“A Day in the Life” with: Vancouver Arts Manager Shayna Goldberg

Shayna Goldberg (she/her) is the perfect blend of theatrical flair and organized structure, a fusion she brings to all parts of her life. Her bright red hair, vintage dresses and love of red lipstick bring the drama, while she puts together a budget sheet that is so beautiful and effective that you want to cry with relief. This balance is what makes her so successful as the Artistic Planning and Operations Manager at Music on Main.

Shayna hails from Toronto where she completed an MBA from the Schulich School of Business. While her classmates focussed on the corporate world, Shayna turned away from the lucrative but boring jobs to follow her passion and unwavering commitment to the arts industry by completing a specialized focus in Arts and Media Management. She moved West and has since made a lasting impact on the Vancouver Arts community via her work with Music on Main and Pi Theatre, and her volunteerism as the Treasurer of the Jessie Richardson Awards Society.

Beyond work, Shayna’s energy is channelled into baking for her friends and family (her caramel cupcakes are heaven), walking the city (Shayna argues that everything is better on foot), and travelling any chance she gets (that organized brain plans the best itineraries).

Shayna is one of those people who you just want in your life forever. She’s a dedicated friend, a forever curious learner, the best auntie to babies and dogs, and all around mensch. A glimpse into her life is a lot of fun, being in it is a joy.

– Written by Dana Troster, close friend 

Shayna Goldberg
I am one of those people who likes a real breakfast. Lately, that’s included making chai for myself, loving how good my home smells and how it totally wakes me up.
Shayna Goldberg
My day-to-day also includes producing concerts and shows, like Music on Main’s “As Dreams are Made,” which premiered in the fall of 2020. Shown here is santourist Saina Khaledi, who will be featured in “The Tempest Project”. Photo by: Jan Gates.
Other days I basically just show up and enjoy a concert, like at our annual Summer Pop-Up Concerts at Mount Pleasant Park. I’m hiding in the shade :). Photo by: Jan Gates
On the weekend, I can almost always be found at the Farmer’s Market. I love walking around, supporting local farmers, and also sometimes helping out my friend Ellen at Crumble Bakery.
I am always up to cook, bake, and host friends, and on rare occasions, the things I make actually look good! And even if it didn’t, who could say no to a burrata and tomato platter?
Obviously getting out to see productions is a big part of my life, including recently seeing Nana Schewitz at Dusty Flowerpot Cabaret. It was a great show!
Shayna Goldberg
I will travel and explore the culture of a different place absolutely any chance I get. Here’s a recent shot from Prague after a conference in Berlin.
Shayna Goldberg
I love street art and search it out all the time and everywhere I go. I could sit and just watch a graffiti artist for hours!


Which ‘hood are you in?

I’ve been in Vancouver for over ten years now (Toronto transplant) and except for a brief period in Dunbar, I’ve been wedged into the super central Fairview area. I really love being able to walk everywhere, and so when I moved last, it was all of eight blocks. I find almost everything in this city so accessible, and I have to say, I really love walking over the bridges and seeing Vancouver that way.

What do you do?

I am an arts manager through and through! I’m one of those delightful (aggravating?) people who knew exactly what they wanted to do in high school: to produce and work in management in the world of the performing arts. I’ve been exceptionally lucky to have had the chance to work with some amazing people to do that across Canada. Locally, I’ve worked with Vancouver’s Pi Theatre, on the Jessie Awards Board, and now in music with Music on Main.

I feel like the work arts managers do isn’t always understood to be an art form in itself. Just like the actors and painters of the world, we make art happen – and I feel this contribution is underestimated. From designing marketing campaigns, and crafting fundraising strategies, to the creativity of a budget and event safety plans, this is where our art shines!

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently working as the Producer of “The Tempest Project,” an exciting new show that premieres in July! When I interviewed with Music on Main in 2018, I asked what the next big project was, and was completely taken by the idea of creating a roving, musically theatrical production. We have developed it over the last five years and I cannot believe the premiere is finally here. Concurrent with this huge project, I am also working as part of the Music on Main team on this August’s Summer Pop-Up Concerts, our Fiscal Year End finances, and planning and budgeting for the coming season which starts in September. There is truly no rest for wickedly awesome arts administrators!

Where can we find your work?

You can catch my show, “The Tempest Project” at the Vancouver Playhouse from July 17-22. I’ll also be around at The Kessler Academy at the Annex on August 10, and our Summer Pop-Ups at Mount Pleasant Park on August 19-21. Those are definitely highlights and a great way to finish up our season and the summer. Check out the Music on Main website for more info!


About Emilea Semancik 155 Articles
Emilea Semancik was born in North Vancouver. Emilea has always always wanted to work as a freelance writer and currently writes for the Vancouver Guardian. Taking influence from journalism culture surrounding the great and late Anthony Bourdain, she is a recipe author working towards publishing her own series of books. You can find her food blog on Instagram: