Programming Manager @ SPAO

Application Deadline

September 15, 2019, 11:59 PM EST, OR as soon as an appropriate candidate is identified.


$38,000 – $45,000 (commensurate with experience)


1-year full-time contract with the potential for permanent full-time employment

Are you a passionate non-profit leader with a desire to make a positive impact in the Canadian photographic arts community? Are you seeking an opportunity to bring your vision and expertise to an established local arts organization? Are you conscientious about the needs of the Canadian visual arts community, and have a desire to develop meaningful and relevant programs representative of the multicultural diversity of Canada, as well as sharing our unique Canadian voice beyond our borders?

If so, SPAO is looking for you!

We are currently hiring an experienced, dynamic and passionate Gallery Programming Manager to join our team.


SPAO is an independent, charitable, not-for-profit photographic visual arts institution and a registered private career college. Our mandate is to provide an intensive and collaborative learning experience and to enrich the photographic and visual arts culture of Ottawa and beyond. SPAO’s activities include classes and workshops, community collaborations as well as exhibitions and outreach. We aim to offer our community the knowledge, resources, and environment necessary for the advancement of photographic artistry, visual literacy, and personal vision.

In our full-time diploma program and our part-time studies stream, SPAO draws on traditional and contemporary photographic technologies and ideas. Educational opportunities are available to novice and advanced students alike. We place special emphasis on advancing individual style, on conceptual development, and on the acquisition of knowledge about photographic theory and history.

Our objective is to advance the school’s motto: Vision, Content, Craft. 

SPAO’S VISION: To be an internationally recognized photographic school of thought.

SPAO’S MISSION: SPAO cultivates a community of distinct artistic vision, critical dialogue and technical expertise in the photographic arts through exhibition, partnerships and education.

WHAT MAKES SPAO UNIQUE: SPAO is one of Canada’s only photographic arts centres. It houses the only two year photographic arts diploma in Canada, the Ottawa region’s only critical and independent photographic art gallery, a unique 6-month International Artist Residency, and a broad range of educational and recreational photographic opportunities utilizing both contemporary and historic processes.


An integral part of the team at SPAO, the Gallery Programming Manager reports to the Creative Director. Responsible for the delivery and management of gallery programming, the Gallery Programming Manager takes the lead on our gallery’s financial development as well as grant applications, ensures exhibition programming execution, and coordinates SPAO’s International Artist Residency. The Gallery Programming Manager provides supervision, leadership and direction to SPAO’s Artists in Residence on a weekly basis. The Gallery Programming Manager is responsible for gallery programming development and delivery, grant writing and budget management, community outreach and collaborating with community partners. Additionally, the Gallery Programming Manager will have key responsibilities in  grant writing processes within the organization; they will also provide programming content and reporting data for grants, sponsorships and other fundraising initiatives.

The Gallery Programming Manager is required to have experience delivering high-quality arts and cultural programming in the community and/or knowledge of community arts best practices. The Gallery Programming Manager must bring with them an in-depth knowledge of the demographics, communities, services and resources available in the Ottawa community and surrounding regions. We are seeking a candidate who is passionate about program development and delivery as our organization continues to grow. An ideal candidate possesses the necessary vision and oversight to manage a complex series of programs and to contribute to the overall strategic plan and vision for SPAO. Candidates will be excited about proactively bringing ideas and concepts for program enhancements to our existing roster of programming, with considerations for the diverse, multicultural needs of the Ottawa community and the short- and long-term strategic vision of the organization.

Police Background Check / Vulnerable Sector Check will be required. 



  • Develops, manages, and supports the delivery of all SPAO Gallery Exhibitions, activities, special events, and other initiatives and advocacy efforts.
  • Actively builds program audiences by managing and enhancing program/project enrolment, participation and attendance.
  • Prepares program reports to meet funder and organizational timelines and requirements; delivers updates on a regular basis to the Creative Director.
  • Possesses substantial knowledge of photographic artists, as well as local and national Canadian arts organizations, entities, and funding bodies. 


Community/Client Relationships

  • Able to maintain strong and mutually beneficial relationships with local and national Canadian arts organizations, entities, and funding bodies. 
  • Works with current and potential community partners to build, strengthen, and enhance relationships, in order to engage new and diverse audiences and develop collaborative programming.
  • Initiates community outreach by liaising with community and arts organizations as a representative of SPAO.
  • Participates in promoting SPAO to the local and broader community.



  • Oversees the exhibition and career development goals of the SPAO Artists in Residence, through weekly consultation meetings
  • Oversee the installation of exhibitions in the SPAO Gallery


Financial, Operations & Administrative

  • Participates in staff meetings, program planning, and strategic planning and provides data to the Creative Director for decision making
  • Creates and manages program budgets based on annual budgetary allotments designated by the Creative Director; tracks and maintains up-to-date information on both actual and projected expenses; presents interim and final program budgets to the Creative Director for approval.
  • Contributes to the operational health of the organization.
  • Works with the Creative Director to prepare and submit funding applications and sponsorship proposals, for the continuation of current programs and the development of new programs.
  • Creates, manages and supports an effective system for strategic program outcomes.


  • Minimum of 3 years experience in a lead position at an artist-run-centre, public gallery or similar charitable not-for-profit visual arts organization.
  • Proven success in not-for-profit or visual arts grant writing is a must.
  • Curatorial and/or Exhibition Design experience is a must.
  • Key attributes: Passion, vision, teamwork, flexibility, strategic thinking, willingness to learn and grow both personally and professionally, ability to assess current programs and enhance programming life cycle for years to come.
  • Strong and highly-developed interpersonal, organizational and communication skills.
  • Ability to thrive in a demanding non-profit environment with competing deadlines and shifting priorities.
  • Passion to fulfill SPAO’s mission and vision and strategic direction.
  • Knowledge of historic and contemporary photographic arts an asset but not required.
  • Photoshop skills an asset but not required.
  • Bilingualism an asset but not required.


The Gallery Programming Manager typically works within the SPAO Centre at 77 Pamilla street, although the incumbent will occasionally be off-site at schools, community centres, local businesses and constituency offices, facilities operated by partner organizations, etc. This community-based work often includes program/event planning, program delivery, and liaising with community partners, members and stakeholders.

While the majority of the responsibilities will take place during regular operating hours (9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday to Friday), there will often be occasions when weekend and evening duties will be required and scheduled. It is expected that the Gallery Program Manager be available to staff / attend these events and activities where possible, and to act as an ambassador for the organization during these events.

This is a one (1) year contract position leading to potential permanent full-time employment. The probationary period for this position is set at 180 days and/or 6-months.


Please review the job description in detail and send your application package to: Please ensure your application email subject line reads: “Attn: Executive Director – Gallery Program Manager Application – FIRST NAME / LAST NAME”

Applications must include: 

  1. Cover Letter,
  2. Resume, and
  3. Three professional references all merged into one PDF document and submitted electronically via email.


Do not wait to submit your application; we are looking to fill this position ASAP. Final deadline to apply is September 15, 2019 at 11:59 PM EST, OR as soon as an appropriate candidate is identified.

Only those selected for an interview will be contacted. No phone calls or walk-ins please.

SPAO is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to diversity in the workplace. We encourage all qualified applicants to apply.