The Convent Manager

New Dawn Centre for the Arts / 170 George Street, Sydney

The Manager of The Convent will care for and plan for The Convent building, building systems, and grounds. The Manager of the Convent will set the vision for what The Convent is to achieve and will take concrete steps to realize that vision. The Manager will have overall operational and budgetary responsibility for The Convent, its staff, and the execution of its vision. The Manager will both supervise and be aided by support staff.the

About the organization

New Dawn Enterprises

Since 1976, New Dawn has operated in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality (Cape Breton County) as a not-for-profit social enterprise. New Dawn is governed by a volunteer board of directors and employs more than 135 people across its nine divisions. Today New Dawn works in the fields of housing, home care, residential care, immigration settlement, meals on wheels and food education, community engagement, community investments, and most recently, the arts.

New Dawn’s mission and vision are as relevant today as they were in 1976 and continue to guide the work of the organization. Its mission is to engage the community to create and support a culture of self-reliance and its vision is self-reliant people in a vibrant community

Centre for Arts

In 2013, New Dawn purchased the former Holy Angels High School and Convent and, through consultation with the community, determined that affordable working and presentation spaces for artists were a much-needed piece of modern creative economy infrastructure on the Island. Over the next five years, design, construction, and public and then private fund development began. Today, The Convent is a 40,000 square foot arts hub in downtown Sydney, Nova Scotia that offers affordable work, collaboration, learning, and presentation space for more than 150 artists and creators. The Convent is home to 21 private studios, a large open studio, four anchor arts tenants, two multi-purpose spaces, a café and kitchen, small non-commercial gallery, and board room. The Convent exists to:

  • Provide modern, safe, supportive, affordable space for artists from which they can explore, take risks, create, challenge, develop, learn, collaborate, and otherwise advance their work.
  • Foster an inclusive, multigenerational, multicultural, and multidisciplinary community.
  • Raise awareness of the role the arts play in our culture and promote the benefits that the arts offer.
  • Engage the community in the creation, appreciation, understanding, and critique of art practices.
  • Provide access to quality arts-based learning and community-building events.
  • Convene and collaborate with other organizations that support the arts.
  • Provide an important platform from which artists in Cape Breton engage with the world and through which the world engages with art in Cape Breton.
  • Increase the visibility and importance of the arts as means of empowerment, of self and community reflection, and as pathways for talking about and building more equitable, just, and honest communities.

Responsibilities

Facility and Grounds

  • Ensuring the safety, security, maintenance and timely repair of the facility and grounds.
  • Ensure the Convent facility and grounds adhere to New Dawn OHS and fire safety policies and procedures.
  • Ensure the servicing, preventative maintenance, other warranty/systems requirements of Convent systems.
  • Engage ND Rental Properties maintenance in the repair of leased spaces after tenant departure.
  • Act as first point of contact for and take calls for Convent security and alarm systems monitoring.
  • Coordinate service contracts required for the Convent: cleaning, landscaping, snow removal, etc.
  • Design, implement, and monitor a system that encourages maximum building environmental sustainability.

Budgets and Finances 

  • Develop annual Convent operational budget based with support from NDE accounting.
  • Track all funds received (i.e. event revenue) and reconcile regularly with accounting.
  • Make recommendations for improving financial performance of The Convent.
  • Set up rent payment plans for anchor and studio tenants and monitor.
  • Make requests, as needed, for major expenditures with rationales.
  • Monitor and record Convent expenditures throughout the year.
  • Identify and make applications to grant programs.

Management/Human Resources

  • Hire, orient, supervise additional staff/students, as needed
  • Work to support and develop new hires in their role and in the organization
  • Provide ongoing feedback about (recognition for) performance and professional development
  • Keep accurate and up-to-date personnel files on all staff/students

Tenant Relations

  • Advertise for new tenants as needed (assembling and conveying advertising packages and strategies).
  • Support the Advisory Committee and/or Tenant Selection Committee in vetting tenant applications.
  • Welcome/help to establish new tenants (lease, tenant handbook, keys, electronic introductions, website).
  • Design and implement tenant events that encourage relationship building and collaboration.
  • Welcome tenant feedback/recommendations on future Convent policies and programming.
  • Execute annual review of tenant leases and handbook and tenant fit, prior to lease renewal.
  • Issue warnings and administer notice to tenants in violation of lease/tenant handbook.
  • Maintain up-to-date tenant files.

Convent Event Spaces

  • Oversee the professional operation of four event spaces in The Convent.
  • Market the availability/features of Convent event space to potential users in CB /abroad.
  • Design, administer and adjust operational and online procedures for space booking and invoicing.
  • Work with A Better Bite Community Kitchen to arrange event catering services, as requested.
  • Manage and/or manage staff for set-up, tear down, AV equipment requests, cleaning.

Advisory Committee and Elders Committee

  • Identify areas in which the AC and Elders Committee can offer meaningful input into the development/operations of The Convent and highlight these areas with Chairs in advance of meetings.
  • Assist the Chairs in ensuring that the AC and Elders Committee adhere to their Terms of Reference.
  • Participate in sub-committees where staff representation is required.
  • Provide AC and Elders Committee with staff/administrative support.
  • Maintain AC online file system and AC member access to file system.
  • Take and distribute AC meeting minutes.

Communications

  • Create engaging content for The Convent’s social media (solely or via support staff).
  • Monitor Convent social media; respond to questions, concerns (solely or via support staff).
  • Keep website current (directory, events, and tenant profiles) (solely or via support staff).
  • Work with Manager of Communications on communications objectives and strategies.
  • Make recommendations for improvements to website overtime.
  • Monitor and respond to generic Convent e-mail address.
  • Respond the media inquiries/requests for interviews.

Community Engagement and Programming

  • Identify opportunities to engage the community or parts thereof in the Convent.
  • Identify opportunities to meet the mission of the Convent through community engagement.
  • Support tenants in their desire to connect and work with the community through the arts.
  • Identify opportunities to create market/sales events for tenants in the building (holidays, cruise ships, etc.) and design and execute resulting events.

As needed

  • Other duties and responsibilities as assigned.

Core Competencies

  • Communication.
  • Responsibility.
  • Trustworthiness & Ethics.
  • Results orientation.
  • Organization.
  • Risk-taking.