JOB POSTING: Communications and Access Manager

SFU GALLERIES | April 21, 2022

Union/Affiliation: Administrative and Professional Staff (APSA)
Pay range: $64,973 to $77,589 Annually
SFU Department Descr: SFU Galleries
Position Grade: 8
# of openings: 1
Biweekly Hours: 72

Closing Date: May 30, 2022
This is an 18 month, temporary position with the possibility of extension.

Position Summary

The Communications and Access Manager develops, manages and executes strategic communications for SFU Galleries. The Manager advances SFU Galleries’ presence within the university, as well as within external communities regionally, nationally, and internationally, through development of innovative and accessible marketing, publicity and communication strategies and bridge building. Working closely with the Galleries Director, staff, the Galleries Advisory Committee, SFU and external partners, this role is responsible for developing and executing strategic communications and information accessibility plans, policies, guidelines and platforms for effective, timely, informative and meaningful communication and engagement. With a strong knowledge of the critical visual arts community, the Communications and Access Manager proactively develops and maintains relationships with media, and serves as the first point of contact for media and accessibility-related inquiries. This appointment is a temporary, 18 month position with the possibility of extension.

Duties and Responsibilities  

Leads the development of strategic communications to establish SFU Galleries as a globally recognized visual arts organization by:

  • Working closely with the Program Director, executive team, faculty and other program team members to identify and define communications and access objectives, target audiences, key messages to support the Galleries' mission, vision and program objectives.
  • Developing the brand narrative and managing the reputation of the Galleries in the local, national, and international community.
  • Developing a strong content strategy and implementing communication and accessibility plans for strategic priorities and projects.

Manages, plans and implements the Centre’s operational communications and access activities to ensure positive engagement between the Galleries and key audiences by:

  • Managing the development of website content for SFU Galleries, driving website traffic, and supporting website re-development.
  • Writing, editing and producing all marketing materials and ensuring that all communication products have a clear/distinct voice and narrative.
  • Working closely with the Director and the Galleries’ Access Advisory Committee to oversee and coordinate accessibility of program information for SFU Galleries’ publics, including but not limited to large-type PDF formatting and braille versions (as appropriate) for all printed support and communications materials (such as exhibition bibliographies, program guides etc); captions for all video-recorded talks and video artworks; image descriptions for web and social media images; described exhibition tours (live or recorded); child welcoming initiatives; website accessibility.
  • Coordinating and negotiating costings with external printers, vendors, advertising, marketing and web services
  • Coordinating communication deliverables and deadlines across the team.
  • Collaborating with administrative staff and key internal and external stakeholders to ensure project timelines are met.
  • Supporting program staff with issues management and liaising with news media (i.e. drafting, pitching stories, responding to requests, etc.) in consultation with University Communications staff.
  • Ensuring adherence to University standards, brand guidelines, and editorial style guides across all communication materials.

Evaluates communication and engagement content by:

  • Monitoring and evaluating communications activities across all platforms to confirm alignment with the Galleries’ mission, and vision, as well as programmatic goals.
  • Managing periodic brand audit and producing ongoing communication metrics.

Carries out associated administrative responsibilities by:

  • Overseeing the budget allocated to the Communications and Access portfolio.  Participating in the program budget development process, preparing cost projections, administering expenses, and ensuring projects are completed within established timelines, budget and desired outcomes.
  • Supervising, coordinating and overseeing the work of staff, co-op students, work study students and volunteers involved with the delivery of the communication and access programs and activities. Providing orientation/training and allocating/prioritizing work assignments.
  • Exercising conflict resolution, problem-solving, and time management skills in balancing competing demands.
  • Maintaining communication contacts in the departmental database.
  • Developing internal procedures and policies, as these pertain to communications for the Galleries.
  • Participating in Galleries’ programs and events, including evening and weekend events.


Bachelor’s degree in Communications or Marketing and at least four years of related experience in strategic communications, or an equivalent level of education, training and experience. Comprehensive knowledge of the visual arts and culture community. Previous experience with accessibility initiatives an asset; experience with website building an asset; ASL fluency an asset.

  • Excellent knowledge of strategic communications, brand and marketing theory and practice.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and/or experience working within the local, national and international critical visual arts community.
  • Excellent written, verbal and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Excellent analytical reasoning, organizational and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to develop, measure and refine communications campaigns in support of institutional/organizational priorities.
  • Demonstrated understanding of current trends and best practices in communications relevant to complex organizations.
  • Demonstrated ability to enhance business processes with cross-functional teams.
  • Ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Ability to exercise mature judgment, initiative and independence in accomplishing priorities and deadlines.
  • Proficient in the use of current communication and digital media applications, systems and tools.
  • Ability to arrange suitable travel arrangements to various work locations.
  • Ability to supervise and manage multidisciplinary staff.
  • Budget planning and financial management skills.
  • Proficient in use of standard office applications, communications applications, systems and tools (e.g., MS Office, Asana, Slack).
  • Ability to work cooperatively and effectively with others

There are three distinct galleries operating under the umbrella identity of SFU Galleries, with a single website and coordinated staff: SFU Gallery on Burnaby mountain (established 1970), Teck Gallery at Harbour Centre, Vancouver (established 1989) and Audain Gallery at the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, Vancouver (established 2010). The Marianne and Edward Gibson Art Museum will join this suite of presentation and programming spaces in mid 2024. Reporting to the Department of External Relations rather than an academic faculty, SFU Galleries is charged with advancing engagement between the university and the public through art. SFU Galleries occupies the unceded territories of xʷməθkwəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh, Səl̓ílwətaɬ, and kʷikʷəƛ̓əm Nations. Acknowledging that our activities unfold on colonized Indigenous land is both a recognition that settler colonialism is an ongoing paradigm and a commitment to support the capacity of art to unsettle these conditions.

Our mission is to present, study and collect art that engages, challenges, strengthens, and enriches local, national and international communities and art audiences. We explore current art practices and ideas, including crucial considerations of this region and nation; activate them through exhibitions, publications and events; and care for the SFU Art Collection of over 5,600 works predominantly by regional and national artists of the last century. 

Our approach to accessibility follows the Justice model: access beyond accommodation. We understand disability to be unevenly distributed, primarily affecting low income communities, queer and trans communities, Indigenous communities and communities of colour. Calls to diversify, decolonize and dismantle white supremacy are both keenly felt and desperately needed in the cultural sector: at SFU Galleries we believe accessibility is a powerful tool that cultural organizations can engage to dismantle systems of oppression and create more inclusive spaces for our artists, our staff and our audiences.

We acknowledge the traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples, on whose lands the SFU campuses reside.

Simon Fraser University is committed to the principle of Employment Equity. SFU Galleries is dedicated to building a diverse staff and advancing the rights and inclusion of equity-deserving groups and communities, including, Indigenous peoples, racialized persons, persons with disabilities and 2SLGBTQI people. We are interested in candidates with a commitment to equity, social justice, Indigenous Truth and Reconciliation, diversity and inclusion. Equity-deserving people are strongly encouraged to apply.

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