Executive Director, La Guilde

The Opportunity

We are seeking an Executive Director to assume the artistic direction and leadership of La Guilde (Canadian Guild of Crafts). Reporting to the President of the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will oversee La Guildeā€™s permanent collections, historical archives, art gallery, and programming. The Executive Director will collaborate closely with the Board on a strategic plan aimed at ensuring the continued relevance and sustainability of La Guilde, drawing on its many strengths to further the development of this thriving organization. Our new leader will be responsible for all activities relating to the operation of La Guilde, including financial management and team leadership.

About La Guilde

A prestigious vitrine in the Museum district on Sherbrooke Street West in Montreal, La Guilde actively pursues its not-for-profit mission since 1906 and is committed to supporting and encouraging Inuit, First Nations, MĆ©tis, and Fine Craft artists to ensure the viability of their practices. It offers a space for sharing and exploration through a wide range of exhibitions, cultural activities, and educational programs to develop knowledge, openness, and raise awareness. La Guilde continues to preserve and develop a permanent collection of Canadian art.

La Guildeā€™s cultural and educational activities (conferences, creative workshops, guided tours, meetings with artists, etc.) are partly financed by sales revenue from its art gallery, one-time grants from the various levels of government, as well as valued support from generous donors.

La Guildeā€™s temporary exhibitions, about ten each year, encourage emerging and established artists to push the limits of their creativity and raise public awareness of different artistic practices. Over the years, La Guilde has established strong cultural partnerships, including its annual participation in the International First Peoples Festival and the Contemporary Native Art Biennial (BACA), two important events for promoting art in Montreal.

With unparalleled knowledge and expertise in Indigenous art and Canadian crafts, La Guilde has distinguished itself by the quality and originality of the works it offers to its various audiences. The gallery offers its clientele more than 1,000 unique works exploring different mediums such as glass, stone, paper, textiles, ceramics, wood, and metal. Since 2017, more than $1,300,000 has been placed in the hands of artists.

La Guildeā€™s permanent collection is comprised of 1,574 artefacts, and the archives of 262 linear feet are a true window on the history of Indigenous art and Fine Crafts in Canada in addition to telling the story of its 117 years of existence. Since 1906, La Guilde has been committed to the conservation, preservation, development, and promotion of a significant collection of museum quality. The permanent collection has allowed the preservation of more than thirty traditional expertisesā€”making them accessible to current and future generations. The collection is an unparalleled reference for conferences, academic content, publications, and institutions that come to consult it.

Our Values

  • Sharing: In a spirit of inclusion and synergy, La Guilde seeks to gather and share knowledge, experiences, and ideas while encouraging open dialogue and social engagement.
  • Openness: La Guilde pledges to be curious, open-minded, open to the world, and to create greater understanding and awareness among its communities.
  • Integrity: With authenticity, respect, and transparency, La Guilde pledges to take a thoughtful and coherent approach in line with its vision.
  • Collaboration: La Guilde builds long-lasting relationships with its partners, artists, and publics, and strives for a positive environment based on solidarity, teamwork, and trust.
  • Professionalism: Building on 115+ years of experience, La Guilde strives for excellence and values artistic quality and attention to detail. It listens carefully and recognizes the contributions of everyone involved.

Qualifications and Key Competencies

  • Previous leadership experience at a senior management level, at an art museum, gallery, or non-profit organization, ideally in the cultural sector.
  • An interest in, and ideally knowledge of Canadian art and Fine Crafts, Inuit art, First Nations art, and MĆ©tis art are strong assets.
  • Proven success building, leading, and supporting high-functioning staff teams.
  • Experience working closely with a Board is a strong asset.
  • Solid experience developing and implementing strategic and annual business plans.
  • Demonstrated success in raising funds from public and private sources in the form of donations, corporate partnerships, and government grants.
  • Marketing expertise, preferably in the cultural sector.
  • Knowledge of financial management and experience managing budgets and fiscal accountability.
  • Demonstrated ability to successfully create, manage, and develop diverse stakeholder relationships, that is, with staff, Board members, donors, government, clients, and corporate and community partners.
  • Diplomatic with solid negotiation, conflict resolution and problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to think creatively and strategically and to plan and act proactively to drive growth.
  • The candidate should be energetic and collaborative and possess both vision and business management acumen.
  • Ability to incite enthusiasm and motivate others to achieve desired outcomes.
  • Excellent bilingual communication skills in French and English, both oral and written.
  • A post-secondary degree is expected for this position.

The candidate is expected to have an understanding of and enthusiasm for La Guildeā€™s mission, historical value, programs and activities, as demonstrated through work experience, volunteer work, personal interest, and/or education.

For More Information

KCI Search + Talent has been retained to conduct this search on behalf of La Guilde. For more information about this opportunity, please contact Sylvie Battisti, Vice President, KCI Search + Talent by email at LaGuilde@kcitalent.com

All inquiries and applications will be held in strict confidence. Interested candidates should send resume and letter of interest to the email address listed above by June 9, 2023.

For more information, including key duties and responsibilities, please review the full Executive Brief at www.kcitalent.com

La Guilde is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from all qualified applicants. Accommodations will be provided at any stage of the hiring process upon request. Applicants requiring accommodation during the interview process should contact Sylvie Battisti with any enquiries or for assistance.

Please note that the hiring salary range for this position is $100,000 ā€“ $115,000.

La Guilde
1356 Sherbrooke Street West
Montreal, QC H3G 1J1