Meet Liza Mattimore - Strategic Programs Manager

Portrait of Liza Mattimore
Liza Mattimore - photo courtesy Theatre Direct
Prior to joining TAC as Strategic Programs Manager, Liza Mattimore has had a long relationship with Toronto Arts Council (TAC) as a grant applicant. As an arts student who wanted to learn about grants to support her arts practice she reached out to a TAC grant program manager and visited the office for a meeting. “I remember feeling it was so welcoming,” Liza says. In later years as General Manager for Cahoots Theatre and Theatre Direct, and as a Producer at Crow’s Theatre she established a strong relationship as an applicant, but it was that first interaction as a student that formed her impression of TAC.

As the new Strategic Programs Manager, Liza wants to take the accessibility that she experienced as a young artist a step forward. She wants to reach out to the community as much as she can. “The pandemic has heightened the need to have a flexible and community-based approach,” she says. TAC offers a wide range of strategic programs that are designed following consultations with arts communities to address particular needs. A few examples of strategic funding programs that Liza will manage include Newcomer and Refugee Artist Mentorship, Artists in the Schools and Open Door, as well as managing the adjudication  for Toronto Arts Foundation’s signature Awards. Considerations about equity and how our equity framework can be implemented plays an important role in the designing and awarding of funding under the strategic programs.

Working as the General Manager at Cahoots Theatre, and later at Theatre Direct provided Liza an equity lens that she feels will be crucial to her work as the Strategic Programs Manager. “I feel very fortunate to have started my career there because Cahoots looks at everything through an equity lens. They are a company that has pushed for more inclusivity and broadened the scope of what diverse arts practices mean. Liza was the General Manager at Cahoots Theatre, when they produced the Deaf Artists and Theatres Toolkit (DATT), a framework to engage with Deaf artists. “Both experiences provided me with an entry point to the local theatre community through niche arts communities that have informed my approach ever since.” Both Cahoots Theatre and Theatre Direct are TAC operating clients.

“Because of these experiences, "I am always looking for opportunities to expand on access. That’s a driving motivation for me and that is one of the fundamental things about the strategic programs position - the emphasis on equity."

Liza feels that the next few years will be unlike ever before or after for the arts sector. “I want to design programs that reflect the needs of artists with the sector reopening. This is a unique opportunity of this historic moment in time and I look forward to playing my part in it.”


Liza Mattimore, Strategic Programs Manager can be reached at 416-392-6802 x231 or