> 2012

Cultural Human Resources Council

Welcome to the
CHRC Newsletter
September 2012

In this issue!

HR Forum Countdown

Building Bridges

National HR Forum, Toronto, September 27-28, 2012. Register now!

Only a couple of weeks to go, and we at CHRC are putting on the finishing touches for the HR Forum. There are still a few places, but we are close to our limit so don't wait any longer if you want to sign up.

The site check at Harbourfront and the Radisson just down the street went well. They are excellent venues for our cultural gathering, perfectly located between busy downtown Toronto and the sparkling waters of Lake Ontario -- with opening in Harbourfront's Brigantine Room on Thursday evening, September 27, and getting down to business the following day in the spacious meeting rooms of the Radisson Hotel..

Pre-forum conference calls with the Panels have given us a taste of the rich discussion and stimulating conversations that will flow through the two days. The HR focus and the theme of "building sector/industry bridges" will echo from Paul Hoffert's opening address and the Setting the Tone panel on Thursday evening to the wrap at the end of the day on Friday.

We are especially excited about the selection of the winning "outstanding mentor" for the DUX Award which will be presented at noon on Friday. It's a surprise. But we know that there will be applause and approval all around as the recipient is announced.

Hope to see you there!


CHRC's 15th Annual General Meeting will also be held at the Radisson Harbourfront Hotel - on Thursday, September 27 at 4:00 pm.

The AGM is a perfect opportunity to meet CHRC's Board of Directors and Staff, to get a review of the progress of the last year, and to hear about CHRC's plans going forward, particularly as of April 2013 when the council will no longer receive operational funding from HRSDC.

As well, CHRC's new 2012/2013 Board will be presented. It will be smaller than in the past, in keeping with our efforts to streamline the council's operations. But it will continue to be representative of the sub-sectors, which is fundamental to CHRC's modus operandi and mandate.

There will also be a "sneak preview" of the online modules for The Art of Managing Your Career which CHRC will be releasing in the coming weeks.

Study on Digital Media Content Creators

There has been considerable progress on the Study on DM Content Creators over the summer.

The Context Paper has been submitted to CHRC by MDR Communications and will be presented to the DM Steering Committee for approval at their September meeting. It will be released to the public in October. It provides an overview of the context in which the Study on Digital Media Content Creators is being conducted, explaining the intersection of content creation skills and IT skills in the Digital Media industry and how this advances Canada's digital economy.

From the Executive Summary:

"A convergence of skills once deemed to be separate has emerged to drive success in the interactive digital media industry. Success in this industry increasingly depends on visionary companies mobilizing a confluence of artistic ability, technological invention and business acumen to drive product, process and business innovation. In this regard, the interactive digital media industry is the creative crucible out of which are emerging unique new skills to drive Canada's digital economy."

Among their concluding observations, the authors note:

"In digital media content creation, artistic, technological and business skills are converging resulting in the development of innovative new products and services, and the adoption of new business models and markets.... A movement is afoot in some jurisdictions to fuse the teaching of artistic and technological skills. This is needed to stimulate innovation in many sectors, and is essential to prepare students for careers in the interactive digital media industry... As the industry grows, new opportunities will continue to emerge for teams of highly skilled individuals bringing together their artistic and technological skills."

The Research on DM content creation positions, phase 1 of the Canadian Interactive Industry Profile that Nordicity is conducting for CIAIC, has also been completed. It identifies "three main knowledge domains (i.e. groups of jobs): Technical, Artistic/Design and Administrative/Business/Sales" and notes that "all three knowledge domains can be considered to be 'creative'." Furthermore, "an individual worker may perform tasks in more than one domain."

The Nordicity research supports the findings of the Context Paper. These two in depth studies have given us a better understanding of the DM industry and its important role in Canada's digital economy.

Another important component of the Study is the development of a Competency Chart for a DM Content Creation Team. CHRC has engaged a small Expert Working Group to guide the development of this chart. It is organized around three distinct functions: content creation, project management and business. Each function requires a series of competencies. The chart does not refer to occupations (which do not have uniform titles or job descriptions across the industry) but to the combined competencies that a digital media team must demonstrate to develop a successful digital media product.

The DM Steering Committee will be reviewing the progress on the chart at its September meeting. CHRC will then meet with focus groups across the country to validate the chart. This unique research will result in a tool for educators and trainers to plan their curriculums, for employers who are building DM teams, and for potential members of a DM content creation team who are assessing their own skills needs and assets as they build their own careers.

Closely related to the competency chart is the Training Offering Survey which identifies educational institutions and other training offerings that cover the competencies in the chart; and the Training Needs Assessment which, through interviews with both employers and workers, identifies the skills needs, based on the chart. These are both being carried out by the Winnipeg consulting firm KiSquared, in close consultation with the DM Steering Committee.

And finally.... All this is leading to the identification and development of appropriate and innovative Teaching Tools to support the training needs of emerging DM content creators - to be released in the spring of 2013.

A Call for Innovation: "Canada must refuel for cultural creativity"

The Globe and Mail op-ed piece (September 4, 2012) by co-authors Ed Cowan, John Hobday and Ian Wilson echoes the findings of our Context Paper and the Research on DM content creation positions.

"Canada needs a new innovative economic "Road Map" firmly linking dynamic creative and cultural sectors with open and welcoming business and technology sectors. This collaboration is essential to our achieving the Canada we want to be."

Career Focus Underway

Since our last e-newsletter we finally received the long awaited green light from HRSDC on the Career Focus programme. CHRC has, for almost 15 years, administered this programme and its predecessor, the Training Initiatives Programme (TIP), on behalf of the federal government, providing hundreds of employers in the cultural sector with financial support to offer internships to emerging cultural workers. We were delighted to receive funding for yet another year.

From the Minister's approval to call for and selection of proposals, it was a quick turn around. But we easily identified worthy recipients -- and of course have a waiting list -- as always. The good news is that the programme continues for yet another year, despite cuts in many other areas.

With your help, we are able to provide the federal government with excellent quantitative and qualitative data to demonstrate the value of Career Focus to the cultural sector -- and hope that they will continue to fund it in the future.

Our HR Tools in ePub format

A reminder of our HR Tools in ePub format and the accompanying short video, highlighting the advantages of using ePub documents.

If you're a cultural manager keeping many balls up in the air at once, you will find it very convenient to have our HR Tools at your finger tips on your mobile device. (e.g. "I need some action verbs to help write this job description." "What are the discretionary employee benefits we can offer our employees?" "I need to remember how to criticize constructively as I give this performance assessment.")

Social Media Coverage of our HR Forum

During our HR Forum, go to our Facebook page or on Twitter look for the hashtag #HRF2012 to get the breaking Forum news.

Featured Organisation Plus Member

The Editors' Association of Canada is a not-for-profit organization that promotes professional editing as a key part of producing documents that communicate effectively.

Read the EAC's article on Certification for professional editors.

Keep in touch!

Susan Annis, Executive Director
Extension 22 -

Erma Barnett, Finance Officer
Extension 29 -

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

Marc-André Girouard, Marketing Manager
Extension 31 -

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

Michael Lechasseur, Web Coordinator
Extension 26 -

A list of 2011/2012 Board members can be found on CHRC's web site at

Join us on


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