Public Programmer

$14.50/hour; 16 weeks

8 May to 30 August

The Terrace and District Museum Society is seeking a Public Programmer for a sixteen-week summer position at Heritage Park Museum in Terrace, British Columbia, to plan, promote, and implement our special events, and to coordinate community programs. The wage is $14.50 an hour. The position begins on 8 May and ends on 30 August.

The ideal candidate will be enthusiastic about marketing, museums, and community events. Students with demonstrated experience in event planning or promotion will be given priority, though all interested candidates are encouraged to apply. The Terrace and District Museum Society is especially interested in post-secondary students whose studies pertain to marketing and/or history. Applicants must be between 16 and 30 years of age, and must be full-time students intending to return to school full time in the fall.

Operated by the not-for-profit Terrace and District Museum Society, Heritage Park Museum is a community museum and heritage site consisting of authentic log buildings set up with displays showcasing various aspects of local history, including trapping, forestry, mining, and agriculture. The museum hosts special events and runs community programs for a variety of ages and populations throughout the summer months.

Terrace is located in Northwestern British Columbia, and is a vibrant community of approximately 12,000 people, with a regional population of approximately 18,000. We are located south of the Nass Valley, east of Prince Rupert, and north of Kitimat. We are two hours by air from Vancouver, and seven hours by driving from Prince George. Terrace is located in the traditional territory of the Kitselas and Kitsumkalum First Nations and is consequently rich in culture and history. The surrounding mountains, lakes, and rivers provide infinite opportunities for hiking, biking, fishing, and swimming. Nearby cultural attractions include the Kitselas Canyon National Historic Site (15 km east of Terrace) and the Nisga’a Museum in Laxgalts’ap (approximately two hours’ drive north of Terrace). See www.visitterrace.com for further information. Alternatively, visit the local newspaper’s website to see the issues and events concerning Terrace residents at www.terracestandard.com.

Please send a resume and cover letter to Kelsey Wiebe, Curator, Heritage Park Museum at curator@heritageparkmuseum.com. Applicants selected for interviews will be contacted by to arrange either an in-person or telephone interview by the curator, depending on availability.

Project and Job Objectives:

The Public Programmer will give interpretive museum tours to community groups and school classes, and will assist with the planning and implementation of special community events. These events include the Canada Day Celebrations, Riverboat Days Museum Workshops, Children’s Arts Day Camps, Biweekly Seniors’ Teas, the Summer Lecture Series, and the Gardens and Green Spaces Presentations. In addition, the student will plan downtown historic walking tours, cemetery tours, and other programs designed to foment interest in local history. In all cases, French-language and First Nations groups will be invited. By encouraging community groups to use Heritage Park Museum for workshops and events, finding new ways to frame the museum as a community space, and running museum programs in the downtown, the Public Programmer will help to bring the museum off the hill and into the community. The student will have the opportunity to utilise creative solutions in marketing programs and events to increase visitation, targeting both tourists and residents with promotional activities and materials. The student will enjoy a great deal of flexibility in the implementation of his or her ideas, and will develop marketing, event planning, and programming skills and experience that will assist in his or her eventual career. The Terrace and District Museum Society will benefit from the increased public profile developed through these initiatives, and from a heightened community awareness of and participation in our programs and events. The community will benefit from the many free community programs and events offered at the museum. They will have a chance to celebrate community events and local history at a historic site.

Measurable Outcomes:

The measurable outcomes of the project will principally include increased site visitation and attendance during our special events and community programs. Additionally, a sense of community awareness and shared ownership of Heritage Park Museum will indicate success. These outcomes will be achieved by the Public Programmer’s ongoing marketing of the museum and its programs and special events. Invitations to minority groups, such as First Nations, Francophone people, and people with disabilities, and to nonprofit organisations to participate in all events will also facilitate greater diversity of participation, ensuring more accurate community representation. The perception of Heritage Park Museum as a culturally significant site and as a place for intellectual discussion, as cultivated through our programming and events, including our lecture series, will also indicate the success of the student’s efforts. These outcomes will be assessed based on visitor/participation statistics and feedback, and market research. Finally, a common sense of engagement with Heritage Park Museum and with local history will indicate the overall success of the project.

Description of Tasks:

The Public Programmer will plan, promote, oversee, and evaluate special community events at the museum. The most notable of these is the Canada Day Celebrations, which is the largest community celebration in Terrace on July first. Last year, nearly 2000 people participated in the live music, horse rides, ethnic food, children’s activities, First Nations dancing, art exhibitions, and historical demonstrations. The student will also help plan the workshops, lectures, displays, and events at Heritage Park Museum during the Summer Arts Festival and Riverboat Days, as well as the Museum Workshops, and biweekly Senior’s Teas. S/he will book, advertise, and implement an evening lecture series. S/he will assist in planning historically oriented community. Finally, the student will be responsible for offering collections-based downtown historic walking tours and cemetery tours, based on tours from previous years and research from our collections. These tours will highlight significant events and people in Terrace’s history, with a special emphasis on First Nations people and on the Terrace Mutiny.

In addition to administering special events and programs, the Public Programmer will market Heritage Park Museum to tourists by placing brochures in strategic areas such as hotels and airports and liaising with tour buses and fishing guides/lodges (to attract nonfishing partners). The Public Programmer will continue to work with regional museums to enhance visitation to Northwestern British Columbia, clearly defining Heritage Park Museum as a significant cultural site within a culturally significant region.

Residents of the Terrace region will be encouraged to visit the site through the placing of brochures at resource centres, and invitations to minority groups (such as Kitselas, Kitsumkalum, Terrace Nisga’a Society) to host discussions and forums onsite. An evening lecture series will situate the museum as a site of intellectual discussion, and all of the events will help to increase local engagement and ownership. Throughout the summer work term, market surveys will be utilised and evaluated by the Public Programmer. Each month, the student will compile and analyse visitation statistics, providing a final report with differential graphs for the museum’s Board of Directors.

Candidate Profile:

The ideal candidate will be enthusiastic about museums and community events/programs. Students of education, museum/archival studies, and history will be given priority. Theoretical grounding in these areas will be supplemented by hands-on experience in public speaking, program development, and event planning/implementation. The student will complete the work term with a good understanding of how community museums operate, and how programs are optimized for populations, education, and engagement. S/he will ideally have experience in programming, and/or in planning and implementing special events. The Terrace and District Museum Society is especially interested in post-secondary students whose studies pertain to marketing and/or history.

Advertisements for the position will make clear that applicants must be full-time students between 16 and 30 years of age who intend to return to school full time in the fall. To ensure candidates are eligible according to Young Canada Works, registration or proof of enrollment in full-time studies will be required following a job offer, and prior to the commencement of the work term. The Terrace and District Museum Society encourage applicants who identify themselves as members of the Government of Canada’s job equity groups (i.e. women, persons with disabilities, visible minorities, and Aboriginal peoples).

Applications should be addressed to Kelsey Wiebe, Curator, Heritage Park Museum. They may be emailed to curator@heritageparkmuseum.com. Applicants selected for interviews will be contacted to arrange either an in-person or telephone interview by the Curator, depending on availability.

Employability Skills to be Gained:

The employability skills to be gained from this position include:

– effective public speaking;

– flexibility and openness;

– promotion and marketing;

– responsible setting of goals and juggling of priorities, within a busy summer season;

– planning, designing, and carrying out each of the projects from start to finish. This includes seeking and adapting to feedback, managing time effectively, working to agreed quality standards and specifications, and monitoring success through visitor, peer, and professional feedback;

– implementation of marketing theory and experience;

– resourcefulness in event planning and increasing visitation;

– independence;

– teamwork and collaboration with Curator, fellow summer students, and professional contacts to plan the best events and programs and promote the museum most effectively;

– developed confidence as a result of event planning and program coordination;

– evaluation of data in market surveys;

– adaptation to criticism and suggestions in market surveys;

– continuous learning;

– creativity and cooperation;

– an understanding of the operations of a small community museum run by a nonprofit society;

– networking;

– office/design skills; and

– social responsibility and community engagement.

*** Position is contingent on funding from Young Canada Works in Heritage Organizations.