Looking Ahead with Strategic Thinking: Insights from Cantabile Choirs of Kingston

The Arts Firm worked with Cantabile Choirs from November 2023 – March 2024 to create a strategic plan that would help guide this very unique organization. Using a Cascade Methodology, the team was able to help Cantabile focus on what makes it unique, play to its strengths, and invest strategically in its future.

We had the privilege of speaking with Geoffrey Sirett, the Executive Artistic Director of Cantabile Choirs, to gain insights into the significance of strategy work and the impact of their collaboration with The Arts Firm. Geoffrey shared valuable experiences, highlighting the importance of this endeavor and offering advice for other arts organizations seeking to embark on a new strategic plan journey.

Why was it important for Cantabile Choirs to undergo a strategic planning exercise at this time?

Strategic planning was crucial for Cantabile Choirs to ensure its continued relevance, sustainability, and growth in a rapidly evolving landscape, and in the wake of a pandemic that greatly affected the performing arts sector. With a well-thought-out strategic plan, Cantabile was able to re-align its mission, vision, and resources effectively, to navigate current challenges and to capitalize on emerging opportunities.

How has your work with The Arts Firm helped your strategic mindset and process?

Our collaboration with The Arts Firm was instrumental in our strategic planning process. They conducted research with a broad set of stakeholders and facilitated strategic-thinking sessions with Cantabile’s Board, senior leadership, and strategic planning committee. This work gave rise to diverse voices and unique perspectives, illuminated new pathways for us to explore, and the level of engagement facilitated by TAF contributed immensely to a feeling of collective purpose going forward.

What advice would you give to other choirs/performing arts organizations who are thinking about creating a new strategic plan?

In the post-pandemic environment, I think it is crucial to shift back to a strategic, long-range mindset after years of uncertainty. My advice is to be patient, take your time and enjoy the process, Four team, the process – and what it can do for the culture of an organization when done thoughtfully and patiently – turned out to be just as valuable as the result.

Are you looking to develop your organization’s next strategic plan? Reach out to The Arts Firm to discuss the future of your organization.