2018 Employment OpportunityCuratorial Assistant

NPC heritagecanning

Curatorial Assistant

North Pacific Cannery, National Historic Site 

Port Edward, British Columbia 

16 weeks

$16 -18/hour depending on experience

Job Description

North Pacific Cannery is seeking a full time, friendly, hardworking, detail oriented student to support exhibition-related at North Pacific Cannery, particularly the implementation of a new temporary exhibit currently under development. He/she will assist in research, writing, and artifact coordination. The incumbent will work with a supervising curatorial/collections Consultant to incorporate participatory elements into exhibition spaces in accordance with the interpretive plan and geared towards specific audience demographics. He/she will be cataloguing, moving, organizing, re-tagging and cleaning artifacts and updating archival and artifacts records as well as creating a standardise record keeping cataloguing system. He/ she will assist in the development of a Master Plan for Collections/ Archival guidebook. Finally, he/she will conduct research on new acquisitions and produce a summary report with recommended strategies for exhibition and interpretation. This is an opportunity to gain invaluable museum experience, develop hands-on skills in the many facets of curatorial practice, contribute to the ongoing exhibition growth, work with a diverse and dynamic team of heritage professionals, and serve a broad public comprised of local community and international tourists, all while in pristine wilderness and heritage surroundings. 

It is highly recommended that applicants have a valid driver’s license and access to a vehicle, though not required.


The successful candidate will be a student (graduate preferred) currently enrolled in a post-secondary program in Museum Studies, Design, Fine Arts, Canadian History, or a relevant field, with a keen interest in and /or knowledge of museum exhibitions. He/she must have strong research and writing skills and experience with exhibit coordination (or willingness to learn). Museum experience, particularly with exhibitions, curation, and design, considered an asset. The Curatorial Assistant should be a team player with the ability to work independently, analytical, organized, self-motivated, adaptable to new situations as the project evolves, a creative and critical problem solver, and adventurous in spirit.

Applicants must be eligible under the Young Canada Works program in order to be considered for the position: legally allowed to work in Canada, between the ages of 15-30, currently enrolled in a post-secondary institution, and returning to school in the fall. 

Orientation & Training 

Orientation will include a preliminary information package for the candidate to familiarize him/herself with before arriving to the site, providing the Curatorial Assistant with a background of NPC’s history, current HR and operations guidelines, the scope of its collections and exhibitions, and related policies and procedures. On-site orientation will include an extensive tour through the various exhibition, collections, storage and administrative spaces, as well as an introduction to all site staff and management. Specialized training will take place during the second week of work, including a briefing on the current exhibition-related projects, a more detailed presentation of the tasks the candidate is expected to undertake during the next 16 weeks, and hypothetical exercises to ensure he/she can effectively complete the future projects. The Curatorial Assistant will continue to work in collaboration with the consulting curator, who will ensure training is successful and provide support in areas that need more work. 


Supervision will be provided for orientation, hands-on training and then job shadowing to ensure the Curatorial Assistant can confidently and successfully complete the projects. Approximately 75% of the work is collaborative with the supervising curator. The remaining 25% of independent work will be done in close proximity to the curator in case guidance or consultation is required. The immediate supervisor for the project is the Operations Manager. 

Characteristics of City / Region 

North Pacific Cannery is located in pristine wilderness surroundings on the Skeena River in the town of Port Edward, located 15km south of Prince Rupert with a population of 500. Prince Rupert is a port city with a population of 12,000 and serves as the land, air, and water transportation hub of BC’s north coast. The region is characterized by temperate rainforest, resource-based industry, and cultural diversity.

Mission & Mandate of Host Organization 

North Pacific Cannery, National Historic Site preserves, exhibits and interprets the history of the West Coast Fishing Industry, celebrating its role in the economic and cultural development of the province. The site is integral to a local, regional, and national identity, is significant as one of the few intact salmon canneries that remain on the west coast of North America, and continues to be relevant as a tourist destination and community hub today. 

NPC aims to be: a collective memory for the industrial fishery on the Skeena River and British Columbia; a cultural hub for the community, attracting the local population for arts and sports events; and a key driver of economic transformation in the development of a sustainable tourism industry for the region.