Contract Position

The Canadian Opera Company (COC) is looking for an energetic and responsible design assistant to join our Scotiabank Summer Opera Camps team.

The design assistant position represents a rare opportunity for a secondary or post-secondary student interested in pursuing stage design and arts education or community arts. Under the mentorship of a design specialist, the design assistant will develop and practice teaching skills specifically related to stage design for opera. The design assistant will gain experience in preparing and facilitating visual arts and stage design activities; working directly with children and youth, and their parents; and collaborating with a team of professional opera artists.

The COC’s Scotiabank Summer Opera Camps offer children and youth entering grades 1 to 12 the opportunity to create their own opera over the course of one of four fun-filled weeks in July. Participants explore every element of an operatic production, including singing, composing, story creation, drama, movement and stage design. At the end of the week, participants present a special rehearsal of their opera to family and friends. The Design Assistant will work as part of the education department, which consists of four full-time employees, and will report to the Children, Youth and Family Programs Manager and the design specialist.

The Design Assistant position is a six-week contract position that will run from June 25, 2018 to August 3, 2018, according to the following schedule:

June 25 to 29, 2018     

The assistant will work approximately 30 hours per week, Monday to Friday at the COC’s  administrative offices at 227 Front St. E.

July 3 to 6, 2018   The assistant will work Tuesday to Friday, approximately 30 hours for the week at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts at 145 Queen St. W.

July 9 to 28, 2018

The assistant will work Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except for the two Fridays when they will work until 6 p.m., and on the last Saturday of the month, at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts at 145 Queen St. W.

July 30 to August 3, 2018

The assistant will work approximately 30 hours for the week, Monday to Friday, at the COC’s administrative offices at 227 Front St. E.

Key responsibilities:

  • Providing artistic (stage design) and educational support including, but not limited to: purchasing, preparing, and maintaining materials for stage design sessions; assisting the Design Specialist in creating and presenting concepts and lessons; fostering a creative and safe learning environment for participants; supporting participants during their hands-on creation activities; supervising children during lunch; collaborating with artists on programming; maintaining supplies and helping to set up and clean up materials; and curating and installing a display of participants’ work on the final day each week of camp.
  • Following the completion of camps, contributing to the writing of a program report that catalogues information about the COC’s Summer Opera Camps and helping to organize and put away design materials.

The position is suited for a secondary or post-secondary student:

  • studying visual art, stage design, and/or arts education
  • with experience working in an educational capacity with small and large groups of children and teenagers
  • with proven ability to work independently as well as in collaboration with others
  • with a First Aid and CPR certificate
  • who holds, or agrees to acquire, a valid Vulnerable Sector Verification through the Police Reference Check program

Due to grant requirements, candidates for the Design Assistant position must be:

  • be between the ages of 15 and 24 (and not yet reached the age of 25 upon commencement of employment*);
  • currently enrolled in a secondary, or post-secondary institution or within six months of graduation;
  • residents of Ontario during the period of employment;
  • a Canadian Citizen, permanent resident, or person on whom refugee protection has been conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (foreign students are not eligible); and
  • legally entitled to work according to the relevant provincial/territorial legislation and regulations.

* Or up to 29 years for persons with a disability, if disabled, within the meaning of s.10 of the Ontario Human Rights Code, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.19, as amended from time to time.

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume to or fax: 416-363-5584. We thank all candidates who apply, however only those chosen for an interview will be contacted. 

Closing date: Monday, April 30, 2018 at 10 a.m.

For more information about the Scotiabank Summer Opera Camps and all of the COC’s education and outreach initiatives, please visit our website at or contact

The COC is committed to providing accommodations for people with disabilities in all parts of the hiring process.  If you require an accommodation, please let us know and we will work with you to meet your needs.

The Design Assistant position is part of the Government of Ontario’s Summer Employment Opportunities program known as the 2018 Summer Experience Program. The COC would like to acknowledge the Ministry and the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services as co-sponsors of this position.

About the Canadian Opera Company

Based in Toronto, the Canadian Opera Company is the largest producer of opera in Canada and one of the largest in North America. The COC enjoys a loyal audience support-base and one of the highest attendance and subscription rates in North America. Under its leadership team of General Director Alexander Neef and Music Director Johannes Debus, the COC is increasingly capturing the opera world’s attention. The COC maintains its international reputation for artistic excellence and creative innovation by creating new productions within its diverse repertoire, collaborating with leading opera companies and festivals, and attracting the world’s foremost Canadian and international artists. The COC performs in its own opera house, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, hailed internationally as one of the finest in the world. Designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects, the Four Seasons Centre opened in 2006. For more information on the COC, visit its website,

About the Education and Outreach Department

The COC stands at the forefront of opera production in Canada and is internationally recognized for its commitment to delivering opera of the highest standards. In addition to the core activities on the mainstage, the COC offers 20 accessible, meaningful and enriching education and outreach programs to a diverse audience of 40,000 children, youth, and adults annually. Working with the COC education and outreach team, individuals gain invaluable arts administration and artist-educator experience and learn about the inner workings of a large cultural institution.

Phone: 416-363-8231

Toll Free: 1-800-250-4653

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