Head of Collections / Registrar, McMichael Canadian Art Collection

Job Posting
Head of Collections / Registrar

The McMichael Canadian Art Collection ranks among Canada’s top public galleries in size and significance. The Gallery, exhibition, and programming space, comprising 25,000 sq.ft., are surrounded by a network of outdoor trails, an outdoor sculpture garden, and 100 acres of conservation land with breathtaking views of the Humber Valley. Over 6,500 works of art representing the art of Canada comprise the permanent collection, and the gallery welcomes on average more than 115,000 visitors on an annual basis – in person and virtually.

Position Summary:

The Head of Collections/Registrar plays a critical role in overseeing and directing all aspects of McMichael’s registration activities and staff. This position oversees core museum functions, including acquisitions, Cultural Property applications, accessions, deaccessions, and loan management. Reporting to the Deputy Chief Curator, the Head of Collections/Registrar fosters a positive working environment through mentorship and direction, and establishes collaborative relationships across the organization and with external stakeholders.


  • Oversees the Assistant Registrars, Conservator, Librarian/Archivist, and direct all aspects of McMichael’s registration activities.
  • Manages the team responsible for acquisitions, Cultural Property applications, accessions, deaccessions, loans, registration aspects of travelling exhibitions, condition reporting, collections travel, library and archives, copyright, collections insurance, and intellectual property.
  • As a skilled communicator, manages sensitive lender and donor relationships through social skills and legal knowledge; periodic work with Board members.
  • Collaborates closely with the Deputy Chief Curator, Curatorial and exhibitions staff.
  • Funding applications for related areas.
  • Guides and coaches the team, aligning the department with institution-level goals and strategies and performance management.
  • Creates, communicates, and implements policies and procedures within the department, liaising with other departments if required.
  • Ensures compliance with relevant regulations and laws, participates in insurance claims and renewals, and collaborates on contracts for travelling exhibitions.
  • Assesses risks and develop strategies and opportunities in line with industry standards and best practices.
  • Understands and adapts to the rapidly changing role of museums in contemporary society.


  • Master’s degree in a museum-related discipline, OR equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Minimum of eight years’ experience in collections management in a medium sized museum, including five years management experience, and experience with art collections.
  • Experience with collections management systems, digital imaging, and intellectual property rights; high proficiency in TMS is an asset.
  • Extensive knowledge and experience in collections management principles and practices.
  • Successful experience in writing and securing grants and funding applications in the not-for-profit sector.
  • Exceptional skills in team building, mentoring, and change management.
  • A flexible and collaborative work style.
  • Knowledge of Fine Arts Insurance, contract administration, and project management.
  • Understanding of domestic and international couriering practices; familiarity with loans and travelling exhibitions.
  • Familiarity with repatriation, restitution, international museum relations, provenance, and museum ethics; deep knowledge of Indigenous cultures is beneficial.
  • Proven track record in developing written policies and procedures.
  • Advanced administrative, managerial, and interpersonal skills; capable of handling a wide range of registration tasks at all levels.
  • Knowledge of relevant legislation and regulations, such as the Income Tax Act, Copyright Act, Cultural Property Import and Export Act, Canada Travelling Exhibitions Indemnification Act, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), Access to Information Act, Privacy Act, Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS), etc.
  • Superior oral and written English communication skills; proficiency in a second language is an asset.

This role is based at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, with the opportunity to do partial aspects remotely within Ontario. Salary range: $70-$80,000.00, based on experience.

Application process:

Those interested in applying to this opportunity are asked to submit their resume with a cover letter to hr@mcmichael.com by February 20, 2024.

We thank all candidates for their applications; only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

The McMichael Canadian Art Collection supports individuals with disabilities throughout the interview process and those chosen for placement.

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