Growing Creative Careers blog series – Walter Petrichyn

Growing Creative Careers: Windsor & Region blog series - an interview with Walter Petrichyn, cohort 3.

This blog is part of the Growing Creative Careers in Windsor & Region blog series. WorkInCulture worked closely with the Windsor-Essex Small Business & Entrepreneurship Centre and Arts Council Windsor & Region to develop and deliver Growing Creative Careers, a professional development training series for artists and arts workers/arts administrators in the Windsor-Essex region.

Walter S. Petrichyn has made a short documentary film (Expressing Toronto). Walter also has produced a local history podcast (Life in a Border Town), and has produced fifty oral histories for Museum Windsor for the COVID-19 Memory Project documenting the mass vaccination clinic at the former Sears building from 2021 to 2022. Walter also is working on a manuscript for a history book about the Town of Ojibway (which will be the basis of an archival documentary film in the near future). Walter currently spends his days at CJAM 99.1 FM (Windsor-Detroit) acting as Station Manager and works part time as a Museum Assistant at Museum Windsor.

Walter S. Petrichyn is a participant from the third cohort of our Growing Creative Careers: Windsor and Region program.

The third Growing Creative Careers cohort was focused on how to build creative projects and programs, from idea to execution, for artists and arts professionals. The training series covered how to create a project plan, structure roles and responsibilities, build a contact network, create a budget and understand funding sources and grant applications.

Growing Creative Careers – Cohort 3 reflection

by Walter Petrichyn

This cohort focused on providing personalized guidance for Individual projects. How did this process help your project idea/did it?

This process helped my project idea by providing necessary tools to help refine elements of the documentary film. For example, thanks to WorkInCulture, I now will sit down with collaborators and we’ll both go over a Memorandum of Understanding before confirming anything pertaining to payment, expectations of how much work the collaborator will put in, etc. The workshop also provided a critical perspective helpful for me to get outside of my own head and to help refine the idea even more.

Peer assessment was highly encouraged throughout the third cohort, which focused on project management. What were some of the advantages you gained by having a peer from the industry review and provide feedback for your idea?

Having a peer from the industry review and provide feedback for my idea was really helpful. Tailoring my specific idea to grants that are more geared towards filmmaking was a helpful piece of advice. Helping me to understand the possible different financial sources that are available to filmmaking in Windsor, Ontario, and Canada got me closer towards my goal.

What is one major takeaway or piece of advice from the program (and/or your experience) that you’d like to share with others who are trying to advance their artistic careers/creative careers/creative projects?

Being in a room with other creatives is important because you’re able to understand their path, and help them in their process. It might not be directly clear to you, the creative, but by helping and talking with other creatives about their process, it will help your creative endeavours as a result.

What are some of the needs you see when it comes to improving career development for artists, creative professionals, and/or arts and culture organizations in the Windsor-Essex Region?

It could be expanding the amount of money allocated into a fund such as the City of Windsor’s Arts Culture and Heritage Fund so more people who apply receive the funding, more networking opportunities hosted by art organizations collaborating together; maybe something like a speed-dating but instead of potential romantic partners, its with arts and culture organizations so that will lead to more talks amongst each other in the city, and hopefully more collaboration.

What are you looking forward to next (professionally)?

Getting my manuscript for the Town of Ojibway book completed and then 100% committing to the documentary film about the same subject matter.

If you are an artist or creative professional looking to build your capacity or refine an interdisciplinary strategy or project to support your career, you can find downloadable templates provided to participants of the program below:

  • Project Elevator Pitch
  • Project Timeline & budget chart
  • Planning template
  • Project Management for creatives and art professionals
  • SWOT Assessment
  • Data Collection & Analysis
  • Focused Fundraising tips

To download these templates and learn more about the Growing Creative Careers: Windsor & Region program, please visit