> 2010

Cultural Human Resources Council

Welcome to the
CHRC Newsletter
May 2010

In this issue!

AGM Announcement

You are invited to attend CHRC's 2010 Annual General Meeting
in Ottawa at the Lord Elgin
on June 18 at 11:00 am.
All are welcome.

It is an excellent opportunity to meet the Board and get a finger on the CHRC pulse.
There's a lot going on!

Board Elections

CHRC's Board is comprised of 16 elected Directors including an employer and a worker representative from each of the sub-sectors/cultural industries: Broadcasting, Film and Television, Music and Sound Recording, Writing and Publishing, Visual Arts and Crafts, Heritage, Digital Media, and the Live Performing Arts. Directors serve for three-year terms, renewable 2 times. CHRC members vote for the nominees in their particular sub-sector/industry.

This year we have vacancies in:

  • Music and Sound Recording (worker position)
  • Digital Media (worker position)
  • Live Performing Arts (worker position)

The proposed slate created by CHRC's Nominating Committee was sent to members with a call for further nominations, to be submitted by April 22. In the case of the Live Performing Arts and Digital Media there were no further nominations. In the case of the Music and Sound Recording sub-sector there was an additional nomination. A sub-sector election is currently underway. Results will be announced and ratified at the Annual General Meeting.

Cultural Sector HR Study

As you are aware, CHRC's Cultural Sector HR Study, which is being undertaken by the Conference Board of Canada is in its last stages. The opportunity to do a full sector study of this magnitude happens roughly once every decade.

  1. Phase 1: The Phase I Labour Market Information Report is under final review. We hope to be able to release it in June at the Roundtable. It contains a wealth of LMI information on our sector, and, equally important, recommendations relating to serious information gaps in all the sub-sectors.

  2. Phase II: The Phase II HR Trends and Issues Report will be the focus of discussion at the Roundtable. This document draws on interviews with experts, focus group sessions, and a wide-ranging online survey of the cultural sector. With regard to the survey, the Conference Board received almost 3,000 responses. This must be some kind of record! CHRC is very grateful to all those who took the time to complete the survey and in many cases who forward it to other respondents.

    A draft of the document is now being circulated to HR Steering Committee members. They will meet on May 20 and 21 to review it and develop recommendations related to its findings. These will be further discussed at the Roundtable. The final document will be released in the fall.

  3. Roundtable: On June 17, CHRC is organizing an HR Roundtable in Ottawa of cultural sector experts and leaders to review and ratify the findings and recommendations of the HR Trends and Issues Report. This is a very important step in the 18 month process. The recommendations from this document will provide the basis for CHRC priorities and activities for years to come.

Industry meetings

Over the past 2 months CHRC has held three national meetings to deal with industry specific HR issues - Film and Television, Music and Sound Recording, and Live Performing Arts. In each case, employers, workers, training providers and funders convened to identify and address current HR issues. Debate and discussion were lively and productive, providing CHRC with important advice and guidance on how to bring its resources to bear on these challenges. Here are short summaries of next steps flowing from these meetings.

National Training Advisory Council for Screen-based Media

NTAC participants were very clear that their greatest need going forward is for training in new and ever changing technology. Given the huge costs of acquiring the technology, let alone training for it, guilds, unions and professional associations are constantly in search of training dollars and resources.... One of CHRC's most important roles in this environment will be to help facilitate training delivery by identifying needs, best practices and resources; and working strategically to bring training providers and industry together to address training gaps.

National Training Advisory Council for the Music Industry

The agenda covered the big themes of the National Training Strategy for the Music Industry which we continue to work on: Professional Development, Formal Education, and Internships. It also launched an expansive discussion on the impact of digital technology which will be a CHRC focus in the coming year.

Roundtable for Theatre Technicians in the Live Performing Arts

Roundtable participants validated proficiency levels based on the competency chart and profiles for Stage Technicians and Entertainment Riggers. There was a strong call to have them accepted and even adopted throughout the industry by employers, educators and Stage Technicians/Entertainment Riggers alike. There was a spirit of consensus around the work that has been done and the shared vision of something akin to national standards for skill levels for Stage Technicians and Entertainment Riggers. There was also a will to take this discussion across the finish line. CHRC will help in any way it can to achieve this objective.

Screen-based Media Training Database

The former Film and Television Training Database is expanding to include courses and programs in Digital Media. We have re-branded the site with a new name and domain name.

Screen-Based Media Training Database

Finding training in film, television and digital media has never been easier!

Compendium of Hubs for Digital Media Content Creation

A key recommendation from CHRC's Technology Roadmap for Digital Media Content Creation was to nurture and facilitate collaborative online environments for digital media content creation. One of the first steps in that direction is to get a national picture of where the virtual and real hubs exist across Canada to support digital media content creation - and then to nurture collaboration among them.

With funding support from Industry Canada, CHRC engaged a consultant to build a compendium of these hubs. For the purposes of the compendium, hubs are defined as follows:

Hubs: The term 'hub' was used to define a significant and observable cluster of activity. They have a stated mandate or "focus of activity" that include supporting the digital media sector. They also need to demonstrate some tangible delivery of services to the sector, be they wireless testing labs or annual conferences. Hubs include both for profit and not-for-profit entities, and sometimes include private facilities as long as there is some form of access for the sector overall. They are found in physical and online spaces and in groups of people.

People hubs, process hubs and product hubs are included. A snapshot of the compendium is on CHRC's web site along with a searchable database which is updated on an ongoing basis.

This rich data will provide the basis for a greater understanding of Canada's national digital media network and how to maximize it for the digital economy.

EI Benefits for the Self-employed

As promised in an earlier e-newsletter, CHRC has engaged consultant Garry Neil to undertake a review of the recent changes to the EI legislation to make special benefits available to the self-employed. These include maternity benefits, parental benefits, compassionate care benefits and sickness benefits. The report, released last week, includes a description of the new program; a review of the relationship between the EI Special Benefits and existing insurance programs available to some artists and cultural workers; case studies to demonstrate the relevance of the new program to individual artists and cultural workers; and relevant recommendations.

Keep in touch

We urge you to keep in touch with comments, questions, suggestions, criticism. Our ongoing dialogue with you is vital to our success!

Susan Annis, Executive Director
Extension 22 -

Erma Barnett, Finance Officer
Extension 29 -

Geneviève Chassé, Manager, Communications and Marketing
Extension 31 -

Lucie M. D'Aoust, Sr. Project Manager
Extension 21 -

Geneviève Guilmette, Youth Internship Program Coordinator, Project Manager
Extension 28 -

Michael Lechasseur, Web Coordinator
Extension 26 -

A list of 2009/2010 Board members can be found on CHRC's web site at

Join us on

Important Culture Sector funding from DCH

Launch of the Strategic Initiatives Component

Last June, the Government of Canada announced renewed investments in the arts over the next five years. A new support mechanism for the arts and heritage sectors was also announced, namely the Strategic Initiative component of the Canada Cultural Investment Fund (CCIF).

We are pleased to inform you that this commitment has now materialized. Starting in 2010-2011, the Strategic Initiatives component, one of the four components of the CCIF, will provide grants or contributions for projects that enhance the effectiveness, management and funding of arts and heritage organizations. Projects must involve at least three partners, and the results must be of direct benefit to several non-profit arts and heritage organizations.

For more information on the component's objectives and eligibility criteria, please visit or contact a program officer at 1-866-811-0055.

Cultural Human Resources Council (CHRC)
201-17 York Street, Ottawa, ON K1N 9J6
Tel. 613-562-1535   Fax 613-562-2982