> 2010

Cultural Human Resources Council

Welcome to the
CHRC Newsletter
September 2010

In this issue!

The Impact of Digital Technology on the Cultural Sector

CHRC's fall line-up opens with the launch of a project to assess the impact of digital technology on the cultural sector, and to identify related HR issues that CHRC can help to address. This year-long study will be carried out by consultants under the direction of cultural sector employers and workers.

The impact of digital technology is being felt across the sector. It was identified by both employers and workers as one of the top environmental issues in the soon-to-be-released HR Study. It is changing the way culture and cultural products are created, produced, distributed, marketed and preserved. In varying degrees, it is affecting the infrastructures of the sub-sectors, the modus operandi of their businesses, the skill requirements of employers and the training needs of artists and cultural workers.

It is the opinion of the Board of CHRC that the impact of digital technology is the biggest single issue facing the cultural sector at this time.

In order to benefit from the vast horizon of new opportunities that digital technologies open up, we have to deal quickly and effectively with the challenges of the concomitant rapid and pervasive changes which we hear about constantly.

This project, which is about to get underway, will by highly consultative. Again, as we did for the HR Study, the needs, concerns and opinions of leaders in the sector and those on the front lines will be sought, compiled and analyzed, and recommendations will be made to address related HR issues.

The timeliness of this study is notable, as it follows on the heels of the HR Study as one of its main recommendations; and sets the stage for the cultural sector's central role in the Digital Economy Strategy.

More on the study in the next few weeks as the Steering Committee is established and the consultants are engaged.

Digital Economy Strategy: Consultations on Improving Canada's Digital Advantage

CHRC's submission: Building Digital Skills in the Cultural Sector

As mentioned in the last e-newsletter, CHRC joined over 200 organizations (almost 50 were from the cultural sector) in making a submission to the federal government's consultation process on the Digital Economy Strategy. Go directly to the Industry Canada web site to access these submissions.

The importance of being pro-actively involved in this process was expressed in a recent email to CHRC from l'Association québécoise de l'industrie du disque, du spectacle et de la vidéo (ADISQ).

"I just came across CHRC's submission and found it very relevant because of its 'all' training point of view, and because CHRC is asking for a global/national strategy to be developed to equip cultural workers for the digital economy.

The last section mentions that the cultural sector is composed mostly of small companies and independent workers who don't have lots of time, money and even motivation; they have to constantly be updating their skills and need on-the-job training, mentors and financial incentives to do so. This is exactly what Emploi-Québec, the CQRHC and CHRC will enable the ADISQ to offer its members. The charts and the profiles developed by CHRC help ensure that the training offered is professional, relevant and that it is part of a overall plan for the skills and competencies required.

A very nice job! Congratulations to your team."
Natalie LeDuc, ADISQ

Professional Standards for Riggers and Stage Technicians

For many years, CHRC has worked with industry leaders to develop competency charts and profiles for key occupations in the cultural sector, and further identified related training gaps analyses based on interviews with educators and training providers across the country. The charts and profiles are typically used by educators and training providers to develop curricula and course content; by employers to develop job descriptions; and by workers to assess training needs. Earlier this year, CHRC embarked on a new use of competency charts and profiles. In collaboration with the Canadian Institute of Theatre Technology (CITT) we engaged industry experts to develop proficiency levels for Entertainment Riggers and Stage Technicians, based on our competency charts and profiles. These documents are now online.

The levels of proficiency identified by the expert working groups are as follows:

2 levels for Stage Technicians

  • Entry-level (Supervised in the majority of tasks)
  • Advanced (Autonomous in the majority of tasks)

3 levels for Entertainment Riggers

  • Entry-level (Beginner, is supervised)
  • Intermediate (Experienced, is autonomous in the majority of tasks)
  • Advanced (Creates, designs, plans and/or supervises)

Great interest in this work has been expressed by CITT's sister organizations in both the United States and England. CITT's Executive Director will be speaking on this initiative at an international industry conference in England in the fall.

Update on the HR Study

The final edits, translation, and layout are proceeding apace on the 2 parts to the Cultural Sector HR Study: the Labour Market Information Report (LMI), and HR Trends and Issues in the Cultural Sector.

To their credit, consultants at the Conference Board of Canada have been meticulous in terms of the validation process. Following the feedback from the June HR Roundtable, many facts and figures have been verified by sector experts "one last time" to be sure that the document accurately reflects their needs and concerns. As a study of this breadth and depth happens once a decade and will thus serve as a touchstone for the sector for years to come, it is important to get it right.

We expect to release the HR Study, with some 20 General Recommendations and almost 40 subsector recommendations, in October.

Youth Internship Program - Career Focus

We are pleased to announce that we received additional funding for our internship program, Career Focus. We recognise the great need for emerging artists to experience practical hands-on training as they move from school to work. Therefore, we would like to offer financial support to employers in the cultural sector who would like to provide a postsecondary graduate mentorship in developing their arts practice for a period of 4 to 9 months (the program ends on March 31st, 2010).

If you are interested in taking advantage of this targeted Career Focus initiative to offer an invaluable mentorship opportunity to a young artist, please contact Geneviève Guilmette at

We are delighted to provide support to over 70 employers this year and we hope that you are one of them.

Artist as Entrepreneur resource guide

CHRC is pleased to announce the publication of the Artist as Entrepreneur resource guide. This document focuses on ways in which entrepreneurs recognize opportunities, generate ideas, and organize resources to plan successful ventures that enable them to achieve their goals. The document, created for high school students, is divided into 4 strands: Enterprising People and Entrepreneurs, Ideas & Opportunities for New Ventures, Benefits of a Venture Plan, and Completing a Venture Plan. The course resource includes several activities for students to really engage with as well as real life success stories.

Please visit our new course content section on our website for more information on this course content and on all our other course content documents.

Don't forget to check them out: Modules for The Art of Managing Your Career now available on our website!

Stay tuned for news on other upcoming CHRC's exciting projects which will be launched in the fall...

Susan Annis, Executive Director
Extension 22 -

Erma Barnett, Finance Officer
Extension 29 -

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

Geneviève Denis, Manager, Communications and Marketing
Extension 31 -

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

Michael Lechasseur, Web Coordinator
Extension 26 -

Denise Perrier, Project Manager
Extension 30 -

A list of 2010/2011 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