Job Posting 99269

Vancouver Art Gallery
Vancouver & Lower Mainland
Vancouver, B.C.
closed 6 days ago (Fri, 16 Feb)
full time  •  Pay Grade 26, Step 1 $35.80 per hour






The Conservation team safeguards the Gallery’s collections through preventive care programs and interventive treatment in accordance with the Canadian Association of Conservation’s Code of Ethics. Conservation plays a crucial role supporting access, exhibitions, loans, acquisitions/deaccessions, events, and forms the basis for ongoing collections care.


Reporting to the Director of Museum Services, the Conservator is responsible for the preservation of the collections of the Vancouver Art Gallery, as well as works on loan to the Gallery.  The Conservator will have an in-depth knowledge of conservation, including standards, process, workflows, and the relationship between conservation and other aspects of collection management.  The Conservator supervises and mentors conservation staff and is responsible and accountable for the performance and activities of the conservation team and interns.   The Conservator contributes to strategic planning and policy development with management on matters related to preservation, display and storage and collaborates as part of a diverse leadership team.  The Conservator will participate and assist with the development of plans for the future Vancouver Art Gallery, especially with respect to designs for the future storage of the collections and for the future Conservation Laboratory and moving the collection to the new facility.


Key Responsibilities & Duties


Management and supervisory functions:

  • Evaluates, updates, creates, and communicates conservation and preservation standards, policies, protocols and procedures and ensures these are adhered to within the team; provides expert advice, guidance and support to staff throughout the Gallery for access, handling, housing, storage, environmental control, mold and pest control, object installation and de-installation, exhibition and loan packing and transit.
  • Provides input into strategic planning and policy development regarding artwork preservation matters; provides recommendations to the leadership team regarding program improvements through the application of knowledge and/or techniques gained through research, experiments, or projects; implement program improvements.
  • Sets the team direction in alignment with the priorities defined at department and institution levels while overseeing the day-to-day operations of the department.
  • Supervises department staffing, including the selection, mentoring, and training of staff to reinforce constructive work behaviour and performance. Ensures activities in conservation adhere to conservation standards, policies, protocols and practices as well as Worksafe BC and OHS requirements and standards; supervises the activities of interns and volunteers.
  • Establishes and monitors yearly work plans and administers the departmental budget, as well as the permanent collection budget along with other department heads of the division.
  • Facilitate cross-departmental/gallery/divisional work while closely working with the other department heads or managers and other staff of relevant working groups.



Conservation related duties:

  • Oversees the collection care support and the conservation treatments undertaken by the department, provides advice on artwork treatment options, and oversees examination and materials analyses undertaken by conservation team.  Identify, formulate, and execute interventive conservation projects and treatments on artworks as needed. Cleans, repairs, stabilizes, consolidates and/or restores objects using mechanical and chemical techniques and completes treatment reports with photo documentation.
  • Oversees that the establishment of conservation guidelines and standards of practice are adequately based on current ethics and principles and that their implementation are timely and adequately implemented to reach holistic approach to collections care and access within allocated resources.
  • Supervises and oversees inspection of all incoming artworks for insect or other infestation; regularly conducts pest management inspections in galleries and collection storage and work spaces.
  • Performs conservation assessments on potential new acquisitions and provides conservation recommendations to inform acquisition decisions.
  • Manages exhibition projects, liaising between stakeholders (gallery staff, artists, lenders) to cover conservation-related and display aspects of exhibition preparations, including preventive conservation as necessary.
  • Supports outgoing and incoming loans by reviewing facilities reports, advising on artwork needs for going on loan, and loan agreements. Coordinates and assigns the work of conservation team to provide condition assessments/reports for incoming and outgoing loans and advises on packing artworks for transit.
  • Supports cross departmental teams on packing and preparation of collections for moving (short term loans, off-site storage or for larger move to new facility).
  • Provides advice on collection storage methods and maintenance and care of collections storage facilities to gallery staff and colleagues.
  • Oversees the monitoring of the storage and exhibition environments and works closely with Building Services to resolve problems.
  • Manages care and maintenance of outdoor artwork collection.
  • Oversees and develops comprehensive conservation documentation including condition reports, treatment reports, installation instructions, photo documentation and the preparation of information for the collections database. Ensures data standards and guidelines are followed.  Develops reports and respond to requests for information as required.
  • Collaborates with the Emergency Preparedness team – as well as provincial and national partners (i.e. Canadian Conservation Institute, BC Heritage Emergency Response Network) – to develop and carry out emergency preparedness planning; Coordinates and ensures appropriate staff training within various collection departments in emergency preparedness and leads the response to emergencies within the VAG with regards to collection salvage.
  • Prepares budget proposals and allocates and tracks the Conservation department budget.
  • Oversees and maintains inventory of lab equipment and procurement of new equipment and supplies.
  • Actively participates in conservation-related professional organizations and orchestrates team learning and skill advancement opportunities.
  • Applies for external grant funding where possible and appropriate for conservation projects and interns; administers and reports on contracts, grants and awards allocated to Conservation project work.


 The duties and responsibilities outlined above are representative, but not all inclusive.



Training and Experience

A Master’s degree in Conservation or a Bachelor's degree and an advanced/graduate diploma or certificate in conservation, specializing in fine arts; supplemented with considerable experience (minimum of 5 years) in Art conservation, preferably at the supervisory level in a major Art Gallery.


  • Experience in the conservation treatment and assessment of organic, inorganic, and composite objects and artworks
  • Experience in preparing, packing, and assessing various artworks for exhibits and loans
  • Experience in integrated pest management and environmental monitoring practices in museums
  • Experience with budget management
  • Prefer experience in project management.


An equivalent combination of education and experience may be considered.


Required Knowledge, Abilities and Skills


  • Comprehensive knowledge of current conservation theory, methods and ethics and emerging trends for conservation practice within museums and galleries and how to incorporate them into planning.
  • Thorough understanding of how to plan and conduct conservation treatments on a wide range of artworks, both historical and contemporary; ability to think creatively and translate conservation theory into practice within resources available.
  • Thorough understanding of collection hazard identification, risk mitigation, documentation, treatment and management
  • Understanding of institution-wide workflows for large-scale projects (i.e. preparing/ installing exhibitions; acquisition and divestment; moving collection to new facility) and how to align conservation work effectively.
  • Ability to prioritize and complete work assignments under tight deadlines, including assignments involving complex issues and multiple third parties.
  • Ability to mentor, motivate and manage staff.
  • Ability to foster an environment of cooperation, collaboration and respect; desire to identify and assist co-workers, colleagues, peers, partners (other cultural institutions) to achieve goals.
  • Ability to work cooperatively within diverse teams, work groups and across the organization to achieve group and organization goals. Includes the desire and ability to understand and respond effectively to other people from diverse backgrounds with diverse views.
  • Strong project management skills with proactive planning, establishing priorities and allocating resources, including ability to monitor and adjust work to accomplish goals and deliver to the organization’s mandate.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Proficiency in digital documentation of conservation processes.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft suite



SALARY:  Pay Grade 26, Step 1 $35.80 per hour

HOURS:   9 day fortnight


Please email your resumes to Director of People and Culture by February 16, 2024.  Vancouver Art Gallery, 750 Hornby Street, Vancouver, B.C. V6Z 2H7, email


We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only those short-listed will be contacted.


The Vancouver Art Gallery commits to providing equitable access to everyone. We actively support accessibility, anti-racism, LGBTQ2S+ inclusion and encourage diversity in our staff, visitors, volunteers, and programming. We cultivate a safer space where all voices are heard, valued, and represented. The Gallery stands against hatred, discrimination, racism, homophobia, and transphobia.

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