HR Study 2010

> HR Trends and Issues

Heritage - Highlights

Purchase all three documents that make up HR Study 2010 in a printable electronic format

The HR Study 2010 package contains: HR Trends and Issues, Labour Market Information for Canada's Cultural Sector and The Effect of the Global Economic Recession on Canada's Creative Economy in 2009.

Fast Facts

The real value added output (GDP) of the heritage domain in 2009 was estimated to be $2.9 billion.
Canadian consumer spending on heritage was $805 million in 2008.
Exports for 2008 totalled $23 million.
Total federal government support for all heritage resources was $1 billion for 2007/08.
In the heritage subsector, there were 2,607 establishments registered in 2009, eight of which were large, 65 of which were medium-sized, 470 of which were small, and 1,679 of which were micro-sized.

Major issues


Top environmental issues are changes to government spending and policy, technological changes and the economy.


Technological advances are changing how heritage employer organizations operate; research, preserve and present art and artifacts; and outreach to the world through access to collections of materials. With enhanced technological skills, heritage workers would be better equipped to market and develop innovative community outreach initiatives.

Intellectual Property

One important issue arising from technological advances concerns intellectual property. Heritage employers are wrestling with the challenge of leveraging technology and providing wide access to collections while still retaining ownership of the intellectual property and defending attribution to its creator.

New Business Models

Rather than acting as passive storehouses of information for public consumption, academic research and cultural preservation, many libraries are actively pursuing business models that involve community outreach. They are seeking out new markets and funding streams by offering new services and by forming partnerships with the business community.

New Roles

Adapting their role in the community creates significant human resource challenges for heritage employers. They must be prepared to equip workers and volunteers with non-traditional skills, including technological, marketing and innovation skills. The process of developing these new skills in the workforce is becoming increasingly complex due to factors such as the aging of the population, the growing diversity of Canadian society, and evolving consumer expectations with respect to "cultural experiences" (particularly among new Canadians and younger audiences). In particular, heritage employers must develop training programming to accommodate different demographic groups, the growing demand for investment in language and cultural sensitivity, and the importance of improved marketing.

Succession Planning

Succession planning is rapidly becoming a critical issue in the heritage subsector. One quarter of heritage survey respondents were aged 55 or older, and many expected to retire in the short- to medium-term.

Recruitment and Retention

The heritage subsector has found it difficult to offer competitive salaries relative to other sectors or to offer the training in market and business development needed to support emerging roles of heritage in the community. Further, the high number of senior managers in heritage leaves little room for career advancement for others.


  1. Develop a national framework for ongoing professional development in the heritage subsector that encompasses the life of the career, develops management and leadership capabilities and includes internship opportunities, through delivery that is both local and on-line.

  2. Ensure the implementation of the national framework through promotion of investment in training and development throughout the heritage community.

  3. Develop collaborations among, and partnerships with, employers, workers, government and educational institutions to ensure that training is relevant, accessible, transferable and meets the needs of the subsector.

  4. Promote understanding of potential audiences/user base through research and evaluation and develop the heritage infrastructure (with a focus on human resources) to address their needs.