Public Art Curatorial Manager

Classified Categories: Archived

Calgary Arts Development logo

Public Art Curatorial Manager

(Term Certain Position One Year, Full-Time)

We acknowledge that the land we gather on, Mohkinsstsis, is the ancestral territory of the Siksikaitsitapi—the Blackfoot people—comprising the Siksika, Kainai, and Piikani Nations, as well as Treaty 7 signatories, the Tsuut’ina Nation, and the Îyâxe Nakoda Bearspaw, Chiniki, and Wesley First Nations.

This land is also the home of Métis Nation Region 3. We recognize all Indigenous people of Turtle Island who call Treaty 7 home.

We acknowledge that there has been art, music, dance, storytelling, and ceremony on this land since time immemorial and it is in the spirit of this land and its people that we do our work.

Employment Equity Statement

Calgary Arts Development is an equal opportunity employer and employs people without regard to race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, language, citizenship, creed, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, marital status, physical, and/or mental abilities.

While remaining alert and sensitive to the issue of fair and equitable treatment for all, Calgary Arts Development has a special concern with the participation and advancement of members of designated groups that have traditionally been disadvantaged in employment: Black, Indigenous, and people of colour, persons with physical or mental disabilities, and members of the 2SLGBTQIAP+ community.

We are currently working remotely to reduce the risk of COVID-19 contact for our staff, but it is important to note that our office in the Burns Building downtown is unfortunately not fully accessible in the following ways:

  • The Burns Building is not fully wheelchair accessible.
  • We do not have accessible or gender-neutral washrooms—the closest ones are in the building adjacent to ours–Arts Commons.
  • We are not presently equipped with technology that supports those with hearing or visual impairments.

While we seek to rectify this in the future, we feel it is important to be transparent about the limitations of our current facilities.

Who Are We?

Calgary Arts Development Authority is our city’s designated arts development authority. We provide grant investments to hundreds of arts organizations, individual artists, and groups. We value relationships, generosity, reciprocity, plain language, and curiosity.

We believe the arts have the power to build our city. Through the arts development strategy, Living a Creative Life, our vision is a creative, connected, prosperous Calgary where every resident has the opportunity to live a creative life. We foster a sustainable and resilient arts sector, and support arts-led city building.

Strong relationships are central to our work, and will be particularly central to this role. We honour artists and believe that art is a critical component of public good. We welcome new introductions and partnerships with artists and arts organizations as well as with others whose work may be outside the arts who are trying to make our city great through living a creative life.

Our team has been working towards creating shared environments where all people can feel safe, heard, and validated. A sensitivity to the lived experiences of diverse, marginalized, and equity-seeking people is very important as we continue valuing equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility in all aspects of our work.

Public Art at Calgary Arts Development


Calgary’s public art program was created in 2004 to deliver broad based public art programming, and the public art collection has been in existence and growing for over 100 years. Since 2004, the program has provided a broad variety of programming, permanent artworks, and conservation of public art assets on behalf of Calgarians. In the last five years, there have been broad-based discussions around the direction and priorities of the program.

A New Direction for Calgary’s Public Art Program

In September 2019, Calgary’s city council directed city administration to engage a third-party consultant to review a series of broad-based questions to determine if consideration of an external service model was an appropriate direction for the public art program.

In November 2019, city council publicly released a notice of motion, directing administration to move ahead on engaging the sector in the development of a request for proposal (RFP) for release in 2020 inviting proposals from external parties interested in managing the program.

After a rigorous engagement and reporting process, city council approved the transition of Calgary’s public art program.

On March 22, 2021, The City of Calgary announced Calgary Arts Development as the future operator for Calgary’s public art program.

Calgary Arts Development as the Future Operator for Calgary’s Public Art Program

Calgary Arts Development is focused on stewarding public dollars for public good.

Calgary Arts Development envisions a public art program rooted in meaningful engagement leading to a public realm that tells the story of who we are and what we value as a city. We envision public art that Calgarians can connect with throughout our city; a program that reaches everywhere and everyone.

As a much smaller organization than The City of Calgary, Calgary Arts Development is able to streamline the program and reduce barriers for local artists to participate, while also increasing engagement opportunities and transparency for Calgarians. Our commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility will serve the program well, increasing access and representation from a wide cross section and variety of artists. We look forward to stewarding a public art program that reflects who we are and what we value as a city.

The City of Calgary will work with us to gradually transition oversight and implementation of public art projects and programs over the course of three years, with full transition expected to be complete in 2024.

The Role

We are recruiting for a full-time public art curatorial manager to join our team. This is a new role, and will report to the public art director.

The individual in this role will work closely with the public art director in the planning and commissioning of art programs and works. This individual will work closely with engagement and communication staff to establish and share a vision for public art in Calgary (known as Mohkinsstsis in Blackfoot). This vision will be shared through the commissioning of new work, but also through artist talks, community education opportunities, and artist education opportunities.

It is expected that the individual in this position will work closely with a variety of City of Calgary departments in the development of programming plans.

The successful candidate is committed to embedding the values of equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility in all relationships and processes related to public art. This includes Truth and Reconciliation and right relations with First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities within Treaty 7 territory, in part realized through the activation of the White Goose Flying Report, a local adaptation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report with calls to action that can be influenced locally.


This is a new position at Calgary Arts Development, and as such we recognize that accountabilities may shift as the public art program is developed.

The curatorial manager will:

  • Collaborate with the public art director to define and implement the vision for the public art program.
  • Collaborate with stakeholders, artists, and the Calgary Arts Development public art team to shape and oversee the plan for public art projects and programming.
  • Contribute to developing the public art work plan with the projects manager and ensure it aligns with the overall program capital budget.
  • Actively work to decolonize how capital public art programs are delivered. This includes following the Benefit-Driven Procurement and Process Map for Public Art Projects documents, as well as working collaboratively with the public art guiding circle.
  • Conduct research and maintain an archive of information (photo, video, and text) on public art projects.
  • Identify and research best practices, significant trends, key issues and opportunities for the program.
  • Act as a contact with artists to support their work in developing projects through the concept and design stage of projects.
  • Develop a series of public art artist rosters, and communicate regularly regarding appropriate opportunities with those rosters.
  • Create professional development opportunities for local artists to be more competitive in public art calls.
  • Collaborate with others on the team to develop a series of education opportunities for the public to learn more about the role public art plays in communities.
  • Cultivate new and existing collaborations and form programmatic partnerships with cultural organizations, academic institutions, and community groups.
  • Write communications content, in collaboration with communications staff, that interprets projects in an accessible and engaging manner for multiple audiences. This includes liaising with artists and galleries to collect communications materials.
  • Work with the engagement team on outreach plans to accompany public artworks.
  • Answer external inquiries from artists, galleries, and institutions and conduct tours as necessary for volunteers, colleagues, and supporters.
  • Work with the projects manager to ensure the capital public art projects meet a high standard of excellence, including quality assurance and quality control during design and fabrication.
  • Work across the team to support the calls for new work, including providing context and education for selection committees.
  • Actively liaise with City of Calgary and Calgary Arts Development departments, committees, and individuals on stakeholder relations throughout the realization of projects; ensure the continued consultation with stakeholders while planning for future art strategies and opportunities.
  • Contribute to reporting and accountability related to the public art contract with The City of Calgary at key junctions.

Who Are You?

You are a creative and energetic individual who has a sound knowledge of contemporary visual art, design and art history and is familiar with public art in Calgary, Canada, and internationally. You bring experience commissioning and developing large-scale projects with artists and have an ability to interpret projects in engaging and relevant ways for diverse audiences.

You are passionate about the importance of the arts and creativity in our lives, and are articulate in your belief in the power of the arts to transform public space in our city. You understand that public dollars are being invested to develop a public program for public good. You will help create a program with a focus on accountability for ensuring we are good stewards of the resources the public invests in this program.

You will provide leadership and mentorship to our staff and lead our evolution in the realm of equity, diversity, inclusion, accessibility, and our ability to work with groups that have different values, beliefs, needs, and feelings. As we talk together about your place here, you’ll be able to speak to your experience developing curatorial priorities with a variety of diverse communities and stakeholders.

You are able to balance the big picture as well as the small details and welcome a rapidly changing environment where you have to juggle multiple tasks of varying depth on a day-to-day basis.

You are not all things to all people, but you are probably already a few of these things:

  • You have previous curatorial experience at the program and project level.
  • You have deep knowledge of contemporary public art programs and initiatives with an understanding of local, Canadian, and international contemporary art and public art best practices.
  • You have sound knowledge of Calgary’s art and culture community and climate.
  • You have a high level of organizational and interpersonal skills as well as the ability to work independently and collaboratively on multiple projects simultaneously.
  • You have a proven ability to build and maintain relationships with arts communities and other public stakeholders.
  • You are committed to developing curatorial practices that centre on establishing right relations with First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities within Treaty 7 territory.
  • You are familiar with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action and how they relate to public art.
  • You have demonstrated experience working and collaborating with artists from diverse backgrounds, and actively addressing inequities through artistic and curatorial practice.
  • You have experience commissioning and developing large-scale projects with artists.
  • You have a demonstrated record of working on both community lead and artist lead public art projects.
  • You have the ability to express ideas and concepts effectively, orally and in writing, including the ability to prepare and present reports and status updates as well as research reports.
  • You have a passion for making art accessible, relevant, and meaningful to broad public audiences.
  • You have an ability to maintain a high level of professionalism, discretion, and confidentiality.
  • You have an ability to develop and execute multi-year projects.
  • You enjoy problem solving and troubleshooting to find solutions when situations arise.
  • You are comfortable working in a collaborative and open work environment.
  • You are a lifelong learner.

If you see yourself in this opportunity, we would love to have a conversation with you. And if you’re not sure, you can learn more about us by exploring our website.

We are also open to having conversations with individuals in advance of the submission of an application to clarify questions about this posting. Please address those inquiries to Greg Burbidge, Interim Director of Public Art, at

How to Apply

Please indicate your interest by emailing with your resume and cover letter. Please use the subject line: Public Art Curatorial Manager.

Your cover letter should address the question: “What role do you believe equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility play in public art?”

If you would like to request application assistance, please contact or call 403.264.5330 to arrange assistance. Details around application assistance are listed in detail below.

For best consideration apply by August 9, 2021. We are hoping to fill this position by September 1, 2021 but our commitment to finding the right fit may require more time.

Minimum annual salary is $65,000 in addition to an extended health benefits package, and a matching RRSP program. If a non-local applicant is the successful candidate, there will be a contribution to relocation costs.

Application Assistance

We recognize that the job application process can create barriers to access for many applicants who are interested in applying. Our job calls are written in English, shared online and require applicants to email their applications in English. This creates technological, linguistic, communication, and cultural barriers, to name a few.

In recognition of these barriers to access, eligible applicants can request assistance to help alleviate some of the costs associated with preparing and submitting a job application.

Who Can Request Assistance?

Individuals who self-identify as:

  • An individual who is Deaf, hard of hearing, has a disability or is living with a mental illness.
  • An individual facing language, geographic, or cultural barriers.

To receive assistance, you will need to provide:

  • The name and contact information of someone who can help you (this could be a trusted friend or family member, or a professional service provider). We may be able to make recommendations depending on the service being requested.
  • The amount you are requesting, including the service provider’s hourly rate.
Types of Assistance
General Transcription or Editing Services & Organizing of Support Materials
  • Applicants who identify barriers within the writing process directly due to a physical or learning disability or due to living with mental illness.
  • Maximum Contribution: $75
Language Translation
  • Applicants writing an application in another language who require translation into English, including American Sign Language.
  • Maximum Contribution: $150
ASL Interpretation
  • Calgary Arts Development is able to make arrangements for reputable, in-person ASL interpreters for interviews, in consultation with the interviewee, and at no cost to the interviewee.
Interview Parking
  • Applicants who must drive to an interview at our request are eligible to have their parking costs paid by Calgary Arts Development.
  • Maximum Contribution: $26 per interview, or the equivalent of the daily rate for parkades or parking meters that are close to the Calgary Arts Development office. Please note that currently all interviews are being conducted via Zoom.
  • Applicants who require childcare services in order to attend the interview are eligible to be reimbursed for those childcare expenses.

Download as a PDF

Share this page