A conversation about business skills training with Eastern Ontario...

Posted: 08/04/2013 3:10:22 PM by WorkInCulture editor | with 2 comments

Thank you Eastern Ontario!

We are just back from a terrific full-day meeting in Kingston, Ontario.  WorkInCulture’s Director of Programming, Susan Cohen and I,  along with facilitator, Alan Kay, of the Glasgow Group met with 29 enthusiastic representatives from a wide variety of organizations from the region that want to improve business skills training and career development for their creative community.  The group included representatives from our provincial partner organizations, The Professional Writers Association of Canada, the Ontario Crafts Council and CARFAC (visual and media artists).

The objective of the day was to identify top priority skills (Financial Management, Marketing and Partnership Skills won out); share sources of training that already exist, explore gaps and create some short and longer-term actions that can be tackled by the community working together and, where appropriate, with WorkInCulture.

One of the most interesting outcomes of the day was the list of training that is already available in the region.  From a series of workshops being offered by CARFAC for visual and media artists through workshops and  downloadable resources  offered by the Belleville/Quinte region Trenval  Business Development Corporation to WorkInCulture’s own online resources, many options are in place.

There was a lively discussion about why more artist-entrepreneurs don’t access these and other available programs. The answers ranged from resources (time and money), awareness, geographic access, attitudinal barriers (e.g. I am afraid of numbers) to the more subtle issue of ‘not knowing what we don’t know’. This last speaks to the need to frame training and the promotion of training in terms and in a context that speaks the language of the community. People need to see the relevance and the return on their investment of time and money.

The success of the meeting was an example of what we can do if we collaborate.  The EO community is diverse, skilled and committed – WorkInCulture was the catalyst for the get-together but the group provided the energy and the expertise.

Our promise to Eastern Ontario – this is not a ‘one-off’.  We will be back. In the short-term, we will be offering two half-day workshops (one on Marketing and one on Transition Planning) in May – May 30 in Cornwall and May 31 in Kingston. In the longer term we will continue to work with you to address your community’s specific needs.

Eastern Ontario is one of five regions in the province we are targeting over the next few years. The others are the GTA, South Western Ontario with Guelph as the hub, Sudbury and Huntsville/Muskoka.  We will be interested to see whether the same issues emerge across the province.

Special thanks to Karen Dolan of the Kingston Arts Council; Colin Wiginton, the City of Kingston, Cultural Services, for his help in providing the glorious Grand Theatre venue and the entire Eastern Ontario Arts Council Network.

A huge thanks to Employment Ontario’s Labour Market Partnerships Fund for providing the support to enable this initiative. Going forward, thanks to the Ontario Trillium Foundation for allowing us to continue to build partnerships with communities across Ontario.

Brad Dicks
Hi Victoria,

We will definitely be offering workshops in the GTA sometime in the near future. While we don't have dates just yet, we always keep our Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIN profiles up-to-date with the latest details:

(or click the new links at the very top)
17/07/2013 9:35:43 AM

Victoria Taylor
Do you know when you will be offering these workshops in the GTA?
27/06/2013 1:06:58 PM

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