As the dust settles around Building Bridges, we want to thank the Forum participants for their contribution to our Forum's success!

We can invite wonderful speakers and panelists, provide an appealing venue, and handle complex logistics, but you are our real “raison d'être", you make our planning come alive. We are grateful for your active engagement, keen attention, willing interaction, and twitter and face to face conversations over the course of the day and a half.

Sylvain Lafrance, in his noon hour address, captured the essence of the bridges we are aiming to build (a complete video of his presentation with translation will be posted soon):

"Cultural organizations must quickly find solutions to survive the financial challenges they are facing. They are caught in the “short term. Universities on the other hand by their very nature, live in the long term where they have time for reflection, and seek to find meaning in what is happening around them. Here is the crux of the relationship between cultural organizations and universities. This is the difference that must be recognized. Universities, while they must be concerned with the long term in the face of an acceleration of time, must draw from and remain connected to the day to day reality of cultural industries and disciplines challenged by the rapidity of events. This may seem like a paradox but herein lies the biggest promise for great collaboration between universities and cultural organizations."

Tackling the big issue of linking educators and training providers to such a diverse sector was a challenge – and an opportunity. A challenge to get broad representation: the panelists hailed from across the country and throughout the sector. An opportunity for cross fertilization: to find gems of wisdom and practical ideas from those in different sub-sectors or disciplines.

We hope participants picked up inspiration, contacts, practical models and useful information for themselves and their organizations.

Going forward, the final series of “sub-sector” huddles were particularly instructive for CHRC. The intense discussions demonstrated to us the importance you attach to HR issues, and they clarified priority areas such as building mentorships, sharing best practices, developing skills and certification in areas such as export marketing and business – and more. As CHRC charts its new course without HRSDC core funding, we are listening carefully to what you have to say, so that we can continue to serve and support you in the best way possible.

We look forward to collaborating with you, cultural workers and educators, to better prepare our emerging workforce and to hone the skills of practising artists and cultural workers in these times of rapid change. Building Bridges brought us together to do that.