Senior Development Officer, Grants & Government Relations

Application Deadline: September 6, 2023

Harbourfront Centre is a leader in providing internationally renowned artistic, educational and recreational programming across a beautiful 10-acre campus at the heart of Toronto’s waterfront. For more than 45 years, Harbourfront Centre has celebrated the best in Canadian culture and the rich mosaic of cultures from around the world, presenting thousands of events annually from music festivals to contemporary dance, to craft and design, to visual arts and more. Welcoming visitors year-round, there is something for everyone at Harbourfront Centre!

We are currently seeking a driven, strategic, passionate and goal-oriented Development Officer, Grants & Government Relations to effectively manage Harbourfront Centre’s fund development strategy as it relates to grants and government funding, maintaining and building long-term stakeholder relations and raising awareness about our programs, offerings and public engagement.


Position Title: Development Officer, Grants & Government Relations

Department: Development

Reports To: Chief Development Officer

Works With: Chief Development Officer, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Programming Officer, Program Directors and Managers  

Type of Employment: Full-time, 35 hours per week

Work Location: Toronto


Position Purpose

The Senior Development Officer, Grants & Government Relations is responsible for all areas related to public sector program funding including researching and preparing funding applications, increasing and maintaining network of contacts at all levels of government, monitoring contractual obligations, evaluating programs and reporting. In addition, the Officer works with the CEO and CDO to build on existing government relations across all three levels of government. 



  • Prepares applications for government grants at all levels of government for Harbourfront Centre programmes and capital projects by compiling required materials, writing proposals including budgets, meeting guidelines, grant practices and deadlines. 
  • Writes persuasive and substantive grant proposals that convey the quality and potential impact of the project being submitted for consideration and coordinates and edits additional staff contributions.  
  • Manages relationships and enhances funding opportunities with key granting institutions and foundations such as the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, the City of Toronto, and others, travelling to meetings and making requests when required.  
  • Initiates, develops and implements a cohesive public affairs strategy to present Harbourfront Centre in a positive light to all levels of government and develops the rationale for ongoing government support of the Centre’s operations. 
  • Researches charitable foundations and accordingly prepares and submits applications to the appropriate foundations for assistance. 
  • Researches new sources of funding by compiling information and assisting the CEO,CDO and CPO in assessing the priorities of Harbourfront Centre programs. 
  • Determines feasibility, through research, of securing funding through government grant programs and works with appropriate individuals to expedite applications. 
  • Prepares proposals, reports and letters.   
  • Prepares plans and projections for programmes and grants. 
  • Liaises with program managers to keep them informed of available grants, criteria and objectives of each, application deadlines.  
  • Develops an annual communication plan to deliver key messages about the Centre to political and bureaucratic levels of all government and other key stakeholders. 
  • Initiates and implements an annual strategy to ensure public visibility at the Harbourfront Centre site and beyond for all levels of government, key decision-makers and stakeholders. 
  • Ensures all marketing vehicles clearly reflect the appropriate recognition for government and stakeholders, working in conjunction with the Marketing & Development Departments. 
  • Works with the Chief Executive Officer to advise the Board of Directors about its role in government/ stakeholder relations and works with Board members to leverage their government relationships. 
  • Provides strategic direction regarding the Centre’s overall public image and ensures that all aspects of the Centre’s communication reflect this coherent image. 
  • Coordinates special projects and provides hospitality to tour groups, consuls and embassies.  
  • Prepares letters and invitations for events in consultation with other departments. 
  • Manages the overall grant application process, secures grants, monitors their implementation and tracks results according to proposal and budget requirements and provides project oversight to ensure funded programs meet grantor expectations and requirementsPrepares grant status reports and revenue projections for review by senior staff and leadership.  
  • Maintains and communicates a calendar of deadlines and renewal dates, providing regular activity and status reports, including feedback from funders on proposals submitted.  
  • Processes contracts and agreements and secures needed approvals, prepares and submits invoices to funders for payment of grant instalments, and maintains institutional grant files, spreadsheets, and databases. Communicates and provides appropriate documentation of new awards to appropriate personnel.  
  • Prepares written evaluations, final reports and financial reconciliations of programs for submission to funders, based on criteria and requirements laid out by granting bodies and government departments.  
  • Monitors the contractual obligations of public funders and foundations.   
  • Maintains continuing and active relationships between Harbourfront Centre and its funders, keeping them informed  of Harbourfront Centre priorities and objectives, and vice-versa. 
  • Works closely with the Development staff to create proposal templates, solicitation letters and other written correspondence as needed.
  • Attends receptions, conferences, meetings and special events to represent Harbourfront Centre with public sector funders. 



  • A post secondary degree in a related field and a minimum of 7 years experience in grants and government relations.  
  • Superior communication skills, verbal and written, to deal with governments at all levels and prepare proposals for funding. 
  • Knowledge of government grant structure is required to adhere to requirements to obtain funding. 
  • Exceptional interpersonal and relationship management skills to liaise with government officials, consuls and embassies. 
  • Experience in managing both the political and bureaucratic levels of government and comprehensive knowledge of government process 
  • Solid knowledge of budgets, basic accounting/ financial understanding, ability to make financial projections, create and reconcile budgets.    
  • Good computer skills and knowledge of various applications (Microsoft Office Suite, spreadsheets and databases).
  • Harbourfront Centre recognizes its heightened duty to protect employees from health and safety risks of COVID-19. As such, an offer of employment shall be conditional on proof of full COVID-19 vaccination with a vaccine series approved by Health Canada or the World Health Organization.
  • This position is based in Toronto, as such, candidates must be legally eligible to work in Canada. Non-Canadian applicants must have a valid employment Visa and proper documentation authorizing their ability to work in Canada on an ongoing basis.

Our Values

We’re friendly, welcoming and inclusive, with an experimental attitude that thrives on collaboration.

To achieve our bold ambition we empower and support imaginative risk and we always try to learn from our mistakes.

We are committed to excellence in all we do, ensuring every visitor encounter is safe, memorable and enriching.

We value and respect each other and all our visitors, celebrating difference and striving to realise potential.

How To Apply

If you meet these qualifications and are excited about the opportunity to make a significant impact in the arts and culture sector, we would love to hear from you!

Harbourfront Centre is committed to building a diverse and inclusive workforce and strongly encourages qualified applicants from all backgrounds to apply. Acceptable applications must include a current resume and a cover letter indicating why you wish to join the team, how you would meet the requirements of the role, and your salary expectations.

To apply, please submit your candidacy to by no later than September 6, 2023. Please quote Senior Development Officer, Grants & Government Relations in the subject line of your application.

We thank all applicants for their interest, however, only those being considered for an interview will be contacted. Suitable accommodations will be available upon request during the hiring process.