Head, Laboratory, Conservation and Digitization

Posted: Mar 15, 2023 Closing date of the competition: Mar 29, 2023 Location: Montreal (Balmoral) Flexibility Profile: Mostly On-Site Salary Range: 12 – $100,190 to $130,615 Position Status: Continuous - Full-time Position Number: 00021146 Division: Technologies Department: Technical Resources Union Category: Excluded

Are you passionate about great storytelling, about exploring the issues that matter, about pushing the boundaries in new audiovisual experiences? So are we. As Canada’s public producer and distributor, the National Film Board has been telling the country’s stories and pioneering breakthroughs in virtually every field of audiovisual content since 1939. But to do this, we need a team that truly reflects the richness and diversity of Canada. If you’d like to be a part of this team—and part of the NFB’s incredible legacy—we’d love to hear from you.


Manages conservation, laboratory and digitization activities for film material. Participates in setting objectives and priorities and carries out operational organization and planning for the department under their responsibility. Provides expertise to the team and advises and supports internal and external clients. Controls and monitors the use of resources and assesses operational results and resource management for the sector. Guarantees the technical quality of products released by the NFB.


  • In consultation with their management, takes the lead in setting the objectives for the department under their responsibility.
  • Carries out and monitors operational planning for their department based on NFB priorities and established objectives; establishes the sector’s annual action plan and budget, and designs and proposes an operational plan, work methods and procedures for achieving the objectives of management and the action plan.
  • Manages their sector’s financial and material resources, draws up its strategies for the fiscal year and establishes, justifies and manages the budgets required.
  • In line with NFB objectives, provides leadership on technology needs that are constantly evolving, oversees the development and completion of operational objectives and supervises the implementation of new institutional policies and technologies affecting the sector’s operations.
  • Ensures compliance with archival material handling procedures.
  • Ensures the planning, monitoring and maintenance of multiple technical devices in the laboratory, including scanners, cleaning machines, audio digitization equipment, and all equipment related to the preparation, repair and digitization of analog motion picture elements.
  • Produces reports on the management and performance of laboratory activities.
  • Ensures products released by the NFB are of high technical quality; evaluates and performs ongoing improvements of tested innovative equipment and applications, and ensures they are relevant for the production of future products.
  • Ensures sound management and proactive planning of financial and material resources for their sector.
  • Manages the sector’s human resources in accordance with the NFB’s values and policies and in line with the applicable collective agreements; builds effective teams and ensures that synergy, cohesion and a spirit of cooperation are created and maintained within the group.
  • Acts as key resource-person for external collaborators and clients regarding all NFB conservation and restoration activities.
  • Represents the NFB in dealings with technical experts, government representatives, educational institutions, distributors and broadcasters, and negotiates agreements with suppliers.
  • Actively promotes Conservation and Restoration services; seeks opportunities to raise awareness of NFB conservation and restoration expertise; acts as NFB spokesperson during industry conferences and events.
  • Provides general technology watch for sectors related to Technical Resources and shares their insights.
  • Oversees selection and management of external suppliers, including defining technical requirements and evaluating services rendered in terms of quality, compliance with standards and agreed upon deadlines.
  • Manages technical equipment needs and maintenance, including prevention, and various service contracts.
  • Translates and synthesizes new needs expressed on the market (in the industry), adapts solutions proposed by the Engineering and Development team and makes them operational; transposes fundamental research from the Engineering and Development team to make it efficient and intelligible in the framework of the department’s current business activities.
  • Provides leadership on special projects assigned.
  • Sets clear expectations and evaluates individual and sector performance; establishes performance indicators, sets annual goals and advances talent development plans.
  • Communicates to staff in their sector the objectives and strategies to be pursued, and acts as the sector’s spokesperson with internal collaborators.
  • Acts as the first point of contact for building-maintenance issues in the event of fire, security breaches, etc.; pays special attention to the Conservation vault (e.g., maintaining constant temperature, humidity level) to safeguard our collection.
  • Responsible for coordinating the provision of services to external partners; assesses the environmental conditions in which materials need to be stored.
  • Checks that work related to building maintenance is completed by service providers, such as cleaning, snow removal, etc.; if necessary, makes service calls or escalates issues.


  • University degree in a relevant discipline such as Cinema, Engineering or Computer Science, and 12 years of relevant experience in the technical areas of film, including a minimum of five in team management, or any equivalent combination of training and experience;
  • Advanced knowledge and understanding of conservation requirements for a panoply of analog and digital motion-picture materials such as 35 mm reels suffering vinegar syndrome, magnetic audio stock and LTO cassettes; understands the effects and consequences of varying temperature and humidity levels;
  • Demonstrated high level of technical expertise in analog devices such as rewinders, splicers, viewers, etc., and ability to evaluate and dispatch maintenance activities necessary to keep the devices in good operating condition;
  • Excellent knowledge of archival film scanners and archival audio digitizers;
  • Demonstrated experience in the preparation, preservation and digitization of film materials;
  • Extensive knowledge of all stages of film, video and digital production and post-production;
  • Excellent knowledge of standards and equipment used in the production of traditional audiovisual documents and those adapted to new technologies;
  • Solid knowledge of new technologies used for digital production (can serve as a reference for film professionals);
  • High degree of credibility with filmmakers, producers and technical and administrative staff;
  • Available to provide on-site or remote support outside of regular business hours, for emergencies related to the conservation vault;
  • Available to travel on occasion (within North America and internationally);
  • Bilingualism in the official languages (French and English), both orally and in writing.


  • Good judgment, initiative, organizational abilities, sense of responsibility and independence;
  • Known for quality interpersonal relationships, effective professional action and leadership that unites;
  • Strong analytical skills and ability to synthesize;
  • Ability to propose innovative and consensus-based solutions to benefit the organization;
  • Ability to provide quality service adapted to client needs.

Interested candidates with the above qualifications are invited to apply in writing, including a copy of their résumé to cv@nfb.ca, BY MARCH 29, 2023, citing competition number: SN-00021146.

The NFB is committed to building a skilled, diverse workforce that’s reflective of Canadian society. It promotes initiatives such as employment equity and encourages candidates to voluntarily indicate in their cover letter if they are a woman, a member of a First Nations group, Inuk, Métis, a person with a disability, or a member of a visible-minority group.

The NFB is also committed to developing inclusive, barrier-free selection processes and work environments. Feel free to advise us of any accommodation needs.

Please note that only applicants selected for an interview will be contacted.