Cultural Human Resources Council

About The CHRC

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What is the CHRC?

The Cultural Human Resources Council (CHRC) brings together cultural workers and employers to address training, career development and other human resource issues.

The cultural sector includes a labour force of over 539,000 and several thousand businesses and organizations – large, medium and small, not-for-profit and for-profit.

Through its volunteer Board of Directors and broad national network, CHRC works for and with all the cultural industries and arts disciplines in the cultural sector including the Live Performing Arts; Writing and Publishing; Visuals Arts and Crafts; Film and Television; Digital Media; Music and Sound Recording; and Heritage. CHRC also works on cross-sector issues such as Cultural Management, Career Management and Export Marketing.

Find out about our current projects in our most recent Newsletter.

The Cultural Human Resources Council (CHRC) strives to be at the centre of vision and forward thinking in the area of cultural human resources development. CHRC brings together representatives of arts disciplines and cultural industries in the cultural sector to address the training and career development needs of employers and cultural workers including artists, technical staff, managers and all others engaged professionally in the sector.

The cultural sector comprises literally hundreds of occupations in seven broad sub-sectors: live performing arts, writing and publishing, visuals arts and crafts, film and television, digital media, music and sound recording, and heritage. The sector includes employers and workers in several thousand organizations, big and small, not-for-profit and for-profit.

Created in 1995 to strengthen the Canadian cultural workforce, CHRC is one of over 30 sector councils formerly supported by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC). CHRC's membership spans the country, and its members are as diverse as the disciplines and industries they work in.

The Canadian cultural community is large, dynamic, highly skilled and well educated. According to the Culture Statistics Program of Statistics Canada, more than 600,000 Canadians work in the cultural labour force. Almost 70% of these individuals hold a university degree. They are twice as likely to be self-employed, and are typically well motivated, entrepreneurial and creative. Cultural workers contribute an estimated $48 billion to the economy. Further, the number of people working in cultural fields has grown at more than twice the rate of the total workforce over the past 20 years.

CHRC'S Mission

To strengthen the Canadian cultural workforce by providing leadership and innovative solutions to human resource issues and to better the HR environment within the cultural sector.

Technology is transforming almost every job in the cultural sector - from the way companies are organized and the way they market their products, to the media through which works are created, produced, conserved and brought to the public. At the same time, however, technology is opening up new avenues to reach and engage audiences. The globalization of markets which technology permits is creating new opportunities for Canadian products abroad, while intensifying competition from other countries.

Socio-demographic changes, competition from other activities, declining public funding and the need to create revenue from other sources also present profound challenges to the sector.

These issues are at the heart of CHRC's day-to-day activities. The future will bring irrevocable change and unparalleled opportunity for the cultural sector, and CHRC strives to ensure that Canadian cultural workers are well prepared.

What CHRC does

With general membership and board members drawn from within the cultural sector, CHRC’s work is guided by the sector and by the priority needs identified by sub-sector studies and baseline labour force survey data. Further information on these documents may be found in the History of CHRC document.

Specifically, CHRC undertakes:

Project Development

CHRC manages and facilitates projects to address specific cultural human resource issues such as succession, training, compensation, HR management/planning, career planning and competency development.

Career Development Tools

CHRC produces career development tools such as:

  • The Art of Managing Your Career (for self-employed artists and cultural workers)
  • Careers in Culture
  • Export Marketing of Cultural Products and Services

Internship Support

CHRC manages Internship Programs that bridge the school-to-work transition for young artists and cultural workers.

Job Recruitment

CHRC maintains an online opportunities board called CultureWorks for artists and cultural workers to post resumes and find opportunities, and for cultural employers to find qualified cultural workers.

Course Content

CHRC has developed several course content documents for a variety of sub-sectors including visual arts and crafts, live performing arts, film and television, music and sound recording, writing and publishing, digital media, and heritage. The creation of these course content documents was overseen by industry experts to ensure that they address the most up-to-date skills and knowledge needed by industry.


CHRC shares information and resources, resolves problems cooperatively and influences decision makers on HR issues, through a vast network of national and provincial arts organizations, artists and cultural workers and a through a broad network beyond the cultural sector that includes universities, colleges, training institutions and other sectoral councils.

Information and Research

CHRC commissions, collects and publishes research (for example: Face of the Future - a study on human resource issues in the cultural sector, a Compensation Survey for Cultural Managers, and a Survey of Women in Film and Television). CHRC also communicates HR information through newsletters, this web site, press releases, meetings, roundtables, forums, seminars and conferences.


CHRC speaks as a recognized and respected voice on behalf of artists and cultural workers across the country to decision makers and the public.

Why CHRC Is Necessary?

Perhaps more than any other, culture is a field in which people are the principal resource. This sector exists because of its people, their creativity and their resourcefulness, rather than natural resources, financial capital or manufactured goods. Its "raw materials" are infinitely renewable and potentially limitless. However, this labour force has its own patterns of work and training requirements, which challenge old ideas about how to prepare people for viable, lasting jobs and how to increase their skills, competency and mobility.

While 15% of the entire Canadian workforce is self-employed, in the cultural sector, 39% are self-employed. They are creators, artists, writers, actors, musicians, members of film crews, small magazine publishers, directors, editors, curators and museum personnel. They run small businesses and often have to do everything - not only maintaining and improving their cultural skills, but also planning, creating, producing, marketing, accounting, dealing with tax, legal, health and safety matters, developing their own training opportunities and providing their own social benefits. As a result, they need a wider range of skills than most employees.

CHRC responds to all of these needs, providing guidance, counsel and opportunities, on a number of levels.

CHRC Board of Directors

2022 - 2023

Executive Committee
Janis Lundman – Co-Chair
Richard Hornsby – Co-Chair
David Swail – Secretary
Victoria Steele – Interim Treasurer

Digital Media
David Plant
Trinity Square Video

Film, Television and Broadcasting
Janis Lundman
Back Alley Film Productions

Donna Noonan
DNoonan Design


Live Performing Arts
Veronique MacKenzie
Independent Artist

Music and Sound Recording
Ryhna Thompson
Envision Management and Production

Visual Arts & Crafts
Kathleen Morris
Canadian Crafts Federation

Writing and Publishing
David Swail
Publisher's Council

Barbara Nepinak, Indigenous representative
Victoria Steele, Interim Treasurer

Provincial and Territorial Advisory Committee (PATAC) 2022/23

Kennedy Jenson
Alberta Partners for Arts and Culture

Elliott Hearte
Alliance for Arts and Culture

Thom Sparling
Creative Manitoba

Richard Hornsby
University of New Brunswick

Amy Henderson
Business and Arts Newfoundland/Labrador

Travis Mercredi
Government of the Northwest Territories, Culture and Heritage Division

Briony Carros
Arts Nova Scotia

Ellen Hamilton
Qaggiavuut! ᖃᒡᒋᐊᕘᖅ!

Diane Davy

Mark Sandiford
Culture PEI

Pascale Landry
Compétence Culture

Em Ironstar
Saskatchewan Arts Alliance


Grégoire Gagnon
Executive Director