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Visual Arts Development Lead

Website Thunder Bay Art Gallery

Job Title: Visual Arts Development Lead

Status:  Full time Contract

Supervisor: Executive Director

Salary range: $68,500-$74,971.26, negotiable based on experience

Start Date: ASAP

End Date: 18-month from start date (contract position with possibility of extension/permanent)

Application Deadline:            Dec 11, 2023

The Opportunity

The Thunder Bay Art Gallery is seeking a person of energy and vision to guide our fundraising activities at a time of strategic growth. As a key member of a small team the Development Lead plays a critical role in the achievement of the Gallery’s current and future financial goals through the identification, cultivation, and solicitation of potential donors and sustaining relationships with private and public foundations, donors, and community partners.

This position will manage a comprehensive fundraising and strategic development program designed to raise the profile of the Thunder Bay Art Gallery and contribute to the long-term growth and viability of the organization. The Visual Arts Development Lead is responsible for achieving the Gallery’s short and long-term fundraising goals including major gifts, corporate partnerships, and sponsorships, while establishing and implementing a development and fundraising strategy that increases awareness, engagement, and support for all gallery functions.

The Thunder Bay Art Gallery is uniquely positioned in Northern Ontario as a cultural institution with significant regional, provincial, and national profile. The Gallery has grown steadily over the last 45 years and is at a crucial stage of growth and advancement as we prepare to move into a purpose designed facility on Thunder Bay’s beautiful waterfront that will more than triple our operating and programming space.

Primary Areas of Responsibility

The Visual Arts Development Lead carries out the following duties:

1. Identifies, cultivates, solicits, secures, and stewards major gifts to meet Gallery targets.

2. Participates in the development of a comprehensive fundraising plan and implements that plan to meet the future and ongoing strategic, capital, and operational needs of the Thunder Bay Art Gallery.

3. In symphony with the Executive Director cultivates and engages the Art Gallery Board and volunteer leadership in the execution of the fundraising plan.

4. Develops and leads the execution of a comprehensive stewardship strategy to engage, inspire and secure annual and multi-year donors and sponsors, locally, nationally, and internationally.

5. Develops major gifts and individual and planned giving programmes and solicits and secures donors to support the gallery through major gifts, bequests, and other planned giving vehicles.

6. Maintains relationships with existing donors and sponsors through active stewardship and creates and implements strategies to upgrade donors and sponsors.

7. Maintains a portfolio of prospective donors and sponsors to provide annual or multi-

year gifts and sponsorships for a wide range of institutional priorities.

8. Ensures prospect, sponsor and donor information, and significant solicitor activity, is tracked and recorded into the Development database in a timely manner.

9. Ensures that other development print and electronic collateral materials are consistent with the Gallery brand and produced in a timely manner.

10. Flexibility, work on weekends, and some travel may be required.

Education and experience requirements:

  • Post-secondary diploma or degree and 3-5 years of development experience, including solicitation and stewardship activities with specific experience in a capital campaign, donor development, and budget management an asset;
  • Knowledge of capital campaign and fundraising strategies;
  • Results driven and highly motivated with a demonstrated ability to build and maintain effective relationships;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to work with partners and volunteers;
  • Experience with Raiser’s Edge, Donor Perfect or other fundraising databases/CRM;
  • Excellent organizational, communication, and project management skills;
  • Proficiency using a variety of digital communications media in support of achieving strategic priorities and increasing stakeholder engagement;
  • Ability to work independently and meet multiple deadlines in a fast-paced environment;
  • CFRE certification is considered an asset.

This role is based in Thunder Bay. The candidate must be able to work on site, however a hybrid work model will be considered.

Effective Skills

Networking Skills

Understanding that the Art Gallery is a cultural leader and community partner, the candidate we seek can develop relationships for the Gallery in private and business sectors and look for beneficial connections with organizations throughout the broader community.

Confident Communication

The candidate we seek can develop fundraising messages in writing, in person, and on the web which inform and persuade potential donors.


Working with optimism and curiosity, the candidate we seek can devise innovative fundraising ideas which both fit the Gallery’s role as a public art institution and help advance its long-term goals.


The candidate we seek takes a balanced, strategic approach to timelines and the differing tasks and responsibilities of the position, with a commitment to ensuring both colleagues and AWE Campaign volunteers are positioned to share in the success of fundraising efforts.

About Thunder Bay Art Gallery:

The Thunder Bay Art Gallery gratefully acknowledges that we are located on the territory of the Anishinaabe peoples of Northwestern Ontario. We work and live on the lands of the Fort William First Nation who are signatory to the Robinson-Superior Treaty of 1850.

As the public art gallery for Thunder Bay and Northern Ontario, the Thunder Bay Art Gallery exhibits, collects, and interprets art with a focus on the work of contemporary Indigenous and Northern Ontario artists. The Gallery nurtures a life-long appreciation of the visual arts by:

·         presenting exhibitions of artistic and educational value to cultivate a depth of visual arts experience for the public in Thunder Bay and the broader region of Northern Ontario;

·         supporting and enhancing the development of contemporary Canadian artists with an emphasis on (but not limited to) contemporary Indigenous artists and artists from Northwestern Ontario;

·         stewarding, conserving, and animating a permanent collection of art focused on the work of contemporary Indigenous artists and innovative cultural and artistic practice of Northwestern Ontario artists;

·         and, presenting public programming and outreach activities in order to build audience, increase reception, and expand understanding of the visual arts.

For over 45 years the Thunder Bay Art Gallery has steadily grown and is now the largest art museum in Northern Ontario. Today, we have more than 1600 works of art in our world renowned permanent collection and welcome more than 30,000 people through our

doors each year. Every day, the Gallery provides school tours, hosts free public programs, and shares our space with community groups. We are a bustling cultural hub committed to contemporary Indigenous, local, and regional art.

Finally, we are in the process of preparing for the transition to a new purposed designed facility on Thunder Bay’s waterfront in late 2025. This new gallery will more than triple our exhibition and operating spaces. This significant addition to Ontario’s cultural infrastructure will provide $33 million in direct economic impact during construction. Once open, the Gallery’s operations will generate $2.2 million annually in direct and indirect impacts to the local and regional economy, as well as an estimated $7 million in annual visitor spending.

How to Apply

Applicants who are Deaf, have an exceptionality or disability, or who need support expressing interest or applying for this opportunity are encouraged to contact Valin Sacchetti, Administrative Coordinator at or call 807.577.6427 by Dec 4 to allow for appropriate accommodation of your needs and to discuss alternate formats for submitting your application.

To apply for this position, please send via email to, a letter of intent, a current resume and the names of two references, under the subject line “Visual Arts Development Lead” addressed to:

Matthew R. Hills, Executive Director

Thunder Bay Art Gallery

PO Box 10193

Thunder Bay, ON,  P7B 6T7

The Thunder Bay Art Gallery is committed to employment equity and diversity and encourage applications from all qualified candidates, including women, people of any sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression; Indigenous peoples; visible minorities and racialized people; and people with disabilities. We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

To apply for this job email your details to

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