Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity
Vice President, Development & External Relations
Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity (Banff Centre) exists to inspire artists and leaders to make their unique contribution to society and aspires to be the global leader in arts, culture, and creativity. Founded in 1933, its history is the story of some of the most iconic and outstanding artists from Canada and around the world who have helped forge the Canadian cultural identity.
In January 2009, Canada’s Minister of Advanced Education and Technology approved a mandate for Banff Centre as a specialized Arts and Culture Institution providing non-parchment programs in the arts and creativity as well as in leadership development, mountain culture, and the environment. As Canada’s leading post graduate arts institution, Banff Centre offers intensive training and career development programs for emerging and established artists across all artistic disciplines, including opera, music, dance, film and media, mountain culture, and visual and Indigenous arts. It also has an extensive leadership offering in the cultural, Indigenous, corporate, and environmental sectors. Prior to the global pandemic, Banff Centre welcomed more than 3,500 artists and leaders in over 120 learning programs and more than 26,000 attendees to over 360 conferences annually. Each year there are more than 150 premieres, over 50 commissioned artistic works, and 400 performances and events for more than 80,000 audience members.
Under the leadership of President and CEO Janice Price, Creative Pathways, Banff Centre’s Strategic Plan: April 2021 supports the Albertan, Canadian, and global creative landscape through five pathways:
- Create: Inspiring and Advancing Creative Leaders
- Connect: In Relationship to Each Other and Our World
- Grow: Revenue Growth and Diversification, Leveraging Banff Centre’s Unique Place and Convening Ability
- Partner: Strategic Partnerships to Ensure Relevant, Impactful Development and Delivery of Banff Centre Programs
- Engage: Commitment to Continued Communication and Engagement with Banff Centre’s Key Communities
These efforts are integrated into the collaborative atmosphere among the five Vice Presidents responsible for Arts, Leadership, and Marketing; Development and External Relations; Operations; Talent and Culture; and Business Affairs and General Counsel. The Development and External Relations division currently consists of 12 employees focused on major gifts, annual fund, foundations, corporate sponsorship, special events, research, database administration, and alumni.
Banff Centre is governed by a national Board of Governors, composed of the Banff Centre President and CEO, six members appointed by the Alberta Lieutenant Governor in Council, and nine members appointed by the remaining members of the board, one of whom must be nominated by the federal minister responsible for the National Parks Act. Adam Waterous serves as Board Chair. Tim Kitchen serves as The Banff Centre Foundation Board Chair, consisting of a board of directors (Board of the Foundation) that manages the investment of Banff Centre’s endowed funds and is evolving to become more active in soliciting philanthropic support for annual operations. At the end of the 2020-2021 fiscal year, the endowment fund stood at more than $40 million. The annual operating budget for Banff Centre is approximately $42.6 million, with annual contributed revenue, grants, and investment earnings of more than $29 million.
Banff Centre is located in Banff National Park, a United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage site. The spectacular beauty of the Canadian Rockies surrounds the campus, which is spread over 42 acres and includes a variety of theatres, recital halls, practice rooms, production facilities, visual art spaces, conference facilities, residences halls, and staff housing, just a few blocks from downtown Banff, Alberta.
The Town of Banff (Banff) is a unique mountain community located in Canada’s first national park. Incorporated as a municipality in 1990, Banff has a population of approximately 10,000 residents. Tourism is Banff’s economic driver, with more than four million people visiting Banff National Park every year. The town thrives with a diverse mix of residents and visitors from all around the world. Banffites embrace the mountain lifestyle of hiking and biking in the summer and skiing and snowboarding in the winter, while acknowledging an obligation as stewards of the national park and the value of living in a safe and caring town.
In addition to the national park’s extraordinary beauty and Banff Centre’s many varied programs, Banff residents can enjoy the Banff Public Library, Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, and a variety of sports clubs and leagues. Families with children will find multiple public and private K-12 educational opportunities in Banff and the nearby community of Canmore. With a population of approximately 1.2 million residents, Calgary is just a 90-minute drive from Banff and offers all the amenities of a major metropolitan area, including an international airport.
Sources: banffcentre.ca; banff.ca; banfflakelouise.com
The Vice President, Development & External Relations (VP-DER) will lead overall contributed and earned income strategies for Banff Centre that maximize philanthropic revenues, ensure government support, and leverage institutional communication opportunities. Reporting to and partnering with the President and CEO as a member of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT), the VP-DER will be deeply involved in the engagement, identification, cultivation, and solicitation of major individual donors and corporate sponsors, leveraging the potential for significant gifts and corporate philanthropic support and sponsorship. The VP-DER will conceptualize and implement a plan to grow Banff Centre’s philanthropic support and donor base while leading and motivating a diverse team of professionals to devise successful capital and annual operating fundraising strategies, implement appropriate delivery and support systems, and evaluate results.
The VP-DER will deeply engage with the SLT to ensure effective institutional communication. The position will maintain and expand public and private sector relationships that deliver on strategic plan priorities, build deeper local and national community relationships, and energize teams across Banff Centre to maximize short- and long-term revenue outcomes. The VP-DER will be responsible for developing and implementing the strategic direction in all fund development, communication, and external relations activities, which includes donors, sponsors, government, community members, and alumni. The VP-DER will play an active role as a thought-partner with the SLT in planning for the organization’s overall advancement with effective communication of its measurable impacts, serving artists, arts leaders, and others who embrace the Banff Centre experience.
Roles and Responsibilities
Strategic Leadership and Revenue Enhancement
- Understand and clearly articulate Banff Centre’s programs, history, policies, culture, and values to key stakeholders.
- Enhance the public’s perception of Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada, and internationally as a primary destination for the arts, programs, events, conferences, hospitality offerings, and creativity.
- Create, implement, and manage strategic communication and development plans designed to significantly increase revenues and public visibility.
- Develop and oversee a revenue strategy that ensures the relevance of philanthropic and government support as well as maximizes sales for Banff Centre’s earned income programs and services.
- Identify key policy and funding issues of strategic importance and embrace a comprehensive approach to address these issues to Banff Centre’s benefit.
- Structure and implement long- and short-term strategies for fundraising with the President and CEO, Board of Governors, and Board of the Foundation.
- Regularly report on revenue goals and progress to the President and CEO, Board of Governors, and Board of the Foundation.
- Proactively mobilize the Board of the Foundation, Board of Governors, volunteers, and President and CEO to drive fundraising activity and personal engagement with top prospects, sponsorships, and special events.
- Demonstrate respectful, effective, and appropriate communication to achieve divisional and organizational buy-in for a variety of revenue enhancement initiatives.
- Cultivate and enhance authentic relationships in the local and national communities that Banff Centre serves.
- Speak and present in a clear and credible manner, listen for diverse perspectives, and set mutually beneficial expectations with a variety of stakeholders.
- Remain current on and adapt to the cultural, economic, political, and social developments that affect revenue goals and external messaging.
- Embrace other strategic leadership and revenue enhancement responsibilities as needed.
Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation
- Ensure that External Relations adheres to long-term strategic and financial goals and present regular progress reports to the President and CEO, Board of Governors, and Board of the Foundation.
- Create customized donor stewardship and recognition opportunities that support expanded fundraising and institutional communication activities.
- Establish solicitation priorities, manage prospect lists and research, and execute targeted cultivation plans and strategies for a range of donor prospects.
- Maintain a personal portfolio of donors, cultivating and soliciting major gifts for the annual fund, special events, capital projects, special programs, and specific fundraising for the institutional endowment.
- Direct all aspects of development and the patron benefits program, including stewardship, special events, cultivation, benefits fulfillment, daily donor interaction, and volunteer management.
- Use the organization’s formal and informal social and technical structures to build relationships, negotiate solutions, and accomplish goals.
- Guide and mentor the External Relations team’s successful achievement of revenue goals with emphasis on identifying, cultivating, and securing renewed, increased, and new sources of funding.
- Embrace other planning, implementation, and evaluation responsibilities as needed.
Team Empowerment and Oversight
- Recruit, lead, motivate, and mentor a diverse External Relations staff and set clear performance accountability measures.
- Influence and inspire others to act in an energetic, committed fashion in pursuit of a positive organizational culture.
- Ensure that the necessary organizational structure, policies, systems, safety responsibilities, and procedures are in place and regularly reviewed for effectiveness.
- Prepare and monitor revenue and expense budgets; provide accurate reporting, analysis, and integration of data; and oversee the maintenance and integrity of alumni, donor, and prospect records.
- Guide a regular process of staff review and evaluation that ensures the highest ethical standards in all division activities.
- Collaborate with Vice President, Talent and Culture to recruit and develop succession planning for key positions as needed.
- Assess current technology and refine practices to ensure maximum efficiency and results.
- Embrace other team empowerment and oversight responsibilities as needed.
Traits and Characteristics
Proactive, dynamic, and people-oriented, the VP-DER will personify frequent interaction and collaboration with others. An experienced leader with the vision to actively pursue Banff Centre’s ambitious goals with creativity and determination, the VP-DER will have a high degree of personal accountability and a commitment to exceeding expectations. This individual will balance tasks and projects with a sense of urgency and possess superlative interpersonal and communication skills that articulate compelling verbal and written messages for support. A self-sufficient and self-managed professional with a highly organized approach, the VP-DER will have the ability to achieve organizational objectives with staff, board members, volunteers, donors, and prospective supporters. This individual will bring an affinity for Banff Centre’s mission and a passion to positively impact the organization’s long-term success, complemented by highly developed skills and an efficient best practices approach. They will also model behaviours that create trust, build confidence, and encourage others to follow suggested paths or approaches.
Other key competencies of the role include:
- Flexibility and Resiliency – The capacity to respond quickly and adapt to change with minimal resistance while overcoming setbacks and remaining optimistic regardless of circumstances.
- Stakeholder Focus and Diplomacy – The dexterity to anticipate, meet, and exceed stakeholder needs and expectations while treating others fairly regardless of personal biases or beliefs.
- Leadership, Teamwork, and Interpersonal Skills – The flexibility to organize, mentor, and motivate others to accomplish goals while creating a sense of order, direction, and active participation among a variety of stakeholders.
- Goal Orientation – The clarity to establish and achieve specific, measurable, attainable, reviewable, and time-sensitive goals regardless of obstacles or circumstances.
- Time, Priority, and Self Starting – The acuity to develop initiatives and demonstrate self-control in managing time and priorities while identifying and overseeing resources, tasks, systems, and people to obtain results.
A bachelor’s degree (master’s degree preferred) or equivalent experience is required. Qualified candidates will have at least 10 years of experience at a senior leadership level with increasing responsibility in a philanthropic or earned revenue leadership role, preferably in the multi-disciplinary arts, education, or non-profit sector. A strong track record in development and business-to-business or business-to-customer communications experience in the arts, culture, or non-profit sectors is appreciated. Superior written, verbal, and presentation skills and experience collaborating with high-level, nationally respected board members, staffs, and government agencies are welcomed. Strong computer literacy skills are necessary, including Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), customer relationship management software, and media (traditional, electronic, and social). Multiple language skills are also valued.
Compensation and Benefits
Banff Centre offers a very competitive salary, subsidized housing, professional development opportunities, supportive work environment, employee cafeteria plan, and subsidized fitness membership, among other benefits. In addition to the Government of Alberta Health Plan, Banff Centre offers extended health and dental insurance, life insurance, vacation time, and participation in a retirement plan to all full-time salaried employees.
Applications and Inquiries
To submit a cover letter and resume with a summary of demonstrable accomplishments (electronic submissions preferred), please click here or visit artsconsulting.com/employment. For questions or general inquiries about this job opportunity, including anticipated salary range, please contact:
Dr. Bruce D. Thibodeau, President
2 Toronto Street, Suite 217
Toronto, Ontario M5C 2B5
Tel (888) 234.4236 Ext. 201
Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity is an equal opportunity employer that welcomes any qualified applicant and values diversity of all kinds. Banff Centre is located in Treaty 7 territory. Banff Centre acknowledges the past, present, and future generations of Stoney Nakoda, Blackfoot, and Tsuut’ina Nations who help steward this land, as well as honours and celebrates this place.
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