Last evening, as Toronto experienced its first real winter snowfall, WorkInCulture's Annual General Meeting took place at the Gladstone Hotel. And the highlight of the event was the presentation of the third Robert Johnston Award for Excellence in HR in the Arts. Bob Johnston was there to present the award, which was created in his honour on his retirement as Executive Director of WorkinCulture in 2009. It was established to recognize and celebrate his longtime service in the arts (he was also General Director of The National Ballet of Canada from 1979 to 1987) and his commitment to the importance of human resources management in the sector, an area that is often neglected.The basic criterion for nominees for the award is "someone who has made a significant contribution to the sector's most valuable resource - its people". Past recipients are Patricia Fraser, Artistic Director of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, and arts consultant Cathy Smalley.
This year's honoree is Margaret Genovese, arts management consultant and senior partner of Genovese, Vanderhoof and Associates. Margaret is also well-known as an educator and trainer, and was one of the creative minds behind the Income Managers Program which had its beginning in the mid 80's. Margaret foresaw the need for well trained fundraisers and marketers in Canada's burgeoning arts and culture world. Since that time over 600 men and women have graduated from the program, and many of them are in leadership roles in the sector today.
Robert Johnston, Award-Winner Margaret Genovese, Executive Director Diane Davy
Margaret is a truly unique person, who travels the world both for work and for pleasure, and who along the way forges strong friendships with many of the people she meets. She is a mentor, adviser, confidante and lifelong friend to all of her former students...many of whom were in attendance last night. In her acceptance speech, Margaret emphasized the importance of supporting the arts by attending the arts, and said that her first piece of advice to people who want a career in culture is "Go to openings, launches, galleries, museums, opera, music, dance and theatre, and if you are on a budget, go to pay what you can, or last minute."
The award is a beautiful crafted piece by kiln formed glass artist Don McClennen, and is a wonderful expression of the spirit of relationship building - evoking art, architecture, and modern life.
Congratulations to Margaret!