The Mentoring Project

THE MENTORING PROJECT:  Supporting Artists’ Career Development
A partnership with Cultural Careers Council Ontario (CCCO)

This project explored mentoring relationships between artists in all mediums and business professionals as a way to support artists’ career development.

Together with CCCO, we spoke with a number of Arts Etobicoke members and other local artists to hear their views about the potentials and pitfalls of mentoring.

The project culminated in the creation of four mentoring teams:

• John Welsman (gemini award-winning composer) and Vikas Kohli (young, entrepreneurial music studio owner, music producer and emerging film/video composer)
• Annette Frymer (lawyer) and Sonja Hidas (visual artist)
• Anthony Reyes (marketing, Sony Records) and Joan Watson (True North Brass)
• Gerry Smith (theatre, producer) and Heather Dick (theatre producer)

The teams met periodically for several months on a specific development plan, including business planning, marketing strategy and organizational development. Arts Etobicoke was pleased to host with CCCO a small party to celebrate the teams' accomplishments on June 23, 2011.

Both artists and mentors found the process and experience rewarding and expressed what they found beneficial about the program:

I believe the major advantage was the structured opportunity of brainstorming and planning with feedback and support.  Jerry Smith, mentor

I learned more about the world of visual artists and various opportunities open to them. I appreciated being able to share my business understanding in a way that had a direct impact on assisting Sonya in her work.  Annette Frymer, mentor



It was always good to bring in my specific issues and find out that my mentor had been through it and how he tackled the issues.  Vikas Kohli, mentoree




I appreciated that our mentor was very sensitive to the creative process. There was never any pressure but only kindly, supportive advice and guidance. It was a true pleasure throughout.  Joan Watson, mentoree

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