Preparator II


Vancouver Art Gallery


Mar. 30, 2018

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 Preparator III, a Preparator II assists in the construction and installation of a variety of artworks in the Vancouver Art Gallery. A Preparator II prepares exhibitions; stores works of art; performs building maintenance functions; ships and receives materials; and provides general maintenance of the preparation and art storage area.


1. Constructs display props and installs art exhibitions by:
o constructing and installing pedestals, Plexiglas display cases or other specially designed props to house or display works of art
o constructing to specifications additional false walls
o painting and repairing gallery walls
o crating, un-crating and installing art works
o installing lighting for exhibitions, checking the lux levels, and maintaining and repairing gallery lighting fixtures as required.

2. Performs building maintenance and construction tasks as required by:
o constructing walls, door passages, shelving units, desks, cabinets, raising floors, etc.
o providing design and layout of the construction features
o providing finishing carpentry which includes installation of doors, air vents, feature walls, etc.
o ensuring that materials are ordered through the Preparator III or Lead Preparator as required.

3. Provides a variety of miscellaneous duties by:
o shipping and receiving materials (recording incoming and outgoing art shipments, preparing waybills, checking and signing in of shipments, recording packing orders and conditions of art works upon arrival and departure, dispensing shipments throughout the gallery, loading and unloading crates and moving to destination, and picking up materials in gallery van)
o cleaning workshop
o performing safety checks of power tools and equipment
o requesting replacement or repair of tools as required
o cleaning up after exhibition installation


Completion of Grade 12 supplemented by courses in one or more of the relevant trades. Two to three years’ experience in the preparation field, preferably in an art gallery or museum. Considerable knowledge of the standard practices, methods, materials, tools and equipment used in carpentry, cabinet making and electrical work. Considerable knowledge of art handling, art movement, exhibition installation, construction, pack & crating, matting & framing, art storage and shipping in a professional art gallery environment.. Class 5 Driver’s licence from the Province of British Columbia.

How to Apply: 

Please submit your resume by Friday, March 30, 2018 to Debra Nesbitt, Director of Human Resources, Vancouver Art Gallery, 750 Hornby Street, Vancouver, B.C. 
V6Z 2H7, Fax: 604-682-1086 or email


SALARY: Pay Grade 19, Step 1 - $23.93 HOURS: 7 hours per day, weekends and overtime may be required

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

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