The purpose of Calgary’s science centre is unwavering. Spark exists to make lives — and the world —
better through an affinity for science. Through visits to Spark, and encounters with Spark in the
community, people are lifted up by the positive power of curiosity, experimentation and creativity.
Spark is a registered charity.
The outcome is profound. Spark helps people of all ages fuel up for the future because at Spark, science,
technology and invention are embedded in cultural experiences. This means designing and delivering
transformative moments that engage and delight through story, technology, immersive experiences and
human connection. Through this we create new points of access to the disciplines at the core of
innovation. Join the Spark team to transform lives and inspire the future.
The Director, Strategic Projects, reports directly to the CEO and is accountable for leading the
development and implementation of special projects that span across all areas of the organization. This
role is a key public-facing representative of the organization, responsible for building partnerships that
engage the community in the development of Calgary’s science centre.
This is a leadership team position that helps to instigate an inspired culture at Spark where the whole
team acts with agility toward positive change. As a result, this is a key cultural role at Spark with
influence on the reputation and experience of Spark in the community.
This position plays a key role in managing and implementing cross-functional projects that support the
mission while growing audience and revenues. This position leads Spark in providing excellent project
management with business acumen and scientific integrity in areas including but not limited to:
Connecting operational improvements to science content and experiences
Renovations to the building
New gallery and exhibit renovations
Special project technology upgrades such as Dome Theatre operations and programming
Liaising with strategic consultants and contractors
Develop strategic operational plans for special projects to ensure they are connected to Spark’s
Roadmap for the 2020s.
Work closely with the CEO to advance cross-functional projects that support the mission, longterm vision, and public brand of Spark.
Manage partnership and government related special projects.
Lead the creation of special programs and initiatives that relate to different parts of the
organization built on high quality learning pedagogy to support the creation, implementation
and operation of creative experiences that span across functional areas.
Build strong relationships with other Directors to help infuse a culture of strong project
management and creative learning across the organization.
Foster a culture that embraces all roles as equally valuable within the organization.
Create a culture that is impact-oriented.
Continually assesses and upgrade experiences for visitors.
Assess the opportunities for continuing conversations digitally.
Identify, acquire and develop the talent pool to deliver on established targets, while ensuring
effective succession planning.
Analyze and identify issues affecting operational performance and establish initiatives for
Develop long-term, value-added relationships with partners locally, regionally, nationally or
internationally as appropriate.
Represent Spark as a spokesperson to business, public organizations, stakeholder groups and/or
general public while actively seeking partnership opportunities in order to further organizational
Participate in related associations to establish provincial and national awareness and impact of
Spark, and learn from the field.
Ensure the delivery of optimal results against appropriate financial and associated performance
Establish and implement monitoring systems to provide operational and strategic indicators for
prudent management of Spark resources.
Seek opportunities for further expansion, and actively support business development in new
10+ years of progressive experience in project management and/or partner relations and
strategy with a proven track record of achieving program growth and financial stability.
5+ years leading an operational team.
Understanding and experience with the challenges associated with operating and maintaining a
high performing creative and technical team with connections to development, marketing and
communications in a non-profit setting.
A solid understanding of project management, budgeting, operational planning, systems,
controls and compliance.
The successful candidate must successfully complete a criminal record check.
Culture at Spark
Spark’s goal is to become one of the top 10 most-worth-visiting science centres in the world. Through
skilled and confident programming, Spark will attract visitors from around the city, province and globe,
and immerse them in emotive experiences as they explore ever-evolving, quirky and thought-provoking
galleries. The skilled programming at this level of success will only be possible with an organization-wide
commitment to effective performance. High performance at Spark is both defined and experienced by
diverse cultures and proactively advances equity among all human beings as part of the definition of
Spark’s high performance culture is driven by a shared purpose. Team members are united by values
and proud of the reputation we are building together. What does high performance look like at Spark?
Commitment to Purpose. Everyone at Spark is a purpose driven leader. You are passionate
about entertaining people of all ages in creative encounters with science, technology and
engineering, and the output of your work reflects our values: collaboration, curiosity, courage,
commitment, and creativity.
Commitment to Continuous Learning. Your individual growth is driven by a desire to be a part
of the team that makes Spark one of the best science centres in the world. Every day is a
professional development day at Spark. You are expected to seek out learning opportunities and
pursue professional growth. At times the growth may be uncomfortable, and you embrace it as
part of the journey.
Agents of Change. We are a culture of experimentalists. It is expected and encouraged for staff
to make suggestions that can improve a program, presentation, process or service. It is also
expected and encouraged for suggestions to be accepted and tried with a thank you for helping
each other get even stronger.
Coaching Mindset. Sparklers are committed to helping each other become even stronger in our
roles. Upgrading each other’s work is enjoyable and rewarding because teams are built on trust.
Supervisor feedback feels like coaching, not criticism or punishment. Remember, you can say
anything if you are kind, clear and non-judgmental. This is how high performance teams are
Winning and Losing as a Team. We work together to drive action and results that are aligned
with Spark’s mission in the outside world. We encourage healthy debate and science-based
decision making. Our relationships allow us to make big asks of each other and get big things
done together with a sense of urgency and excellence. If someone appears to fail, you ask,
“What did I do or not do to contribute to that, as it is my failure too.”
Achieving Results. Spark is dedicated to excellence in all aspects of communicating science and
we carry that dedication to excellence in every aspect of Spark’s work. We encourage each
other to set stretch goals and work together across all departments to exceed them.
To Apply: Interested candidates can submit their cover letter and resume, in confidence, to
firstname.lastname@example.org with “Director, Strategic Projects” in the subject line.
Closing Date: January 29, 2020
We thank all applicants for their interest. Only those selected for an interview will be contacted.
Spark is committed to employment equity and diversity and encourages applications from all qualified
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