Director, Leighton Studios and Program Partnerships

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Director, Leighton Studios and Program Partnerships

Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity aims to inspire everyone who attends our campus — artists, leaders and thinkers — to unleash their creative potential.

We acknowledge, with deep respect and gratitude, our home on the side of Sacred Buffalo Guardian Mountain. In the spirit of respect and truth, we honour and acknowledge the Banff area, known as Minhrpa (translated in Stoney Nakoda as the waterfalls) and the Treaty 7 territory and oral practices of the Îyârhe Nakoda (Stoney Nakoda) — comprised of the Bearspaw, Chiniki, and Goodstoney Band — as well as the Tsuut’ina First Nation and the Blackfoot Confederacy comprised of the Siksika, Piikani, Kainai. We acknowledge that this territory is home to the Shuswap Nations, Ktunaxa Nations, and Metis Nation of Alberta, Region 3. We acknowledge all Nations who live, work, and play, help us steward this land, and honour and celebrate this place.

The Opportunity

The director, Leighton Studios and program partnerships oversees the creative mission and quality control along with the financial and operational well-being of the Leighton Artist Studios, including the Fleck Fellowships and partnership agreements.

The director’s role is to create a compelling vision for Leighton Artists Studios and partnership agreements that meet the ambitions and objectives of the Banff Centre strategic plan, meet the needs of Canadian and international artists in the 21st century and increase the profile and reach of our nationally and internationally renowned programs.

The incumbent guides the application expectations and experience for artists, oversees the selection process across the artistic disciplines creating a rubric for adjudication, provides strategic direction and administers the partnership agreements as approved by the Dean, Arts and Leadership, and generally supervises, evaluates, and project manages the Leighton Artists Studios in a manner that promotes diversity of thought, excellence in practice, and creative productivity that translates into an inspiring residential environment so that artists are inspired to conceive powerful ideas and create new work that can be shared with the world.

Roles and Responsibilities

Reporting to Dean of Arts and Leadership, below are some key accountabilities:

  • Lead the Leighton Artist Studios including the adjudication process to ensure a multidisciplinary complement of artists with a mix of open application, awards, agreements and Fleck Fellow participants across disciplines. The director will leverage the expertise of other Banff Centre program directors throughout the design and adjudication of Leighton Artists Studios residencies and partnerships.
  • For programs operating under a partnership agreement, the director will ensure all deliverables and reporting is planned and completed in a timely manner to address both the Agreement dates and requirements as well as Banff Centre requirements.
  • The director synthesizes the recommendations regarding financial aid disbursement and ensures the Office of the Registrar has accurate information of the aid granted to participants.
  • The position works with the program administration team to draft agreements that bring participants to Banff Centre through Leighton Studios and collaborates with the directors across all artistic disciplines in the development of agreements and partnerships that are genre specific.
  • The director advises the office of the registrar regarding participant accounts as required, and oversees the reconciliation and billing to International Agreement and other partners as per the terms and conditions of the agreement.
  • Excellent knowledge of contemporary arts practice, trends, and professional development is essential (including a working knowledge across the discipline’s including the performing arts- music, dance, opera, and theatre, the visual arts, literary arts, and indigenous arts practice.
  • An excellent professional network of contacts within art communities in Canada, and internationally is also essential, along with a deep understanding of professional development at the post-secondary level and beyond. The success of the programs rests on the ability of the incumbent to attract exceptional, creative and high-quality applicants to the programs.

Planning and Delivery:

  • Manage the day-to-day project management for the Leighton Artists Studios residencies, aligning the activity with Banff Centre’s values and strategic objectives, ensuring that all programs are built and delivered in line with Banff Centre’s design signature—transformative learning experiences for every participant.
  • Implement Banff Centre approved organizational policies, contractual requirements and system controls, monitor resources, and guide procedures that are realized in project plans and regularly assessed for effectiveness.
  • Responsible for the oversight of application, adjudication, and notification process. Will provide support and direction as per Banff Centre adjudication policies and procedures.
  • Develop processes for regularly communicating and reporting on program milestones, key deliverables, updates, and risk mitigation in consultation with the dean, arts and leadership, as well as in discussions with the arts and leadership teams and operations teams.


  • Provide to the dean, arts and leadership, in collaboration with the program directors, operations, marketing, human resources and finance teams the planning and budgeting of a viable and sustainable Leighton Studios program and associated partnerships.
  • Works closely with recruiting, and the office of the registrar to ensure program materials are clear, comprehensive, and accessible to potential applicants.
  • Works closely with the managing director, program management and coordination and resource management to align resource requests, planning, and allocation for Leighton Artists Studios within approved plans and budgets as well as within established deadlines and in consultation with delivery areas.
  • This position must understand and respect the planning and operating needs of Leighton facilities, production and co-ordination needs in order to deliver effective and high caliber participant experience and partnerships.
  • Obtain from the marketing, communications, and development teams information needed to ensure that pubic, media and donor engagement milestones are included in project planning, to ensure full enrollment, deliver media, and steward funders (private donors, Government of Alberta, Government of Canada Granting Agencies) expectations for supporting Leighton Artists Studios.

Leadership and Influence:

  • Provides creative and strategic leadership, vision and program direction and design to Leighton Studios residencies, through experience and knowledge of the multi-disciplinary arts culture and community.
  • Leads a team in a unionized environment that achieves its financial and non-financial objectives within an environment of collaboration, communication, and innovation.
  • Encourages a positive, respectful and professional workplace characterized by a commitment to learning and creativity and by high levels of personal fulfillment.
  • Sound knowledge of the collective agreement and ensure compliance.
  • Promotes the continuing development of an organizational climate which encourages creativity, innovation and risk taking, which rewards individuals for productivity and quality improvement.
  • Provides leadership through upholding Banff Centre’s safe work practices, anti-harassment policy, participant code of conduct, alcohol and drug policy, and other Banff Centre policies.
  • Addresses issues and concerns impacting residency program participants, faculty, and staff while working with Participant Resources and Security Services.
  • Financial Management:
  • Manages the budget required to deliver excellent programming by working with the Finance teams, and the Dean of Arts and Leadership.
  • Ensures the program plan is utilizing existing endowments.

Interdivisional Communication and Collaboration Planning and Reporting:

  • Ensure that the necessary project planning structures, Banff Centre policies, systems, and procedures are followed and regularly reviewed for effectiveness. Follow direction and solicit feedback from the Dean, Arts and Leadership and colleagues for process improvements.
  • Coordinate and/or participate in a regular process of program planning review and evaluation that ensures the highest ethical standards in project implementation activities and make appropriate recommendations as appropriate.
  • Develop regular communications plan across all project stakeholders and encourage collaboration for the success of Leighton Artists Studios program delivery.
  • Fosters an internal culture that maintains the highest standards for customer service, excellence of staff, participant and guest experience, and fiscal, operational, and organizational integrity.
  • Ensures a positive and safe work environment for all Banff employees, faculty and participants, aligned with Banff Centre’s policies including but not limited to code of ethics, anti-harassment policies, contractual obligations, and strategic directions.
  • Works closely with the Program Administration Teams and Human Resources Teams in all aspects of people management, as it pertains to program participants.

Program Planning and Reporting

  • Working closely with the dean, arts and leadership, the incumbent will develop elements that support the planning process to be used across programming.
  • Works with development in identifying interactive stewardship opportunities for donors through existing programs and events.
  • Works with the dean and other teams (program administration, evaluation, marketing, development and finance) on compiling information and data for board reports, annual reports, donor reports (public and private) institutional dashboards, cases for support.
  • With development and government relations, helps design and deliver high-caliber guest experiences and visits for stakeholders: government, partners, funders and donors/stewardship.

Qualifications and Educational Requirements:

  • 10+ years of proven collaborative and inclusionary leadership.
  • 10+ years of established career in an arts organization.
  • Related university degree with a deep understanding in a genre of arts, creative practice or artist administration.
  • Previous experience in setting a compelling vision and utilizing creativity, innovation and a strong business acumen to delivery on this vision.
  • Background and or interest in working in a multi-disciplinary environment.
  • Operational awareness (budgets, grants and fundraising).
  • Experience working with external donors and stakeholders from government, the private and public sectors.
  • Contemporary and forward-looking while honoring legacy and what has been built.
  • Effective communication and presentation skills.
  • Adept in the planning and organization required to successfully launch multiple projects at once.
  • Multi-lingual (an asset).
  • Experience in capital projects (an asset).
  • Previous working in a unionized environment (preferred).

Employment Terms and Benefits

In accordance with the terms of employment governing management/PSP employees, this is a salaried, fulltime position, subject to a 6 month probationary period.

The successful candidate will enjoy twenty paid vacation days and four personal days annually, extended medical and dental benefits, and participation in an employer-matched pension plan.

Benefits of working at Banff Centre are:

  • Staff housing options (based on availability)
  • Professional development
  • Staff cafeteria and restaurant discounts
  • Onsite fitness facility at a discounted rate — first month free for new staff!

Application Process

We are accepting applications for the Director, Leighton Studios and Program Partnerships until a suitable candidate is found.

Please apply directly on the Banff Centre Careers page visit Position Description.

Candidates offered a position with Banff Centre, in this capacity, will be required to obtain a criminal record check verifying a clear record before a final job offer can be finalized.

Visa Requirements: Candidates must be legally eligible to work in Canada. Banff Centre is unable to assist candidates in obtaining Canadian work authorization.

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