Strengthening Ontario's Culture Workforce

Posted: 06/09/2016 10:11:23 AM by WorkInCulture editor | with 0 comments

Written by Karen Ennis

Throughout the long, hot summer of 2016, WorkInCulture had the opportunity to visit some very interesting companies in the cultural industries. The reason for the visits? In March, we partnered with 12 companies to provide 12 graduates with job training work placements.

Our partnerships include: GustoTV in Ottawa; Big Blue Bubble and NVDIA, gaming companies in London and Toronto, respectively; Cinefest Sudbury; Cinevate, a film and photography equipment supplier for Thunder Bay; Dundurn Press, Second Story Press and House of Anansi, Toronto-based publishing houses; ecentricarts, a web design firm; CMRRA, the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Association, Paper Bag Records, an indie record label; and Mongrel Media, a Toronto-based film distribution company. 

During the visits, WorkInCulture met the new hires to see how they were faring, and to learn more about the positions and companies. There were lots of great stories. The overriding impression after visiting many: what great places to work! Their work was challenging. The new employees seemed happy, motivated, yet relaxed. The supervisors were happy with the contributions from the new employees, and the job titles were a diverse lot: Quality Assurance Tester, Director of Marketing, Label Administrator, Production Assistant, Royalties Administrator and more.

Many of these companies are cutting edge when it comes to their workplace environments. Flex hours are a given. In one organization, employees may start their day any time between 7:30 to 10:00 am. Many of the offices have nicely outfitted common areas (a few with pool tables!). One innovative company wants to keep their employees’ creative juices flowing, and reduce stress. It has a vintage Mortal Kombat arcade game, and a barista that visits twice daily to offer mid-morning and mid-afternoon cappuccinos and lattes. All have a culture that encourages lots of collegial interaction.

The work placements will end in March, 2017. The anticipated result is that each placement turns into longer term employment. Keep an eye out in March for a series of YouTube interviews to find out what the participants experienced and learned, and what this opportunity meant to their career path.


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