For ten extraordinary days, Toronto bursts with creativity in every realm. From building strong partnerships with sponsors to programming a rock-solid schedule that will truly captivate the city and ensuring that everything executes smoothly; Janice Price has one seriously big job. There aren’t many people who fit the bill for a role that requires this kind of responsiblity but it’s obvious that Janice has the energy, passion and unwavering work ethic to steer the ship of Canada’s most eclectic multi-disciplinary arts festival.
What does a typical Thursday look like for you, starting from when you wake up – to heading to bed?
I wake up at 6am and take my 6 ½ month old puppy out for a walk. Not because I want to be up at 6am, but because my puppy wants me to be up. When I get back to the house I make some coffee and answer any emails that had come through during the night. While doing emails and getting ready for the day, I’ll also make my husband a healthy lunch for him to take to work.
My day looks different depending on the time of year we are in. During the Festival planning phase, my day is full of servicing and confirming sponsors and funding sources. Closer to the Festival, my day is full of issues dealing with the production and execution of Luminato.
There’s usually at least one conference call or in-person meeting connected to one of the arts organizations that I’m affiliated with, such as the board of directors for the Canadian Festivals Coalition (CFC), Toronto Arts Council Foundation (TACF) and the International Society of Performing Arts (ISPA), or the National Steering Committee of Culture Days of which I’m a member. The day also involves internal planning with Luminato staff.
On weeknights, I often attend a performance or event by a Toronto or Regional arts company or a donor related event.
What was your first job out of school?
I was the Executive Assistant to the Program and Promotion Director of CFTO-TV. Four years later, after having moved my way up through other jobs within the company, I was appointed that same position of Program and Promotion Director.
What are the 3 skills you require most to do your job well?
The first skill is Diplomacy, as we have so many artistic donor and audience stakeholders that we need to engage with.
The second is Decisiveness. As things move quickly and as production or other issues inevitably arise, you need to act quickly to make an executive decision to deal with whatever the issue is.
The third is a Sense of Adventure. You need a sense of adventure in order to take the risks and make the moves that can make your career more exciting.
What do you love most about your career?
I love the variety of my days. No day is ever the same, never boring. I also love being such an important bridge for the artists helping them to realize their vision and connect with audiences.
Do you have any warnings?
Know that if you’re going to pursue a career in something you feel passionate about, whether in the arts, technology, high finance, or any sector, you have to dedicate a tremendous amount of time to be successful. That’s why it’s so important to do something you are passionate about. Particularly working in the arts and entertainment sector, there’s hardly a day where I’m not engaged in my work. It’s not a 9-5 Monday to Friday job.
If you could try a different career on for a year, what would it be?
Because of the way I mentor and advise people on their careers, I was always intrigued by the idea of being an executive recruiter specializing in the not-for-profit sector. I’m a matchmaker, and good at informing people about where they’d work best. I’ve always networked and remained in touch with many of the people I work with. As a result, many of the staff I have here at Luminato are people I have worked with or known as colleagues in the past.