Gallery Assistant & Bookshop Manager, Esker Foundation


Installation view of the exhibition Presences by Samuel Roy-Bois at Esker Foundation, 26 September to 5 December 2020. Photo by: John Dean.

Esker Foundation in Calgary is seeking an organized and creative thinker to join our gallery team in the role of Gallery Assistant & Bookshop Manager.

About Esker Foundation

Esker Foundation is located on the traditional territories of the Niitsitapi (Blackfoot) and the people of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta, which includes the Siksika, the Piikani, the Kainai, the Tsuut’ina, and the Iyarhe Nakoda First Nations. The City of Calgary is also home to Métis Nation of Alberta, Region III.

Founded by Jim and Susan Hill in 2012, Esker Foundation is a privately funded contemporary art gallery guided by curiosity and passion. Through exhibitions, public programs, publishing, and commissioning activities, the Foundation supports artists and audiences through a variety of learning, connecting, and collaborative models. As a team, we strive to place the artist and their practice at the core of our work, and to support, in as many ways as we can, the complex, difficult, and playful dialogues that exhibitions can produce. We each believe in the value of exhibitions and public engagement being responsive and experimental, and our production, activities, and relationships are all built in support of these values.

Esker Foundation is committed to anti-racism, anti-oppression, equity, and inclusion. We strongly encourage applications from Equity-deserving communities including individuals who are gender diverse, LGBTQ+, Two-Spirit, and individuals who are Indigenous, Black, or People of Colour. (Equity-deserving groups are communities that experience significant collective barriers in participating in society. This could include attitudinal, historic, social, and environmental barriers based on age, ethnicity, disability, economic status, gender, nationality, race, sexual orientation, and transgender status.)

Job description

The Gallery Assistant & Bookshop Manager reports to the Director/Curator and works closely with the Curatorial, Engagement, and Communication & Marketing teams. Primary responsibilities include managing the front desk and engaging with gallery visitors, the processing and driving of sales, promotion, and outreach of Esker Foundation publications and merchandise, and assisting with gallery/facility administration.

This is a full-time (37.5 hours per week), in-person, permanent position. A typical work week is Wednesday-Sunday, 10am-6pm. Occasional evening work will be required. Should overtime be incurred, it will be compensated with time off in lieu at a rate of 1.5 hours for each hour of overtime worked. The salary for this position is $45,000. Benefits include health and dental, group retirement savings plan (following three months of employment), 15 days paid vacation, 7 personal/health days, and underground parking.

The preferred start date is February 2022.
Deadline: Wednesday 5 January 2022 at 6pm MST.
Find the full position description at this link, including Accessibility and Covid-19 Safety information.

Primary responsibilities:

Esker Foundation is committed to teamwork, professional development, and creating a supportive environment for growth and learning. All training for this position will be provided by Esker Foundation staff during regular gallery hours.

This position is divided into three separate but connected areas of responsibility:

Front of House:

You will primarily be responsible for managing the front desk and providing excellent in-person visitor experience. You will be an initial public contact for the gallery, will answer and direct inquiries, provide insight into gallery exhibitions, and help people feel warmly welcomed during their visit.

You will connect with the Curatorial, Programs & Engagement, and Marketing & Communications teams to engage in conversations around programming and exhibitions, and to cultivate in-depth knowledge on artists and their practices. Curiosity to gather knowledge on many levels and to appropriately engage with audiences will be key to enjoying and growing in this position. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Opening and closing the gallery for the public during the Wednesday-Sunday work week, as well as assisting with special events, public programs, and evenings as required.
  • Providing an informative and educational experience for visitors.


You will also oversee the Bookshop operations. The Esker Bookshop is a modest, but growing, retail space in the gallery and an e-commerce website space focused on presenting exhibition catalogues, artist projects, and other gallery merchandise. Bookshop tasks include, but are not limited to:

  • Managing Bookshop sales in person and on e-commerce platforms, including discounts, campaigns, and special promotions, as well as packaging and shipping orders.
  • Promotion and visual retail merchandising in the Bookshop, and on multiple e-commerce platforms.
  • Keeping track of stock, inventory management, driving Institutional bookstore orders, coordinating consignment contracts, invoicing, etc.
  • Facilitating publication exchanges, and other distribution methods; and assisting with Bookshop events and partnerships.

Gallery Administration:

You will also assist the Director with general office and administration tasks. Responsibilities include:

  • Monitoring office/common area equipment and purchasing office supplies.
  • Additional office admin and day-to-day gallery tasks as needed.

Skills and Abilities:

With the recognition that skills and abilities do not necessarily need to be accompanied by an institutional qualification, formal educational credentials are not mandatory for this position.

  • Flexible, respectful, and thoughtful to co-workers, artists, guests, volunteers, the local arts community, and the public.
  • The capacity to engage with and honour dialogues around reconciliation, inclusion, equity, and diversity.
  • Knowledge of and interest in contemporary visual culture, publications, exhibition catalogues, artist books, and artist multiples.
  • Excellent research, communication, organizational, computer, and writing skills.
  • The ability to communicate your ideas and present information to a variety of audiences.
  • The ability to work in a deadline-driven and collaborative work environment.
  • The ability to take on and manage independent work initiatives and projects.
  • An emotionally mature individual with strong self-awareness and a willingness to learn.
  • Experience with the following software and platforms is an asset but not a requirement: Microsoft Office, macOS, WordPress, Square Point of Sale, Adobe Creative Suite (i.e. Photoshop, InDesign), WooCommerce, Facebook and Instagram Shops, Hootsuite.

How to Apply:

Please submit a cover letter outlining your relevant experience and skills and a resume or CV. Send your application in ONE pdf to:
by Wednesday January 5, 2022 @ 6pm MST

Find the full position description at this link.


Esker Foundation
4th Floor, 1011 9th Ave SE
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
T2G 0H7