Public Engagement & Volunteer Coordinator, Esker Foundation

Photo by: Elyse Bouvier.

Esker Foundation in Calgary is seeking a collaborative, strong interdisciplinary, and detailed orientated Public Engagement & Volunteer Coordinator.

Full-time (37.5 hours / week), in-person, permanent position.
Download & view the full position description

The work week is typically 10am-6pm, Monday-Friday, with adjustments to these hours to accommodate programming needs in the evenings and on weekends.

The salary for this position is $55,000. Benefits include health & dental, group retirement savings plan (after 3 months), 15 days paid vacation, 7 personal/health days, parking.

The preferred start date: June 2022.
Application deadline: Monday April 25, 2022 @ 5pm MST.

Job description

In the Public Engagement & Volunteer Coordinator role you will collaborate closely with the other member of the Programs & Engagement team to create strong interdisciplinary programming that thinks outside the box of traditional education programs. You will contribute to the overall scope of Esker Foundation, working with the Curatorial and Marketing & Communications teams, as well as contracted artists and facilitators. Primary responsibilities include developing, implementing, and overseeing public programs and engagement activities for diverse demographics, and from a variety of perspectives. As part of the Programs & Engagement team, you will contribute to both long and short-range planning for exhibition-related programs.

This position also manages and oversees the volunteer program at Esker Foundation. In developing a comprehensive volunteer program, you will be responsible for the recruitment, orientation, and stewardship of volunteers, providing for them a meaningful and rewarding experience.

Esker Foundation is committed to teamwork, professional development, and creating a supportive environment for growth and learning.

Program Development:

  • Develop and implement high-level programs to enhance visitor enjoyment & engagement with exhibitions, considering new formats & experimentation (ie. talks, panels, tours, workshops, screenings, worksheets & guides, videos, audio tours, or other innovative ways to engage).
  • Foster relationships with artists, researchers, instructors, & specialists both inside & outside of the contemporary art field to develop engagement opportunities.

Program Implementation:

  • Program project management, including, but not limited to: hiring artists and facilitators, scheduling, budget, contracting, procuring supplies, marketing materials, documentation, waivers, program set-up and teardown, technical elements, and overseeing volunteers.
  • Plan, host, and facilitate programs, which may include: public introductions and moderation, lesson planning, & instruction.


  • Research exhibitions & exhibiting artists & offer tours for a wide range of audiences, including school groups.

Marketing & Communications:

  • Work with Marketing & Communications to co-develop, coordinate, & proof program content for exhibition brochures, e-newsletters, social media, & other digital or printed material, as required.
  • Create and manage Eventbrite registrations for programs and events.


  • Update programming calendar of events & calendar list & report on upcoming & past programs to the gallery team.
  • Track program attendance & statistics & create & oversee feedback measures for programs.


  • Develop working relationships & partnerships with individuals, schools, & community organizations in Calgary to develop & support the volunteer program.
  • Steward volunteers, offering yearly volunteer reviews, & managing social events; develop and update job descriptions, and recruit, interview, and train new volunteers.


  • Be an active member of the arts community, attending art openings & community events.
  • Participate, as time allows, in relevant meetings, symposia, workshops, & other forums of brainstorming, information exchange, & logistical planning within the gallery & in the arts community.
  • Assist in the general running of the gallery, including opening & closing, & working with gallery & building staff to provide a safe & positive experience for all gallery visitors.

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. Esker is looking for someone who has:

  • Broad knowledge of contemporary art and ideas, an interdisciplinary approach to program development and willingness to experiment.
  • The ability to work in a deadline-driven environment, take on and manage independent work initiatives, while also working as part of a 2-person team, and with the larger gallery team.
  • Detail-oriented, and strong organizational and communication skills – verbal and written.
  • Ability to thrive in, and support, a collaborative working culture.
  • Flexible, respectful, and thoughtful to co-workers, artists and guests, volunteers, the local arts community, and the public.
  • The capacity to engage with and honour dialogues around reconciliation, inclusion, equity, and diversity.
  • An emotionally mature individual with strong self-awareness, sense of humor, and willingness to learn.

How to Apply

Please submit a cover letter outlining your relevant experience and skills and a resume or CV.

Email your application in ONE PDF to by Monday April 25, 2022 @ 5pm MST with the subject line: “Public Engagement & Volunteer Coordinator.”

Candidates selected for an interview will be contacted via email. Interviews will be held either in-person or by Zoom in May 2022.

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 engagement and collaborative models. 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 multiplicity of dialogues that exhibitions produce, including through public programs that are responsive and experimental.

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.)


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