VIS Artistic Director Search

Over the past few weeks, I have been asked about the process the hiring of our new Artistic Director.

When Pierre Simard announced that he was heading back to Montreal in the spring of 2022, the VIS Board started preparations for his replacement. First up, we formed a Search Committee and Margot Holmes, VIS Executive Director posted the position.

The following identifies and answers a few common questions related to the current Search.

Who sits on the Search Committee?

Five 5 VIS Musicians (3 chosen by the orchestra and two appointed by the Board); two 2 Board Members; one (1) Audience Member and the Executive Director.

Who picks the music for the guest candidate conductors?

The music for all concerts is identified and approved in the winter/spring of the preceding concert year. In the case of the 2022/23 Season, Pierre Simard picked some of the music however, much of the music was selected by Calvin Dyck, Artistic Manager for this season and members of the Artistic Committee made up of musicians from the Orchestra and the Executive Director. The music picked for the candidates is a “test” programme where each will conduct a major symphonic work, a concerto and a contemporary piece of music.

How did we get to our short-listed candidates?

The Search Committee spent a considerable amount of time reviewing 36 applications for the Artistic Director position (it was rewarding to know that there was considerable interest in the position.) After reviewing videos, CV’s and other material, the Search Committee met to identify a short-list of potential candidates using a detailed process to evaluate and identify the candidates.

Why are the candidates conducting performances that are spaced out?

Once the Search Committee had identified its preferred candidates, there were three dates that could be used for these performances: October, January and February. In November we had a small orchestra and we would not offer a candidate a Christmas show as typically this music is easier to conduct.

How will a decision be made?

The Search Committee has developed a detailed process for determining a preferred candidate. That process includes our VIS musicians providing feedback through a questionnaire and non-musician Search Committee Members attending rehearsals, pre and post concert talks and meeting with the candidates over breakfast or lunch. There is a face to face interview with each candidate. Once the candidates have performed, the Search Committee will convene a Selection Committee meeting to collectively determine the preferred candidate.

We started with three candidates however one candidate withdrew their name and we now have two candidates for the position: Nadege Foofat and Cosette Justo Valdes.

It is a very exciting time for the VIS!

On behalf of the VIS Artistic Director Search Committee,

Dave Witty
President, Board of Directors