Executive Director, Southern Alberta Art Gallery


Job Opportunity: Executive Director
Southern Alberta Art Gallery (Lethbridge, Alberta)

The Southern Alberta Art Gallery Maansiksikaitsitapiitsinikssin is seeking a talented and forward-thinking arts executive to lead its thriving arts organization located in the culturally diverse and vibrant community of Lethbridge, Alberta.

The Executive Director (the “ED”) is responsible for shepherding the Gallery’s recently approved $5.78-million renovation project, which is fully funded by the City of Lethbridge and is scheduled to enter the planning and design phase in January 2022.

As a leader of the arts, the ED advances the Gallery’s reputation as a contemporary arts organization that supports diverse communities, fosters work of artists who challenges boundaries, and promotes awareness and exploration of artistic expression.

The successful candidate guides the organization with ambition and sound leadership as the Gallery sets out to write its next chapter. The ED ensures excellence in artistic, administrative, and financial leadership, with a keen focus on exhibitions and programming; community and stakeholder engagement; and long-term financial sustainability.

The ED is primarily responsible for ensuring the Gallery’s vision, strategy, priorities, and objectives are understood, supported and advanced by its wide range of stakeholders. This involves working with the team, the Board of Directors, and various communities to identify, communicate, and execute priorities and goals; enhancing alignment and integration of the Gallery’s mission as a member of various advisory groups, committees and senior admin/leadership teams; recruiting, managing, and developing a talented and engaged team of employees, casual staff, and volunteers; and leading a wider team of professionals to develop public programs, digital offerings, promotional strategies, and funding opportunities.

The ED is also responsible for leading the Gallery’s artistic direction by developing and presenting high quality exhibitions and public programs that reflect the Gallery’s mission and advance the Gallery’s Strategic Plan and, when appropriate, doing so in conjunction with partners and stakeholders; developing an annual program plan that includes exhibitions, education and outreach programs, and community engagement activities; and providing direction, mentorship and oversight for all programs areas fostering an integrated and team oriented approach to program development. The ED ensures exhibitions and public programs meet the objectives regarding community engagement, (i.e., collaborations, partnerships, and audience development initiatives); are financially sustainable and cost effective (i.e., earned revenues, sponsorship, membership and donor development); reflect the Gallery’s mandate and the diverse communities of Southern Alberta; and are dynamic and balanced, offering a range of options for various ages and interests.

In terms of public engagement, the ED must have the ability to bring their own network of contacts, build new partnerships, and both foster and evaluate existing partnerships; work with local cultural organizations and businesses to explore possible collaborations; and engage schools and Boards of Education to encourage the appreciation of art in the community and to encourage attendance at the Gallery.

This multidimensional role provides senior leadership and advice to the Board of Directors on matters of policy and procedure, including strategic management; administration and operations; e-services; financial planning and analysis; renovation project management; and risk management. Further, the ED develops and implements exceptional administrative systems and facilitating and supporting partnership strategies, both internally and externally, within various communities not just surrounding Lethbridge but across Southern Alberta.

About the Southern Alberta Art Gallery

The Southern Alberta Art Gallery is a cultural destination at the heart of Lethbridge, Alberta, with a reputation for bringing world class exhibitions to the community. The Gallery has a rich history and strives to represent the diversity and richness of not just Lethbridge, but of Southern Alberta as a whole. In 2020 the Gallery was deeply honored to be the first in Canada to receive an Indigenous name, Maansiksikaitsitapiitsinikssin. The Gallery plays an important role within the locals arts community, and aims to collaborate with and complement the city’s impressive roster of museums, galleries, and arts institutions. To learn more, please visit saag.ca.


  • University degree in a relevant disciple (visual art, art history, museum or curatorial studies);
  • Minimum of 8 years in management positions of increasing responsibility;
  • Demonstrated success in curation and/or program development;
  • Demonstrated success in seeking and securing both government and private funding, including grant writing and sponsorship development (such as Canada Council for the Arts, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, civic funding, private institutions/individuals, etc.);
  • Demonstrated success in fund development (earned revenues and fundraising);
  • Strong administrative, supervisory, organizational, communications, public relations, and financial acumen;
  • Proven leadership skills, including the ability to initiate ideas, coalesce support, motivate others, and delegate effectively;
  • Demonstrated interest in local creative communities and the impact of public art galleries on the individual, the family, and the community; and
  • Awareness of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, and openness to engage in community-based consultation, and honour Indigenous knowledge, diversity and cultural continuity.

Required Soft Skills

  • Ability and desire to genuinely engage with a range of people, personalities, and special interest groups in various social settings;
  • Open, clear, and direct communication (oral and written);
  • Sound understanding of group dynamics and the foundations of team-building;
  • Ability to navigate, manage, and diffuse stress and/or conflict with tact, professionalism, and grace;
  • High standards of professional and personal integrity;

This is a full time 35 hour/week Monday-Friday position located in Lethbridge, Alberta, with occasional evening and weekend work as required.

Compensation & Benefits

  • Competitive salary commensurate with experience
  • 3 weeks (15 days) paid vacation per year
  • Full health and dental benefits after 3-month probationary period
  • Relocation bonus
  • Annual continuing education budget
  • Annual professional development budget (including travel)

Apply Now!

If you are interested in this opportunity, please submit your application package including your CV and a cover letter to applications@saag.ca on or before 5 p.m. Friday, September 10. Please note: Applications will be reviewed as they are received, and early applications are encouraged.

If you have any queries about the role, please contact Vincent Varga, Interim Executive Director, at vvarga@saag.ca.

We thank all those who apply, however due to the high number of applications received, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.