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7 Jul 2018

Full-Time Vice President of Communications and Development

Vancouver Biennale  Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Vancouver Biennale - jobs

Job Description

Vice President of Communications and Development

Reporting directly to the Vancouver Biennale’s CEO, the Vice President of Communications and Development is an important decision-maker, leader, and networker in the Vancouver Biennale organization. Long-term organizational sustainability is at the core of what the Vice President of Communications and Development does, from finding operational efficiencies to achieving sizable fundraising goals. Being keenly aware of the long-term financial health of the organization, the Vice President of Communications and Development possesses demonstrated fundraising experience and actively nurtures relationships with business and government leaders, benefactors, and sponsors to seek the necessary funds to support current and future initiatives of the Biennale. At every opportunity the Vice President of Communications and Development expands and strengthens the Biennale’s local and international reputation by facilitating and developing partnerships, collaborations, and support for artists and projects.

As an important decision-maker and leader in the Vancouver Biennale organization, the Vice President of Communications and Development ensures that all projects and programs align with the Biennale’s vision, mission, and strategic objectives and demonstrates the leadership skills, business acumen, and operational discipline required to deliver those projects and programs on time, on budget, and with a high standard of excellence.


Marketing and Fundraising

  • Positions the Vancouver Biennale and artists as best-in-class to a wide array of constituents including media, the fine-art world, external partners, and all levels of government
  • Provides direction and support in the areas of marketing and fundraising
  • Fundraises actively and purposefully on behalf of the Vancouver Biennale to help the organization reach its three-year goal of raising $10M*
  • Fundraises actively and purposefully on behalf of the Vancouver Biennaleto achieve annual fundraising objectives based on the $10M goal
  • Looks beyond the local arts community to build strong relationships with the business, philanthropy, developer, and tech communities
  • Initiates and nurtures strong personal relationships with sponsors and donors, both current and future, from local to international communities
  • Helps the organization achieve its plan for future sustainability as outlined in the Biennale’s strategic plan
  • Oversees and assists with grant-writing
  • Establishes processes for stewardship of sponsors, donors, and philanthropists and ensures that all data relating to these individuals are properly collected and forwarded to administrative support for entry into the Biennale’s database
  • Possesses understanding and passion for audience experience across all Vancouver Biennale programming
  • Exhibits the highest level of understanding of the exhibition’s overall narrative
  • Acts as a spokesperson for the organization at varied events locally and, potentially, nationally and internationally

Partnerships and Relationships

  • Initiates, builds, and oversees strong, sustainable partnerships and relationships with community organizations (such as arts and culture groups) and government organizations that would provide direction and impetus for future programming
  • Initiates, builds, and oversees strong, sustainable partnerships and relationships with community organizations (such as arts and culture groups) and government organizations that would provide local community and institutional support and participation in Biennale-curated programming
  • Communicates with Biennale Directors, Ambassadors, Advisors, and Young Ambassadors as necessary to ensure that all of these individuals are knowledgeable and up-to-date with current Biennale events and projects
  • Nurtures relationships that would extend and grow the Biennale’s audience reach
  • Initiates partnerships that would help the organization realize projects that would not otherwise happen


In addition to fulfilling the role described previously, the Vice President of Communications and Development acts as the de facto Chief Operating Officer.


  • Establishes job descriptions and hiring criteria
  • Hires team members within approved budgets
  • Helps create productive, inspired work environments through good communication and setting a tone that is aspirational, open, and accessible, in keeping with Vancouver Biennale values
  • Manages team members on a daily basis including setting priorities, providing essential follow-up and accountability, and delegating work to the appropriate team member
  • Ensures that team members receive timely performance reviews and appropriate feedback
  • Establishes annual goal-setting, which is based on the Biennale’s strategic plan, for all Biennale team members
  • Develops and implements human-resources policies that require board approval
  • Manages external contractors and agencies
  • Terminates team members


  • Possesses keen oversight of the Vancouver Biennale’s administrative structure
  • Manages and mentors staff
  • Assists Biennale staff to resolve roadblocks with senior external stakeholders
  • Establishes and manages administrative procedures
  • Oversees day-to-day issues and makes all management decisions regarding daily operations
  • Establishes work plans for team members
  • Drafts contracts and letters of agreement (with external stakeholders such as government partners, artists, curators, and contractors) that accurately reflect negotiated terms; oversees the completion and signature of these documents; and ensures the fulfillment of all contractual agreements
  • Engages with the Board of Directors and legal counsel as required
  • Attends Board of Directors meetings as a non-voting ex-officio member to deliver reports as requested by the Board
  • Attends, as requested, Biennale Board Standing Committee meetings as a non-voting ex-officio member
  • Initiates and provides input into strategic plans
  • Ensures proper reporting for government grants


  • Possesses strong budgetary skills
  • In collaboration with the Artistic Director, creates the overall budget and presents the budgetary recommendations to the Board of Directors for approval
  • In collaboration with the Artistic Director, provides direction and support regarding accounting procedures
  • In collaboration with the Artistic Director, implements expenditures within approved budgetary expenditures
  • Ensures that all staff work within approved budgets
  • Ensures that proper ongoing budgetary reporting and reviews are in place
  • Ensures monthly financial reports are provided and an audit trail is maintained


  • Provides support and direction in the area of programming
  • Oversees the planning, implementation, execution, and evaluation of programs and projects


  • Previous Managing Director / Executive Director / Chief OperatingOfficer experience (minimum 10 years) in the non-profit/charitable sector with proven experience in securing funding through sponsorships and grants
  • Previous board experience and a strong understanding of governance and organizational structure
  • A business-savvy leader, an accomplished networker and public speaker, and successful relationship-builder with experience in representing an arts organization to community stakeholders; sponsors, donors, and philanthropists; all three levels of government; and local and international media
  • Basic IT knowledge, excellent communication skills (oral and written), and demonstrated organizational management and leadership skills with a proven ability to multitask, prioritize, problem-solve, and achieve success
  • Familiarity with the City of Vancouver’s infrastructure, the city’s cultural climate, and various arts and culture programming would be an asset, as would familiarity with municipal organizational structures in general
  • A valid driver’s license and vehicle
  • Knowledge of the Employment Standards Act
  • Post-secondary education and appreciation of arts and culture would be definite assets


  • Is available to work full-time
  • Works in the Biennale office Monday through Friday during regular business hours
  • Is available to attend Biennale evening and weekend events as needed and requested
  • Must be available to travel within Metro Vancouver on a frequent basis, regionally on occasion, and internationally on rare occasions


The Vancouver Biennale celebrates art in public space. Each exhibition transforms the urban landscape into an Open Air Museum, creating globally inspired cultural experiences where people live, work, play, and transit. The objective is to use great art to become a catalyst for community engagement, learning, and social action.

The Vancouver Biennale features internationally renowned and emerging contemporary artists that represent a diversity of cultural perspectives and artistic disciplines including sculpture, new media, performance works, music, and film. As a private non-profit charitable organization, the Vancouver Biennale relies on the support of its partners and friends to deliver its award-winning programming.


Candidates wishing to submit a cover letter, CV, summary of community partnerships and demonstrable earned and contributed revenue accomplishments, and three references may email all information to 
Deadline to apply is August 17, 2018.

The Vancouver Biennale thanks all applicants in advance. Only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

Job Categories: Arts and Culture. Job Types: Full-Time. Job Tags: administration, arts, development, fine arts, fund-raising, marketing, and recruitment. States: ~ outside the USA.

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