School of Graduate Studies

School of Graduate Studies
School of Graduate Studies

Arts Leadership (Master of Arts) & Arts Management (Graduate Diploma)


Arts Leadership collage


"“Too many institutions, from the ROM to Luminato, are relying on interim leaders. Part of the problem is the lack of a system for developing future CEOs… A challenge for anyone searching for arts leaders of big organizations in Canada is that there’s really not a reliable system for educating, mentoring and developing potential leaders…. Canadian cultural organizations frequently look beyond our borders to find the wizards they need in an environment that is brutally competitive and unforgiving.”

- Martin Knelman, Toronto Star, March 13, 2015

Program Contact

Graduate Studies & Research
Amie Bello, Graduate Assistant
Room 204 - Harrison LeCaine Hall
Faculty of Arts & Science
Kingston, ON, Canada K7L 3N6

Phone: 613.533.6000 ext 74336

Why Graduate Studies in Arts Leadership?

Ours is a laddered program where students can receive a Graduate Diploma in Arts Management with the successful completion of the first term, or choose to complete the M.A. in Arts Leadership with the successful completion of second and third terms. Students receive a 360° view of the arts industry with courses in arts philanthropy and major gifts, arts marketing, cultural policy, strategic thinking and planning, contract negotiation, industrial relations, and an introduction to financial and management accounting. They are exposed to, and taught by, top practitioners in the arts industry who provide a focus on experiential learning through live site research assignments and a final term practicum placement in an arts organization to serve as a capstone project. Graduate students and their work are an important part of an ongoing research process that provides the community with ways of understanding natural, cultural, imaginative, social and technological phenomena.


Queen’s offers its students a perfect balance of engagement with rigorous academic programs and access to first class practitioners and arts facilities.  Both the diploma and ARTSL M.A. programs are cross-disciplinary -- taught by a combination of instructors from the Dan School of Drama and Music, the Master of Industrial Relations program, and the Smith School of Business. In addition, the campus boasts world class facilities including a major Performing Arts Centre, Art Gallery, and Library – all with senior staff whose management experience adds to the practical teaching environment. 

The Kingston community is noted for its many summer Arts festivals and its range of important Arts facilities including the Grand Theatre, the Tett Centre and the K-Rock Centre.  Queen’s itself is an integral part of the Kingston community. 

Career paths – employment opportunities

Arts Administration, Production Management, Not-for-Profit Advocacy, Cultural Sector Marketing, Arts Facility Management, Community Outreach and Education, Development and Advancement, HR Management for the Arts, Business Management, Managing Director for Performing Arts

Degrees Offered / Program Structure

For more details please go to the program website

Graduate Diploma in Arts Management: Four months full time on campus (May - August).

Master of Arts in Arts Leadership: Twelve months, full-time, either on campus or off.

The five core courses needed to complete the Graduate Diploma in Arts Management are offered during a single summer session studying at Queen’s.  After successful completion of the Graduate Diploma program, a student may continue on to pursue the M.A. program in Arts Leadership through the completion of one additional term of coursework in the Fall followed by a second “capstone” term involving a practicum placement in the arts industry

Arts Leadership and diploma structure

  • Dr. Tina Dacin, Professor and E. Marie Shantz Chair of Strategy & Organizational Behaviour and Director, Smith School of Business Centre for Social Impact
  • Dr. Timothy Fort, Professor of Drama in Dan School of Drama and Music, former Head of the Department of Drama and Co-Artistic Producer of the Weston Playhouse in Weston, Vermont.
  • Dr. Sidneyeve Matrix, Associate Professor and Queen’s National Scholar in Department of Film and Media and Queen’s Innovation Connector.
  • Dr. Elspeth Murray, Associate Professor & Associate Dean of MBA and Masters Programs; and Director - Queens Centre for Business Venturing (QCED/QCBV) and CIBC Faculty Fellow in Entrepreneurship
  • Dr. Jenn Stephenson, Associate Professor of Drama in Dan School of Drama and Music,
  • Dr Craig Walker, Professor of Drama and Director of the Dan School of Drama and Music, former Artistic Director of Theatre Kingston (1997-2007).
  • Greg Wanless, Professor of Drama in Dan School of Drama and Music, former Artistic Director of Thousand Islands Playhouse (1982-2013)

Additional mentorship and skills seminars for graduate students will be provided by leaders in the arts industry who have national and international experience:

  • Tricia Baldwin – Director of the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts (Canada Council)
  • Dory Vanderhoof - Senior Partner of Genovese, Vanderhoof and Associates, and transformer of Canadian arts fundraising and the Canadian tax structure for gifts of securities, leading arts executive recruiter
  • Margaret Genovese - Senior Partner, Genovese, Vanderhoof and Associates, Association of Cultural Executives Award, transformer of Canada’s subscription/database marketing, leading arts executive recruiter
  • Robert Sirman - former CEO of the Canada Council for the Arts, Order of Canada, in cultural Policy

Supervisors for Capstone projects (Masters program)

  • A.Graham - Industrial Relations
  • S.Brault -
  • J.Allen - Faculty of Art
  • D.Bryan - Dan School of Drama & Music
  • G.Craig - Dan School of Drama & Music
  • A.Redish - Dan School of Drama & Music
  • K.Tomm - Dan School of Drama & Music
  • C.Tormann - Dan School of Drama & Music
Application &  Fees
  • Students may apply for direct entry to either the Graduate Diploma or the M.A. in Arts Leadership. Students may also apply to enter the M.A. in Arts Leadership after successful completion of the Arts Management Graduate Diploma.
  • Applicants must normally apply for admission to the M.A. in Arts Leadership within five years of completing the Graduate Diploma in order to apply courses completed for the Arts Management Graduate Diploma to meet requirements of the M.A. in Arts Leadership.
  • The Graduate Diploma may also serve as an exit point for those who are enrolled in the Master’s program and have completed the five courses that are required for the Diploma but decide not to complete the full Master’s course work including electives, practicum and the final capstone project.

There is a non-refundable application fee of $105.00 payable to the School of Graduate Studies. Tuition fees for domestic students is $6500 (Graduate Diploma) and $13000 (Masters), Both domestic fees are pending approval by the Ministry (MAESD). International student fees are $12,000 (Grad Diploma) and $24,000 (Masters). All fees are in Canadian dollars and are subject to change.

Admission Requirements

The admission requirements are:

  • An honours baccalaureate degree from a recognized university, preferably in the creative arts (e.g. music, drama, film, art) or a related field. The minimum acceptable average for admissions to these programs is B+. Students applying from outside of North America whose native language is not English are required to submit TOEFL scores.

  •  Consideration will be given to highly motivated individuals with documented relevant professional experience who do not meet the B+ requirement.

  • Applicants whose native languages do not include English must obtain a minimum English language requirement of 88 on the TOEFL iBT test or IELTS Band 7 or higher as per the School of Graduate Studies policy.
Application Deadline & Start Dates
  • Application deadline – 15th March 2017
  • Graduate Diploma will commence on May 1st, 2017

Applications will be considered for admission as soon as all documentation has been received.

Why not apply now!

Learning Outcomes
  • Acquire Institutional Management Skills
  • Gain a Comprehensive Understanding of the tenets of the nonprofit sector
  • Receive Guidelines for Strategic Thinking and Implementing Organizational Missions
  • Benefit from Advanced Marketing and Development Training
  • Learn Integrated Approaches to Arts Advocacy and Cultural Policy
  • Discern the Special Nature of Negotiating Arts-Related Contract and Collective Agreements
  • Plan for Capital development projects and the related Community integration
  • Understand and serve as a proponent for the Creative Economy

Learning outcomes (153KB)