Edmonton Arts Council

Executive Director

Organization

The Edmonton Arts Council (‘EAC’) recognizes our relationship with the Indigenous people of Treaty 6 territories. In doing so, we renew our commitment to continuing our collective journey toward the ideals of peace, friendship, and understanding at the core of that agreement.

The EAC is a non-profit society and charitable organization established in 1995 that supports and promotes the arts in Edmonton. The EAC works to; Build partnerships and initiate projects that strengthen the community; Invests in Edmonton festivals, arts organizations, and individual artists through municipal, corporate, and private funding; Provides expert advice to government and other agencies on issues that affect the arts; Creates awareness of the quality, variety and value of artistic work produced in Edmonton.

EAC Public Art – Willow by Marc Fornes Doyle C. Marko Photography

The vision of the EAC is to cultivate a rich, diverse, and inclusive cultural environment that reflects the city's unique identity. The mission of the EAC is to connect, advocate, and invest in the arts community to ensure that the arts are integral to the lives of Edmontonians. This involves promoting the value of the arts, securing resources, and facilitating opportunities for artists and arts organizations. Connections & Exchanges is the award winning current cultural plan that outlines a strategic framework for the growth and transformation of arts and heritage in Edmonton over a decade to 2029. The plan focuses on three main goals: to infuse culture, arts, and heritage into every aspect of civic fabric; support cultural makers and interpreters; and to grow arts and heritage audiences. It emphasizes collaboration, inclusivity, and innovation, aiming to create a thriving cultural ecosystem that benefits all Edmontonians. This further upholds the significance of the EAC’s work with equity-seeking communities emphasizing the significance of the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA) framework. In alignment with the Indigenous Principle as reflected within Connections & Exchanges that Indigenous people have agency in their journeys of revitalizing and participating in traditional, contemporary, and future manifestations of their culture.

The EAC works with the city, its agencies, and the arts community in Edmonton for the benefit of all citizens to realize our vision of a city where arts and culture are integrated in all aspects of our community life and where both individual artists and arts organizations are valued and supported in their endeavors to create, communicate, and contribute. Core programs and services for Edmontonians include managing a suite of investment programs for individual artists and arts and festival organizations, managing the City of Edmonton’s Public Art Policy and Public Art Collection, EAC Shop and Services, Community Animation in Edmonton neighbourhoods, and other special projects.

Alex Janvier Tsa Tsa Ke K’e – Iron Foot Place

The impact of the EAC on the community is profound. By supporting local artists and arts organizations, the EAC helps to ensure a thriving cultural scene that enriches the lives of residents and visitors alike. As a glimpse of some of the impact these programs and services have had in 2023 the EAC:

  • invested over $14 million in 305 artists and collectives, and 194 arts and festival organizations, through grant funding.
  • brought 127 artists to 140 Edmonton neighborhoods through 146 events with the Community Animation programming.
  • showcased 238 artists in Shop & Services with 8837 tickets sold.
  • managed 292 artworks in the Public Art collection with 27 artworks planned or in progress.

The EAC maintains a strong relationship with the City of Edmonton, working collaboratively to integrate arts and culture into the broader municipal framework. This partnership ensures that the arts are considered in city planning and development processes, reinforcing Edmonton’s reputation as a culturally vibrant city. The city's commitment to the arts is reflected in its funding and policy support for the EAC, which in turn drives the council's ability to support the arts community effectively.

The EAC is governed by a 13-member volunteer Board of Directors where Tyler Sherard serves as Chair. Representation on the Board includes artists, arts administrators, and community members with specific skills and knowledge in Board Governance. Representatives from the City of Edmonton and Explore Edmonton serve as advisors.  The Executive Director leads an executive leadership team comprised of two Associate Executive Directors (Finance, Organizational Effectiveness and Engagement; and Programs, Services and Access) who collectively lead the work of external programs and services including Investments, Services and Partnerships, Public Art and Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access along with internal operational support services including Finance and Risk, Communications and Engagement, Research and Measurement, Policy, Planning and Performance, and People and Culture.

For the fiscal year ending December 31, 2023, the total operating revenue was $21.2 million and expenses were $21.4 million, with $14.5 million disbursed as grants. For the fiscal year 2024, annual revenues are projected to be $20.6 million, with $19.7 million provided by the City of Edmonton. The EAC anticipates ending the 2024 fiscal year with an unallocated reserve of approximately $390,000.

Community

Community Programming - Cariwest - Swing’n’Skate - Photo by Martin Kwame

Located in the heart of Treaty No. 6 Territory, Edmonton/ amiskwaciywâskahikan is one of Canada’s youngest and fastest growing cities. The traditional meeting ground for many Indigenous communities, including the Nehiyawak/Cree, Dene Suliné, Nakota Sioux, Saulteaux, Niitsitapi/Blackfoot, Métis, and the Inuk/Inuit peoples, Edmonton is home to Canada’s second-largest urban Indigenous community. The city’s continual development as a thriving urban centre encourages the ongoing migration of people from across Canada and around the world. The city's visible minority population sits at 42.8 percent, with South Asian, Chinese, Black, and Filipino people making up the largest visible minority communities within Edmonton. Our diverse arts ecology in Edmonton reflects the population, with festivals, organizations, and major events such as the Indian Film Festival of Alberta, 5 Artists 1 Love, Cariwest, Edmonton Filipino Fiesta, and the Ociciwan Contemporary Art Collective.

David Garneau Tawatina Bridge
Photo by Cole Crane

As Alberta’s capital city with a population of over 1.2 million, Edmonton boasts a variety of major amenities that enhance the quality of life for its residents, including world-class educational institutions, several leading hospitals and specialized medical centers, and an extensive network of parks and recreational facilities.

Nicknamed “Canada’s Festival City” Edmonton is home to a vibrant arts community. Offerings range from theatre and music venues to galleries and studios, brought to life by large institutions, community arts programs, collectives, and individual artists. The Edmonton Arts Council serves the entire community to bring art to a public that agrees (87%) that arts and culture make communities better places to live. A further 85% of surveyed Edmontonians agree that participating in arts and cultural activities builds a shared sense of community identity.

Sources: edmontonarts.ca; exploreedmonton.com; Edmonton.ca; regionaldashboard.alberta.ca

Position Summary

Jay Flair at an EAC Event Photo by Levi Manchak

The Executive Director serves as a collaborative and visionary leader. Reporting to the Board of Directors, they advance the EAC’s role in the Edmonton arts ecology as a leading voice, ensuring the achievement of the organization’s mission, mandate, and core values. The individual leverages organizational resources to build, nurture and expand partnerships increasing the EAC’s reach into the community.  They provide strategic and inspirational vision for supporting artists and organizations in their capacity to reach equity seeking communities, including through the Indigenous principle. The Executive Director is accountable for the integration and implementation of the organization’s financial, operational, human resources and programmatic strategies. They provide leadership and guidance to a close-knit team of highly engaged arts professionals dedicated to delivering projects, initiatives, programs and services with creativity and passion.

Roles and Responsibilities

Strategic Vision and Governance

  • Lead the refinement and implementation of the strategic plan in partnership with the Board of Directors and senior leadership team, prioritizing the allocation of resources and the alignment of delivery to measurement, evaluation and learning framework.
  • Nurture relationships with the Board of Directors, ensuring they are equipped with the information and tools required to fulfill their governance and community ambassadorship duties.
  • Strengthen the establishment of Board level supports, acting as a conduit for governance decision making models, strategic directions and budget implementation and monitoring responsibilities.
  • Engage in opportunities to advance Board level capacity.
  • Embrace other strategic vision and governance duties as needed.

Community Partnerships and Engagement

  • Serve as the public face for the organization, identifying and stewarding relationships with the City of Edmonton, organizational partners, and key stakeholders in the arts ecology.
  • Advance the implementation of the Indigenous Principle in the EAC’s engagement of Indigenous artists and Indigenous lead arts organizations.
  • Nurture relationships with local, provincial, and national arts councils and other municipalities; partners like the Edmonton Heritage Council and Arts Habitat Edmonton; and stakeholder relations including municipal agencies and organizations like the Edmonton Public Library, Community Leagues, and Edmonton Community Foundation.
  • Embrace other community partnerships and engagement duties as needed.

Organizational Excellence and Fiscal Resiliency

  • Lead the alignment of Programs, Services, and Access with Finance, Organizational Effectiveness and Engagement areas that maximize efficacy, strengthen internal capacity, and nurture strong internal communications.
  • Uphold the organization IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access) framework as an underpinning principle throughout the organization.
  • Prioritize and champion initiatives to invest in internal capacity through development and identification of the need for new resources.
  • Lead the EAC in informed development of the next strategic plan through an integrating of the various learnings, opportunities, and priorities.
  • Optimize and implement equitable operational policies, processes, and procedures that increase efficiency, establish quality services to grant recipients and artists, promote integrity, and strengthen internal controls.
  • Engage staff in consistent and supportive dialogue, nurturing a bridge between the overarching organizational vision and mission and the direct delivery of programs and supports.
  • Maintains fiduciary responsibility for the health and viability of the organization.
  • Embrace other organizational excellence and fiscal resiliency duties as needed.

Traits and Characteristics

The Executive Director will be responsible for achieving results through the collaborative efforts of the team. Driven by their extensive past experiences and passion for assisting others, the Executive Director will be capable of building rapport with those in the community, in government, and across a diversity of sectors and businesses. They can discern the practical values of situations, the individuality, and perspectives of others, and make quick decisions when urgency is required.

Other key competencies include:

  • Leadership and Diplomacy – the capacity to tactfully handle sensitive or difficult issues which impact the community while organizing and influencing elected officials, interested parties, and the public, to believe in a vision.
  • Decision Making and Personal Accountability – the acuity to analyze many aspects of a situation to make consistently sound and timely decisions for EAC and being answerable to staff, Board, and the public for their own actions.
  • Influencing Others and Interpersonal Skills – the sensitivity in relating well to a diverse community, while also personally affecting the actions, decisions, opinions, or thinking of others relating to the value of arts ecologies.
  • Futuristic Thinking – the ability to imagine, envision, project and/or create what has not yet been actualized by EAC but would result in positive community impact.

Qualifications

As a qualified candidate, your combined work and educational experiences have prepared you as a forward-thinking leader with a proven ability to guide transformational change in achieving the objectives of the art ecologies. You bring 10 plus years of progressive senior leadership experience in organizations of varied complexity and size. You have demonstrated experience as a confident, informed public speaker who is actively engaged with a variety of stakeholders. You have a proven ability to work collaboratively with equity-seeking communities, elevating the work of all members. As a leading candidate, you are eligible to work in Canada with an understanding of the Edmonton arts ecology.

Compensation and Benefits

The EAC provides a competitive and equitable compensation package with a starting salary in the range of $160,000 to $180,000 Canadian. Benefits include voluntary participation in a Registered Pension Plan, an extended health plan, 3 weeks of paid vacation, and paid sick time which includes up to 4 personal days per year.

Applications and Inquiries

The EAC welcomes applications from all qualified individuals which includes applications from equity-seeking communities who have non-traditional experiences. Applicants who anticipate needing accommodations during the recruitment process are encouraged to contact Arts Consulting Group in confidence.

To submit a cover letter and resume with a summary of demonstrable accomplishments (electronic submissions preferred), please click here or visit artsconsulting.com/opensearches. For questions or general inquiries about this job opportunity, please contact:

Bruce D. Thibodeau, DBA, President
Jeff Erbach, Associate Vice President
Arts Consulting Group logo.
1811 4th Street SW, Suite 523
Calgary, Alberta T2S 1W2
Tel: (888) 234.4236 Ext. 201
Email:  EdmontonArtsCouncil@artsconsulting.com

The Edmonton Arts Council recognizes its relationship with the Indigenous people of Treaty 6 territories. In doing so, the EAC renews its commitment to continuing a collective journey toward the ideals of peace, friendship, and understanding at the core of that agreement.

Click here for the downloadable PDF.

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