> 2016

Cultural Human Resources Council

Welcome to the
CHRC Newsletter
March 2016

In this issue!


The 2016 Federal Budget and the Arts

We will all have taken stock of the encouraging place of culture in the Federal Budget 2016. In light of the new government’s commitment to the arts, Simon Brault, Director of the Canada Council, has written a compelling letter – a call to action.

An historic rendezvous with our future

Posted 22 March 2016 by Simon Brault, O.C., O.Q.

Like millions of people

For 35 years, I have argued non-stop to have the social benefits of the arts and culture fully recognized. I’m passionate about this cause – like the arts themselves, it inspires me and has helped me to grow in many ways. I’ve met amazing artists, seen works and projects that redefine our relationship with the world, debated (both frankly and hesitantly) with corporate and political decision-makers, witnessed the impact of arts organizations within our communities, felt the effects of cultural diplomacy in the world, and joined audiences everywhere in applauding unforgettable and transformative performances.

That’s why I was so moved today to read the first budget of the Trudeau government. It led me to ponder my own responsibilities and those of my colleagues. Today, I know that we can begin writing a new chapter on the artistic and cultural history of this country – our history. A chapter that restores to the First Nations, Inuit and Métis people the place that has been denied them, reflects the diversity of our population, encourages young people to be the custodians of our future, and invites artists, philosophers, scientists and intellectuals to share their creativity and passion with each of us. A movement has begun, and we are all invited to join it, and the millions of individuals who are enriching our culture of diversity.

The future: a new chapter begins

A little over 18 months ago, the Canada Council for the Arts began a major transformation. At the heart of this transformation are artists, arts organizations and the entire population. It goes without saying that we considered society as a whole. We are, after all, a public arts funding agency operating in a democracy. Our purpose is to ensure that the arts strive for excellence, and that they nourish our confidence in the humanity and freedom that allows us to flourish as a people and as individuals.

As a first step to achieving this, we focused on transforming our funding model, which comes into effect in 2017. We wanted it to be open to creation and innovation: simple, not intimidating and bureaucratic, better able to scale up and measure the impact of the arts on us as individuals and as a society. The transformation we envisaged 18 months ago was resolutely turned toward the future. Our strategic plan, to be launched in the coming weeks, will outline the directions we want to follow and the destination we want to reach. It will focus on artists and audiences in tomorrow’s economy, an ambitious digital strategy for the arts, a renewed relationship between the First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and non-indigenous Canadians, and the international outreach of our artists and their work.

What we could not have predicted 18 months ago was that at the moment we embarked upon our new funding model, we would be given additional resources to fulfill the ambitions that guided its creation.

Art is all of us

For almost 60 years, the Canada Council for the Arts has supported artistic excellence. Today it is committed to increasing tenfold the benefits the arts bring to our lives.

I invite you to this historic rendezvous with our future – a future where art is each and every one of us, together.

National Arts Service Organizations Conference

CHRC was pleased to attend this year’s annual National Arts Service Organizations meeting in the Canada Council offices on February 18/19. Though we’re all familiar by now with the ‘new’ Elgin Street CC digs, just up from the Scone Witch, it’s always a treat to be in those bright spaces filled with light and art!

The meeting opened with an address from Canada Council Director Simon Brault. He takes every opportunity to talk about the new funding programs that kick in next year. CHRC is especially encouraged by the “Supporting Artistic Practice” stream to “improve professional and artistic practice through dialogue, learning, and the strengthening of networks” – a clear recognition of the importance of professional development for artists.

The face-to-face networking that goes on at that NASO conference is irreplaceable and invaluable. It’s a reminder that no matter how good technology is – it can’t beat being in the same room with people and fielding the body language, nuances, pauses and unspoken exchanges!

Collaboration was one of the key themes weaving throughout the panels and discussions – an eery echo of the first recommendation of CHRC’s HR Roundtables in 2010, held in the context of our HR Report on Trends and Issues.

Recommendation 1: Develop collaborative models and projects to support sub-sectors working together on content creation, new business models, interaction between industry and education, and new research.

Collaboration – on everything from digital platforms to cross-sectoral social enterprise models to engaging in the sharing economy (“everyone owns it”!) Video Pool in Winnipeg was highlighted as a great example of such collaboration at work.

Another key theme was inclusion: how to be more inclusive of “equity” groups? Perhaps forcing the issue by placing equity as an assessment criteria. The Canada Council leads the way on this by dedicating a complete funding stream to Aboriginal artists.

A more impressive group of experienced, seasoned, wise committed cultural leaders you would be hard-pressed to find. All so aware of the ever evolving cultural artistic landscape that is being reshaped around and by them. And never far from centre stage were the issues of mentorship and succession. How do we nurture, encourage, empower, advance the next generation of cultural leaders and art practice? They ask that question reflectively with hope and optimism.

What happens when you’re an intern at Jumblies Theatre!

Fiona gets insights into arts administration, community-engaged arts, and the workings of a professional theatre company as a DCH Building Careers in Heritage intern at Jumblies Theatre. For example:

  • Facilitating the Youth Theatre Training Program - creating characters based on exquisite corpse creatures who live in City Place, exploring shadow puppetry with these characters, and writing little books that told a complete story from our creature’s perspective.

  • Facilitating a Playing With Theatre workshop - creating a performance of an Iroquois story about why the animals stopped talking to humans, with a mask workshop.

  • Facilitating the Sewing and Fabric Arts and the Arts Drop In - making shadow puppetry shows.

  • Participating in the Composing Communities IGNITE workshop - working with other artists and a composer to create an original performance piece.

And much more, from grant writing to editing a Jumblies publication to working in partnership with OACD University on a workshop at the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto.

A rich and rewarding experience for this young arts administrator – and an enthusiastic addition to the cultural labour force!

ACI Manitoba releases Indigenous Artists’ Needs Assessment Report

Earlier this year, ACI Manitoba released its Indigenous Artists’ Needs Assessment Report. It is based largely on three Indigenous Artist Circles – gatherings of Indigenous artists from across the province ‘to share experiences, discuss their professional needs, and look to the future’. Though the circles were with Manitoba Indigenous artists, the findings and recommendations will certainly apply to Indigenous artists across the country – and in fact could apply to artists anywhere.

Here are the Report’s main recommendations.

  1. Mentorship Programs – More holistic mentorship programs are needed for youth interested in arts careers. Older artists are ready and able to lead the young ones.

  2. Access to Cultural Teachings – Artists would like more access to Indigenous teachings, Elders and Knowledge Keepers, and to understand protocols around cultural symbols and knowledge.

  3. Community Building – Artists would like more access to circles, collectives and spaces to gather. Artists are interested in making groups, finding places to share opportunities, and creating collaborative work and informal mentorships within community. Organizations need to provide networking opportunities, and places to showcase and share work with the greater community.

  4. Business and Entrepreneurial Education – Artists need access to “how to get started” business materials and learning opportunities.

  5. Funding Resources – Artists would like assistance navigating “how to access money” and to know more about how to get grants, help to apply for grants, where to find bursaries for supplies, and where to find programs for learning.

  6. More Access to Employment Opportunities – Most notably, artists are interested in working in schools and community organizations, and would like to learn more about how to get started and prepare for working in the schools and with student groups in other settings. Amongst artists, there is a significant need for training in developing curriculum and working with student groups.

CHRC connections: we were pleased to see among the credits for this ground breaking document that it was compiled by Kate Vermette, one of the trainers at CHRC’s TAMYC Aboriginal Workshop; and a special thank you was extended to Barb Nepinak, a former CHRC Board member. Liz Barron, a member of CHRC’s TAMYC Aboriginal Steering Committee, was also involved in the Report.

Looking for a job? Looking for talent?

Current Job Postings

Title Organisation City, Province
Edmonton Arts Council Executive Director Edmonton Arts Council Edmonton, Alberta
Director of Development, Thousand Islands Playhouse Genovese, Vanderhoof & Associates Gananoque, Ontario
Director of Development Aga Khan Museum Toronto, Ontario
Direction générale Culture Plus Moncton, New Brunswick
Executive Director Culture Plus Moncton, New Brunswick
Violin Maker The Sound Post Toronto, Ontario

CHRC members receive a 25% discount on job postings!

Don't forget... CHRC's team at your service!

Featured Organisation Plus Member

SaskCulture Inc.

SaskCulture Inc. is a community-based, volunteer-driven organization, which works with its membership and other community partners to build a culturally vibrant province, where all citizens celebrate, value and participate in a rich, cultural life.

Susan Annis, Executive Director
Extension 22 -

Erma Barnett, Finance Officer

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

Michael Lechasseur, Webmaster

A list of 2015-2016 Board members can be found on CHRC's web site.


Cultural Human Resources Council (CHRC)
201 - 251 Bank St., Ottawa, ON  K2P 1X3
Tel. 613-562-1535   Fax 613-562-2982