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Black and white logo for Glenbow

Curator, History

Full Time Term Position: January 2024 – July 2025 (extension subject to funding)
Hiring Manager: Daryl Betenia, Director, Collections & Curatorial
Closing Date: January 5, 2024

CUPE Local 1645
Salary Grade 7
$2,411.48 – $3,055.13 bi-weekly

Glenbow is an equal opportunity employer and values different perspectives, backgrounds, identities and lived experiences. We are committed to building a diverse team and encourage people from underrepresented groups to apply. Should you have special accommodation needs, please let us know.

About Glenbow

Situated in Calgary, Alberta, Glenbow is an arts and culture museum undergoing a complete transformation and reimagining of what a museum can be.

Glenbow’s team is passionate and dedicated to making art accessible for everyone. Every member of our team, regardless of job title or description, is focused on serving our community and reimagining the museum experience.

As an integral part of Calgary’s community, the Glenbow team is focused on making arts and culture experiences accessible to everyone. We are dedicated community builders, working to shape the future of arts and culture in Calgary and beyond. Working at Glenbow also means you are part of an organization that recognizes its role in reconciliation and is working toward building an equitable community.

The Role

Overview

Reporting to the manager, curatorial, with key relationships with the director, collections and curatorial and chief operating officer (COO) and vice president, engagement; the curator, history, brings knowledge in fashion, textiles, accessories and other areas of Glenbow’s History collections. This position will work closely with Glenbow leadership and collections and curatorial staff in the development and coordination of exhibitions as well as in the development and stewardship of the History collections.

The curator will work with existing concepts and themes for exhibitions as well as develop new concepts and themes that will engage existing and new audiences. They will contribute to public programs and collaborate with staff on history-related projects, publications and outcomes relevant to Glenbow Reimagined.

Glenbow’s History collections focus primarily on southern Alberta, and more broadly on Canada, with some international content. The cultural history collections relate to settler life in Southern Alberta, encompassing how people worked, lived, played and dressed. A sampling of significant collections includes those relating to immigration and ethnic diversity among settlers to 1960, fashion and textiles, the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede, Canadian Pressed Glass and international collections relating to the search for Franklin. The Military History collection features Canadian uniforms, medals, orders and decorations as well as equipment, along with some international collections, a firearm collection and collections of medieval and samurai armour.

Role Responsibilities

Exhibition Development

  • Develops concepts, works with existing concepts, writes proposals, organizes and coordinates exhibitions.
  • Liaises with colleagues and colleague institutions, performs research, curates exhibition content, writes text for exhibitions, collaborates with design and production departments on exhibition logistics and provides content for marketing purposes.
  • Reviews and evaluates exhibition proposals.
  • Provides collection knowledge and curatorial expertise on exhibition teams as required.

Public Engagement and Profile

  • Researches artifacts in the collection and disseminates findings through publications, lectures, tours, labels, web-based and social media as well as other forms of communication.
  • Participates actively in audience engagement and development at Glenbow by engaging in collection- and exhibition-related programming for public audiences, expanding physical and electronic access to the collection, supporting all fundraising activities to build the collection, supporting all marketing and communication efforts, as well as working with partner organizations and the community to further Glenbow’s strategic goals.
  • Participates in professional organizations and other opportunities that arise for professional development and to raise Glenbow’s profile.
  • Accepts or initiates opportunities to collaborate with museum colleagues and counterparts in other institutions.
  • Recommends projects that involve creating new knowledge and understanding about the History collections, with a focus on Fashion, Textiles and Accessories, that are responsive to visitor engagement.
  • Actively stewards potential collection donors and engages in stewardship at special events or as required.
  • Engages in media interviews related to Glenbow collections/exhibitions content and interpretation and history in general.

Collections Development and Management

  • Expands and deepens the museum’s collections through the recommendation of acquisition of artifacts of the highest quality and relevance.
  • Assists in developing long-range plans for the Cultural History and Military History collections, including policies, care, documentation, access and use.
  • Assists in developing a collection plan for the History collections that furthers Glenbow’s mandate as an art museum.
  • Researches and documents the collection for dissemination internally and externally.
  • Improves quality and strength of the collection through appropriate accessioning and deaccessioning, following proper procedures.
  • Works with fellow staff to ensure the best available standards of care and protection for all artifacts in the permanent collection and artifacts on loan to Glenbow.
  • Writes Cultural Property applications and justifications for acquisitions.
  • Provides content information to Glenbow’s collections management database, verifies accuracy of existing records and sets priorities for documenting the collection.
  • Closely follows the market, maintains cooperative contacts with dealers and cultivates close relationships with collectors.
  • Evaluates loan requests from other institutions.

Administrative

  • Assists with exhibition, project and collection fundraising by providing necessary project and object information, participating in grant writing and personal solicitations to potential donors.
  • Assists with the preparation of reports and data for various internal committees and reporting requirements.
  • Collaborates with other staff in developing funding proposals for projects.
Education, Skills & Qualifications

Qualifications

  • Excellent oral and written presentation skills for public presentations, project proposals, grant submissions, publications and other communication needs.
  • Demonstrated skill at strategically building a collection through gifts and purchases.
  • Ability to build positive and effective relationships with staff, members, donors, the community and the broader audiences Glenbow serves.
  • Ability to work and make sound decisions under pressure.
  • Available for occasional evening or weekend work.

Education and Experience

  • Master of History or equivalent.
  • Thorough knowledge of Canadian history, fashion, textiles and accessories.
  • Three to five years of recent, progressive curatorial experience in a museum, with demonstrated success in originating exhibitions, including all facets of research, production, installation and publication.
Benefits of Working at Glenbow

We recognize there are many reasons to believe in your work — and that everyone deserves to be valued, be part of a caring culture, be compensated fairly and be part of building our community.

  • Flexible work environment: We know having flexibility in how you work is important in today’s workplace. From hybrid working options, flexible hours and more, Glenbow offers ways to achieve the balance you’re looking for in your life.
  • Health & wellness benefit: We believe in physical and mental well-being. Our benefits package supports you and your family in your ongoing health.
  • RRSP matching: Glenbow matches employee RRSP contributions, up to 5 per cent. Employees structure their retirement savings how they choose and Glenbow tops up those contributions.

To apply, please submit your resume and cover letter to careers@glenbow.org.

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