Exhibitions and Programming Assistant

  • Program stream: Young Canada Works at Building Careers in Heritage
  • Job title: Exhibitions and Programming Assistant
  • Organization name: Toronto Biennial of Art
  • Job location: Toronto, Ontario
  • Length of assignment: 2020-11-02 to 2021-03-31 (21.29 weeks)
  • Hourly wage: $21.13


Position: 21-week contract, 30 hours/week

Dates: 02 November 2020 – 31 March 2021

Hourly: $21.13/hour including mandatory employment costs (EI, CPP, federal and provincial income taxes) and vacation pay

Pay: Bi-weekly

DEADLINE: 16 October 2020


The Toronto Biennial of Art is currently seeking an Exhibitions and Programming Assistant who will play a vital role in the ongoing operations and event planning for the next edition of TBA in 2021. Over the role’s 6-month period, the Assistant will work closely with the curatorial team (Tairone Bastien, Clare Butcher, Candice Hopkins, Myung-Sun Kim, Katie Lawson), experiencing on-the-job training in all aspects of curatorial planning, development and execution of the Biennial’s exhibitions and programs. The Assistant in turn will be of integral importance in the daily work of these departments, working towards the next edition of TBA and acting as an advocate for the organization in the city. TBA is committed to developing a range of skills in relation to exhibition making, programming and learning activities associated with a contemporary art biennial, within a framework of close mentorship that creates future leadership opportunities for recent graduates and early career individuals in the arts.

The Assistant will be engaged in a range of Exhibitions and Programming activities to develop a broad and highly transferable knowledge-base in the arts. Additionally, they will receive daily feedback and assistance on self-directed tasks to enable them to mobilize their abilities to be resourceful and problem solve, vital tools for any successful role in this field. TBA will provide extensive on-the-job training and mentorship for the successful candidate through a range of tasks and opportunities for skills development outlined below.

As part of TBA’s formal evaluation processes, the Assistant will participate in a mutually developed performance review at the mid- and end of their term as well as the opportunity for them to provide feedback and ask questions at bi-weekly staff meetings and informal and formal touchpoints with their direct supervisors in the curatorial team. As part of the evaluation process, a list of developed skills will be documented as well as areas in which the Assistant would like to further their learning. Success will also be determined by enabling the Assistant to further their career in the arts, whether with TBA or another arts organization.


- Support TBA Residencies (Nov 2020) with administrative, communication, daily upkeep, event coordination, and other tasks as they arise

- Providing administrative support to the curatorial team and managing daily tasks as they arise (incl. minute-taking and organization of filing systems)

- Exhibition and Programs archiving, researching, assistance with evaluation process

- Assist in the coordination and research of online resources such as artist research folders and orientation for artist packs via Milanote

- Assist in researching artist and contributor production, transportation, presentation costs

- Assist in collating publication materials

- Support mediation resource development for schools, youth, and adult programming

- Support with community engagement research (1 day per week)

- Assist preparing materials for exhibition docent and volunteer program

- Assistance in event preparation and production in Spring 2021 (i.e. performances, workshops, community events, walking tours, and interviews)

Desired qualifications:

- Minimum 1-2 years of relatable working experience (internship, paid or volunteer)

- Recently completed a degree or have equivalent experience in curatorial, museum studies, or related fields

- Highly organized and detail orientated

- Highly developed writing skills and communication skills

- Ability to work well in a fast-paced organization and is committed to deadlines

- Employ tact, discretion and responsibility in all areas

- Strong familiarity with Microsoft Office, Dropbox and Mac iOS; working knowledge of Adobe creative suite desirable

- Assets: Sketchup; languages spoken other than English; graphic design, communication experience (online and print); ability to manage engaging visual content for digital platforms, including websites, video and social media; driver’s licence and access to a vehicle


To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to curatorial@torontobiennial.org with the subject line “Exhibitions & Programming Assistant position” by 15 October, 2020. Only selected applicants will be contacted for an interview.

Toronto Biennial of Art is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to diversity and inclusiveness in all of our work. We work proactively to be fair and equitable in practice and welcome applications from all qualified individuals. We encourage those who identify as women, persons with disabilities, Indigenous persons, persons of colour, individuals of non-conforming gender and sexual orientations, and all groups protected by the Ontario Human Rights Code to apply. In accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code, Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, accommodation will be provided at any point throughout the hiring process, provided the candidate makes their accommodation needs known to Toronto Biennial of Art.

About TBA:

The Toronto Biennial of Art makes contemporary art available to everyone. In the tradition of influential art biennials like those held in Venice, Sydney, and São Paulo, the Toronto Biennial of Art is a large-scale international contemporary visual arts event. For 10 weeks every two years, local and international Biennial artists transform the city (and surrounding regions) with artworks, talks, and performances that reflect local contexts and pressing issues of our time. The Biennial’s free, citywide programming aims to inspire people, bridge communities, and contribute to global conversations.

Five years in the planning, the inaugural Toronto Biennial launched in 2019, and was a popular and critical success. TBA welcomed nearly 300,000 local and international visitors to 15 sites, featuring 161 artists and performers. The Biennial provided expanded views of contemporary art practice, including significant contributions by BIPOC artists and artworks, and established a legacy of free and accessible contemporary arts programming in Toronto, Mississauga, and the surrounding GTA.

For detailed information on the impact of the first Biennial, please read the 2019 Evaluation Report: https://torontobiennial.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TBA-2019-Evaluation-Report_v13_042420.pdf

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