Position Profile: Executive Director for the Canadian Children’s Book Centre

The Organization

The Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC) is a national, not-for-profit organization founded in 1976. We are dedicated to encouraging, promoting and supporting the reading, writing, illustrating and publishing of Canadian books for young readers. Our programs, publications, and resources help teachers, librarians, booksellers and parents select the very best for young readers.

At the heart of our work at the Canadian Children’s Book Centre is our love for the books that get published in Canada each year, and our commitment to raising awareness of the quality and variety of Canadian books for young readers.

On the retirement of our long-serving Executive Director, the board is seeking a new leader to continue the successes of the past, while charting the organization’s further development and evolution in a constantly changing world.

The CCBC is federally incorporated and a registered charity. It has over 550 individual and corporate members across Canada, and is lead by a twelve-member volunteer board with representation from all constituencies served including  writers/illustrators, publishers, booksellers, librarians and educators, along with business professionals in law, accounting, and human resources.  Board members are primarily Ontario-based, with some representation from across the country, including francophone Quebec.

Including the ED, there are currently four full-time and two part-time staff.  The annual budget is around $2.0 million, of which approximately 75% is expended on awards, programs, publications, and services. Income sources are primarily through major annual contributions from TD Bank Group in support of awards and its annual book giveaway and Book Week touring programs, a range of significant award donors, sponsorships, government grants, earned revenue, and fund raising.  The CCBC currently maintains a small operating surplus.

The CCBC maintains its office close to the Eglinton and Yonge  subway in Toronto at the Northern District Library. In addition, there are regional collections held in BC, Alberta, Manitoba, and Nova Scotia. The ED works out of the Toronto office with some travel and may periodically work at home.

The ED’s Role & Key Opportunities

This is a role for an innovative leader working with a small but mighty team, with the support of a governing board.  The ED directs the implementation of the board’s vision, responding to the needs of a membership with complementary but different expectations. The ED serves as secretary to the board, and with a small staff is both a leader and a doer, with direct and sole responsibility for functions such as fund raising and certain programs, providing overall leadership to the staff who are responsible for other programs.

The ED, as in most successful not-for-profit organizations, has one foot in the present, managing all existing programs and administrative responsibilities, and the other foot in the future, identifying environmental change and its potential impact, and constantly addressing issues related to relevance and sustainability.

The new incumbent will address a range of challenges and opportunities:

  • Work with key funders of programs as their needs and visions change
  • Fund raise and develop new sources of funding to ensure a more balanced source of income, reducing dependency on one or two major funders
  • Develop a strategic planning process, which acknowledges successes of the past, and leads to a clear ‘value proposition’ for the future, based on:
      1.  A review of environmental changes including those related to demographics and technology
      2.  A review of the varied goals and needs and of members and potential members and their expectations of membership
      3.  A review of our current and potential stakeholders and new opportunities for collaboration, areas of duplication
      4.  A review of regional representation and collection needs
  • Mount a comprehensive program and services review in light of a new strategic plan
  • Review organizational staffing requirements, and develop a succession plan and training and development plans for highly committed long-serving staff members
  • Develop an outreach, communications and marketing plan to increase awareness of the CCBC
  • Build media relations in order to build the CCBC’s role as the ‘go to’ advocacy organization for the sector
  • Continue outreach to grow membership base, encouraging greater Canada-wide participation, including early career and diverse cultural background creators
  • Assist the board in its own development, enhancing ways in which it can best contribute to the goals of the organization and support the work of staff.

The Ideal Candidate

This position will appeal to those who are passionate about the difference the creation, production, distribution and enjoyment of Canadian children’s literature makes in communities and individuals’ lives, and who meet a majority of the following criteria:

  • Hold a university degree in a related field such as journalism, arts administration/cultural management, teaching, library-information science; additional training in business management, fund raising
  •  Five years’ management experience in a not-for-profit environment with responsibility for financial and human resources; experience on or reporting to a volunteer board
  • Comfort with and proven success at fund raising and securing grants
  • Background in one or more field(s) relevant to our membership, such as writing/illustrating, publishing, book selling
  • A clear understanding of the ED’s role and relationships with the board and key stakeholders, whether funders, donors, sponsors, creators, publishers, booksellers, educators, and of course children and their families
  • The belief and ability to articulate the distinctive role of the CCBC, and how it relates to other organizations with similar or complementary purposes, along with the drive and ability to forge, maintain, and nurture partnerships and relationships
  • Demonstrated ability to lead, motivate, influence and work collaboratively and effectively with a broad spectrum of individuals in order for the organization to evolve, responding to ongoing social and political change
  • Understanding of and enthusiasm for the role new technologies can help enhance the CCBC’s profile, fund raising, programs and services
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills and confidence in representing the CCBC in a range of forums ranging from community meetings to corporate boardrooms demonstrating diplomacy and negotiation skills, with the ability to push for a ‘yes’ and take ‘no’ with a smile
  • An outgoing entrepreneurial spirit, a collaborator and advocate willing to take calculated risks
  • Preferably bilingual, but if not, an ability through proven strategies to engage francophone constituents
  • Able and willing to attend evening and weekend events, and periodically travel across and outside Canada.


The CCBC offers a five-step salary range from $79,425 to $92,916, a standard benefits package, and an annual RSP contribution. There is potential for bonuses for exceptional performance.

For Additional Information:

We welcome and encourage inquiries; please contact: Daryl Novak; darylnovak@icloud.com or 905-468-5550

Application Procedure and Timeline:

Please submit your hard copy results-oriented covering letter and resume by mail or courier, by October 19, 2018 to:

CCBC Executive Director Search,
c/o 15526 Niagara Parkway, RR#1,
Niagara on the Lake, Ontario L0S 1J0

In addition, by the same date, please submit an electronic copy of your covering letter and resume in a single PDF document to jobs@bookcentre.ca and include your name in the subject line of the email.  Please note:  Only applications received both in hard copy and electronically will be acknowledged and considered.

Preliminary phone interviews will be conducted between October 20-24, with on-site in Toronto and/or Skype interviews on Thurs. Nov. 1.  Final interviews with the full Board will be held on-site in Toronto on November 12 or 13.  A final decision and negotiations will be occur later that month with a view to the new incumbent taking up the position early in 2019.

We thank all individuals for applying; however, only those selected to participate in the interview process will be contacted.  The CCBC is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to inclusive barrier-free recruitment and placement processes and work environments. In accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005; the CCBC provides accommodations throughout the recruitment and placement process to applicants with disabilities. If selected to participate in the recruitment process, please inform us of the nature of any accommodation(s) required. Any information received relating to accommodation measures will be addressed confidentially.