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CHRC Newsletter

CHRC Newsletter
March 2007

Launches and Releases!

February has been a month of launches and releases.

  • CHRC was pleased to launch its newly organized web site in early February, designed to facilitate access to our growing number of HR tools, resources and information.

  • We also launched the long awaited national Film and Television Training Data Base (TDB). The industry has responded with enthusiasm – and some frustration because the TDB doesn't yet include universities, colleges and festivals. But those are to come in a second phase, once we've demonstrated the usefulness and functionality of phase one.. The need for a national TDB was voiced strongly and loudly at the April 2004 Film and Television summit, and was reiterated in regional meetings held by CHRC across the country in 2005. It was the topic of several recommendations in Fast Forward, a national training strategy for the film and television industry that was published in 2006.

  • We released the updated online versions of our highly successful Careers in Culture books: The Mind's Eye (for visual arts and crafts), Now Hear This (for music and sound recording), Words on the Move (for writing and publishing), The Interactive Zone (for new media), and The Art of Storytelling (for the heritage sub-sector), The Spotlight's On (live performing arts), Careers in Cultural Management (for cultural managers), and From Shortwave to Wide Screen (for film and broadcasting).

  • And we released the Teacher's Activity Kit, "Lights Up" to help teachers maximize their use of the Careers in Culture books with their students.

The Business of the Music Industry

Working with its dedicated and hard working Music Industry Steering Committee, chaired by CHRC Chair Richard Hornsby, CHRC continues to develop tools and resources to help musicians and cultural workers in the music business to meet the challenges and grab the potential of their rapidly evolving industry. As announced in the last Newsletter, we are developing curriculum for a Rights Management course designed to help musicians navigate the often confusing waters of copyright, neighbouring rights, mechanical rights etc. These will be ready in April. We are also working with an Expert Working Group of Music Publishers to prepare a competency chart and profile for their profession, and undertaking a training gaps analysis to determine the availability of training for their skills.

With the bigger picture in mind, we have engaged Shelley Stein-Sachs to undertake phase one of a national strategy for training in the music business. He is consulting with the industry and with educators and trainers to determine the broad themes of the strategy. A Roundtable with music educators in late March will be an important step in that process.

Convergent Media Project

"To tap the potential of convergent projects and multiplatform delivery for Film, Television and New Media writers, directors and producers."

Over the last two weeks in February at York the Hotel in Winnipeg, CHRC, in collaboration with the Government of Manitoba, New Media Manitoba, Film Training Manitoba and the Bell New Media Fund, developed and presented a pilot course on convergent media for directors, writers, producers/project managers in film and television and new media. In the words of Coordinator Ryan Fitzgerald:

"The line between segments of the entertainment industries is beginning to blur as screens proliferate beyond cineplex and living room. Tools for content generation grow increasingly democratised but will best serve those talented and creative professionals who know how to capitalise on the strengths of new tech. This Convergence Media Project is a first bold step towards navigating the future of Canadian entertainment. Team-based, self-directed and ambitious, we hope to provide the expertise and opportunity to experiment in a safe, collaborative environment."

The course, which was the subject of one of the recommendations in Fast Forward, the national training strategy for Film and Television, ran for a total of 7.5 days. Participants listened to and conversed with experts on the cutting edge of this new artistic expression, and then were invited to work in New Media/Film and Television teams to develop proposals for "pitching" to funders from CanWest Global, Bell New Media and MTN. Participants also had access to a project web site, built by Manlab, to capture their ideas and bloggings over the course.

CHRC will oversee the compilation of the rich resources and learnings of this course and have a training template available for use across the country, by April.

HR Management Tools

Organizations who belong to CHRC will know about the new Cultural Human Resources Management Tools Manual that we are offering to those who become or renew as organizational members. This handy binder contains 9 HR Tools that were developed in 2004 to help cultural managers deal with human resource issues. They include chapters on: An HR Overview; Recruiting the Right People; Job Descriptions; Coaching, Mentoring and Succession Planning; Dealing with Challenge and Conflict Managing Employee Performance; Termination of Employment; Benefits and Retirement Plans; and Best Practices.

CHRC has engaged Clark Reed, who wrote the first nine books, to develop two more, on Contracting, and on Using the Competency Charts and Profiles. In mid March, he will meet with the members of CHRC's Provincial and Territorial Advisory Committee (PATAC) to validate the work he has done on them, and to present the original books in the same context. CHRC will work with PATAC to encourage and facilitate dissemination of the HR Tools throughout the provinces and territories to support better HR management in the cultural sector.

Live Performing Arts

The Theatre Technicians Steering Committee, chaired by CHRC Board member Mark Melymick, will meet in early March to review the chart and profile that has been developed by and for riggers. On their agenda as well is the exploration of how to build closer relationships between industry and educators to facilitate and formalize essential work placements or on-the-job experiences for those wishing to enter the profession. The Steering Committee will also be planning the agenda for a Roundtable in August, which will bring theatres, unions and educators to the table to discuss how to deal with training gaps in a strategic way.

Arts Concentration in Ontario High Schools

This is a good news story for advocates of arts in education and education in the arts who have pressed for years to get the education system to understand the value of the arts in learning!

Four Toronto District School Board high schools (Vanier SS, Wexford Collegiate, Lawrence Park Collegiate and Sir Sandford Fleming Academy), which are part of the Education Sector Council Partnerships Project, are working together to develop an entrepreneurship course for their arts students. They are drawing on CHRC's The Art of Managing Your Career and the discipline enhancements, with the accompanying Teacher's Guide, for the course content.

As well, the Ontario Ministry of Education has named three high schools that will have specialist high skills majors in the arts: R.H. King Academy in Toronto, l'École sécondaire catholique Béatrice-Desloges in Ottawa, and Widdifield Secondary School in North Bay. These programmes allow students to focus on knowledge and skills in the arts which will lead them to post secondary destinations of their choice."

CHRC is working with these high schools to help them develop curriculum by offering our competency charts and profiles in relevant areas. Our new on-line Careers in Culture books have also been identified as very useful tools.

The Visible and Invisible Engine: The CBC/SRC – Canada's largest cultural employer

Recognizing the importance of the CBC/SRC as a major employer of Canadian artists and cultural workers, CHRC has made a submission to the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage in the context of its review of the CBC/SRC, to underline this vital role in the Canadian cultural sector.

"The CBC/SRC plays a vital role in the cultural sector, not only for its programming content, but for the direct, indirect, and long-term consequences of its status as the largest cultural employer in Canada. It employs 25% of those working in the regulated broadcasting sector and engages a multitude of independent contactors.

The full submission is available here.

CHRC Board Meetings

CHRC's Board of Directors met in Vancouver in late January. They were very pleased to welcome many from the local cultural community to a breakfast reception in the offices of the Vancouver Alliance for Arts and Culture. These opportunities to meet artists and cultural workers and to talk about CHRC's products and services are highlights in the Board's schedule. The next Board meeting will be in Montreal on April 22 and 23, and it will include a breakfast reception for our Montreal colleagues on Monday April 23. We look forward to meeting many CHRC members and friends. The Board will also take time to discuss common issues and concerns with our Quebec counterparts, le Conseil québécois des ressources humaines en culture.

Consumer Spending on Culture in Canada, the Provinces and 15 Metropolitan Areas in 2005 - from Hill Strategies

A new report from Hill Strategies Research, entitled Consumer Spending on Culture in Canada, the Provinces and 15 Metropolitan Areas in 2005, shows that Canadian consumers spent over $25 billion on cultural goods and services in 2005. Some key findings of the report include:

  • The $25.1 billion in cultural spending is 5% higher than the combined consumer spending on household furniture, appliances and tools ($24.0 billion).
  • Consumer spending on culture is over three times larger than the $7.7 billion spent on culture in Canada by all levels of government in 2003/04.
  • Spending on cultural goods and services grew by 48% between 1997 and 2005, much higher than the 18% rise in the Consumer Price Index during the same period.
  • Canadians' spending on live performing arts is now more than double their spending on live sports events.
  • Cultural spending per capita varies significantly between the provinces, from a high of $971 in Alberta to a low of $691 in Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • Alberta had the highest growth in consumer spending between 1997 and 2005, both on cultural goods and services and on all goods and services.
  • Among 15 metropolitan areas, Ottawa and Calgary have high per capita consumer spending on cultural goods and services.
A new resource for finding the right consultants…, a bilingual web site that provides information on consultants with expertise across the sector and across the country, is a project initiated jointly by the Centre for Cultural Management at the University of Waterloo, and the Association of Cultural Executives (ACE). You may want to visit and tag this as a future reference to use when looking for a consultant with a cultural specialization.

As always – we invite you to contact us!

We want and welcome your comments and queries. Don't hesitate to contact us:
613-562-1535 and