Public Art Engagement Specialist

Classified Categories: Archived

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Public Art Engagement Specialist

Full-time, salaried

We acknowledge that the land we gather on, Mohkínsstsisi, 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. Today this land is home to the Metis of Region 3 as well as many First Nations and Inuit peoples from across Turtle Island.

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, immigrants and newcomers, persons with physical or mental disabilities, and members of the 2SLGBTQIAP+ community. (Read more about our Commitment to Equity.)

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 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. Our vision is a creative, connected, prosperous Calgary where every person has the opportunity to live a creative life. We foster a sustainable and resilient arts sector, and support arts-led city building, through the Living a Creative Life arts development strategy.

Strong relationships are central to our work and will be particularly central to this role. We honour the creativity and knowledge of artists and the critical role they play in society. 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

In March 2021, The City of Calgary announced Calgary Arts Development as the future steward and operator for Calgary’s public art program. Since that time, Calgary Arts Development has been working with The City on the three-year transition of the program. You can learn more about the transition of the public art program and what was heard during community engagement here.

Calgary Arts Development is uniquely positioned to deliver and create a future public art program built upon our knowledge of, and strong relationships in, the arts community. Please see our webpages for more information on public art at Calgary Arts Development here.

We will create a public art program that is engaging, relevant and accountable. A public art program for Calgary must reflect the rich diversity of the city, including connecting with Indigenous voices to tell the past, present and future stories of Calgary (Mohkínsstsisi). We are committed to working with communities that have historically been underserved, and are guided by the core principles of equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility.

The Role

We are recruiting a full-time engagement specialist to join our team. This position will be responsible for acting as a connector between the Calgary Arts Development public art program, team, projects, artists, the arts community and the public.

This role will support work related to ensuring Calgarians can connect with the public art process, and projects that impact and tell the stories of their relevant communities. This individual may work directly with artists and on the ground in support of public art projects and programs, supporting artist-informed engagements and delivering upon project specific initiatives.

This role is involved in the delivery of information sessions about the program, ensuring artists and Calgarians are well informed about opportunities and programs in their community, and Calgarians are able to learn more about public art.

It is expected that the individual in this position will be a core member of the public art team, working closely and collaboratively to support project managers, project leads and artists to identify public engagement opportunities; develop, implement and deliver project specific engagement strategies and plans; coordinate content with communications staff; and connect with community groups and other stakeholders to understand their perspectives and strengthen external relationships. This role will also collaborate with the Indigenous Engagement and Reconciliation department at CADA.

The individual in this role will work toward embedding the values of equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility in all relationships and processes related to this position. This includes Truth and Reconciliation, and right relations with First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities in Treaty 7, 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 recent department and position at Calgary Arts Development, and as such accountabilities may shift as the program is developed.

As a member of the public art team, the public art engagement specialist will:

  • Develop and implement strategies and plans for community engagement connected to public art projects and programs.
  • Create engagement plans and schedules, monitor budget and activities, coordinate events and manage relationships.
  • Support reporting and accountability with The City of Calgary at key junctions, which may include engagement statistics and metrics, activities and feedback heard, and compiling other information to aid in the drafting of reports, presentations, etc.
  • Prepare engagement information, tools and tactics, and coordinate communications assets as necessary. This may include but is not limited to creating surveys and gathering responses, developing printed materials, etc.
  • Plan and deliver engagement activities in connection to public art projects and programs, which may include event coordination, facilitation, public presentations, contributing to information sessions, working with focus groups, etc.
  • Support artist-led engagement activities and act as a resource to artists selected for public art projects in determining those activities that may best support their projects.
  • Identify and mitigate risks.
  • Collaborate with relevant teams and individuals across Calgary Arts Development, The City of Calgary and various consultants and contractors.
  • Support communications of public art projects to ensure a strategic approach to disseminating project information.
  • Identify opportunities for partnerships or shared work with the community aligned with Calgary Arts Development’s public art vision.
  • Create awareness of opportunities for community-led public art projects.
  • Act as a connector between artists, the community and the public art program.
  • Build and maintain good relationships both internally and externally.

Who Are You?

For this position, we are looking for someone who is active in Calgary’s arts community and enthusiastic about acting as a connector so communities can learn more about public art.

You understand multiple audiences may have different and sometimes conflicting priorities, and that differences in priorities do not delegitimize the needs of either group. You are someone who can listen and respond to different wants and needs considerately.

You understand the commitment to transparency and accountability as public dollars are invested in programs on behalf of the citizens of Calgary. As the public art program is new at Calgary Arts Development, you will often act as the first point of contact and as an ambassador in building new relationships. Your approach to working with community is relational, versus transactional, and you recognize that relationships develop at the speed of trust.

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

  • You are a champion for public art and the role it plays in strengthening our community.
  • You are probably already participating in civic life through your neighbourhood association, local community groups, or other ways in which Calgary is made richer by the direct involvement of its citizens.
  • You are passionate about the importance of the arts and creativity in our lives and are curious about different approaches and ways of working and learning.
  • You are passionate about working with people and interested in building relationships.
  • You have strong facilitation and listening skills and can organize and lead group conversations where there may be varying points of view.
  • You are well connected in the civic and artistic life in Calgary.
  • You are familiar with the local public art context and processes around public art procurement, project development and artistic processes.
  • You have strong critical thinking skills, excellent communication and relationship-building skills, and exhibit diplomacy.
  • You may have experience working with contractors on larger projects, projects that are architectural or construction based.
  • You’re committed to best practices in community engagement and may have your International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) certification or a similar course.
  • You come equipped with conflict management tools and can navigate tension between groups.
  • You are comfortable working in a collaborative and open work environment.
  • You are a self-starter who is adaptable working both independently and with a team.
  • You are someone who plans ahead, is well organized, thoughtful and communicative.
  • You have experience in engagement planning and facilitation.
  • You can change priorities when needed and adapt to new situations.
  • You are an excellent communicator and can express ideas and concepts effectively, orally and in writing.
  • You have an ability to maintain a high level of professionalism, discretion, and confidentiality.
  • You are adept at managing risk.
  • You enjoy problem solving and troubleshooting to find solutions when situations arise.
  • You are committed to growing your awareness of equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility, and want to ensure that our systems reflect these principles, but this is not new work for you.
  • You’re a lifelong learner and open to new ways of working and further development of your skills.

If you see yourself in this opportunity, we would love to have a conversation with you.

We are also open to having conversations with individuals in advance of the submission of an application to clarify questions about this posting.

Please email us at and reference Public Art Engagement Specialist Questions in the subject line.

How to Apply

Please indicate your interest by emailing with your resume and cover letter. Please use the subject line: Public Art Engagement Specialist Posting.

In addition to sharing your interest in this position, your cover letter should address the question: “What role do you believe public art plays in fostering diversity, equity and inclusion?”

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 September 9, 2022. We are hoping to fill this position by October 10, 2022, but our commitment to finding the right fit may require more time.

Minimum annual salary is $60,000 in addition to an extended health benefits package, and a matching RRSP program.

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.

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