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Esker Foundation: Gallery Assistant & Bookshop Manager

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

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, given the nature of gallery programming. 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 for this position is February 2022.

Application deadline: Wednesday 5 January, 2022 @ 6pm MST

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.1 )

While we seek to be accessible, we wish to be transparent about the current limitations of our facilities. Esker Foundation is not fully accessible in the following ways:

Multiple doors in our building, including access doors in our underground parkade and keyless entry doors within the building, are not equipped with accessibility buttons.

Esker Foundation is not presently equipped with technology that supports those with hearing or visual impairments.

We acknowledge that accessibility is a relational and dynamic conversation that will differ individual to individual. If you have any questions or concerns about barriers to access at Esker Foundation or the Atlantic Avenue Art Block, please reach out to employment@eskerfoundation.com

To learn more about the team at Esker Foundation please visit https://eskerfoundation.com/about/

Primary responsibilities of the position: 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 inperson 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.

As this position necessitates contact with the public, please note that Esker Foundation has implemented the Restrictions Exemption Program for visitors, volunteers, and staff. Anyone aged 12 and over are required to provide documentation of either proof of vaccination, a negative PCR or rapid test, or exemption to enter Esker Foundation. You will be required to show proof of vaccination or exemption to work at Esker Foundation. Esker Foundation continues to adhere to all Government of Alberta guidelines to ensure the safety of our staff, volunteers, and visitors, including the requirement to wear masks inside the gallery.

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.

– Responding to, or directing, public inquiries received by phone, email, web, or in person, including tenant bookings, etc.

– Tracking and recording gallery attendance and other statistics and assisting with yearly Year-End Reports.


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 ecommerce platforms (working with and supported by the Marketing and Communications team).

– Keeping track of stock, inventory management, driving Institutional and businessto-business bookstore orders, coordinating consignment contracts, invoicing, etc.

– Coordinating and 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 as required.

– Additional office admin and day-to-day gallery tasks as needed.

– Shipping and receiving of all non-art related material.

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 and 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.

– Applicants must be eligible to work in Canada.

How to Apply: Please submit a cover letter outlining your relevant experience and skills and a resume or CV. Contact information for three professional references will be required if you are selected for an interview. Professional references may include references from supervisors, co-workers, and professional colleagues, from a place of work or study, or where you have volunteered.

Send your application in one pdf to: employment@eskerfoundation.com by Wednesday 5 January, 2022 @ 6pm MST with the subject line: “Gallery Assistant & Bookshop Manager.”

Interviews will be held either in-person or by Zoom in mid-January 2022

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