Manager - Speaker Engagment - Festival Engagement

FestivalTempToronto, ON

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Job Title: Manager - Festival Talent/Speaker Relations (2 Roles)

Location: Toronto, ON

Starting Salary: 65K annually (to be prorated monthly based on contract duration)

Employment Type: Contract (June 15 - Oct 15)

Reports to: Associate Director, Programming, Elevate Festival

About Elevate:

In partnership with the United Nations, Elevate is a purpose-driven not-for-profit whose mission is to unite innovators to solve society’s greatest challenges. Elevate is one of the largest platforms for tech and innovation in Canada. We bring together global tech leaders, policymakers, founders, investors, students, CEOs and ecosystem leaders.

Elevate’s programming team is a fast-paced, team-based startup environment. We have secured global icons such as Michelle Obama, Martha Stewart, Google x-CEO Eric Schmidt & Al Gore on the Elevate Main Stage, inspiring millions.

We’re looking for:

A talented and thoughtful Programming Manager to support our festival team. Reporting to the Associate Director, Programming, the successful candidate will utilize their project and event management skills to produce multiple content stages across the festival that are relevant, thought-provoking and newsworthy. You’ll play a hands-on role in identifying, sourcing, developing and executing world-class content. The ideal candidate has proven editorial experience, exceptional organizational skills, is adept at fostering and building relationships, and creating compelling show experiences for guests and partners.


  • Support the Associate Director, Programming on end-to-end programming and development objectives of Elevate Festival
  • Develop stage themes, topics and speakers that attract attendees and media interest
  • Research, source, and secure high-level speakers, including global tech leaders, senior government officials, technologists, top-tier journalists, globally recognizable musicians, and celebrities
  • Lead confident negotiations with speakers and work closely with their teams to develop thought-provoking and cutting-edge content
  • Manage speaker onboarding and logistics
  • Support the implementation of speaker operations to ensure a seamless experience
  • Build and foster positive relationships with event partners to meaningfully integrate them into the festival
  • Coordinate with producers for content stages, working closely with vendors, partners, and speakers
  • Cross-functional support on festival marketing and communications objectives, including copywriting, speech writing, and online content


  • Post-secondary education in a related field or 5+ years of related experience with a strong emphasis on content development
  • Proven experience sourcing and booking talent
  • Exceptional project management and organizational skills
  • Superior client service and relationship management abilities
  • Strong research, negotiation and follow-up skills
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • High level of attention to detail and excellent follow-up skills
  • Ability to remain calm and solve problems effectively in high-pressure situations
  • Ability to work independently, take initiative, and collaborate with a team
  • Ability to prioritize, work under pressure and meet tight deadlines

Core Competencies we seek across all roles:

Initiative and Innovation: Able to see the big picture, anticipate and respond to new trends and challenges using information from a variety of sources, identifying immediate action needed to address current issues, seizing the opportunity to enhance performance and advance strategic and business goals. Attending imminent issues while maintaining an awareness of emerging opportunities.

Client Focused: Actively works to ensure that the customer has a satisfying experience with a willingness to return or continue the relationship. Ensures that the customers’ needs are fulfilled and stays focused by seeing all aspects through the customers' eyes. Takes time to establish underlying needs of customers beyond those initially expressed. Organizes processes around complex and sensitive issues to meet their needs. Creates an environment where team/s are empowered to put customers first.

Cultural Awareness - Acknowledges, understands, respects and communicates respective cultures that are based upon missions, practices, people, governance, traditions, financial structure and capacity, and institutional histories. Finds ways to eliminate or minimize barriers that contribute to strengthening the mutual endeavor; values the difference and finds ways to integrate these differences into a workable operating culture for the overall partnership.

Collaborative Leadership – Leads as a peer to enable people to join together from different units to accomplish a task. Encourages and facilitates cooperation, pride, trust, and group identity; fosters commitment and team spirit towards mission accomplishments; works with others to achieve goals.


In order to improve communication, strengthen workplace relationships for staff, participants and the individuals you supervise. You should have the ability to understand the experiences, perspectives and feelings of our participants and alumni ensuring that all feel cared for and valued which means you take the time to better understand the needs of the participants, alumni and staff.

Elevate is committed to providing a flexible, accommodative and inclusive work environment where staff feels welcomed and respected