Public Programs Coordinator - Adult Programs


Vancouver Art Gallery


Sep. 18, 2017

Organization Description: 


Founded in 1931, the Vancouver Art Gallery is recognized as one of Canada’s most respected and exciting visual art institutions. As the largest public art museum in Western Canada, the Gallery has experienced unprecedented growth in the last decade in its artistic and educational programs, as well as in its organizational capacity. Through groundbreaking exhibitions, an emphasis on advancing scholarship through major publications, and an increasingly dynamic collection, the Gallery continues to significantly raise Vancouver’s profile within international cultural communities.

Outstanding historical presentations have become a Gallery hallmark, ensuring that visitors have access to some of the world’s most important historical art collections, with such highlights as:

  • Vermeer, Rembrandt and the Golden Age of Dutch Art: Masterpieces from the Rijksmuseum
  • Leonardo da Vinci: The Mechanics of Man
  • The Colour of My Dreams: The Surrealist Revolution in Art
  • The Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China’s Emperors

Ambitious contemporary exhibitions featuring the work of British Columbia artists have included those for Douglas Coupland, Stan Douglas, Geoffrey Farmer, Rodney Graham, Brian Jungen, Ken Lum, Liz Magor, Marianne Nicolson, Jeff Wall and Ian Wallace, among many others.

These are offered in a wider programmatic context that includes the important work of international artists such as Yang Fudong, Andreas Gursky, Martin Honert, William Kentridge, Kimsooja, Kerry James Marshall, Huang Yong Ping and Fiona Tan.

As well, major thematic exhibitions are undertaken that comprehensively explore visual culture, including architecture and design. Examples of these include:

  • Massive Change: The Future of Global Design
  • KRAZY! The Delirious World of Anime + Comics + Video Games + Art
  • Art Spiegelman. CO-MIX: A Retrospective of Comics, Graphics and Scraps 
  • Grand Hotel: Redesigning Modern Life

In the past two decades, the Gallery has welcomed nearly 4.5 million visitors, including approximately 36,000 members annually. Beyond British Columbia, the Gallery draws significant tourist audiences from across North America, Europe and Asia. Our collection, representing the most comprehensive resource for visual culture in British Columbia, now numbers over 11,715 works.


Job Description: 

Reporting to the Director of Education and Public Programs, the incumbent will utilize knowledge and experience of the visual arts, critical theory, art history and a broad awareness of other creative practices, culture and politics to conceive, develop, produce and promote public programs that engage adult audiences who have both specialized and broad interests.

The events will vary in format, ranging from gallery talks and exhibition tours, to conferences and formal lectures, to experimental forms. They will consist of in-gallery, off-site and online productions. In all cases, programs will be concerned with the social role of art and artists in today’s society.

The incumbent will have experience conceptualizing and facilitating public discourse with a clear understanding of how critical discussion is occurring both within contemporary art and beyond. They will have the ability to draw from their comprehensive knowledge and experience to conceive dynamic and critically engaged public programs for socially diverse audiences. The incumbent will understand how to contextualize the Gallery’s exhibitions and develop responsive programming that investigates the propositions at play in them. They will possess a strong knowledge of local and international art contexts, and have wide reaching connections with cultural practitioners, and other cultural organizations (from artist-run centres to universities and community groups). They will have the capacity to further develop the Gallery’s networks through initiating partnerships locally and internationally with a vision of working collaboratively whenever possible. The results of the incumbent’s work will raise the profile of the Vancouver Art Gallery’s public programs by demonstrating a deep investment in the contemporary moment and the many political realities that shape the role of visual culture in civic society.


Working in collaboration with the Director of Education and Public Programs, duties will include the following: 

  • researching and conceptualizing events that align with the Education and Public Programs department’s priorities and the overall goals of the Gallery
  • conceiving of critical frameworks for programs with an explicit concern for centring diverse perspectives
  • project management and delivery of lectures, workshops, conferences, gallery talks and other programs, including all administrative duties associated with program delivery
  • managing a core group of Educators who provide public tours for Gallery visitors, as well as volunteers who assist in the delivery of events
  • managing established budgets and operating within them, as well as assisting in the development of grant proposals and program reporting 
  • coordinating logistics and managing internal briefings
  • inviting, briefing, guiding and hosting guest speakers, event facilitators and visiting artists
  • writing copy and contributing to plans for marketing the events
  • developing and maintaining relationships with artists, scholars, community groups, arts organizations and cultural institutions locally, nationally and internationally
  • continually contributing to the creative and intellectual strategies for public engagement at the Vancouver Art Gallery.


The successful incumbent will possess the following qualifications and skills: 

  • university graduate with a degree in an arts-related field plus practical experience in an art gallery, museum or educational environment, or experience-based equivalents
  • demonstrated experience working with diverse publics
  • demonstrated experience producing events
  • facilitation, leadership, conflict resolution or management experience
  • strong organizational skills, including the capacity to work calmly, creatively and effectively to meet deadlines across departments for multiple projects simultaneously
  • experience managing budgets (including projecting, updating and reconciling expenses and revenues), timelines and schedules
  • an in-depth knowledge of critical theory, visual art, art history, and contemporary culture and politics
  • excellent writing skills and an ability to communicate complex ideas effectively to a range of audiences
  • exceptional communication and public speaking skills are necessary—the candidate will be expected to think quickly in public and respond effectively to presenter and audience needs
  • the flexibility to work weekends and evenings as required for program delivery

How to Apply: 

Please email your CV, cover letter and a short writing sample to the Director of Human Resources by Friday, September 18, 2017:


SALARY: Pay Grade 23 Step 1, $27.90 per hour, plus benefits
HOURS: 70 hours bi-weekly with a Flexible Work Schedule

Contact Name: Debra Nesbitt
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: (604) 662-4700

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