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Director VanDusen Gardens – APPLY NOW !


Director VanDusen Gardens – APPLY NOW !

Director VanDusen Gardens


Requisition ID: 25113 


Located on the traditional, ancestral and unceded lands of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh, Vancouver has a commitment to becoming a City of Reconciliation. Vancouver consistently ranks as one of the world’s most liveable cities and is working towards being the greenest city in the world. Named among Canada’s Top 100 Employers, BC’s Top Employers, and Canada’s Greenest Employers, the City of Vancouver seeks colleagues who can help shape and embody our core commitments to sustainability, decolonization, equity and outstanding quality of life for all residents.

Consider joining our committed team of staff and being part of an innovative, inclusive and rewarding workplace.


Main Purpose & Function 

Director, VanDusen provides overall leadership and management in the development and implementation of long and short term maintenance and business plans, visitor enhancement strategies, product development, performance standards, budget management, policies and guidelines, and administration of staff to ensure continuity of operations and flexibility to meet the emerging needs of VanDusen Botanical Garden, Bloedel Conservatory, Queen Elizabeth Park, and Sunset Nursery. The Director liaises with internal and external stakeholders on a regular basis and exercises considerable independence of judgement and initiative to minimize financial, reputational, and safety risk at each location.


Specific Duties & Responsibilities

Public Relations and Operations Management

  • Maintains public visibility by hosting/attending conferences and presenting/speaking at special events geared towards garden tourism and horticulture.
  • Works in collaboration with VBGA, a not-for-profit organization comprised of over 10,000 members and 1800 volunteers, which conducts fundraising, education and volunteer programs to enhance the experience at VanDusen Garden and Bloedel Conservatory.
  • Exercises influence to ensure Park Board and public interests are maintained, while balancing the interests of the VBGA.
  • Develops and submits operating budget plans for the assigned areas in accordance with the Parks standards and procedures, and administers approved budgets to ensure cost control and effective utilization of resources. Provides support for budgets at meetings with the management team and other departments during the budget process.
  • Manages and leads the operational goals of the assigned areas by directing the development of plant collections, maintenance standards, internal policies, sustainable practices and horticultural design.
  • Oversees and approves business plans and proposals for all revenue generating opportunities within assigned areas.  Revenue streams include Admissions, Rentals, Special Events, Gift Shops as well as the QE Park Celebration Pavilion.
  • Oversees all marketing and communication strategies for VanDusen and Bloedel and ensures consistency of the brand across all platforms, including interpretation signage of plant collections. 
  • Analyzes visitation data for VanDusen and Bloedel to identify trends and establish forecasts for potential impacts to the operations.
  • Establishes and maintains relationships, communication, and coordination with other divisions, project teams, and departments in the Park Board, the City, consultants and contractors, and also with the different levels of government, outside agencies, not-for-profit organizations, associations and the general public  
  • Ensures timely delivery of quality customer service by investigating internal /external complaints and implementing actions for a satisfactory resolution
  • Liaises with City officials, members of  the Park Board, VBGA, Council, stakeholders and the public regarding information exchange and responding to inquiries / complaints regarding Parks operations, as required
  • Participates in the review, consultation and formulation of policies, performance standards and procedures of Parks operations. Represents the Parks Division on assigned committees
  • Mitigates risk to staff and the general public through the development of inspection programs
  • Assesses current practices and make recommendations to improve operational efficiencies.
  • Implements detailed plans and ensures compliance with Park Board and City Council directives, City and divisional policies, procedures, established practices and maintenance standards regarding program specific requirements
  • Prepares draft reports, documents and correspondence for Managers approval
  • Monitors and provides analysis of the Work Order Management System


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People Management

  • Provides leadership and management to Park Board staff, including hiring and termination, discipline, performance and attendance management, coaching, training and development.  Inspires, motivates, guides and directs all staff ensuring effective teamwork, high standards of work quality and organizational performance, continuous learning and encourages innovation in others
  • Administers appropriate collective agreements and participates in the  grievance process
  • Establishes and maintains communication with staff to discuss policies, administrative issues and share information, programs plans and problem solve around difficulties encountered working in a challenging environment
  • Sets performance goals and coaches employees to achieve desired results
  • Responsible for all aspects of attendance management, including provision of support to Superintendents and the Supervisor of Revenue and Visitor Services in the delivery of attendance management meetings. 
  • Responsible for performance management and liaising with Human Resources to determine resulting disciplinary action applied to staff in work group. 
  • Manages and supervises contractors and consultants, ensures goods and services are provided within the set parameters of the contract, identifies discrepancies and develops strategies to address them
  • Responds to Commissioner Requests, media and public enquiries and complaints in a timely manner. Oversees research and preparation of reports, presentations and communications on behalf of the service group.
  • Liaises with Occupational Health and Safety Coordinator to develop safe work policies and guidelines, and manage workplace injuries and resulting costs.  Ensures all WorkSafe BC investigations are completed in a timely fashion.
  • Responsible for planning and delivery of staff training on proper work procedures, including health and safety training.
  • Participates as a regular member of the local Safety Committee(s)
  • Liaises with Disability Case Manager to manage and coordinate return to work plans.
  • Ensures that the Manager of Park Operations is apprised of all issues affecting the efficient operation of the areas under the incumbent’s portfolio.
  • Coordinates payroll with support staff, ensuring vacation schedules and overtime requests are approved, as required
  • Performs other duties as assigned


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Education and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Horticulture, Park Management, Business Administration or related discipline
  • Minimum of six year’s experience in progressively senior positions related areas such as horticulture, park management, business administration and human resources or an equivalent combination of training, education and experience.
  • Possession of a valid Class 5 Driver’s License. Applicants are required to have access to an automobile for work related purposes


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Considerable knowledge of horticulture and park management.
  • Considerable experience supervising in a unionized operations environment, including management of personnel and contracted services.
  • Experience supervising revenue generating operations where product development, service delivery, visitor engagement and customer service is a focus.
  • Experience and strong understanding of integrated marketing communications principles
  • Demonstrated ability to initiate and implement procedures and measures to increase operational efficiency.
  • Highly developed problem solving and interpersonal skills, budget management, demonstrated sound judgment and excellent communication skills, both written and verbal.  
  • Demonstrated ability to build partnerships with peers, stakeholders, business leaders, and staff.
  • Supervisory and management skills evidenced by the ability to motivate coordinate and lead staff.
  • Demonstrated ability to be innovative, flexible, and entrepreneurial.
  • Extensive knowledge and application of the Occupational Health and Safety Policies and WorkSafe BC Regulations, the Collective Agreements and related Labour Legislation.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in the following computer software program areas: Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and SAP.


Business Unit/Department: Board of Parks & Recreation (1400) 

Employment Type: Regular Full Time 


Posting Close Date: January 24, 2021

At the City of Vancouver, we are committed to recruiting a diverse workforce that represents the community we so proudly serve. Indigenous applicants, people of colour, all genders, LGBT2Q+ and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.  Accommodations will be provided upon request during the selection process.  If you would like to be considered for this exciting and impactful career opportunity, please apply through our careers site.

We thank all applicants for their interest. However, only those selected for an interview will be contacted. Learn more about our commitment to diversity and inclusion.  


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