Artistic Programmer | Employment Opportunity

Call for Applications


Application Deadline: November 24th, 2019


SAW Video Media Art Centre seeks a highly motivated, self-directed, organized and collaborative individual to take up the role of Artistic Programmer for its exhibition and presentation venue, Knot Project Space. Reporting to the Director, the Artistic Programmer is responsible for the visioning, management and delivery of all Knot Project Space presentation programs, including exhibitions, talks, performances, and screenings, as well as its special projects, including the Expanded Practice artist residency and Knot Projections public art series.

The Artistic Programmer will develop yearly Knot Project Space programming that uniquely engages with contemporary artistic practice and its surrounding discourses. The Artistic Programmer will also seek to engage audiences and members of the community beyond standard presentation programming to cultivate focused discursive contexts, such as seminars, discussion groups and other collectively driven programs. The Artistic Programmer will demonstrate an interest in continuing the development of Knot Project Space’s experimentalism, in all of its possible trajectories. This position welcomes an individual with an adventurous approach to programming and curation, while also rooting these efforts within SAW Video’s wider vision as artist-run centre, and the collaborative systems of support that occur within the wider institution.

The Artistic Programmer must have experience delivering thoughtful video and media art programming as well as prior knowledge of the broader arts and culture community of Ottawa and its surrounding regions (including SAW Video’s diverse community). The Artistic Programmer will have a clear understanding of artist-run centre culture and history which uniquely positions our centre.



  • Facilitates the operations, maintenance and artistic direction of Knot Project Space; 
  • Curates, plans and presents Knot Project Space annual programs including exhibitions, performances, screenings, etc.;
  • Oversees Knot Project Space’s Expanded Practice residency and any other media art commissions/residencies as required including all artistic calls for submissions on behalf of Knot Project Space;
  • Researches new programs, artists and ideas to bring into Knot Project Space;
  • Writes promotional and critical texts for programming events and oversees the design, production of promotional and didactic materials;
  • Liaises with communications on media outreach and relations relating to Knot Project Space activities, including: overseeing press releases, advertisements, promotional materials and any publications as necessary;
  • Liaises with the Chief of Staff and any other staff involved with other programming (Loop programs, workshops, etc.) at the centre to strategize and collaborate on programming initiatives of the centre as a whole on an ongoing basis.  

Community Relations

  • Encourages collaborations, partnerships and sponsorships with other arts organizations and institutions locally, nationally and internationally;
  • Represents SAW Video at national and international industry events as required;
  • Responsible for liaising with press and the public about Knot Project Space programming and projects as required (this can include facility tours);
  • Oversees the Ontario Arts Council’s Exhibition Assistance program on behalf of SAW Video;

Finance and Administration

  • Provides a key role in preparation of programming grant applications as overseen by the Director;
  • Prepares regular reports to the Director, Board of Directors and granting bodies on programming activities and operations;
  • Manages programming budgets in consultation with the Director; maintains current information on both actual and projected expenses, presents interim/final program budgets to the Director for approval;
  • Responsible for negotiating artist and curator fees and coordinates all guest artist/curator travel and accommodation;
  • Refers to the Chief of Staff on all matters pertaining to finance and human resources; this includes but is not limited to: artist payments, invoicing, hiring contract staff, etc.
  • Consults with the Director and technical staff on all matters pertaining to equipment purchasing and equipment maintenance related to programming activities;
  • Responsible for contributing to the overall healthy working culture of the organization; supporting and managing effective systems that are transparent, well communicated and support our strategic plan.

Supervisory Responsibilities

  • Supervises all Knot Project Space technicians, interns and contract staff (including visiting curators, photographers, graphic designers, etc.);
  • Oversees all installations of exhibitions in the Knot Project Space as well as maintenance of the space and equipment;
  • Maintains an active Knot Project Space programming committee as committee co-chair and consults with the Programming Committee on an ongoing basis;
  • Responsible for ensuring the adherence of SAW Video policies for all Knot Project Space related programming.


  • A minimum of 2 years of video and media art related programming/curatorial experience;
  • Extensive knowledge of contemporary media art practice and the media arts milieu in Canada and internationally;
  • Proven success in project grant writing in a not-for-profit capacity as well as excellent critical writing experience;
  • Key characteristics: passionate, organized, flexible, process driven, joyful, communicative, willing to learn, eager to face challenge, ability to receive constructive feedback, passionate about fulfilling SAW Video’s mission and strategic vision;  
  • Strong interpersonal and organizational (i.e., public speaking) communication skills;
  • Ability to thrive in a demanding, fast-paced not-for-profit environment; 
  • Outstanding planning and organizational skills with the ability to effectively prioritize;
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively with large groups;
  • Adobe Creative Cloud skills considered an asset;
  • The ability to speak more than one language;
  • An active art practice of their own.


Salary: Full-time position, $38,000-$40,000 per annum (commensurate with experience)

Benefits: Health/dental

Generous professional development opportunities, opportunity to travel, paid vacation leave and artistic leave available to full-time employees

SAW Video Working Culture

The Artistic Programmer will most often fulfill their duties onsite at SAW Video’s offices or in Knot Project Space. Occasional offsite programming will be required as well as some staff travel and development opportunities that may take place remotely on evenings and or weekends. The Artistic Programmer will most often hold a 10:00am-5:00pm schedule, working Monday-Friday or Tuesday-Saturday, depending on exhibitions. The ideal candidate must be flexible with weekend work as required as you are the representative on behalf of the organization at most of Knot Project Space events.

SAW Video Media Art Centre is an intersectional feminist organization and employer that is eager and active in breaking down barriers for our community through our programs and resources. We respect everyone who works here, volunteers here or visits here and treat them with the thoughtfulness and kindness akin to how we treat our friends. We respect our physical spaces as we would our own home or other cherished space(s). SAW Videos working culture prioritizes joy, self-determination, pragmatism, reflection, flexibility, accountability to the organization and accountability to each other.  

Application Procedure

Application Deadline: November 24th, 2019

Interviews: December 2nd-13th, 2019

Start Date: Flexible (preferably January-February 2020)

SAW Video Media Art Centre is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to diversity in our workplace. We strongly encourage all qualified applicants to apply.  

Please review the entirety of this job description in detail as only qualified applicants will be considered. Applications must be sent to Applications must be sent as one PDF document and need to include:

  1. Cover letter
  2. Resume
  3. Artist resume (if applicable)

References will be requested from applicants who are asked to interview. Only those selected for interview will be contacted. We appreciate the interest of all who apply. No phone calls or walk-ins please.

Please submit all inquiries to:

Jenna Spencer
Chief of Staff