Navigating a Career in the Arts, Culture & Media: Event Highlights

On June 5, the Work in Culture team hosted an event on “Navigating a Career in the Arts, Culture & Media” for GTA post-secondary students, as part of our ongoing initiative in partnership with the Business + Higher Education Roundtable, and with support from the Government of Canada, to help create innovative work-integrated learning (WIL) opportunities in the arts.

WIL opportunities bridge the classroom and the workplace, helping students build meaningful career pathways and aiding employers in addressing skills, talent, and innovation gaps.

At this event, students from arts management programs at the University of Toronto Scarborough, Centennial College, and Humber College participated in discussion roundtables with arts workers from across the sector.

Students talked directly with arts professionals about careers and pathways to employment in the sector and candidly discussed the challenges and opportunities of working in the arts.

Roving reporter Juliana Feng captured some key takeaways and insights from the event:

Don’t forget you are an asset!

By Juliana Feng

Catching up with friends in the arts industry and meeting the next generation of emerging professionals gives me so much joy. Career pivots, job hunting and soul searching can be uncomfortable experiences, even for folks like me, but don’t let that stop you from finding where you belong!

Here are some key highlights from this week’s industry speakers at Work in Culture’s Navigating a Career in the Arts, Culture & Media event:

  • Empower yourself to be mindful of your health & well-being.
  • Be careful not to fall into silos! You are multifaceted and CAN be a fundraiser, dancer, creator, advocator, and more.
  • Know your tribe to be seen. Are there other arts organizations that are mandated to showcase work within the community you self-identify? Find your community and build on your passion, grow, and thrive.
  • Don’t be discouraged if you don’t fit in. You all bring a unique lived experience which is an incredibly valuable insight to the organization since you have a deeper understanding of people’s specific needs and values.
  • Volunteer experience is also a great opportunity to break into the job market, gain experience and connect with industry leaders.

Thank you to reporter Juliana Feng; event photographer Murphy Owusu; and speakers Paolo Griffin (Xenia Concerts), Michael Morreale (The Arts Firm and ArtsBoost), Amber Moyle (Polaris Music Prize), Kevin Ormsby (KasheDance and Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario), Parul Pandya (Community Impact Consulting and Business/Arts), Wendy Rading (Arts Etobicoke), Flora Shum (CARFAC Ontario), and Reia Tariq (VIBE Arts) for sharing your time, energy, and expertise with us. We appreciate you!

This event was held at The Commons @ 401, a shared-space initiative of FADO Performance Art Centre, imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, South Asian Visual Arts Centre, Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival, and Vtape at 401 Richmond in downtown Toronto. Thank you to Chris Gehman of Vtape for welcoming us into your space!

Work in Culture has partnered with Business + Higher Education Roundtable to help fulfill the goal of providing WIL opportunities for all post-secondary students by offering innovative WIL experiences to over 350 undergraduate students in Arts Management at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) this winter, spring, and fall.

These WIL experiences have been designed in close partnership with UTSC to help students navigate the range of career options and workplaces in arts and culture, and to include them in critical discussions with industry professionals around arts and culture career development.

The Business + Higher Education Roundtable (BHER) is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization bringing together some of Canada’s largest companies and leading post-secondary institutions. Since 2015, BHER has worked to harness the strengths of Canada’s business and post-secondary education sectors to build opportunities for young Canadians, boost innovation and drive collaboration. Learn more at Visit BHER’s WIL Hub for ways to explore, invest in and create quality WIL opportunities.

Previously: Work in Culture is Creating WIL Opportunities in the Arts with the Business + Higher Education Roundtable