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WorkInCulture News!

May 10, 2012



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If you are interested in health insurance that has been designed specifically to meet the needs of individuals and organizations in the arts and culture sector you may be interested in attending this information session on a new innovative Arts Worker Health Insurance Program  known as aWHIP.

Steve Beatty and his colleague Michael Kelly will present an overview and answer questions to help you understand more about the program and how it fits with both companies and individuals and our Canadian medical system.

This promises to be an informative interactive style of workshop including time afterwards for one on one discussion.

Date: Thursday, May 24, 2012

Location:  Factory Theatre, 125 Bathurst Street at Adelaide

Time: 2:00 – 4:00pm

RSVP: Tuesday May 22, 2012



Participants at WorkInCulture's Creative Leadership Mentoring Workshop last month had the opportunity to hear Don Duval, VP of Business Services at MaRS, share 5 tips about building a successful mentoring program.

1)      Support mentors from the get-go.

MaRS sets expectations right away, and lays out what the next four to six weeks will look like for mentors. They ensure that all the right tools are in place to support them.   A mentor may be a successful entrepreneur, an expert in the field, or have great business acumen, but they’ve most likely never mentored anyone before, so it’s important to make sure they have some guidelines to follow.

2)      Grow through referral.

MaRS exclusively grows its pool of volunteer mentors by referral.  They make sure that the current mentor really knows the person they are referring.  It puts the current mentor's reputation on the line, and makes them accountable for their recommendations, ensuring only quality candidates.

3)      Keep a diverse talent pool.

Even if someone is a high level executive, they may not know everything about growing a business from the ground up. MaRS uses the rule of a third when expanding its talent pool.  That means at least a third of their mentors have been, or currently are, experienced high level executives in major companies;  another third must be tried and true entrepreneurs;  the final third must be actual subject matter experts.  Each group brings something unique to the table.  Keeping that diverse talent pool available provides a holistic approach to mentoring.

4)      Celebrate successes. 

It’s important to celebrate when a new volunteer mentor commits to the program, or when a client lands their first customer.  MaRS sends out press releases when clients have a success, they also ensure that the mentor who worked with the client gets a quote in the release; they aren’t getting paid, but do get some recognition from their peers.

5)      Make it simple.

While it’s important to gather data from mentors about their client interactions, it shouldn’t become an administrative burden for someone who is already giving their time freely.  MaRS uses its own social media system to track progress with simple, brief notes.  Mentors have more time to spend helping their clients, instead of being bogged down with unnecessary stacks of paperwork.


To hear more about the MaRS mentorship program, as well as some surprising details, check out the full audio from Don Duval’s speech here