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Seeking Director of Curatorial Programs

Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
Deadline: 03 October 2022

Rendering of the exterior of the new Vancouver Art Gallery building © Herzog & de Meuron

Rendering of the exterior of the new Vancouver Art Gallery building © Herzog & de Meuron

The Vancouver Art Gallery, one of the largest and innovative art museums in Canada, is undergoing a multi-phase organizational transformation after celebrating 90 years of operation. With a permanent collection of more than 12,000 works of art, the Gallery is implementing a campaign to build a new purpose-built gallery facility in downtown Vancouver planned to open in 2027. This is a moment of growth, exploration and change, as the Gallery re-articulates its relationship to communities and audiences and envisions the role of an art museum in the 21st century.


Hours: Full Time

Salary: Excluded position. Salary commensurate with experience along with a comprehensive benefit package.

The Gallery is seeking an experienced leader in curatorial practice for the position Director of Curatorial Programs (DoCP). This position is part of an organizational restructuring and formation of the Program Leadership team that oversees the Programs Division and collaboratively develops projects.

The DoCP provides organizational leadership consistent with the core values of the Gallery to create paths that share perspectives, build and engage communities, and shape our collective futures together.

Reporting to the CEO, the DoCP directs the activities of the Curatorial Department, and works collaboratively with the Program Leadership (Director of Education and Public Programs, Director of Publishing and Content Strategy, and Director of Research) to develop inspiring and innovative exhibition and collections strategies that respond to the Gallery’s Strategic and business plans. The DoCP also works closely with the Director of Exhibitions and Collections to ensure the smooth and cost-effective operations of exhibitions and collections.

The DoCP participates in the overall management of the Gallery with the CEO and other members of the Senior Management team. This position interfaces with all areas of the Gallery and contributes to the long-term strategic planning of the organization, anticipates challenges, and creates lasting opportunities and sustainability. In accordance with the Gallery’s Mission, Vision, Values, and Strategic and business plans, this position plays a key role in guiding the organization’s ongoing operations, cultivating an appreciation for the arts and a culture of philanthropy, while creating a positive work environment and fostering a safer, more diverse, equitable and accessible environment that enables staff to contribute their best.

The DoCP provides managerial oversight of the Curatorial Department and leads the administration, coordination, and successful implementation of all operational aspects of curatorial affairs, including management and the cultivation of curatorial staff, exhibition planning and Department budgeting.

The DoCP is responsible for the management of the exhibition and touring program and works collaboratively with the Programs Leadership including the Director of Education and Public Programs on learning and interpretation initiatives, the Director of Publishing and Content Strategy on print and digital publishing initiatives, and the Director of Research on research and archive initiatives.

Department responsibilities include guiding the curators in creating new knowledge through the primary activity of research and administering research to wide-ranging publics through a variety of means including exhibitions, publications, learning and interpretive initiatives. Additional duties include research and development of the permanent collection and proposed acquisitions; nurturing relationships with artists, collectors, educators, donors and the public; and representing the Gallery among regional, national and international communities.

The DoCP will work closely with the Advancement Division to nurture support for the Gallery, including cultivating new and stewarding existing collectors and artwork donations; in addition to furthering prospects for new financial contributions.


Master’s Degree (PhD or equivalent preferred) from an accredited institution in Art, Art History, Museum Studies, Visual Culture, Curatorial Studies, Communication Studies, Art Writing or relevant discipline.
Seven to ten years of experience in progressively more responsible curatorial positions involving supervisory and administrative functions in established and internationally recognized institutions.
Broad knowledge of Canadian and international art, both historical and contemporary, with in-depth knowledge in two or more fields principally represented in the Gallery’s collection, with a strategic preference for contemporary Indigenous art or art of the global Asian diaspora.
In-depth knowledge and experience in the operation and role of an art museum in an ever-changing world. Proven record of strong management skills and innovative planning strategies.
Comprehensive knowledge of the principles, methods and techniques involved in the organization, display and care of a wide variety of art objects.
Maintains a broad knowledge of global art history and a general understanding of critical contemporary issues, and can link historical research to contemporary issues and ideas.
Knowledge of new digital technologies which create unique visitor experiences.
An established record of scholarship with a proven ability to write for various audiences.
Ability to evaluate the quality and effectiveness of the Gallery’s programs and exhibitions and to make long range plans based on institutional strategies.
Excellent communication skills including writing, editing and public speaking and formal presentation.
Familiarity and experience with successful development and knowledge of philanthropy.
Ability to effectively represent the Gallery in contractual negotiations.
Ability to utilize the highest level of interpersonal skills to select, develop and motivate staff.
Proven ability and experience in organizing major exhibitions.
Excellent administrative, budgetary and organizational skills.
Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively internally and externally, and to develop major institutional partnership opportunities.
Previous experience in managing a permanent collection and acquisitions.
Additional language/s is an asset.

How to Apply 

Send your cover letter and resumé, in confidence, to the Director of Human Resources, Vancouver Art Gallery, 750 Hornby Street, Vancouver, B.C. V6Z 2H7, or email:

Interviews for this position will commence on October 3, 2022; however, the posting will remain open and applications will be accepted until the position is filled.


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