscal reporting to Revenue Canada, and maintaining current database records in CADAC (Canadian Arts Data/Données sur les arts au Canada).

  • The ED oversees and reports to AGLC on spending of gaming revenues on an annual basis.

  • The ED identifies opportunities to secure public/private/corporate/foundation funding to ensure the ongoing financial sustainability of the organization, and is responsible for liaising and reporting for all partners and sponsors engaged with the society. This work also entails regular updates and delivery of partner benefits set by the society’s Sponsorship Program, and providing support to the Development Committee.

  • The ED is responsible for maintaining all grant application and reporting cycles, as well as seeking new funding opportunities. This work involves grant-writing and timely reporting. LitFest currently receives annual funding from the Edmonton Arts Council, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Canadian Heritage, and Canada Council for the Arts.

  • The ED engages in outreach with the local business and nonprofit sector to identify collaborative opportunities for purposes of cross-promotion, audience development, and/or co-produced programming.

  • The ED develops the annual communications and marketing plan encompassing promotional strategy and materials, advertising, press liaising, and coordinates content and delivery of festival-related e-newsletters, social media postings, and website maintenance.

  • The ED oversees all Festival production logistics, including venue and vendor bookings, technical/staging requirements, box office and ticket sales administration, and organizing travel and accommodation arrangements for presenting writers.

  • The ED recruits, trains, and manages all staff and production contractors. Seasonal staff are engaged to recruit and supervise volunteers involved with the festival.

  • The ED represents LitFest in the community and maintains relationships with publishers, authors, funders, sponsors, media, and other stakeholders. The Board of Directors supports this role with advocacy.

  • The ED is committed to presenting programming that is diverse and representative of the entire community, is sensitive to accessibility for all audiences, and is respectful of the time and engagement extended to the Festival by its presenters. Festival events must include safe spaces for all participants, including volunteers, staff, presenters, and audience members.

The ideal candidate has a minimum of five years managing a nonprofit organization, arts management, and/or event-planning experience. We seek a passionate and energetic arts leader with demonstrated skills in strategic planning, budgeting, fundraising, marketing, event coordination, resourcefulness, and community awareness. Knowledge of nonfiction authors and the Canadian publishing industry are assets.

The candidate can readily respond to opportunities and challenges as they arise, and is eager to engage with Edmonton’s creative and business ecologies. An inclusive leadership style is desired with a demonstrated commitment to equity and diversity. A plurality of lived experiences and perspectives is vital to positions in the culture sector, and the Society particularly encourages candidates from IBPoC, LGBTQ2S+, and underrepresented communities to submit an application.

Interested and qualified individuals are encouraged to submit their CV and cover letter in confidence to the Search Committee via email to board@litfestalberta.org.

Outgoing ED Fawnda Mithrush is available to answer queries regarding the position. Please contact fawnda@litfestalberta.org to arrange a call. 

We thank all interested candidates for their applications, but only those selected for interviews will be contacted by the Search Committee.