- A physical or virtual space, temporary or permanent concept, that aims to provide resources for skills development and/or co-working opportunities for like-minded people to learn, network, share ideas and form beneficial partnerships.
- A connection place; “collision space” to cross fertilize ideas and experiences.
Through consultation with hubs representatives and experts, this report identifies a broad selection of hubs that currently exist to support the culture sector through business training; the role hubs play in the sector’s business development; and the elements that indicate a successful hub.
This research was prepared by Nordicity and made possible due to the support of the Ontario Media Development Corporation and the Ontario Arts Council. Work in Culture thanks our interviewees and roundtable participants for their time and support.
About the Hubs report
Written by Yomi John
The objective of the research was to identify representative organizations, institutions and programs that provide business skills training to Ontario’s arts, culture and creative sector and to explore promising best practices. Through consultation with hub representatives and experts across the province, Nordicity has gathered examples of the variety of hubs by type and discipline, the training offered, emerging best practices, the motivation for collaboration between hubs, and the potential for non-culture hubs to adapt to a cultural audience.
The broad concept of “hubs” offers a very promising model for the culture sector in the fostering of innovative ideas, creative practices and entrepreneurship. There is no one definition of a hub, as it could be a physical or virtual space, temporary or permanent concept. But the common goal of most hubs, whether creative or tech-oriented, is to provide resources for skills development and/or co-working opportunities for like-minded people to learn, network, share ideas and form beneficial partnerships. As simply put by one interviewee during consultation, a hub is in essence a “connection place.” Valerie Fox of The Pivotal Point suggests that hubs should serve as “collision spaces” to cross-fertilize ideas and experiences.
We envision this report to be a resource for the creative community and hubs themselves; as it explores representative hubs across the province, and strategies for increasing the impact of hubs in delivering business training to artists, makers, arts administrators and creative entrepreneurs.
This research also suggests that there is equal demand for training in areas like marketing, finance, business and leadership, and digital technology, and for training in a broad variety of formats from workshops and seminars to mentorships and internships.
Work in Culture sees the potential of hubs as collaborative and interconnected forces. Though many hubs thrive in their niches, the Hubs report concludes that knowledge-sharing and stronger alliance between hubs should be a priority, and Work in Culture hopes that it can play a stronger role in doing just that.