> 2016

Cultural Human Resources Council

Welcome to the
CHRC Newsletter
May 2016

Annual General Meeting 2016

CHRC’s 22nd Annual General Meeting will take place on June 20, 2016 at 11:00 am. It will be held at 166 King Street East, Suite 300, Toronto, Ontario, in the offices and Boardroom of Simon and Schuster Canada.

In this issue!


"Preparing for Succession" gets the green light

CHRC was delighted to get approval late last month from Canadian Heritage for our long awaited “Preparing for Succession” project. With a generous commitment from the Metcalf Foundation to round off the necessary funding, we are ready to roll.

The HR issue we’re addressing

Over the past decade cultural managers and board members across the country have expressed concern about succession in cultural organizations and companies, as a generation of leaders are on the verge of retirement. Where is the next generation of leaders? who are they? and are they ready to and do they want to take on the mantle of those who have led for decades? They come with digital skills to function in a digital age – but have they acquired the wisdom and corporate experience to marry their digital savvy with strategic, analytical and critical thinking and vision that are paramount in leadership? Do they have the understanding and ability to position their cultural organizations at the heart of their communities and as economic contributors to our country?

How we’re addressing it

CHRC is convinced that mentorship is a key piece in this puzzle – taking the brain trust of our most seasoned and successful cultural leaders and putting them into mentorship situations with some of the sector’s brightest rising stars – our leaders of tomorrow. We will be calling on the generosity of the mentors to commit to this project. And we will be issuing a “call for proposals” for mid-level managers to participate as mentees. 18 mentorship teams will be set up in the first year and 24 in the second year. Mentor/mentee matches will not necessarily be dependent on geographic location or even discipline….They will however be provided with an excellent array of mentorship tools and resources which CHRC will be pulling together from across the sector, so we’re not re-inventing the wheel.

Another key piece in this puzzle is CHRC’s HR Management Toolkit which will serve as a base for the learnings of the mentorship teams. It needs to be updated – that is already underway.

Modus operandi

As is a first step in most CHRC undertakings, we have established a Steering Committee of senior cultural sector leaders to oversee the project. We have also hired an experienced Project Manager, Annalee Adair, former national Director of ArtsSmarts, to lead the project, working closely with CHRC’s Executive Director, staff and Board. We have engaged our PATAC partners to work with us on the revisions to the HR Management Toolkit. And we have hired well-respected arts consultant, Sibyl Frei, who helped write some of the tools, to undertake the revisions. CHRC’s modus operandi is to always work with the practitioners – those in the field/in the sector who get the issue and have the creativity and inspiration to find solutions.


A third key piece in this puzzle will be the production of a series of interactive webinars that will rally the mentorship teams and give them shared experiences around their learnings. Though we would have preferred gathering the mentorship teams in person, travel proved just too costly – and we have opted for the internet as the gathering place. The webinars will also stand alone as teaching tools for cultural managers going forward.

We are hitting the ground running. This is an idea whose time has come.

CIMA Workshop

CHRC was pleased to work with the Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA) to put on an HR workshop for music industry executives in late April. In a survey of CIMA Board and members this ranked high as a training need. The music industry has not typically given much thought or attention to HR issues. But times are changing, and recruiting and managing staff and talent have become increasingly important to music industry entrepreneurs who are setting up successful and growing businesses.

The 2-day highly interactive HR Management Workshop was billed as “designed to address the major HR challenges that threaten your ability to grow”. CHRC worked with recognized HR and legal experts at Williams HR Consulting and Williams HR Law to address the following:

How to attract, motivate and retain staff to set your business up for success including:

  • how to build your corporate culture
  • how to engage your staff to drive results
  • how to manage performance and get the best out of your staff
  • how to retain your staff with compensation and incentives

And get the essentials on the HR legal side of your business including:

  • identify HR law risks commonly seen in entrepreneurial businesses
  • explore best practices including well-defined policies and processes
  • realize the importance of well-drafted employment agreements
  • determine legal considerations when terminating
  • detect impact on the organization when terminations are not done right

Though numbers were low, those who did attend were hungry for advice and answers. They weren’t disappointed. Congratulations CIMA on a bold step into the PD arena for your members at a very high level!

A Work Experience Program

As a deliverer of the Career Focus and Building Careers in Heritage internship programs over many years, CHRC understands the precarious but important bridge from school to work for emerging artists and cultural workers. This year CHRC has ventured into another version of these programs – one that leads to “work experience” and full employment (as opposed to internship). The Work Experience (WE) program that we are managing for Economic and Social Development Canada (ESDC) requires solid commitment from employers to hire the individual at the end of the subsidized work experience. It’s another way to support cultural employers and encourage careers in the cultural sector.

Culture Satellite Account (CSA) Release: "Culture is everywhere"!

Investing in culture is investing in jobs, in our economy and in our international reputation. It is also investing in our creative potential and our future.

On May 11, the Culture Statistics Strategy Consortium (of which CHRC is a member) released the Provincial Territorial Culture Indicators for 2010-2014 on the arts, culture, heritage and sport.

See the "Culture: Value in Our Lives, Value in Our Economy" video with the release.

This new detailed data, measuring the economic importance of culture, arts, heritage and sport in the provinces and territories of Canada, will help to better understand the regional economic contribution of culture, arts, heritage and sport activities to the provinces and territories.

CHRC has been a solid and strong proponent of the CSA since its inception, as an essential tool to better understand the economic state of the culture sector in Canada; and to highlight culture’s economic importance. It confirms the value of investing in this sector.

We encourage our members to check out the stats in their particular province or territory and where possible, to use them as a tool to persuade provincial and territorial governments of the value of investing in culture. (This is about investment - not “bail outs” or “hand outs”!)

The provincial and territorial governments are major paying partners in the Consortium. The stats in this release are good ways to open conversations with them.

For more information on the CSA, please see the FAQ.

Shining the light on Digital Skills again

“Canada’s cultural and creative industries are important drivers of innovation and a vibrant part of our economy. The intersection of culture and technology holds tremendous potential for our country’s growth and prosperity.”
– Minister Joly, April 2016

CHRC has followed closely and documented the evolving use of digital media in the cultural sector (e.g. Culture 3.0 - our national study on the impact of digital media in the cultural sector, and Canada’s Interactive Digital Media Industry: Where Creativity Meets Technology in the Digital Economy: A Context Paper for a Labour Market Information Project on Digital Content Creators); and we have developed tools and resources for interactive digital media content creators and the DM industry (e.g. our Digital Media HR Toolkit including competency chart and profile, and our high school curriculum for IDM teams). We have also engaged in the DM Strategy discussion at a national level with our submission to the consultation process for a national digital strategy in 2010, Building Digital Skills in the Cultural Sector.

The national DM strategy discussion fell silent for a few years, to our great disappointment, as we watched other countries like England and Australia roll out second and third versions of DM Strategies in their countries!

The tides in our country are changing though…recent developments at the federal level are encouraging.

The Canada Council for the Arts is developing its own digital strategy and has engaged Nordicity consultants to conduct among other things a review of strategies designed to support and promote digital capacity in the arts.

And DCH has launched the first phase of a consultation process on Canadian Content in a Digital World with echoes of the national consultation on digital strategy of 6 years ago. We encourage all our members to respond to the pre-consultation questionnaire (available until May 20) and then to follow developments closely. If we want this DM strategy to truly include and reflect culture (and not just technology!) then we have to make it our own through our involvement in the process.

A Blow for Cultural Managers

From ACI Manitoba:

It is with disappointment that we must pass along the news that the University of Winnipeg’s Professional, Applied and Continuing Education (PACE) division has decided to terminate the Manitoba Arts and Cultural Management Certificate Program. The program was too small for PACE to justify the resources required to run it….

ACI Manitoba invested more than $55,000 in supporting students with tuition fee subsidies over a decade. We were the stewards of an active advisory council and we contributed countless hours of staff time to assisting members in the program….

ACI Manitoba has supported 31 graduates of the Manitoba Arts and Cultural Management Program to date. Of those graduates, at least 74% are currently working in the arts and culture sector. Four graduates left the arts sector, going on to positions in the wider non-profit sector. At least six graduates moved to better positions, including becoming Executive Directors. Four graduates moved out of province.

There are ten active students in the program who we continue to support. All currently work in Manitoba’s arts and cultural sector.

National Reaction

Members of the Canadian Association of Arts Administration Educators expressed deep concern over the loss of the program. There are only a handful of arts administration programs across Canada, with the majority being offered in Ontario. The Manitoba Arts and Cultural Management Program was unique, with only one other program on the prairies at MacEwan University in Edmonton.

Going forward

Recommendations for Arts and Cultural Employers

  • Ask for arts management specialty qualifications such as Arts and Cultural Management certificates in job postings, or list them as asset qualifications.
  • Create a line item in the budget for employee professional development (The Canadian business average is $914 per worker. The current average for Canadian artists or cultural workers is $43.).
  • Support employees by giving them time off for professional development.


Looking for a job? Looking for talent?

Current Job Postings

Title Organisation City, Province
Directeur/trice général(e) / Executive Director Freeze Frame Media Arts Centre for Young People Winnipeg, Manitoba
General Manager Odyssey Theatre Ottawa, Ontario
Executive Director / Directeur/trice général(e) Freeze Frame Media Arts Centre for Young People Winnipeg, Manitoba
Managing Director - Toronto Consort Genovese, Vanderhoof & Associates Toronto, Ontario
Community Events Specialist Town of Okotoks Okotoks, Alberta
Artistic Director Luminato Festival Toronto, Ontario
Vancouver Film Commissioner PFM Executive Search Vancouver, British Columbia

CHRC members receive a 25% discount on job postings!

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

Featured Organisation Plus Member


ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) is the union of more than 21,000 professional performers working in English-language recorded media in Canada including TV, film, radio and digital media. Its principal role is to negotiate, administer and enforce collective agreements to provide performers with equitable compensation as well as safe and reasonable working conditions.

Susan Annis, Executive Director
Extension 22 -

Erma Barnett, Finance Officer

Lucie M. D'Aoust, Sr. Project Manager
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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