Director of Exhibit Design, contract, Vancouver Aquarium, BC

  • 5 Dec 2017 2:12 PM
    Message # 5614280
    Jennifer Dick (Administrator)

    Requisition Number 17-0189

    Title 120 - Director of Exhibit Design

    Job Family Exhibit Design & Maint.

    Status Fixed Term Contract

    Work Hours 37.5 Hours / Week

    Location Stanley Park - Vancouver

    City Vancouver

    Province BC

    Close Date 12/15/2017



    Under the direction of the Vice President and General Manager, the Director of Design leads and manages the process for creating compelling exhibits that support mission by engaging visitors, and encourage new and repeat visitation. They set, implement and monitor the organization’s internal visual design strategies, both 2 and 3 dimensional, and ensure that the Vancouver Aquarium’s displays and overall aesthetics - engage, amaze and inspire.

    This is a one-year contract position.

    Candidates who are offered employment will be subject to a criminal record check.


    Leads and conceptualizes the design, fabrication and installation processes for new exhibits & displays and gallery spaces to engage, amaze and inspire our visitors by:

    Ensuring - through leadership and management - effective long term planning of exhibit developments, creating a rolling 5-year development plan for gallery renovation and upgrades;

    Chairing the Exhibits Committee, which oversees and ensures the implementation of short, medium and long-range goals for exhibits and displays in all public areas of the Vancouver Aquarium;

    Managing the communications with internal experts and external professionals to complete projects on time and within budgets;

    Working with the Aquarium teams to plan, design, produce and manage the implementation of public display improvements regardless of scale;

    Designing, developing and producing special displays for various Aquarium events or departmental needs;

    Providing project management including scheduling, budgeting, and quality control;

    Supporting major capital infrastructure improvements as required and

    Selecting (or managing the selection process where required), leading and managing external consultants, contractors and suppliers including design companies that might be contracted to perform design functions.

    Ensuring exhibits meet or exceed all professional accredited standards and guidelines in relation to animal care;

    Ensures the ongoing quality, visual presentation and maintenance of existing spaces, exhibits & displays by:

    Participating in the regular review of all public area displays, including interpretive materials and related components to identify and track deficiencies and

    Ensuring required maintenance is completed in a timely manner.

    Brings a high degree of creativity to the look and feel of internal design elements at the Vancouver Aquarium, including illustrations and oversight of graphic design by:

    Using and clearly enunciating a clear contemporary vision for implementing illustrative methodologies, produces high quality sketches of landscapes, architecture, animals and people, for; concept evaluation, marketing, and other exhibit purposes;

    Overseeing the activities of the graphic designer(s) and ensuring that the team understands and produces outputs which were identified by the internal client, and

    Ensuring that designs produced engage, amaze and inspire those who see them while broadening awareness of Aquarium activities through the development and maintenance of a consistent look and feel.

    Reinforces Ocean Wise’s organizational strategy and provides direction on exhibit strategy, plans, and objectives for direct reports and extended team members by:

    Describing, clarifying and providing direction on key organizational strategies to Direct Reports as they formulate goals and tactical strategies;

    Encouraging Direct Reports to continually assess operational and/or efficiency opportunities, and provide recommendations for improvement aligned with organization and exhibit strategies;

    Proactively identifying internal or external conditions that may impact organization results and suggesting to senior management any recommended changes in organization priority, tactics, policies, etc, ensuring any agreed upon changes in strategy are implemented and communicated to all team members in a timely manner to achieve organization objectives;

    Collaborating with other Director and senior management colleagues to ensure collaboration across the organization by identifying and recommending possible changes in policies and/or operating procedures while assessing risk, profitability, and ROI associated with changes.

    Leveraging staffing resources to improve the fiscal standing of the services offered;

    Obtaining continuous feedback from Department team members on barriers to achieving mission based activities, productivity, operational efficiency, and/or service levels;

    Championing organizational changes that encourage mission based activities and efficient operations, meet service standards to internal and external customers, and ensure that EMS and Health & Safety policies, including processes are followed (e.g. time sheets, PO’s, etc) and

    Maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of employee and customer information under the rules and regulations as set out in Ocean Wise’s Privacy Policy.

    Establishes and monitors goals and provides leadership, management, coaching and mentoring to Direct Reports by:

    Creating an environment conducive to individual development, productivity, and achievement while ensuring open lines of communication;

    Evaluating the performance of Direct Reports and extended team members, providing timely feedback and coaching on performance and taking corrective action where required;

    Recruiting new Design team members and identifying training and development requirements for team members across the department, in cooperation with available training resources;

    Conducting regularly scheduled team meetings and strategy discussions with Direct Reports;

    Conducting regularly scheduled individual coaching/development sessions with all Direct Reports to ensure they stay on track with goals, and providing support as required to ensure success and

    Leading Direct Reports by example, ensuring that all performance plans, goals metrics and employee development plans are in place and reviews are conducted.

    Consciously desire to improve Ocean Wise and Vancouver Aquarium processes by:

    Promptly aiding in Emergency protocol;

    Maintaining organization safety standards;

    Continually improving our impact on the environment and greening of operations through support of EMS protocols;

    Actively demonstrating the organization’s values and expectations for conduct;

    Performs additional duties of a similar nature or level as required.



    Education and Experience

    Design degree after completion of a 4-year program;

    A minimum of 7 years’ experience required with a track record in managing outside designers, consultants and vendors;

    Minimum 3-5 years of experience leading a team;

    Experience with print development, design, and production;

    Mastery of design tools, standards, and practices;

    Accomplished illustrator – portfolio required;

    Experience designing and installing 3D Exhibit design experiences in public settings.


    Aesthetics: Must have a contemporary design fashion sense with an understanding of design trends and longevity. Ability to take a strong aesthetic leadership position but flexibility to accommodate client and end user requirements;

    Values: Must have a good understanding of audience values (individual and cultural) in the conservation/aquarium realm for the purposes of design creativity and solutions;

    Professional reconciliation: Must be able to accommodate client and end user requirements in the face of demands that potentially conflict with their own sense of aesthetics, quality and artistic merit;

    Required computer skills included but not limited to; Macintosh expertise, Outlook; Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Photoshop, and Illustrator;

    Highly organized, multi-tasking, management focused;

    Strong budgeting and financial management skills;

    Excellent written and verbal communication skills;

    Excellent networking skills and a passion for remaining current with advances in exhibit, public gallery, and graphic design;

    An ability to bring together multi-disciplinary teams;

    Must work well under pressure on complex projects, dealing with internal and external stakeholders including vendors, contractors, and the public;

    Demonstrated capability and experience in team organization and participation skills and work processes including strategic planning, goal definition, and work plan development, and budgeting;

    Quality driven with attention to detail.


    Primarily in office environment, including some shared work space, as necessary;

    Will involve some longer days/hours to ensure exhibit timelines are met;

    Walking through galleries and behind the scenes spaces;

    Lifting up to 50 lbs while assisting with exhibit set up, etc.

Interpretation Canada c/o Kerry Wood Nature Centre 6300 45th Ave Red Deer, AB, Canada  T4N 3M4

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