CHRC on the road – Toronto

We met today in the venerable halls of the Arts and Letters Club of Toronto. Thank you CCCO for co-hosting with us and choosing such a fitting location! I checked out the web site to get some of the history of that historic and cultural landmark:

“For more than a century the Club has been an important presence in Canada's cultural scene. Today it is a dynamic community of men and women of all ages for whom the arts are an essential part of life – a place to pursue creative expression, engage in the free and vigorous interchange of ideas and opinions, and enjoy good conversation and the companionship of kindred spirits.”

What a treat!

Cultural leaders and workers from across the sector joined us in an animated conversation that bounced from ideas on how to support CHRC’s ongoing funding, to passionate interventions around the [sometimes uncomfortable] relationship between creators and IT coders. (A relationship, BTW, that CHRC is tackling in a number of different ways, including working with the ICTC sector council.)

We heard strong support for continuing our networking role through events like the national HR Forum. We registered the suggestion of bringing x-gens on to our Board. We nodded in agreement about the undeniable move to “on line” products, teaching , communications.

And we tried to quickly write down Diane Davy’s eloquent intervention about CHRC’s role in the sector – one of those moments when everyone seemed to nod in agreement as she was speaking. Let me try to articulate it:

“CHRC should bring together partners in the cultural sector around topics that have a broad interest, such as export marketing and mentoring, being careful not to step on the toes of these partners (with either a sub-sector or provincial focus) as they pursue their own goals.”

It makes perfect sense and reflects the spirit behind these meetings with members and the sector.

A truly rich, far-reaching discussion from savvy cultural leaders and seasoned sector veterans. We’re grateful for the frank comments, praise and constructive criticism – but mostly for the support for CHRC.

We’re in this together – and we feel like we’re on the right track!

Hitting the east coast and back to TO

We closed out last week with 2 great validation sessions for our DM Team competency chart.

In St. John’s we met with several DM industry experts, pulled together by Steering Committee member Deirdre Ayre of Other Ocean. It was a lively exchange from mostly “gamers”. They brought years of experience to the table, and a keen grasp of where the industry is going. Especially insightful were the comments about the ongoing nature of a DM “product” or “experience”. It is not necessarily a final piece of content that then needs to be “marketed”, but is often a work in progress that evolves with the users. So, “going to market” can have a different meaning in the DM industry. We also had strong and helpful comments from one who is a “programmer”. He felt he was not represented in the few high level technical “skills” currently identified in the chart – and we concurred. That is what we’re trying to get our heads around. How do we define and describe technology skills in balance with artistic skills? He has helped us grapple with this issue. His comments will find their way into the final chart.

(Note to File: Murray Premises is a great hotel and meeting place! And the Gypsy Tea Room around the corner is a very cool restaurant/bar. St. John’s is starting to dress up for Christmas – it was made for that :-))

Don Henderson and Interactive Ontario were our hosts in Toronto. As it turned out, building on our “take aways” from the St. John’s session, we got from this group our best understanding of how the chart must incorporate technology skills. While the participants were somewhat cool to the process as we began, they warmed up to it quickly and were fully engaged right up to 12 noon when everyone had to leave for other meetings!

Time now to identify the consensus and compile the learnings from across the country.  In early December we’ll hold one last session in Halifax to test drive the revised chart – then hand it over to our own technology wizards to turn it into an interactive tool.

A bold new step for CHRC.