> 2012

Cultural Human Resources Council

Welcome to the
CHRC Newsletter
May 2012

Save the Date!
CHRC's National HR Forum
September 27 and 28 in Toronto

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in a stimulating and timely conversation
on building bridges
cultural industry professionals on the ground
educators and trainers of the emerging cultural workforce

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In this issue!

Canada 3.0 shines a light on cultural content in Stratford

Canada 3.0Canadian Digital Media Network

Canada 3.0, hosted for the fourth year in a row by the Canadian Digital Media Network, welcomed Digital Media gurus, techies, entrepreneurs, politicians, policy makers and aficionados to Stratford, Ontario in late April. Over 1000 participants mixed, mingled and shared in the undeniable buzz of this rapidly expanding industry at the heart of our digital economy.

Two years ago at this gathering (then titled Canada 2.0) the Ministers of Industry, Canadian Heritage and HRSDC released a consultation paper on the Digital Economy, Improving Canada's Digital Advantage. While nothing has come of that exercise so far (still no national Digital Media or Digital Economy Strategy), many cultural organizations submitted briefs underlining the importance of cultural content in a discussion dominated by technology.

CHRC has attended each of the conferences, determined to raise the profile of DM content creators amid the wizardry of technology, the rush of commercialization, and the razzle dazzle of new programming. We have been dismayed in other years by the lack of attention to and discussion around DM content creation and creators.

But Canada 3.0 2012 was different.

This year a centre piece of the conference, the Stratford Report 2012 Arts and Culture at the Digital Crossroads, did an excellent job of putting the issues of DM artists and content creators on the agenda. This insightful report was spearheaded by Ian Wilson, Executive Director of The Stratford Institute for Digital Media. Where last year's Stratford Report had a focus on technology, this year's focus is squarely on content. Ian Wilson, Ed Cowan and John Hobday (the "éminences grises" of Canada's cultural sector!) explore the digital revolution as it affects the arts and culture in broad strokes. They then turn the report over to the pens of cultural leaders whose frank portrayals of the advantages and challenges of the digital revolution in each of their industries are at once provocative and visionary: Anna Serrano, Joanne Morrow, Larry LeBlanc, Sandy Crawley, and Lon Dubinsky. These writers pull no punches.

It was disappointing that there was no official representation from the Department of Canadian Heritage. Cultural content is central to Canada's success in the digital universe and an important economic engine. The arts and culture need champions at DCH to balance the intoxicating whirl of technology and the relentless drive for commercialization that are dominating the current national conversation on Digital Media.

An underlying theme throughout the conference -- in the written materials, the presentations, the panel discussions and the corridor conversations -- was the need for collaboration. CHRC's Culture 3.0 on the impact of emerging digital technologies on the cultural sector, and the HR Study before that, identified this common theme as well. The cultural sector understands collaboration. It's in the DNA of artists and cultural organizations.

Another recurring theme was the clarion call for a new road map for culture. In the words of John Hobday, former CHRC Board member and Director of the Canada Council:

"I am ... convinced that sixty years after the Massey Report changed the cultural landscape, we seriously need recourse to a new road map. Our current cultural landscape is significantly different from the one mapped by the Royal Commission of 1951 (a year before the launch of CBC/Radio Canada television). Now we are witnessing the astonishing explosion in mobile communications through the digital technologies. Although the Massey Report only touched on the issues of the business side of the arts, any new inquiry would need to address this as a central issue.

As Canada approaches its 150th birthday in 2017, surely it is not impertinent to suggest that we make a serious attempt to go beyond the current patchwork quilt of existing policies.

Surely a comprehensive map that draws ideas from Canada's creative cultural community and our equally creative digital technology expertise could provide us with the guide that is needed to ensure the economic and social prosperity that will benefit all Canadians."

Digital Media Content Creators - project picking up steam

In early April CHRC's Digital Media Steering Committee met to begin the task of overseeing the gathering of LMI (labour market information) on Digital Media content creators. This ambitious and timely project will address some very key HR issues for the DM industry: namely, a better understanding of the roles of DM content creators, and how to provide them with the tools they need to distinguish Canada's DM industry on the world stage.

The project will include consultations with employers and workers in the revamping of CHRC's competency charts for DM content creators and producers, and the identification of training needs. It will also include a summary of training offerings and training gaps analyses.

Focus groups across the country in the fall will validate the findings and recommendations of the consultations.

CHRC's HR Tools soon to be available in ePub format

"All cultural managers should have this resource at their fingertips to help solve the myriad of human resource issues they have to deal with such as managing conflict, evaluating performance, dealing with compensation and benefits, hiring, firing, etc."

And now imagine having this resource adapted to the screen of your tablet!

Keeping on the crest of the technology curve, CHRC will soon make its very popular HR Tools available on tablets, mobile phones and eReaders in ePub format.

The 11 booklets in the series have always been available for reading and reference on our website, and offered as a benefit in hard copy to our organization members. Now they will be available for purchase in 3 formats - hard copy, PDF and ePub.

The announcement's coming soon....

Educators and Trainers Take Note!

With CHRC's handy new Educators and Trainers navigational tool on our home page, it is possible to get a quick overview of and easy access to CHRC's rich array of teaching resources.

From educators enthusiastic about CHRC's resources for high schools (Careers in Culture, The Art of Managing Your Career, Artist as Entrepreneur CD), we hear:

"Classroom ready! Awesome!"

"[CHRC's] materials present useful, relevant, current information that paints a realistic picture of life in the arts and culture business."

"The resources clearly lay out the challenges behind a career in the arts."

"Careers in Culture are perfect for the mandatory Grade 10 Careers course students, as well as all arts courses in secondary schools."

"Teacher's guides are really useful."

Favourite parts identified by educators include:

  • self-assessment of the qualities required to be a self-employed artist
  • stories from real artists -- the more detailed information the better
  • the 'know the lingo' sections in Careers in Culture booklets
  • the attractive and eye-catching format of the materials, particularly Careers in Culture series

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Susan Annis, Executive Director
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Erma Barnett, Finance Officer
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Lucie M. D'Aoust, Sr. Project Manager
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Marc-André Girouard, Marketing Manager
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Geneviève Guilmette, Youth Internship Program Coordinator, Project Manager
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Michael Lechasseur, Web Coordinator
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A list of 2011/2012 Board members can be found on CHRC's web site at

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Cultural Human Resources Council (CHRC)
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