Chief Financial Officer

About Spark

The purpose of Calgary’s science centre is unwavering. Spark exists to make lives — and the world — better through an affinity for science. Through visits to Spark, and encounters with Spark in the community, people are lifted up by the positive power of curiosity, experimentation and creativity. Spark is a registered charity.

The outcome is profound. Spark helps people of all ages fuel up for the future because at Spark, science, technology and invention are embedded in cultural experiences. This creates new points of access to the disciplines at the core of innovation. Join the Spark team to transform lives and inspire the future.

Position Overview
Spark is currently recruiting a full-time permanent Chief Financial Officer (CFO). The CFO will be a trusted advisor and business partner to the Chief Executive Officer and other members of the senior leadership team. They will provide strategic direction and business acumen to the Chief Executive Officer and drive a financial framework that supports Spark’s goal to be one of the top 10 science centres in the world. This position will lead major strategic initiatives for a data-driven organization. The CFO will lead all financial operations for Spark, including general accounting and financial reporting, financial planning and analysis, internal controls, treasury, and tax, and be accountable for operating policies and procedures to ensure attainment of organizational goals and objectives. This role will directly oversee the operations, finance and IT teams. The CFO reports directly to the President and CEO and works closely with the Chief Experience Office (CXO).

Key Responsibilities

  • Serve on the Leadership Team and act as a strategic partner to the CEO and other leaders in the development and implementation of the organization’s strategic vision.
  • Demonstrate business acumen in contributing to Leadership Team goals.
  • Initiate and lead organization-wide systems for data collection, analysis, feedback and integration.
  • Initiate and lead financial modelling aimed at optimization of current and new activities with a growth agenda.
  • Be a strong leader, strategic thinker, excellent communicator and agent of change whose effectiveness and expertise is focused on Spark’s financial health.
  • Oversee the management and coordination of all fiscal reporting activities for Spark.
  • Work with the CEO to prepare and maintain Telus Spark’s long-term financial strategy, financial forecasting and the annual operating budget.
  • Attend and present at board meetings and be the executive lead at all Finance and Audit Committee meetings, liaising regularly with the Committee Chair to provide transparent briefings on all financial and administrative matters.
  • Ensure adequate controls are installed to safeguard financial assets by protecting against mismanagement, fraud, and non-compliance, and that substantiating documentation is approved and available that all accounts pass statutory financial, internal, and governmental audits.
  • Analyze and manage cash flow, cost controls and expenses to guide leaders across the organization and to ensure the organization’s needs are met.
  • Monitor and maintain treasury and banking activities of the organization.
  • Oversee the production of financial reports, financial statements and cash flow projections for use by the CEO, leadership team, and Board of Directors.
  • Develop and implement finance, accounting, financial grants management, procurement and auditing policies and procedures.
  • Lead and coordinate changes and improvement in financial and management information systems.
  • Lead the team responsible for building operations, including environment management, risk management and emergency systems and preparedness.
  • Build Spark’s capacity to effectively manage its finances and operations as it grows to be one of the top 10 most-worth visiting science centres in the world.
  • Provide strategic leadership to the Finance, Operations, and IT teams, cultivating a high performance culture, inspired and supported by coaching, ongoing performance feedback and professional development.
  • Ensure team activities are aligned with business and strategic goals and that they are leading and inspiring a high performing team.
  • Model high performance, flexibility and kindness in a rapidly changing growth environment.

Qualifications & Knowledge

  • 10+ years of relevant financial management experience, preferably with progressive experience managing day-to-day financial operations for organizations of at least $5 million in revenues.
  • CPA designated
  • Strong analytical skills balanced with sound business judgment and a track record of producing accurate, thoughtful and high-quality work.
  • Proactive can-do attitude, taking initiative to lead effectively analyze complex financial and business issues and develop appropriate solutions to improve performance through redesign and continuous improvement in a timely and responsive manner.
  • Understanding of non-profit accounting and other compliance requirements preferred but not required.
  • Project management skills for leading strategic initiatives and the annual financial cycle.
  • A high level of critical, logical thinking and analysis coupled with an ability to factor in people and values-centered criteria in problem solving and decision-making.
  • Capacity to adapt, handle ambiguity and pivot strategy due to changing dynamics internally and externally.
  • A self-assured inspiring leader who cultivates a culture of high performance around them.
  • Strong ethics and ability to manage confidential data.

Culture at Spark

Spark’s goal is to become one of the top 10 most-worth-visiting science centres in the world. Through skilled and confident programming, Spark will attract visitors from around the city, province and globe, and immerse them in emotive experiences as they explore ever-evolving, quirky and thought-provoking galleries. The skilled programming at this level of success will only be possible with an organization-wide commitment to effective performance. High performance at Spark is both defined and experienced by diverse cultures and proactively advances equity among all human beings. Spark’s high performance culture is driven by a shared purpose.

  • Commitment to Purpose. Everyone at Spark is a purpose driven leader. You are passionate about entertaining people of all ages in creative encounters with science, technology and engineering, and the output of your work reflects our values:  collaboration, curiosity, courage, commitment, and creativity. 
  • Commitment to Continuous Learning. Your individual growth is driven by a desire to be a part of the team that makes Spark one of the best science centres in the world. Every day is a professional development day at Spark. You are expected to seek out learning opportunities and pursue professional growth.  At times the growth may be uncomfortable, and you embrace it as part of the journey. 
  • Agents of Change. We are a culture of experimentalists.  It is expected and encouraged for staff to make suggestions that can improve a program, presentation, process or service. It is also expected and encouraged for suggestions to be accepted and tried with a thank you for helping each other get even stronger.
  • Coaching Mindset. Sparklers are committed to helping each other become even stronger in our roles. Upgrading each other’s work is enjoyable and rewarding because teams are built on trust. Supervisor feedback feels like coaching, not criticism. Remember, you can say anything if you are kind, clear and non-judgmental. This is how high performing teams are built.
  • Winning and Losing as a Team. We work together to drive action and results that are aligned with Spark’s mission in the outside world. We encourage healthy debate and science-based decision making. Our relationships allow us to make big asks of each other and get big things done together with a sense of urgency and excellence. If someone appears to be faltering, you ask, “What did I do or not do to contribute to that, as it is my responsibility too.”
  • Achieving Results. Spark is dedicated to excellence in all aspects of communicating science and we carry that dedication to excellence in every aspect of Spark’s work.  We encourage each other to set stretch goals and work together across all departments to exceed them. 

To Apply: Interested candidates can submit their cover letter and resume, in confidence, to with “Chief Financial Officer” in the subject line.

Closing Date: Septemeber 16, 2022

We thank all applicants for their interest.  Only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

Spark is committed to employment equity and diversity and encourages applications from all qualified individuals.