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?

These are extraordinary times for everyone, and the arts industry requires resilient, creative minds ready to bring new ideas and ways of expression to the world. The industry also needs managers and leaders who are trained in philanthropy, marketing, and design thinking to meet the needs of this rapidly evolving arts world.

The Dan School of Drama and Music, and the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts (IBCPA) are offering both an Arts Management Graduate Diploma and a Master’s in Arts Leadership for students and experienced professionals who have the passion and acumen for the fine arts and are seeking opportunities in arts management and leadership.

The program centers on developing 21st century leadership and management capabilities. Coursework covers strategic planning and thinking, a specific focus on comprehensive revenue development in arts marketing and philanthropy, cultural policy and governance, contract negotiations and labour relations, financial and management accounting, artistic producing, and creative entrepreneurship.


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 ARTL 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 full-time professional practitioners who work in the Arts industry across North America. 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 DAN School's graduate program website

Graduate Diploma in Arts Management: Twelve weeks (May-July), including a combination of an on campus residency and remote studies.

Master of Arts in Arts Leadership: Twelve months (May-April), including a combination of an on campus residency, online studies, and a professional arts internship placement.

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 minimum four-month supervised practicum placement in the arts industry.

Arts Leadership and diploma structure

Students may apply for direct entry to either the Graduate Diploma or the M.A. in Arts Leadership. Students in the Graduate Diploma program may also apply for admission to the M.A. in Arts Leadership in the following academic year.

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.


Teaching Faculty

  • Michael Wheeler: Coordinator of the Graduate Diploma in Arts Management and Master of Arts Leadership; Director of Artistic Research, SpiderWebShow Performance; Assistant Professor, DAN School of Drama and Music at Queen’s University
  • Tricia Baldwin, Director of the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts and Managing Director of Tafelmusik (2000-2014)
  • Greg Farrington: Finance Manager for Development Services Ontario, Southeast Region and Extend-A-Family; Adjunct Professor, Master of Industrial Relations at Queen’s University
  • Pat Bradley: Adjunct Instructor, DAN School of Drama and Music at Queen’s University; Sessional Lecturer, Schulich School of Business at York University; Advisory Committee of the Canadian Accounting Standards Board; Theatre Officer at the Ontario Arts Council from 2001-19
  • 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
  • Gregory Wanless: Professor of Drama in Dan School of Drama and Music and former Artistic Director of Thousand Islands Playhouse (1982-2013)
Application &  Fees

There is a non-refundable application fee of $110.00 payable to the School of Graduate Studies. Tuition fees for domestic students is $6,078 for the Graduate Diploma and an additional $6,078 for students who continue on to the Masters (for a total of $12,156 in tuition for the complete ARTL M.A. program). International student tuition is $15,802 (Grad Diploma only) or $31,604 total fees (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.

Please read the attached PDF (77KB) outlining important things to know about start dates, references and transcripts when applying to these graduate programs.

Application Deadline & Start Dates

Application deadline – 15 February, 2022.  Completed applications with all documentation received will be reviewed at this time.

Classes for both the Graduate Diploma and Master of Arts Leadership will commence in May and the on-campus intensive runs May-June, 2022.

Why not apply now!

Learning Outcomes
  • Acquire Institutional Management Skills
  • Gain a Comprehensive Understanding of the tenets of the non-profit 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


Grad Maps

View the Grad Maps for this department and all graduate degrees on the Career Services website