Artistic Director, Bonavista Biennale


Photo: Brian Ricks

Artistic Director
Bonavista Biennale

Compensation: Permanent, part-time, flexible hours. $50,000 annually (contract)
Application deadline: December 23, 2021
Expected start date: March 1, 2022

The Bonavista Biennale is looking for an Artistic Director to grow the Biennale’s artistic vision, reputation and impact. Reporting to the Board of Directors and working closely with the Executive Director you will bring overall artistic direction, leadership, and commitment to curatorial excellence to the Bonavista Biennale, developing and delivering programs (exhibitions, public engagement, education, etc.) that support the organization’s vision, mission, mandate and goals. We welcome applications from across Canada.

The Bonavista Biennale is an innovative, rural-based, public art event occurring every two years on Newfoundland and Labrador’s Bonavista Peninsula. It provides a unique platform for artists and audiences to explore, engage, challenge and express ideas on societal and cultural issues through contemporary visual art. Our mission is to make a positive cultural, economic and social impact on the Bonavista Peninsula through curatorial excellence in the presentation of contemporary visual art.

In 2021, the third edition of the Bonavista Biennale featured 26 artists from Newfoundland and Labrador and across Canada, exhibiting at 26 sites in 14 communities around the Bonavista Peninsula. Public engagement programming included 25 artist talks, demonstrations, artmaking and other workshops.

You will bring your leadership, vision and curatorial expertise to the challenge of taking the Bonavista Biennale to the next level—growing the Biennale’s provincial, national and international reputation and expanding programming throughout the two-year Biennale cycle, while remaining sensitive to regional and community priorities and concerns.

The Artistic Director will grow the Biennale’s artistic vision, reputation and impact through:


  • Lead, cultivate and demonstrate curatorial excellence
  • Provide overall vision and artistic direction for the Biennale
  • Provide leadership and direction as head curator of the Biennale, leading and supporting additional curator(s) and curatorial support staff
  • Provide input to strategies, budgets, and marketing and communication strategies and content
  • Represent and strengthen the Biennale brand internally and externally
  • Foster a harmonious, supportive and inclusive work environment
  • Ensure adherence to Biennale policies and guidelines

Artistic Programming

  • Recruit additional curator(s) for each Biennale
  • Develop bi-annual theme in consultation with other Biennale curators
  • Develop and deliver programming (exhibitions and other public engagement programming) that embodies excellence, innovation and inclusion


  • Develop artistic and programming partnerships (local, national and international)
  • Foster positive relationships with stakeholders (funders and supporters, program delivery partners, community partners, arts organizations and artists)
  • Participate in local and national arts and culture communities and organizations


  • Work with and support the Executive Director in fundraising and revenue development initiatives, and participate in these initiatives as required, including: developing funding and sponsorship proposals, participating in presentations and meetings, attending events as appropriate
  • Help steward key funder, donor and partner relationships


  • Senior arts leadership experience, preferably with an arts festival or presenting organization
  • Experience working in a non-profit environment with a volunteer Board of Directors and committees
  • A proven track record in artistic/curatorial leadership and management, including collaboration and negotiation with artists at all levels
  • Demonstrated experience in providing artistic leadership for the planning and execution of community-level arts presentations and/or festivals; experience mounting ambitious outdoor installations considered an asset
  • Demonstrated effective leadership of and commitment to advancing diversity, inclusion and accessibility through curatorial work
  • Strong knowledge of the Canadian arts sector, including funders, art institutions, artists, art media
  • Possess a strong understanding of Newfoundland and Labrador visual arts, culture, history, and regional/community priorities and concerns—or demonstrate a willingness to learn
  • Demonstrated strength in relationship building, management and motivation of staff, colleagues and the Board of Directors
  • Demonstrated ability to manage sensitive and potentially controversial issues with artists, curators, media and the community
  • Strong grant and proposal writing ability, and willingness to participate in other fund development activities
  • Excellent verbal and written communication in English; French not mandatory but an asset

Location: The Bonavista Biennale is based on the Bonavista Peninsula in eastern Newfoundland and Labrador. The Artistic Director can work remotely, but will need to be physically present on the Peninsula periodically. We welcome applications from across Canada.

Position type: Permanent, flexible hours. This part-time position requires flexibility as work demands vary throughout the two-year Biennale cycle. The Artistic Director is expected to devote sufficient time to execute the job as required.

Compensation: $50,000 annually (contract)

Start date: March 1, 2022

To apply: Submit cover letter, resumé and two (2) professional references by email only to We will acknowledge receipt of your application by email. Applications due: December 23, 2021 5:00 pm EST

Bonavista Biennale is an equal opportunity employer. We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted. Interviews will be in January 2022. Learn more about us at

Facebook: @bonavistabiennale
Instagram: @bbiennale