Hiring: Cultural Planning Manager

STEPS is seeking a Cultural Planning Manager to support our growing cultural planning and placemaking services. This full-time position is ideal for an experienced planner or cultural project manager.

Now Hiring: Cultural Planning Manager
Application Deadline: Monday, November 14, 2022 at 12 PM (Noon) Eastern Time
Full-Time, Anticipated Start Date: Monday, January 9, 2023
Hybrid Position: Considering applications from across Canada
Compensation Range: $55,000-$65,000

Who is STEPS Public Art?

STEPS envisions a world where artists and communities co-create meaningful, welcoming and safe public spaces. We are a Canada Revenue Agency registered charity that engages and empowers artists and communities to transform public spaces into vibrant places. Our team is composed of high-performing, highly ethical creative entrepreneurial innovators who truly care about their communities. 

Our staff benefit from: Extensive time-off, such as for National Day of Truth & Reconciliation, birthdays, float days for cultural holidays that are not Ontario statutory holidays; as well as lieu time policies and a holiday closure period. Salaried staff have access to supplemental health, dental, optical and limited life insurance benefits, including travel assist coverage following a probationary period, as well as a policy around supplemental benefits for maternity/parental leave. Staff are supported in their professional development through a combination of all staff and targeted individual development opportunities including but not limited to training, mentorship and external conference/event participation. Our open-concept waterfront office has natural light and ample room for physical distancing. Flexible working arrangement policies provide staff with remote working as well as alternative scheduling options.

Our main office is based in T’karonto, the Ancestral Wendat territory and the shared territory of the Anishinaabeg and the Haudenosaunee, covered by The Dish With One Spoon treaty, and later, Treaty 13 signed with the Mississaugas of the Credit, and the Williams Treaties signed with multiple Mississaugas and Chippewa bands. STEPS is committed to cultivating safe spaces for Indigenous voices to be heard. We invest in ongoing staff and Board learning related to equity, inclusion and accessibility topics; supports such as staff-led equity groups, among which include a BIPOC group as well as a Disability and Chronic Illness group to help foster an accessible and accommodating work environment for our team and stakeholders.

Who are you?

This role supports strategic planning and evidence-based decision making related to a wide range of cultural planning projects, including planning for cultural districts, placemaking programming and public art initiatives. Your thoughtful community engagement initiatives, data collection and analysis systems, and efficient research into best practices and precedents, will contribute to achieving the cultural planning goals of Canadian municipalities, Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) and community groups.

This unique position is ideal for someone who deeply understands and can articulate the benefits cultural experiences can provide in building healthy and sustainable communities. You are creative, entrepreneurial, proactive, observant, well organized, and thrive in a fast-paced environment. You love brainstorming, problem-solving, and connecting with people. You have experience jumping in and putting processes in place that make an improvement on what has been built while being respectful of the work that has come before.

You love people and relationship management. You relish on making sense of things, executing logistics, anticipating problems, and fixing them. You’re good at keeping information confidential. You thrive on each day being different and presenting new opportunities and challenges. If you are an organized, strong and empathetic people manager, not easy to overwhelm, and you have a positive attitude that makes people want to be your teammate, we are looking forward to meeting you!

For the immediate future, most of the responsibilities for this role can be performed virtually and we are accepting applications from applicants across Canada. There will be increasing responsibilities that require in-person tasks as our cultural planning portfolio grows, particularly as it relates to facilitating consultation or planning activities in various parts of Canada which may require some travel.

This is a full-time position, with salary commensurate with experience. Following a 6 month probationary period, this position is eligible for group benefits, which includes extended health, dental and limited life policies.

STEPS encourages applications from all qualified candidates who are legally able to work in Canada that represent the full diversity of communities in Canada, including complexities of intersecting identities such as ability, age, class, gender, race and sexual orientation. We are particularly interested in receiving applications from equity-deserving communities, including those who identify as: Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit and Métis), Black, a person of colour, newcomer, Disabled and/or LGBTQQIP2SAA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, pansexual, two-spirit, asexual, allies, along with additional sexual orientations and gender identities).


  • Leading cultural research and planning initiatives aimed to leverage the potential for growth and multi-sector benefits from Canada’s creative sector
  • Facilitating staff, public and community group consultation meetings, workshops and planning sessions
  • Authoring reports and presenting findings of initiatives to clients, external stakeholders and at cross-sectoral conferences, as well as advising on or supporting implementation of actionable culture plans
  • Developing fee-for-service or funding proposals for cultural planning/placemaking initiatives
  • Identifying, developing and stewarding relationships with municipal/regional cultural departments, economic development agencies, BIAs, tourism groups, external experts, across Canada
  • Working with STEPS leadership team to establish and maintain metric collection to measure organizational impact, as well as refine our cultural planning/placemaking services in response to the diverse needs of Canadian communities
  • Recruiting and supervising staff/contractors supporting the cultural planning portfolio, which includes cultivating strong working relationships characterized by productivity, respect, clear communication, mentorship, and commitment to professional excellence
  • Working with STEPS Engagement Team to ensure success of all outreach, communications and public relations strategies for initiatives within STEPS cultural planning portfolio
  • Actively participating in organization-wide strategic projects, such as operational enhancements, engagement, audience development and revenue generation initiatives

We think it’s important that you have the following

  • A degree in Urban Planning, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Environmental Design Cultural Policy or related discipline
  • Minimum three years of relevant experience overseeing culture planning work
  • Minimum three years of experience managing people and collaborative teams
  • Knowledge of contemporary visual arts practices, including public art and placemaking; as well as cultural planning practice, principles and theory
  • Experience with planning and facilitating community engagement processes (open houses, community workshops, digital engagement)
  • Experience planning and implementing capital projects (public art, placemaking, facilities)
  • A high degree of creativity in response to diverse problem solving challenges
  • Strong organizational and prioritization skills when juggling multiple competing tasks
  • Great interpersonal skills, including meaningful collaboration with external groups on joint projects, as well as openly and respectfully communicating with colleagues
  • Excellent and confident communication skills — written, in person and via phone/web conferencing, including public speaking for presentations
  • Strong leadership and decision-making skills, including effective delegation as needed
  • High level of professionalism — a punctual, quick-learning and service-oriented self-starter
  • Independent worker who is detail-oriented, able to prioritize, and self-manage responsibilities 
  • Highly self-motivated with ability to work individually and in collaborative teams 
  • An open-minded attitude that shines when working with equity-deserving communities
  • Strong problem-solving skills — you ask questions to discover information and underlying issues, then roll up your sleeves to get things done, and resolve issues before a problem arises
  • Critical thinker with an ability to keep calm and seek clarification ahead of deadlines
  • Commitment to organizational development through respectful feedback cycles
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office, Zoom, and Google Drive
  • Experience with Adobe Suite, Asana, and/or CRMs considered an asset
  • Capacity to diplomatically work with partners who have fluctuating high-pressure needs
  • Commitment to working within an equity framework with strong cross-cultural sensitivity
  • Ability to work occasional evenings and weekends, as well as travel for work
  • Membership in a Canadian Planning, Architecture, or Landscape Architecture professional association is an asset
  • Valid driver’s license is an asset

Application Process

We invite qualified applicants to apply via the online portal by no later than Monday, November 14, 2022 at 12pm NOON Eastern Time. If you require accommodations to apply for this opportunity, please send an email by Monday, October 31 with “STEPS Cultural Planning Manager Accommodations” in the subject line to info@stepspublicart.org.

Applications will not be accepted by email. While we appreciate the interest of all applicants, we can only communicate with those shortlisted for an interview.

Applications are now closed

Interviews are anticipated to take place the week of November 28th, 2022. The hiring process will involve two rounds of interviews. The first will be a 30-60 minute structured interview (each candidate will be asked the same questions) and the questions will be provided in advance. This first interview round will be facilitated by two members of our team. The second interview round will be in presentation-style followed by questions, which will in total last 30-60 minutes. A presentation scenario will be provided in advance and this second interview may involve 2-4 members of STEPS’ team.

This interview process will make use of video conferencing. It is anticipated that this second round of interviews will take place during the week of December 5th, 2022. The anticipated start date is Monday, January 9th, 2023.

Artist Credit: AstroSankofa Arts Initiative
Photo Credit: Selina McCallum

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