Call for Board Members
Urban Shaman Contemporary Aboriginal Art is a charitable, not-for-profit artist-run centre located on Treaty 1 territory in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Urban Shaman presents contemporary Indigenous Aboriginal art with integrity while remaining rooted in our diverse Aboriginal cultures.
Founded in 1996, Urban Shaman continues to be a nationally recognized leader in Aboriginal arts programming and one of the foremost venues and voices for Aboriginal art in Canada. Our focus on developing new programming and new ways of presenting it have resulted in increased exposure and the expansion of our activities. Urban Shaman is dedicated to the Aboriginal arts community and arts community at large.
- Committed to serving the needs of emerging, mid-career, and established Aboriginal artists through exhibitions and associated programming, workshops, residencies and curatorial initiatives.
- Dedicated to contributing to art historical and cultural critical discourses on a local, national, and international level.
- Committed to facilitating artistic production, education, and appreciation of contemporary art as an important and empowering tool for Aboriginal peoples.
We support a multidisciplinary program that is dedicated to meeting the needs of artists by providing a vehicle for artistic expression in all disciplines and at all levels by taking a leadership role in the cultivation of Indigenous art.
As Urban Shaman approaches its 28th anniversary, we are in a process of organizational renewal and the continuation of developing operational excellence to support our future generations of artists and arts professionals. As part of this transition, we are looking to expand our local board of directors and to strengthen our governance processes. There are currently a number of exciting opportunities to be actively involved in a strategic and governance capacity in the following areas of expertise: finance, legal, public relations, human resources and governance.
Recognition in one of the identified areas of expertise.
- Treasurer: Finance (CPA, Budgeting).
- Legal: copyright, real estate, MOUs
- Public Relations: lobbying/advocacy, communications, digital strategy, community organizing.
- Governance: human resources, strategic planning, non-profit leadership, professional fundraising.
Roles and Responsibilities
Urban Shaman’s board is a Governance Board. Board members are elected to serve a minimum two-year term that is renewable to a maximum of six years. The time commitment for a board member may fluctuate throughout the year, but is approximately two to four hours a month. The position of board member is a volunteer position.
The board has four standing committees: Facilities, Finance and Audit, Human Resources, and Governance and Nominations.
All board members are required to:
Ensure that Urban Shaman meets its legal and financial responsibilities as a registered charity.
- Develop the strategic direction of the organization with management and staff.
- Approve policy and procedures and monitor their implementation.
- Act as passionate advocates for Urban Shaman.
- Help attract funding, in-kind support, and sponsorship.
- Contribute to annual reviews of the organization.
- Attend bi-monthly board meetings and/or committee meetings.
- Join a committee and perform committee work.
- Review relevant documents and provide advice as necessary.
Required Skills and Attributes
- High passion for the mission: knowledge and awareness of the impact that cultural not-for-profit organizations such as Urban Shaman have in contributing to and transforming society.
- Credibility: engagement in your sector prior to board service.
- Connection to Indigenous arts – Importance of the arts through community or lived experience.
- Reflective of the community your organization serves.
- Fluent communication skills with the ability to represent the organization externally.
- A commitment to ensuring equity, diversity, and inclusion throughout the organization.
- A willingness to engage in fundraising and gaining in-kind support.
Experience and Competency
- Prior non-profit board experience
- Writing skills
- Facilitation skills
- Prior volunteer experience
- Public Speaking
- Experience working in collaboration with others through work
- Strong networker with broad sphere of influence
- Leadership potential
- Diplomacy – receptive to alternative points of view
- Contagious enthusiasm about the work of the organization
- Team player
- Humble confidence (ego in check)
- A sense of joy in being of service
- Respectful – responsive to emails and requests
- Excited about sharing the impact of the work with their networks
Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Urban Shaman is an Indigenous led organization that actively supports equity and inclusion. We believe that diversity strengthens and enriches us, and are committed to helping make the arts and cultural sector a more equitable environment. Our governing body is comprised of 60% Aboriginal board members and 40% of members from diverse communities. We encourage people from racialized communities, women, people with disabilities and people from the 2SLGBTQ+ communities with the skills and knowledge to apply. If you wish to self-identify as Indigenous, please do so in your cover letter.
Applications will be assessed for the potential to perform the role, as well as for specific skill in the identified areas of expertise we seek. Individuals who are shortlisted will be asked to attend a brief interview with a board member. Successful applicants may be asked to attend meetings as observers in advance of their start date. Applications will be assessed for actual and perceived conflicts of interest that could adversely impact board member’s ability to perform their duties. A board member is not able to directly participate in Urban Shaman’s programming (e.g., curate, or exhibit or present work) while serving on the board of directors.
Please submit a cover letter expressing your interest in Urban Shaman and the role of board member, along with your resume/curriculum vitae, and two professional references to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Board Member Search”.
Applications close on: Friday, March 31, 2023 at 5 p.m. (CST)
Urban Shaman will support applicants who require accommodation to fully participate in the application process. The board of directors works in a hybrid format (online and in-person).
Urban Shaman’s space is partially accessible. We are currently planning to relocate the gallery to improve accessibility. If you have specific questions relating to accessibility, please email email@example.com
Urban Shaman Contemporary Aboriginal Art
203 – 290 McDermot Avenue
T: +1 (204) 942-2674