Director of Economic Growth, Culture & Entrepreneurship – City of Markham

Published October 5, 2021
Closing Date: October 29, 2021

About the City of Markham 

Located in the heart of the GTA, more than 353,000 people call the City of Markham home. As Canada’s high-tech capital and most diverse community with a stellar international reputation, the residents of Markham enjoy a rich heritage, outstanding community planning and services, and a vibrant local economy. An award-winning municipality, Markham is York Region’s innovation hub and a key player in Ontario’s innovation corridor and is home to the new campus for York University as well as Seneca College’s Centre for Learning and two successful tech incubators. Committed to being a model of public service excellence with a workforce that is representative of the population Markham serves, the City is looking for people who share their values and are champions of innovative practices. Diversity is one of Markham’s strategic priorities, and the organization strives to develop and maintain an environment that is inclusive and creates a sense of belonging for all. 

People who live in Markham enjoy:

  • World class facilities and amenities
  • Service excellence
  • Vibrant community events and activities
  • Sustainability leadership
  • High quality of life

There’s so much to love about Markham…and lots to do!

About the Role

Reporting to the Commissioner of Development Services, you will act as a strategic partner to the City leadership, playing a key role in the development and implementation of a vision for Markham’s economic strategy and investment attraction program, cultural institutions, programs and partnerships, to address the growing requirements of the City of Markham as a diverse, multicultural community. As Director, you will be a key player in the advancement and development of Markham’s Innovation District (the MiX) to develop a unique employment zone within Ontario and Canada along with key urban growth centres in Langstaff and Markham Centre. You will drive innovation, flexibility, strategic partnerships and results.

This is an exciting opportunity to lead the development, preparation and initiation of strategic economic development plans and activities that identify and promote new business opportunities, improvements to, and the expansion of, existing businesses, as well as new industries, businesses, and services. You will expand the economy of the community at large, enhance local employment opportunities both broadly and within targeted sectors, and position the department to provide concierge services to businesses investing in Markham.

A recognized relationship builder, you will direct the development and maintenance of partnerships and strategic relationships in the Greater Toronto Area and with a targeted network in the international community, particularly with groups and industries representing the City’s strategic focus for growth and development (IT, Finance, Life Sciences & Design, Professional Services), to position the City as the destination of choice for employment, business, and investment. You will also build strong inter-governmental relationships for purposes of maximizing the opportunity for collaborative partnerships, innovation and the leveraging of synergies. 

As the Director of Economic Growth, Culture & Entrepreneurship, you will monitor the legislative environment, identify and evaluate risks, develop and oversee the implementation of policies, and provide direction on sustainable business growth, economic prosperity, employment opportunities, and cultural activities to promote the City of Markham as a pro-business municipality. You will also ensure that the City’s approaches are modern, contemporary and leverage technology to achieve results.

In this role, you will also be responsible for ensuring the success of the Flato Markham Theatre, the Varley Art Gallery, and the Markham Museum, in delivering high-quality services and programs to the community, while liaising with the respective Foundations, Boards of Directors, contributors, fundraisers, donors, and the community at large.

This is a mandate with significant financial responsibility, as you will be working in conjunction with the Commissioner to develop and monitor the Department’s annual budget, adjust plans and programs as necessary, and meet financial performance, revenue and expense targets, and planned or required service levels. As Director, you will also be expected to vision and structure the Department to execute a broad range of goals and objectives.

Key Qualifications and Skills

To be considered for the role of Director of Economic Growth, Culture & Entrepreneurship, you are an open-minded, forward-facing visionary leader with an innovative mindset who embraces technology and has strong business and financial acumen, as well as the following:

  • An undergraduate or graduate degree in Business, Marketing, Economic Development, Public Administration or Planning together with a minimum of 10 years of progressive, related leadership experience in government or the broader public sector
  • People management skills, with the ability to hold teams accountable
  • A collaborative approach to management, with the ability to build synergies across the organization
  • Strong organizational awareness and political acuity skills in order to effectively drive for results, working with varied stakeholders including elected officials
  • Strong change management skills and ability to position department to be flexible in order to leverage opportunities for change and innovation
  • Partnership building abilities, in North America and beyond to advance the goals and objectives of the City
  • Strengths in provincial, federal, and municipal relations, with the government relations knowledge to leverage opportunities, including grants, – not only for Markham, but also for new business opportunities
  • A reputation as a systems thinker who can facilitate the development approval processes – from the beginning of the relocation process through to ribbon cutting
  • A sense of urgency, results orientation and the ability to deliver amongst competing priorities
  • Knowledge of the arts and culture portfolio specific to the City of Markham
  • A successful track record in the private sector is an asset

To apply for this critical economic development role in municipal government, submit your application to Phelps at, specifying the job title in the subject line of your e-mail. Application deadline: October 29th, 2021.

Diversity is a priority at Markham. Our programs and services meet the diverse needs of our residents. We promote inclusion in the workplace and in the community- we want people with diverse backgrounds to work here! Learn more by visiting our website.

The City of Markham is committed to inclusive, accessible and barrier free employment practices.  Please let us know if you require an accommodation and we will work with you to ensure a barrier free hiring process.

401 Bay Street, Suite 1400, Toronto, ON M5H 2Y4
Phone: 416 364 6229

  • Position: Director of Economic Growth, Culture & Entrepreneurship
  • Location: Economic Development
  • Closing Date: 10/29/2021


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