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

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

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

Start time: ASAP

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

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

 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.


image of 2018 exhibition at the SPAO Centre Gallery, THERE IS NO OUTSIDE: ROGER BALLEN

image of 2018 exhibition at the SPAO Centre Gallery, THERE IS NO OUTSIDE: ROGER BALLEN

Reporting to the Creative Director, the GPM is responsible for the delivery and management of gallery programming, they are responsible for managing grant applications on behalf of our organization, they ensure exhibition programming execution, and they coordinate SPAO’s International Artist Residency. The GPM provides supervision, leadership and direction to SPAO’s Artists in Residence on a weekly basis. They will also provide programming content and reporting data for grants, sponsorships and other fundraising initiatives that have already been put in place as well as fulfill obligations in an already established strategic direction.

The GPM is required to have experience delivering high-quality arts and cultural programming in the community and/or knowledge of community arts best practices. The GPM must bring with them an in-depth knowledge of the demographics, communities, services and resources available in the Ottawa community and surrounding regions. An ideal candidate possesses the necessary passion and oversight to manage a complex series of programs and to contribute to the overall strategic plan and vision for SPAO.



  • 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. 

image of 2018 Artists-in-Residence Exhibition

image of 2018 Artists-in-Residence Exhibition

Community/Client Relationships

  • Able to maintain strong and mutually beneficial relationships with local and national Canadian arts organizations, entities, and funding bodies. 

  • Initiates community outreach by liaising with community and arts organizations as a representative of SPAO.


  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Vulnerable Sector Check will be required to finalize employment

  • Applicants must be Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residence of Canada

image of SPAO’s 2018 Photo Synthesis Garden programming

image of SPAO’s 2018 Photo Synthesis Garden programming


The Gallery Programming Manager typically works within the SPAO Centre, although the incumbent will occasionally be off-site at schools, community centres, local businesses and constituency offices, facilities operated by partner organizations, etc.

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.


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. Minimum of two 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.