October 10, 2023
In the spring of 2022, Canadian Stage and Luminato invited Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario (CPAMO) to gather information related to production processes and practices for onboarding artists, artistic directors and those who support artists.
Luminato and Canadian Stage invited CPAMO to conduct research, focus groups, interviews and document review on an international level to prepare a report for use by both companies. This report, called Onboarding in the Arts: A Review of Evidence-Based Practices and Development of Guidelines for Action, provides guidance related to the onboarding of artists and contractors so that all are clear regarding the organizations’ intent to have productive, harassment and violence free workplaces.
To support this process, CPAMO has worked with both organizations in the following ways:
- Document Review: CPAMO has reviewed current materials and practices for the selection, contracting, and onboarding of artists at Canadian Stage and Luminato.
- Evidence-Based Research: CPAMO has provided an overview of best practices in the field when it comes to artist engagement, with a particular focus on AOAR practices.
- Propose Process Development: CPAMO created an onboarding process that supports Canadian Stage and Luminato’s objectives of providing safe, productive, and creative work environments for their artists.
As a result of the work with CPAMO, Luminato has revised our artist onboarding process as follows (documents available upon request):
- Put in-person artist communication and exchange of expectations as the priority in the onboarding process, placing it before the contracting stage;
- Developed a document outlining a typical process and set of expectations for an artist at Luminato, acknowledging each artist/project will have different requirements/processes;
- Revised our Artist Handbook to increase focus on the artist and simplify reporting procedures;
- Revised artist contract templates to centre the artist, incorporate reciprocity and make clearer mutual expectations.
A key learning from this process has been acknowledging the importance of open communication and transparency from the first conversation, when working with artists. Each project is so unique that Luminato needs to be agile and open to working in new and different ways that accommodate artists.
We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.