Cothrom Cosnaidh | Employment Opportunity

Executive Director, Baile nan Gàidheal | Highland Village

About Us

Help lead Baile nan Gàidheal | Highland Village into an exciting new phase of development and programming!

Baile nan Gàidheal | Highland Village is an outdoor living history museum and Gaelic folklife centre that illustrates the story, culture and identity of Nova Scotia Gaels. The Village is located on a stunning 43-acre property overlooking the majestic Bras d’Or Lake in Iona, Nova Scotia. The community is located in the centre of Cape Breton Island, almost completely surrounded by the Bras d'Or Lake – a UNESCO Biosphere Region and Canada's Only Inland Sea. 

The Highland Village visitor experience begins in the newly constructed, 7,700 sq ft, state of the art Visitor Centre. The Visitor Centre houses exhibits, administrative offices and boardroom, an archives and research centre, a gift shop, and a performance/meeting area. In addition to the Visitor Centre, the Highland Village houses twelve period buildings in total. Each of these historic buildings represents a period in time interpreted by costumed animators that celebrate the language, craft and culture of Nova Scotia Gaels through time.  

The Vision of the Highland Village Museum is to be the leading Gaelic folklife centre, recognized in Nova Scotia, nationally and internationally as an essential institution for continuing development and representation of a vital and sustainable Gaelic community. Our mission is to grow as a Gaelic folklife centre that bilingually nurtures, communicates and celebrates the heritage and cultural identity of Nova Scotia’s Gaelic community.

Baile nan Gàidheal | Highland Village is a part of the Nova Scotia Museum, the family of provincial museums, and is operated locally by Comunn Baile nan Gàidheal (The Nova Scotia Highland Village Society), a registered charity.

About Our Opportunity

The Executive Director leads and supports the Baile nan Gàidheal staff team, and is responsible for the operation, growth and strategic direction of Baile nan Gàidheal | Highland Village. The Executive Director reports to the Board of Trustees of Commun Baile nan Gàidheal (The Nova Scotia Highland Village Society), and ensures the site is operated in accordance with the vision and policies of the Society and the Nova Scotia Museum (NS Communities, Culture, Tourism & Heritage).

The Executive Director assumes the lead role in enhancing all aspects of museum operations, including strategic planning, community outreach and leadership, financial management and fundraising, human resource management, visitor experience and programming, governance support, marketing and public relations, networking, community outreach, and staff and public health and safety.

The Executive Director works collaboratively with Nova Scotia Museum staff, other Government of Nova Scotia staff, partners and various stakeholders to build collaborative relationships to support the growth of the museum and support capacity building in the local community and wider Gaelic Nova Scotia community.

Primary Accountabilities

  • Provides leadership in strategic planning processes and organizational change for the Highland Village & ensures the operations of the Museum support its vision “to be the leading Gaelic folklife centre, recognized in Nova Scotia, nationally and internationally as an essential institution for continuing development and representation of a vital and sustainable Gaelic community.”
  • Ensures that the financial management of the Highland Village is carried out in a responsible and accountable manner and in accordance with the financial policies of the Society and the site operating guidelines of the Nova Scotia Museum, including budgeting, reporting and financial oversight
  • Responsible for generating earned revenue tied to strategic focus to meet operational requirements and supplement government operating funding
  • Ensures the effective management and security of the assets of the Society, and the Government assets for which the Society is responsible, which include, but are not restricted to, artifacts, buildings, archival and library collections, vehicles, computer equipment, maintenance equipment and supplies, gift shop inventory, office supplies, fund raising supplies, etc.
  • Ensures the effective performance-based management of the Society’s human resources in accordance with the policies and procedures of the Society, including annual planning, communications, professional development support, etc.
  • Works with appropriate staff and committees to ensure the effective planning, implementation and evaluation of all public programming included that related to visitor experiences, site development and fundraising.
  • Supports board governance functions and ensures regular and accountable financial and operational reporting to the Board of Trustees
  • Maintains open communication, and facilitates positive working relationships with the Nova Scotia Museum, Office of Gaelic Affairs, Department of Public Works and other appropriate departments, agencies and divisions of the Province of Nova Scotia
  • Provides leadership in the Nova Scotia Gaelic community, the local Cape Breton heritage community, and economic development in Central Cape Breton
  • Ensures the Museum maintains positive public relations with the general public, media, partners and other stakeholders
  • Ensures marketing and public relations activities support and reflects the museum’s vision and branding. 
  • Cooperates as possible with local, provincial, national and international Gaelic, heritage, genealogy, tourism and educational groups and institutions

Qualifications & Experience

  • A relevant university degree with 7 years senior management experience. An equivalent combination of education and experience clearly demonstrated in the application may be considered
  • Knowledge and experience in strategic museum management best practices and standards, especially regarding interpretation of intangible cultural heritage of minority language based cultures
  • Interest in, and awareness, of Gaelic language and culture is an asset.
  • Demonstrated organizational leadership experience, including human resource and financial management, business planning and strategic development.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to supervise and motivate a staff team, while valuing a diverse, and inclusive work environment.
  • Strong communication skills with a proven ability to communicate with stakeholders and diverse audiences and address issues and demands with diplomacy and tact.
  • Strong time management skills to successfully develop and manage multiple priorities and competing deadlines.
  • Experience developing and maintaining partnerships with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Ability to be innovative and have a broad way of thinking, while staying current with respect to broader impacts (current events, legislative changes and national trends)
  • Knowledge of non-profit management best practices, including fundraising.
  • Strong computer skills.

Leadership competencies required are: Decisiveness; Strategic Orientation; Developing Others; Team Leadership; Self-awareness; Effective Interactive Communication; Partnering and Relationship Building; Intercultural and Diversity Proficiency. We will assess the above qualifications and competencies using one or more of the following tools: written examination, standardized tests, oral presentations, interview(s), and reference checks. Clean criminal record and vulnerable sector checks are a requirement.

Working Conditions

Must have valid driver’s license as some travel is required.

Salary Range: $2,914.30 - $4,007.20 Bi-Weekly


The following benefits are available: Health, Dental, Life Insurance, Critical Illness, Long Term Disability, Vacation, Group RRSP and Employee Assistance Program.

Employment Equity Statement:

Our goal is to be a diverse workforce that is inclusive and representative, at all job levels, of the communities we serve. We welcome applications from all equity groups. If you are a member of an equity group, please self-identify on your electronic application.

How to Apply:

  • Only electronic applications will be accepted.
  • To apply, send a resume and cover letter to Hector MacNeil, President, Comunn Baile nan Gàidheal at
  • Please ensure you demonstrate in your application how you meet the above qualifications.
  • Applications must be received by end of day on Wednesday, October 18, 2023.
  • We thank all applicants for their interest, however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.


Executive Director, Baile nan Gàidheal | Highland Village job posting (Word 24 KB)

Executive Director, Baile nan Gàidheal | Highland Village community information (PDF 197 KB)