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

Work in Culture is pleased to share that we are working in partnership with the Business + Higher Education Roundtable, and with support from the Government of Canada, to help create work-integrated learning, or WIL, opportunities in the arts for post-secondary students.

The Business + Higher Education Roundtable (BHER) is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization that brings together Canada’s largest companies and leading post-secondary institutions to build opportunities for young Canadians, boost innovation, and drive collaboration.

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

Work in Culture
Business + Higher Education Roundtable
Government of Canada
Arts, Culture and Media at University of Toronto Scarborough

Work in Culture is partnering with BHER 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 University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC)’s Arts Management programs 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 arts and culture sector that we serve is largely made up of micro, small, and medium-sized organizations, which often rely on grants to fund job placements,” said Stephanie Draker, Program Manager at Work in Culture. “We are very excited to be working with BHER and UTSC to help more students explore career opportunities in the arts, which can be a challenging sector to gain entry to, and to connect with arts organizations that want to attract and retain a highly skilled, emerging talent base.”

In the Winter 2024 term, a series of online and in-person panels with arts and culture professionals were integrated into the course curriculum and supported by an in-person industry event held at 401 Richmond, an arts and culture hub in downtown Toronto, where students could meet and engage with industry professionals from across the sector.

Students participated in discussion roundtables and office visits led by arts workers and had the chance to talk with them directly about career development and pathways to employment, and to learn more about the challenges and opportunities that exist within the arts and culture ecosystem.

“It was a pleasure to host these student groups in our arts space and have a chance to talk about careers in the arts, and collaboration between small arts organizations,” said Chris Gehman, Managing Director of Vtape. “I think they learned a lot by seeing how we have worked together to build a public facility shared by five non-profit arts groups.”

Fellow participant Nicole Crawford, Gallery Assistant with Tangled Art + Disability, agreed: “The work-integrated learning model was a lot of fun to participate in. Having engaging discussions is especially vital in these trying times and I’m glad Work in Culture and UTSC could create a platform for us all to connect.”

In addition to traditional forms of WIL like co-ops and apprenticeships, new and emerging WIL models like these offer lower-cost and lower-risk ways for employers to participate, as well as more accessible opportunities for students to develop skills and gain work-related experience.

“Gatherings like this are essential because they provide low-stakes networking opportunities for arts professionals about to graduate and enter the industry,” said Rachel Kennedy, Executive Director and Co-Lead of the Toronto Fringe Festival, who also participated in the event. “It was great to meet these new faces and begin forming connections with them.”

We look forward to continuing this work with BHER and UTSC and to sharing more about this initiative into the spring and fall.

About Business + Higher Education Roundtable

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.

About Work in Culture

Work in Culture (WIC) is a non-profit arts service organization that advances the careers of artists, creatives, and cultural workers from diverse lived experiences, and supports the organizations that engage them, through entrepreneurial and business skills development and innovative research. Learn more at

For more information:

Brianne DiAngelo
Marketing and Communications Manager
Work in Culture
[email protected]