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Work experience

Oct 2008Jan 2011

Executive Director

Pride Toronto

Recruited to this non-profit organization championing Toronto’s annual Pride Week celebrations following a 9 month vacancy to transform a turbulent environment suffering with a $40K deficit and complete staff turnover into a highly influential and internationally respected event.

Business & Operations Executive Leadership

  • Directed operations, managed business, staffing, marketing development, government and sponsorship relations and policy advocacy.
  • Fronted synergistic relationships with corporate sponsors and funding authorities, establishing trust-based partnerships founded on fiscal responsibility and respect.
  • Developed two-year strategic direction, architecting a unified vision with the Board of Directors to refresh annual business planning processes.
  • Standardized purchasing and procurement with integrated strategic & operational planning processes, defined & measurable objectives, and performance metric tools.
  • Successfully produced two annual 10-day arts and culture festivals that included the three-day street closure of 20 city blocks in downtown Toronto, drawing attendance in excess of 1.2M.

Financial Management Excellence

  • Managed a $3.5M+ operations budget: labour costs, infrastructure including power & facilities, festival security, event marketing, communications and administration, steering fundraising strategies to establish a revenue reserve.
  • Successfully secured a line of credit while operating with an organizational fiscal deficit.
  • Forecasted income and expenditure and provided monthly financial reports to the Board of Directors.

Human Resources Governance

  • Transformed the organizational layout, ushering in improved premises, workflow management and HR processes.
  • Implemented new recruitment and retention strategies that led to an improved retention rate, taking a hands-on role in coaching and mentoring managerial and director level staff.
  • Coached, mentored and developed 3 directors and 2 senior managers, empowering up to 16 permanent and contract staff, 150 year-round volunteers and 1000 festival assistants to achieve economic windfall of $136M in 2009.

Marketing & Communications Direction

  • Revitalized the organization’s brand across online and print publications, refreshing marketing and communications look and feel.
  • Project-managed Pride Week street festival, parades and peripheral events, etching out a vision encompassing street closures, obstinate liquor laws, and grant applications while promoting eclectic performers (e.g. Cyndi Lauper).
  • Injected modernized systems and tools into an outmoded website and technology network, knitting interactive media into an online database to improve membership participation and volunteer management.
  • Married social networking sites (such as twitter, YouTube, MySpace, Flickr, FourSquare, and Facebook) with Pride-friendly communications to establish a membership database of 10K+ in one year.
  • Pushed boundaries, developing seamless marketing collateral spanning web, print media images, and promotional material as well as establishing media relationships from-the-ground-up to secure an increase of $10M in publicity in 2010. 

Government & Industry Advocacy

  • Fostered relationships with InterPride and International Pride organizations by employing an expansive world view to balance local demands with international best practices.
  • Nominated as a Vice President of InterPride global umbrella organization.
  • Recognized by stakeholders at provincial, federal and municipal levels for ability to re-establish connections spanning corporate sponsors, community leaders and multiple levels of government.
  • Delighted event goers and critics alike and awarded 2009’s Best Festival in Canada Star Award. 
  • Championed arts and culture initiatives, driving Pride Toronto to the forefront in national and international media.
  • Secured the rights to host the Fourth World Pride in Toronto in 2014 with a budget of $10M.

By the Numbers

  • Managed a $3.5M budget
  • Realized economic impact of $136m for toronto
  • Generated $10M in publicity
  • Event attendance of 1.2M+
  • Secured 4th World Pride with a budget of $10M
Jul 2005Oct 2008



Hired to industry-leading online property news publication with international readership, to develop the strategic direction of the editorial division, shepherding change management initiatives to drive drastic increases in revenues and readership.

Selected achievements

  • Catapulted website traffic from 50K to 300k unique monthly visitors, driving improvements spanning content, designs and strategic direction.
  • Managed an annual budget of $500K with forecasting and monthly reporting to ensure expenditures aligned with projections.
  • Improved editorial policy, expanding web portal to include lifestyle and homeowner sections, increasing readership and advertising revenue.
  • Expanded capacity to build a four-person strong staff writing team, as well as eight freelance contributors and 15 guest columnists, to improve and retain expertise.
  • Managed article syndication with News24, drawing on sister organizational readership to increase market reach.

By the Numbers

  • Increased traffic to 300K uniquemonthly visitors
  • Garnered $250K in new advertising sales
  • Expanded daily published material by 1000 percent
  • Sourced & on-boarded 15 guest experts
Jul 2004Jul 2005

Media and Events Manager

The Triangle Project

Joined this non-profit organization supporting the LGBT community in a newly created position to build up public image and internal infrastructure through brand and marketing creation and event management.

  • Revitalized web materials and marketing collateral, improving image and corporate brand through the development of educational materials, photographic campaigns, and clothing and promotional materials.
  • Spearheaded event budgeting and creation for industry recognized, innovative pageants including the “sex and culture festival”, drawing interest and awareness of LGBT community.
  • Tapped into new markets, developing insightful collateral that expanded the reach of niche services.
Mar 1991Feb 2002

Marketing and Communications Manager

Metropolitan Life Group

Metropolitan Life Insurance – National life assurance company with 7000 employees, providing financial services to clients.

  • Conducted research, marketing and PR strategies for division
  • Wrote, edited and produced internal and external communications and marketing materials
  • Managed graphic design studio and printing / distribution facility with 40 staff
  • Organized and managed events including corporate events, product launches, exhibitions, information tours, press conferences


Sep 2010Present

IEP Certificate

York University

Certification program for internationally educated professionals (IEP).



Tracey Sandilands holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications and English from the University of South Africa. After a long career in marketing and communications, including three years as a member of the South African press and Editor of Property24, she relocated to Toronto to take up the position of Executive Director of Pride Toronto. Two years in this role saw the successful management of two annual Pride festivals with attendance of 1,2m and economic benefit of $136m for Toronto.

Tracey comes with exceptional experience in strategic and operations management, a strong financial background and a record as a credible and relevant member of the Toronto arts and culture community. She successfully built relationships with internal and external patrons, re-establishing connections with senior representatives of corporate sponsors, community leaders and multiple levels of government.


To secure a challenging position at senior or executive level in a corporate or non-profit environment in which my proven leadership skills and business experience can result in increased performance, staff motivation and ownership, stronger governance structures and improved processes and procedures.