Artistic Director, SAVAC

Employment Opportunity: Artistic Director for SAVAC

SAVAC (South Asian Visual Arts Centre) is a non-profit, artist-run centre in Canada dedicated to increasing the visibility of culturally diverse artists by curating and exhibiting their work, providing mentorship, facilitating professional development and creating a community for our artists. SAVAC was founded to be an organization staffed by people of colour, committed to support the work of artists of colour. For more info:

Position Description:

Working collaboratively with the Executive Director and reporting to the Board of Directors, the Artistic Director is responsible for developing and implementing year-round exhibition programming, residencies, art events, educational workshops and special projects with a cohesive artistic vision. The ideal candidate for this position is a motivated arts professional and cultural worker who is passionate about contemporary art, maintains an understanding of contemporary Global South and/or diasporic arts practices, and has expansive networks within arts and cultural communities in Toronto and beyond.

Duties and responsibilities:


  • Develop a cohesive artistic vision with high quality and relevant programming that responds to current artistic and political trends;
  • Implement all aspects of programs, including but not limited to:
    ◦  Research artists working in a variety of mediums;
    ◦  Conduct regular artist studio visits with potential exhibiting artists;
    ◦  Facilitate annual and themed calls for submissions;
    ◦  Produce a schedule of exhibitions from local, national and international artists;
    ◦  Coordinate installation of artworks with artists and curators;
    ◦  Produce thoughtful and responsive exhibition design;
    ◦  Coordinate public events and receptions; talks, tours and screenings;
    ◦  Produce or coordinate written materials for web and print related to art programs;
    ◦  Ensure the continuity of ongoing bi-annual or annual SAVAC programs including Monitor film and video program, Missed Connections residency and pedagogical platform, and Ishtar’s International Network of Feral Gardens, as well as other regular co-presentation and collaborations.
    ◦  Program events and activities in SAVAC’s space at 401 Richmond;
    ◦  Program exhibitions, screenings and other events in collaboration with other art spaces in Toronto and other national and international locations; and
    ◦  Work with Communications Coordinator to develop a targeted outreach strategy;
  • Maintain communication and relationships with artists and programming partners;
  • Coordinate the Ontario Arts Council’s Exhibition Assistance Grant;
  • Act as a representative of the organization within the sector; and
  • Attend exhibitions, screenings, events and keep abreast of trends within the local and international art world.

Financial and Office Administration

  • Responsible for writing programming sections of grants;
  • Produce and maintain programming budget for all programming events;
  • Provide support in different aspects of the organization—in administration, artistic, marketing, outreach and community relations;
  • Develop, implement and supervise programs and services that are consistent with the organization’s mission and Strategic Plan and that meet the needs of SAVAC communities;
  • Working with the Communications Coordinator, contribute to SAVAC’s Quarterly Newsletter by providing audiences with up to date information about current and upcoming events
  • Write contracts for artists, guest curators, and writers; and
  • Develop and maintain pre-existing and new co-presentation partnerships.

Qualifications, Skills, and Experience:

  • Minimum 5 years overall experience in artistic programming or educational background in related disciplines e.g., Art History, Curatorial Studies, Visual Culture etc., or equivalent paid or volunteer experience in the sector
  • Knowledge of, and or experience with:
    ◦  The Canadian public granting system
    ◦  Board governed artist-run centres in Canada
    ◦  Contemporary art from the global south
    ◦  Writing and maintaining programming/project budgets
    ◦  Installing a variety of exhibitions
    ◦  Working in different artistic mediums
    ◦  The barriers faced by artists of colour
  • Strong written English in a variety of writing styles including curatorial essays, grant-writing language, promotional writing and email correspondence
  • Knowledge of a second language is preferred
  • Able to troubleshoot and creatively problem solve in areas of budgeting, exhibition design and installation
  • Ability to work in to work independently and cooperatively without supervision in a small, engaged hybrid workplace
  • Proven leadership ability when working with junior and contract staff, guest contributors and artists
  • Strong project management skills to undertake and realise collaborative exhibition projects including a high capacity to multitask and meet deadlines
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills including experience in public speaking and moderating panels

Notes on Working Conditions:

  • Must be comfortable with flexible work environment and variable work schedule
  • Some lifting and moving may be involved
  • SAVAC’s office is located at 401 Richmond St W. in Toronto, Ontario. SAVAC is currently working in a hybrid model (some in-office and some remote work)

Position Details:

The Artistic Director reports to the Board of Directors and works closely with the Executive Director. Total compensation includes health benefits through a group insurance plan and three weeks paid vacation with additional unpaid leave possible as approved by the Director/Board of Directors on a case-by-case basis.

Number of hours/week: 28 hours/week
Duration: 2 year renewable contract
Preferred Start Date: October 17th (negotiable)
Starting Salary: $42k, to commensurate with experience & annual cost of living increases

Why work for SAVAC?

  • Collaborative, nimble and responsive programming style
  • Anti-racist, equity-focused, QTBIPOC-centered work environment
  • Opportunities for expanding your cultural network within Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and other areas internationally
  • Support for independent artistic and curatorial careers and opportunities
  • Support for professional development through attendance of courses, workshops and/or conferences

Please submit applications to with the subject line: Artistic Director Application.

In your application, please include your CV, a one-page cover letter and a one-page statement answering the following question: Given SAVAC’s 25 years of programming, what 2 – 3 themes or narratives would you pursue as Artistic Director over the first 2 years of your contract? Why do you think those themes and/or narratives are important in this broader moment in Canadian contemporary art?

Deadline Date: September 30, 2022, 5pm EDT

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.


Suite 450
401 Richmond St. W.
Toronto, ON M5V 3A8

Monday – Thursday
10am – 5pm
By remote appointment only
416 542 1661

Facebook: @southasianvisualartscentre
Twitter: @SAVAC_
Instagram: @savac_