Employment Opportunity: Gallery Programming Manager at SPAO

Job Title: Gallery Programming Manager (GPM)
Application Deadline: August 15, 2022, 11:59 PM EDT (or as soon as an appropriate candidate is identified)
Compensation: $20 – $24 per hour, 30 hours per week (commensurate with experience)
Term: 10-month contract with the potential for permanent full-time employment
Start Date: Mid-August

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!


SPAO is an independent, charitable, not-for-profit Photographic Arts Centre and registered private College. SPAO is home to the only two-year photographic arts diploma in Canada, numerous part-time classes, a unique international artist residency and the only critical and independent gallery in the region dedicated to lens-based art.

In our full-time College 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 an inclusive community of distinct artistic vision, critical dialogue and technical expertise in the photographic arts through exhibition, partnerships and education.

Image of exhibition THERE IS NO OUTSIDE: Roger Ballen at the SPAO Centre Gallery


Reporting to the Creative Director, the GPM is responsible for the delivery and management of gallery resources and programming. The GPM will manage grant applications on behalf of our organization and be responsible for exhibition programming execution. The GPM 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.
  • Actively builds program audiences by managing and enhancing program/project enrolment, participation and attendance.
  • Possesses substantial knowledge in visual arts or cultural programming, 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.
  • Initiates community outreach by liaising with community and arts organizations as a representative of SPAO.


  • Oversee the installation of exhibitions in the SPAO Centre Gallery
  • Oversees the dissemination of programming promotional content
  • Oversees gallery programming volunteers

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

Image of exhibition Cosmic Surgery, work by Alma Haser at the SPAO Centre Gallery


  • Minimum of 2 years’ experience in a lead position at an artist-run-centre, public gallery, cultural institution or similar charitable not-for-profit visual arts organization
  • Experience in not-for-profit or visual arts grant writing is a must
  • Curatorial and/or Event planning experience is a must
  • Key attributes: Effective work ethic, passion, teamwork, flexibility, strategic thinking
  • Strong and highly-developed interpersonal, organizational and communication skills
  • Ability to thrive in a demanding non-profit environment with competing deadlines and shifting priorities
  • Knowledge of historic and contemporary photographic arts is an asset but not required
  • Bilingualism is an asset but not required
  • Vulnerable Sector Check will be required to finalize employment
  • Applicants must be legally allowed to work in Canada.


The GPM typically works within the SPAO Centre, although the incumbent will occasionally be off-site at schools, community centres, 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 event duties will be required and scheduled. It is expected that the GPM be available to host/attend these events and activities where possible, and to act as an ambassador for the organization during these events.

Installation view of Earthbound, work by SPAO alum Barbara Brown in the SPAO Photo-Synthesis Garden


Please review the job description in detail and send your application package to: admin@spao.ca. 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
  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 *August 15, 2022 at 11:59 PM EDT. (*OR – as soon as an appropriate candidate is identified).

For more information about SPAO, visit spao.ca.
Only those selected for an interview will be contacted. No phone calls or walk-ins please.

SPAO Centre
77 Pamilla Street
Ottawa, Canada
Tel: 613.562.3824

Facebook @spaocentre
Instagram @spaocentre
Twitter @spaocentre